Final Low Res Book PP © Marilyn Stafford 12
CREDIT: © Marilyn Stafford

BOP21 - Marilyn Stafford

Event info

Marilyn Stafford will be presenting into the auditorium via Zoom.  

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, in 1925 Marilyn Stafford was given a Rolleiflex camera by a friend in New York in 1947, which started her interest in photography and to support herself in between acting roles, she found work assisting US fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo.

Her photographic career was launched in autumn 1948 when she took her first portrait of Albert Einstein for friends who were making a documentary film about him. She was given a 35mm SLR camera for the first time and a quick lesson in how to use it in the back of the car on the way to his house in New Jersey.

On a ferry crossing to England in 1949, Stafford had a chance encounter with Indian writer, Mulk Raj Anand who become Stafford’s life-long friend and introduced her to Henri Cartier-Bresson, who was to become her photography mentor in Paris. It was Cartier-Bresson who encouraged her to take street photographs and following his advice, she took a bus to the end of the line where she photographed children in the working-class neighbourhoods of Cité Lesage-Bullourde near Place de la Bastille, later cleared to make way for Opera Bastille, and Boulogne-Billancourt.

In the mid-1960s she moved to London as a single mother and found regular work with The Observer and other UK and international publications, particularly Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily and The Herald Tribune. Stafford was one of few women photographers working for national and international newspapers and magazines at the time and was also one of very few women on the camera / stills Executive Committee of ACTT / BECTU. This gave her an insight into the difficulty of balancing a career in photography with single motherhood, which many years later led her to set up the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award to support women photographers globally.

Marilyn will discuss her career and talk about her photography and best known images.  



Details of all the talks taking place at BOP21 can be found here

Information on BOP21 is available here

Event Organiser

Michael Pritchard


Venue Information

All areas are fully accessible with a lift, ramps and restrooms on each floor. If you have any specific requirements, please contact us on so we can assist you during your visit.

There is public parking in Paintworks. We also have reserved parking spaces we can make available for those with accessibility requirements. Please contact us in advance if you would like to reserve a space. From ground level there are lifts to reach RPS House on the raised ground floor.

Cancellation policy

The RPS and the MPF will do their best to ensure that this series of talks runs as planned. In the unlikely event that BOP21 or individual talks have to be cancelled all registrants will be advised by email at the earliest opportunity and full refunds made.  No responsibility will be accepted for any consequential losses.


RPS House

337-340 Paintworks

Arnos Vale



RPS website