Dispatches: Stafford Squier

You know the type. Right brain. Left brain. They both work and work well. Yep, that’s Stafford Squire, the new Vice President of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. Photography education in the modern era is a tricky thing and something that needs new eyes and understanding combined with foundational, classic knowledge.

I have a personal history with the SFPW, a powerful personal history. I’m not sure I’ve ever really shared the extent to which to this place influenced my life. Let me just say this, it did, and in ways I never saw coming.

It’s hailing outside right now. I mean really hailing. I don’t even want to look at my truck for fear of seeing all the dents, but I can’t stop thinking about what Stafford, and the workshops, do. What they actually do. Anyone fully committed to photography, whether that be professional or passionate amateur has committed themselves to something they can never truly have.

Talk to any master photographer and they hold missed opportunity like battle scars. Sure, they are known for specific images, specific bodies of work even specific victories, but those closed-door conversations always reveal the pain of the ones that got away. No matter what you do there is always more, and that feeling can consume, can overwhelm and unravel.

So imagine having hundreds of us on your hands at any one time. Imagine the emotional “energy” of that environment. This isn’t easy. And it’s not for the faint of heart. Stafford says several things that are so right on about what coming to the workshops is actually about. And they might be very different from what you expect. Have a listen.

19 Comments on “Dispatches: Stafford Squier”

  1. I’ve subscribed after watching your YouTube video posted today. How do I find older interviews on your site? I only see the Squier conversation.

    I’ve enjoyed your videos and look forward to spending time with the Shifter site. Your experience with LensCulture photo contests was encouraging. The contest site gave me an encouraging two+ page evaluation of my submissions and I’ll now take it more seriously.

    1. Thanks John,
      Covid has slowed this work. But, have one in the bag and one more in coming weeks.

  2. Really enjoyed this interview. It’s inspiring to get an inside look into the Santa Fe workshops and learn more about Stafford’s path as a photographer. I liked the quote about making friends with anxiety in regard to engaging a person you want to photograph. Also took away that a creative community is important when evolving as a photographer. Thank you for the interview.

    1. Jill,
      Glad you enjoyed. I’m fortunate as I get to see Stafford from time to time while living in Santa Fe.

  3. That was very interesting. I like how both of you stressed the necessary link between art and education. Getting from taking one dimensional pictures to actually engage in the process of making photographs that tell a story. Dan, you are doing a great task in getting all this content out there. Sincere thanks. This is the second conversation in the series that I’ve listened to and I can already recognize such a transforming effect in the way of looking at things.

    1. Pablo,
      Thank you for that. Much appreciated. More content on the way and I hope to improve it.

  4. Great interview Milnor! I took a Magnum Workshop once with Abbas as my instructor. Is so true that we only realized how great is this kind of learning after some time. It’s like we had to digest little by little within time to really understand everything that he had tried to teach. I remember him and his words every time I have to edit my work. Thanks for sharing man.

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