C.J. Pressma is a graduate of Antioch College and holds an M.F.A. in Photography from Indiana University. He studied as a special graduate student with Minor White and with Henry Holmes Smith at Indiana University.
In 1970 he founded the Center for Photographic Studies – an alternative school of creative photography. . During its eight-year existence the center attracted students from over 35 states and foreign countries . Its two galleries provided monthly photographic exhibits featuring the works of local, regional, and internationally acclaimed photographic artists including Ansel Adams and Minor White.
In 1978 he was awarded a National Endowment Fellowship in Photography.
In December,2001 Pressma was awarded an Al Smith Fellowship by the Kentucky Arts council.
Also In 2001 Pressma was selected as one of 84 artists worldwide for the landmark exhibition Digital Printmaking Now at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.