Biography

“Photographers don’t grow old – They just grow out of focus”

Marilyn Stafford images of Marilyn

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, in  1925, and following studies at University of Wisconsin, Marilyn Stafford’s photographic career was launched in New York in 1948 when she was asked to photograph Albert Einstein by friends making a film about him. In the car on the way to Einstein’s home in New Jersey she was given a camera and a quick lesson in how to use it.

From there on, her photographic career took her across the world, starting in Paris in the 1950s. There, friends and Magnum founders Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson were instrumental in shaping her work. While completing commissions from a number of Paris fashion houses, she  also photographed street children living in one of  the city’s  notorious slums,  Cite Lesage-Bullourde, near the Bastille.

In 1958  Marilyn traveled to Tunisia to document the Algerian refugees fleeing France’s ‘Scorched Earth’ attacks, and in the early 1960s she went on to travel widely in Lebanon. Her book “Silent Stories: A Photographic Journey Through Lebanon In The 60s”  was published by Saqi Books, London. In the mid-sixties  she settled in London, where, as  one of a handful of women photographers,  she helped  pave the way for future female photographers working on Fleet Street.

Marilyn Stafford was a member of National Union of Journalists. She has also worked as stills photographer on feature films and commercials, and was on the camera/stills Executive Committee of ACTT/BECTU.

In 1972 she photographed Indira Gandhi, India’s first and only woman Prime Minister, at home and on her duties  following the war with Pakistan which created the new state of Bangladesh. During many further visits to India she contributed to the MARG Publication on HAMPI – A UNESCO World Heritage Site – and photographed the Adivasi  Ghotul Muria and Warli Tribes.

Marilyn Stafford’s internationally published work spans from 1948-1980 and covers a broad scope of subjects and periods of modern history. She has photographed prominent historical figures, international fashion, refugees and tribal peoples. Her portraits include Albert Einstein, Edith Piaf, Italian writers Alberto Moravia, Carlo Levi and Italo Calvino, actor Lee Marvin, Sir Alan Lane, Sir Roland Penrose and  Sir Richard Attenborough, among many others. A selection of Stafford’s work is included in the archives of the University of Texas, USA.

In 2017, Marilyn set up the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award for women photographers in association with FotoDocument.

Marilyn Stafford lives on the south coast of England.

Biography

“Photographers don’t grow old – They just grow out of focus”

Marilyn Stafford images of Marilyn

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, in  1925, and following studies at University of Wisconsin, Marilyn Stafford’s photographic career was launched in New York in 1948 when she was asked to photograph Albert Einstein by friends making a film about him. In the car on the way to Einstein’s home in New Jersey she was given a camera and a quick lesson in how to use it.

From there on, her photographic career took her across the world, starting in Paris in the 1950s. There, friends and Magnum founders Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson were instrumental in shaping her work. While completing commissions from a number of Paris fashion houses, she  also photographed street children living in one of  the city’s  notorious slums,  Cite Lesage-Bullourde, near the Bastille.

In 1958  Marilyn traveled to Tunisia to document the Algerian refugees fleeing France’s ‘Scorched Earth’ attacks, and in the early 1960s she went on to travel widely in Lebanon. Her book “Silent Stories: A Photographic Journey Through Lebanon In The 60s”  was published by Saki Books, London. In the mid-sixties  she settled in London, where, as  one of a handful of women photographers,  she helped  pave the way for future female photographers working on Fleet Street.

Marilyn Stafford was a member of National Union of Journalists. She has also worked as stills photographer on feature films and commercials, and was on the camera/stills Executive Committee of ACTT/BECTU.

In 1972 she photographed Indira Gandhi, India’s first and only woman Prime Minister, at home and on her duties  following the war with Pakistan which created the new state of Bangladesh. During many further visits to India she contributed to the MARG Publication on HAMPI – A UNESCO World Heritage Site – and photographed the Adivasi  Ghotul Muria and Warli Tribes.

Marilyn Stafford’s internationally published work spans from 1948-1980 and covers a broad scope of subjects and periods of modern history. She has photographed prominent historical figures, international fashion, refugees and tribal peoples. Her portraits include Albert Einstein, Edith Piaf, Italian writers Alberto Moravia, Carlo Levi and Italo Calvino, actor Lee Marvin, Sir Alan Lane, Sir Roland Penrose and  Sir Richard Attenborough, among many others.

In 2017, Marilyn set up the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award for women photographers in association with FotoDocument.

Marilyn Stafford lives on the south coast of England.