Palm Springs Photo Festival

Someone asked me, “Hey, how as the festival?” I thought about it, tried to figure out how best to answer and then realized the obvious.

“Where else can you talk photography and books at 3:30AM?” In short, this kinda sums up the entire event. The PSPF is simply unique to the United States. Where else can you get symposiums, seminars, lectures, nightly projections, nightly parties as well as workshops from photographers who simply do not teach anywhere else. The event is intimate and set in a location that offers everything from high desert mountains to the Salton Sea and beyond. Want to take a nude workshop from Ralph Gibson or Robert Maxwell, yep, there’s that too. How about showing your book to a curator, gallery owner or art buyer? Yes, you can do that too.

This entire event is the brain child of Los Angeles based photographer Jeff Dunas who has a background in photography unique to my experience. Because of this background he can pull off an event like this. And for those of you who don’t know, this event isn’t something that comes together last minute. This is a year-long expedition, complete with massive crew and logistical needs that go well beyond what you might imagine.


Think about this. On the way home, my wife and I were discussing the festival. Neither one of us heard a single complaint about ANYTHING. Not even hotel parking! Come on people, we are photographers, we LOVE to complain and yet I can’t remember a single whimpering gasp.


These images are a superficial peak at a few of the smaller moments. You have daylight panel discussion, nighttime gatherings, poolside parties, a few working photographers and Thomas Michael Alleman showing off his Blurb book.(You knew the plug was coming.)


If you are a photographer and want something different, come to this festival. If you are LA-based and haven’t been, please send me a letter and explain??? I’m puzzled. Unless you are working nonstop and then by all means. Or you are having 22-inch spinners installed on your blacked out Escalade.

And if you are still on the fence….just think about this……

Anthony Bannon, David Fahey, Frish Brandt, Gerd Ludwig, Holly Hughes, James Whitlow Delano(Finally got to meet him), Kevin Miller, Lisa Kerezi, Lise Sarfati, Mary Virginia Swanson, Michelle Dunn Marsh, Nigel Parry, Robert Klein, Ron Haviv, Shelby Lee Adams, Weston Naef, Robert Maxwell, Ralph Gibson, etc, etc. And these are A FEW of the people attending, teaching, speaking, etc.

You know me people, I’m jaded, and yet for an entire week my veil of jade is lifted and I’m allowed to just be in the world of photography(And work in the Blurb cabana suite, yes I said “Cabana Suite” it IS Palm Springs after all.) In fact, on the way home I told my wife, “I might try to show work next year,” and for a moment I thought she might dive out of the car but her shock was so great she was frozen in her attempt to grab the door handle.

For the next week or so I will actually feel slight depression as I do my best to ween myself off of the festival atmosphere. Thank you to Jeff Dunas and to the entire crew of the PSPF…….you nailed it once again.

The Morning After





Post Palm Springs Photo Festival.

The silence is overwhelming, even that silence that rages in my head. The festival is over and there is a sadness. You can live another life during this event. You can let the walls down, forget about the tangy reality of the life of a photographer and just allow your brain to turn on the swivel.

The day after we are still in town. The wind blows at 70 mph, the air filled with debris, our ears with sand. It feels good to just sit and listen, to not talk, to not think, to try and remember the tidbits, those moments that you say to yourself, as they happen, I should never forget this time, this place.

Coming down from this trip is like a winding road leaving the altiplano, spiraling slowly from the great peaks down into the lowlands. In the rearview you can see the great landscape as it pulls you to return. It’s not that the cities and lowlands are not without their charm, but there is a magic in the mountains, same with this event.