Ms. Stafford would then use what she learned – specifically the Stanislavski technique – to immerse herself in the world of her subjects, and disappear altogether. She moved to New York in 1947 with the dream of performing on Broadway.
It was around that time that she started trying her hand at cinema. Mostly self-taught, her technique has a rather messy purpose, and she uses Russian film pioneer Sergei Eisenstein’s motto of “spin, shoot, shoot; cut cut.” She would often go through several reels of film on her subject and get “a movie”.
Although much of her career was built on high determination, the meeting between Mrs. Stafford and Einstein was difficult. In 1948, 24-year-old Stafford was tagged with a film crew to seek out Einstein’s views on the atomic bomb after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. On the drive from Manhattan to the physicist’s house in Princeton, she was handed a 35mm camera and told she would be a “still photography woman.”
The resulting portrait shows the physicist blinded in spectral blur – a misty illusion caused by a novice’s incorrect technique, but still possessing the unmistakable aesthetic for identification. Identify a photo of Stafford. After taking the photo, she no longer dreams of a life in front of the camera but instead, behind it.
In 1949, after an apprenticeship with fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo in New York, Miss Stafford moved to Paris, where she would spend a decade. There, her love for photography deepened, and she befriended Édith Piaf, Eleanor Roosevelt, Noel Coward and Bing Crosby.
Mulk writer Raj Anand, her good friend, introduced her to photography prodigies such as Robert Capa and Henri Cartier Bresson, who became her mentors.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/style/marilyn-stafford-exhibition-england.html Marilyn Stafford’s Wild and Wid-Ranging Photography Career