W. Keith McManus has been a documentary photographer for over 45 years. As a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Photographic Arts & Sciences in the nineteen sixties he developed an interest in the documentary traditions in photography, especially the work of the photographers in the agency Magnum. His photography has ranged over such subjects as rural and small town America, coal and steel towns of southwestern Pennsylvania, national politics in Washington, D.C., adults with physical handicaps, and the annual migration of college students to Florida for spring break.
From 1980 to 1988 McManus was a member of the cooperative photo agency Archive Pictures, Inc.
From 1993 to 1998, he was a photo editor at U.S. News & World Report in Washington, D.C. At the magazine he was involved with the magazine’s initial Web page publication. During this period, he also was co-editor with Alan Dorow of the online documentary photo magazine Journal E.
McManus began his documentary film work in 1988 with a PBS network film Mending Hearts, about people living with HIV/AIDS. He returned to the subject of HIV/AIDS with PBS documentary Autumn’s Harvest (2008). Since 2000 he has collaborated with photographer Laurence Salzmann, serving as editor of several documentary films shot in Cuba. Currently he has been working with Salzmann editing photographs from Peru that were made during Salzmann’s Fulbright Fellowship in 2016.
McManus’ teaching career began at Genesee Community College, in Batavia, New York (1978-84). He was full-time faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology (1989-93) and (1999-2003) and adjunct faculty at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. Recently he returned to RIT teaching documentary photography and editing for multimedia.
For 11 years, beginning in 2005, McManus has been photographing in the region surrounding the Monongahela River in southwestern Pennsylvania. He is currently editing that material for a photographic monograph.