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Stephen Schafer

Stephen Schafer

Member, Freestyle Advisory Board of Photographic Professionals


Stephen Schafer, "Schaf" founded his photographic studio, Schaf Photo, in 1990. Specializing in film photography in both color and black & white, he has also mastered infrared photography techniques. Schaf's photography projects have allowed him to travel the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia; photographing, producing slide presentations, and teaching photography around the world. Schaf received his technical education from the renowned Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. For his personal work, he started shooting black and white infrared film in 1987 and has been creating documentary and artistic exhibits in this medium ever since.

"Because infrared film is sensitive to light that can't be seen by the naked eye, there's a mystery to shooting the film that I'm drawn to. Every roll holds surprises, and there is a soft glowing quality to the images that make them appear nostalgic and magical." Schaf's photographs and multi-media productions have been used in worldwide marketing campaigns, annual reports, magazines, books, calendars, city brochures, museum installations and trade expositions such as the 1993 World's Fair in Tejon, South Korea.

In addition to his commercial success, Schaf has been honored with awards from The American Advertising Federation, The Association of Multi-Media International, the Munich Multi-Media Festival, Applied Arts Magazine, and The Professional Photographers of California. He exhibits his fine art photography extensively and is a member of the San Buenaventura Artists' Union, past president of the Buenaventura Art Association, and was a member of the City of Ventura Public Art Commission (1999-2006). In 1997 he taught photography aboard the University of Pittsburgh's Semester at Sea program.

In 2007 Schaf was awarded a public art commission for bus shelter murals in the City of Ventura. His most elaborate public art project was a locally funded temporary installation; in November 2003 Schaf transformed a parking lot in downtown Ventura into a project called Body of Work, a 50 foot long photo-mosaic with 1100 photographs in the shape of a man's body. He has taught all levels of photography and lectures on infrared photography. Schaf has lived in Ventura, California since 1973, and he now resides in a historic house in downtown, with his wife Sherry. He has coordinated the Ventura Saturday Night at the Galleries 2002, PhotoVentura 2005 citywide art exhibits and 3D~Ventura 2006.


Ask The Experts

Hi Scott, I was forwarded your question from Freestyle. The good news is that you can still produce glowing infrared photographs on film, and you can now try 120, and 4x5. Efke IR 820 is not exactly a replacement. HIE was 200ASA, Efke is ASA 1 (one). And Efke needs to be taken through a IR cuttoff filter for full wood effect. My Flickr page with tests may answer some more questions. a href= target=_blank>>