The Gift of Photography – Interview with Reid Callanan

Reid Callanan is a man with a singular focus on photographic education and through his impressive passion, he has built one of the most successful workshop organizations in the United States.

Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico has been in operation for nearly 30 years and in that time, he has expanded from a handful of courses with a staff of six, to well over 200 classes a year, hosted by a symphony of established veterans of the craft. Its this fascinating story of growth, that has offered a guiding light for new and seasoned photographers from around the world.

Today, he joins StreetPX to discuss his journey from learning and working with visionaries such as Craig Stevens, Ernst Haas and Elliot Porter, at the Main Photographic Workshops in Rockport, Maine to taking such a unique idea and making it his own in the open spaces of New Mexico.

Throughout, Reid shares stories of his time photographing behind the Iron Curtain of the Soviet Union, his love of skiiing, inviting in Muhammed Ali while working with Apple Master Class, the expansion of workshops into Cuba and much more.

I got to meet my heroes in photography. But not just meet them, I got to have meals with them and show them my photography, look at their work. It was just this amazing, eye opening experience…. Short Story is, went to Maine. Took a two week class and stayed for 14 years.

Reid Callanan speaking on getting his start with Maine Photographic Workshops

When you try to photograph with a long lens without explaining who you are and then walk away. They are not going to be receptive. They are not going to give you any piece of themselves. You might be able to photograph what they look like, but your not gonna be able to photograph who they are, as people.

The only way to photograph who they are and to capture an essence of them, or some part of them, is to have a relationship with them. The only way to do that is to be open and honest and respectful of them.

Reid Callanan speaking on documenting the citizens of Havana, Cuba

This episode brought to you by Glass Key Photo in San Francisco – Get your analog gear, film, repairs and more at 1230 Sutter Street, just off Van Ness Avenue in mid-town San Francisco. Open 7 days a week, 12pm-6pm.


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