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.