find_photog find_assist join_asmp

The 505 - Jennifer Spelman

Where did you grow up and how did you come to live in New Mexico?

I'm from Colorado, just west of Denver in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It was a
great place to be a kid. I came to New Mexico in 2006 for a temporary position as a
Work/Study for the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. It was one of the best summers
of my life; I dropped off film, made coffee and was spun sideways by the potential in
photography. So I stayed and Santa Fe become home. I like the laidback western
culture, excellent sunsets and the fantastic photography community that exist here. If it
only had an ocean, it would be perfect.

What lessons has photography taught you?

That light is worth noticing and appreciating. To allow space for serendipity. That the
vast majority of people throughout this world are all kind, brave and funny given the
space to be so.

What person has most influenced you, or your photography? Can you tell me
about him or her?

I've been influenced by the working photographers I've met along the way. Many of the
instructors I assisted for during my time with the Santa Fe Workshops still echo loudly for
me; each shared a unique way of taking in the world. Through Norman Mauskopf I came
to appreciate black & white documentary projects paired with skilled sequencing, Cig
Harvey opened my eyes to the idea of metaphor, and Joe McNally, Arthur Meyerson and
Jay Maisel have all provided pieces of inspiration and perspective. Bob Sacha is brilliant
in his use of story, equally so Carlan Tapp in his devotion to telling stories that need to
be told. I adore the humor Chip Simons offers and the grace within Elizabeth Opalenik's
vision. Cuban photographer Arien Chang has a sense of timing and content that stuns
me. The list could easily keep going... My challenge has been to sift through their bright
voices to find my own.

Do you have any passions or talents outside of your work?

I'm driven by a sense of exploring and a quiet desire to understand our world a little
more clearly. I like the perspective found within shifting from one normal into another
normal. Revisiting places and staying for awhile, letting there start to feel more like here.

I'm interested in lots of things: haikus, consciousness and the brain, astronomy, oysters,
soccer, the creative process, tigers ­ not really passions or talents, more things I want to
spend time with.... hopefully someday.

If you could photograph anyone or anything living now or at any point in
history, who would it be and why? What camera would you want to use?

I'd photograph tomorrow. Capturing the future would be great fun. I wouldn't want to
mess it up, so I'd use simple and reliable equipment like a 35mm and Nikon D700.

Contact Jennifer Spelman: 

Website: //

Workshops with Jennifer:

  • Adobe Lightroom Intensive: June 27­-28
  • Photographing People: July 5­-10
  • Basics of Digital Photography: July 19-24 & Sept 14­-17:
  • Photographing the People and Culture of San Miguel de Allende Mexico: Oct 25-30:
  • Seeing Cuba: Jan 19-27: