A Seat at the Table

In this week’s episode of The Photo Life, we continue our discussion with Palm Springs Photo Festival founder and veteran photographer Jeff Dunas about the increasing responsibilities of the photographer to create the future for our industry as well as methods for approaching our primary outlet: the photo book.

About Jeff Dunas

Jeff DunasJeff Dunas is a fine art, portrait and documentary photographer and the founder of of the Palm Springs Photo Festival.

1954 Born in Los Angeles.

1971 Began photography professionally. Completed two years at University of California at Los Angeles.

1972-1980 Contributed photographic essays and portfolios to publications worldwide on a freelance basis.

1974 Established residence in Paris, France.

1981 Founded Melrose Publishing Company. Captured Women published in 6 languages.

1982 Mademoiselle! Published in 3 languages.

1983 Founded Collector’s Editions Ltd., mail order distributor of fine art photography publications.

1983-7 Published twenty four fine art photography books by various authors, including Paper Dolls by Art Kane and By the Sea by Robert Farber.

1985-1988 Launched Collectors Photography Magazine. Wrote and published over 100 interviews and profiles with photographers for Collectors Photography and Darkroom Photography magazines.

1987 Acquired Darkroom Photography magazine.

1988 Sold the Melrose Publishing Group.

1989 Returned to commercial, fashion, beauty and fine art photography.

1994 Built Studio 1289 in Los Angeles. Produced and Directed 26 minute documentary film entitled “Willy Ronis: Menilmontant / Belleville” Les Fruit du Hasard shown during the Month of Photography in Paris, France (Pavillion des Arts).

1996 Photographed rural Mississippi Delta region for one month – supported by Agfa GmbH and Mamiya Camera France. Created website DUNAS.COM.

1998 State of the Blues, Published by Aperture, October. Golden Light Award, Maine. Photographic Workshops for State of the Blues. Photographie Photokina 1998 Top Job Award. Finalist, Alfred Eisenstadt Award for Portraiture.

2000 Received the Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation, Memphis Tennessee.

2002 / 2003 American Pictures Published by Aperture / Konemann.

2003 Jeff Dunas:  Eros Fotografia (Published by Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso, Milan). Up Close & Personal Published by Merrell Publishers. Received Best People Photographer award from International Photography Awards competition.

2005 Founded PALM SPRINGS PHOTO FESTIVAL.

2006 Published Working America with Steve McCurry & James Natchewey (Toyota / Saatchi).

2007 Present Director, Palm Springs Photo Festival.

2008 Received Foto Mentor Award from Fotofusion.

2009 Published The Character Project, Published by Chronicle Books with Sylvia Plachy, Mary Ellen Mark and others.

Photos courtesy of Jeff Dunas.

Jeff Dunas Portrait

Jeff Dunas - Billy Bob Thornton

About the Host – Travis Schreer

The Photo Life Host Travis SchreerTravis is a wanderer who has a life-long passion for helping creative people realize their ambitions. While studying at the Kendall College of Art and Design and Eastern Michigan University, simultaneously pursuing a BFA in fine art and a Masters in creative writing, Travis rediscovered his fascination with photography and began working as a product photographer. After a brief stint studying poetry in Paris and years of developing his own artistic identity from the comforts of various midwestern cities, Travis packed his wool socks and moved to the chilly climes of Alaska. When he realized wool socks weren’t enough, it was on to Portland, Oregon where he endeavors to make The Photo Life a powerful resource on the virtual airwaves. Next time you’re in Portland, stop by Dawson City Park, where Travis can be found most evenings. He’s the scruffy guy playing with Collignon Quincampoix, the coolest dog you will ever meet.

Photo of Travis courtesy of Jessica Hill.

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