Truly skillful street photographers are respectful and open, ready to respond to the serendipitous moments that transpire every day. Capturing the essence of a new location requires nimble camera skills, sensitivity, courage, and luck. Moments line up for those who are willing to take time and be present as light and forms change, and characters move through a place. Carefully juxtaposing everyday elements leads to compositions full of metaphor, irony and story.
Join longtime friends and street photographers Arien Chang and Jennifer Spelman for an immersion into the streets of Santa Fe and towns in Northern New Mexico as the two share different perspectives on how to visually respond to the world we walk through each day. Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Las Vegas (New Mexico) provide backdrops layered in rich culture and potential imagery. The July 4th celebrations in Santa Fe provide a lively spark to start the week and a special visit to the renowned International Folk Art Market allows practice working within an event setting and a chance to create environmental street portraits of artists from around the world.
Our mornings and afternoons toggle between classroom sessions and time on location. The former yields valuable feedback as we review images, explore creative strategies, and practice hands-on techniques; the latter allows us to interact with the light that changes hourly.
Throughout, we cover camera settings that facilitate decisive, creative, and fast framing, whether in SLR, mirrorless, or iPhone. Together, we explore the work of Eugene Smith, Larry Towell, Norman Mauskopf, Elliott Erwitt and other iconic street photographers; examining the
choices leading up to them finding their most decisive frames. Ultimately understanding that a keen intuition is the most valuable skill a street photographer can cultivate—the instinct of when to stay with a moment and when to let it go.
Spend five days immersed in the energy of the street, challenging your newfound skills and building your confidence. As the camera fades into the background and the scene commands full attention, you find yourself being offered a glimpse of the future a split second before it crosses the frame.
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).
Participants need to be technically self-sufficient, as this is not a workshop to learn how to use your gear or editing software. Participants must be able to download, select, and transfer images to their own jump drive for class each day. Digital SLR, mirrorless cameras and iPhones are all welcome.
Participants are responsible for making their own accommodation arrangements in Santa Fe. On-campus accommodations are not currently available.
Arien Chang, better known as “Chang,” is a leader within a new wave of talented, contemporary Cuban photographers carrying on the time-honored Cuban tradition of documentary storytelling. He is a nimble street photographer with an impeccable sense of moment and unmatched eye for color. His projects on Bodybuilding, Aging, the Parrandas, and the Malecon have been included in solo exhibits and group shows in New York City, Havana, Prague, Mexico City, Germany, and Australia. Chang has been the recipient of the Red Gate Residency (China) and Habana Cultura (Cuba) scholarships and was a winner of the Raul Corrales Creation Grant, awarded by Fototeca de Cuba.
He has collaborated with Santa Fe Workshops programs in Cuba as an instructor and assistant since 2010.
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 »