Dispatches: Elena Dorfman

As many of you know, in 2019 I ventured to Albania to take a workshop from visual artist Elena Dorfman. Elena and I have been friends for many years but had never crossed paths, so to speak, in the field. She had been venturing to Albania since the country opened up in the early 1990s and I knew she would provide an opportunity to learn and explore.

The workshop, my first in nearly twenty years, was eye-opening as well as educational and was my first real field foray in many years. After the class, we began discussing the idea of working together on an upcoming workshop. Then came C19 and the world took a moment to pause.

However, as we learn more about the virus and how to take precautions we are, once again, planning our Albania venture. In addition, she and I have pitched an online class to the Santa Fe Workshops. (Stay tuned for more information on this.)

Elena has had a very interesting career. She and I have a similar background in linear, reportage style photography, but she has gone on to adapt and evolve in many ways I did not. From this, we can all learn a thing or two.

This is one of the best interviews I’ve done in regard to learning about how this industry works, how someone can and should adapt and evolve, and how one person has overcome the demands of the industry to blaze a personal path of singular vision.

12 Comments on “Dispatches: Elena Dorfman”

  1. Dan,

    This was really great! What a career she has had. Thank you for sharing this as I never would have found her work on my own.

    Hope you do the Santa Fe Workshop! The two of you would have a lot to offer!

  2. I really enjoyed this conversation. Interesting that the link from the editorial to the fine art world was made by someone who saw beyond what the photographer could see at that point. That suggests (at least to me) that the line between two genres/styles is not (always) consciously traced by the creative, but interpreted. What seems essential is the commitment from the photographer to tell a cohesive story. Five years, my respects.

    1. Pablo,
      That’s good insight. The other key is not allowing the industry-ever fickle-to dictate what a genre means and how to navigate.

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