On Location
Santa Fe

A Beginning in Photography

with Jennifer Spelman

Course Description

It’s always a good idea to start at the beginning, which is certainly true when it comes to photography. Learning the technical skills to use the tools well is the first important step, then developing an awareness of light, composition, design, detail, storytelling, and the many other creative aspects of the medium come next. This week-long workshop combines both technique and creative vision, while Jennifer Spelman and Santa Fe provide plenty of inspiration. Whether you are new to photography or have been making pictures for a while, a thoughtfully planned workshop is a smart idea.

Beginning a journey in a supportive, nurturing environment is one of the keys to success. Jennifer helps provide this with her patient and easy-going nature coupled with years of experience as a photographer and a teacher. Designed like a hands-on user manual, this workshop provides you with the knowledge essential to explore all the capabilities of the digital camera—be it a DSLR, a mirrorless camera, or an iPhone. Jennifer guides you through the camera’s menus and the critical variables of exposure and focus. A step-by-step primer of Adobe Lightroom is the next step that allows you to properly organize and develop your images.

Mornings are devoted to lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and image reviews of the previous day’s assignments. You are on the move with Jennifer in the afternoons practicing new skills during daily field sessions in and around beautiful Santa Fe. This promises to be a fun week mastering the basics of digital photography and cultivating creativity in an energetic and supportive atmosphere. By the workshop’s end, you have gained a solid technical foundation and a photographer’s eye that permits you to make the photographs you’ve always dreamed of.

Additional Information

COVID-19 Update: For all in-person workshops and trips in 2023, Santa Fe Workshops highly recommends that all participants, staff, and instructors attending be up to date with Covid vaccinations (per definition of the CDC).

What You Should Know:

Working knowledge of the computer.


Participants are responsible for making their own housing arrangements in Santa Fe. On-campus accommodations are not currently available.

Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner at the Friday evening Image Presentations, and daily beverage service.
One-of-a-Kind, Technical
© Nerissa Escanlar
Jennifer Spelman

Jennifer Spelman is a documentary photographer and member of the Jibaro Photos Collective. She is co-publisher of CubaSeen, a quarterly magazine showcasing photography and writing about Cuba.

Jennifer received her photographic training as an assistant with Santa Fe Workshops, working with some of today’s most preeminent photographers: Jay Maisel, Norman Mauskopf, and Joe McNally.

A sensitive photographer of people, Jennifer strives to create portraits with energy and insight. She is most at home on the streets of Havana and has worked with Santa Fe Workshops across Cuba since 2011. Jennifer is a patient educator who has co- instructed with National Geographic Expeditions and taught workshops in Romania, India, Mexico, Japan, in addition to Cuba.

A popular workshop instructor, Jennifer is also part of our Mentorship Program »

Instagram: @jennifer_spelman

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