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© Karen Lenz
  © Will Van Beckum

My love affair with photography began when I was a junior in college—in retrospect, one of the finest years of my life. I was studying in London and used this great city as a springboard to travel throughout the British Isles, continental Europe, and the Soviet Union. As I packed for my year abroad, I thought it would be good to take a camera along so I could make pictures of all the amazing places I would see. Little did I know that this simple decision to buy a camera would change the way I experienced the world and, on a larger scale, the way I lived my life.

During those first weeks in London, all my senses seemed heightened by my crude attempts to capture on film what I saw and felt. Speaker’s Corner, Portabello Road, Richmond Hill, and Kew Gardens became my picture-taking haunts. I enrolled in a photography class and learned how to develop film and make prints in the darkroom. Very quickly I was hooked, as this new interest consumed both my waking hours and my dreams at night. I wandered the streets of London, Edinburgh, Penzance, Dublin, Florence, Leningrad, and Moscow with my camera and a new appreciation for the sights, smells, and surprises of my surroundings. My passion for photography became deeply embedded in my body and soul, changing my life forever.

I witness a similar zeal in the people who come to the Workshops. I sense their desire to capture, now on a digital sensor, the moments in life that captivate and inspire them. I feel their commitment to learning how to better use the tools of photography— the cameras, computers, software, printers, and yes, film. I marvel at the joy they experience while exploring their creativity.

Photography deepens our connections to the world around us, to ourselves, and to one another. It adds meaning and delight to our lives. My own love affair with imagemaking is now 35 years young, and I have never stopped appreciating how fortunate I am to be able to express what I see and feel through photography.

Photography is a gift we give ourselves. Come to Santa Fe. You deserve it.

Reid Callanan, Director


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