Interview: Marilyn Stafford on photographing Einstein, fashion & refugees

Marilyn Stafford’s remarkable life spans almost one hundred years, from Ohio in the Great Depression by way of post-war New York and Paris to London in the swinging 60s and harsher 1970s, followed by “another life” in retirement on the English south coast. 

She began her photographic career with an almost accidental portrait of Albert Einstein, before moving to Paris on a whim, where Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa became close friends. From the late 1940s until 1980, she was a pioneer of socially responsible photojournalism while also liberating fashion shoots from the studio into the streets and portraying the leading politicians, intellectuals and celebrities of the day. What unites all her images is her innate ability to tell a story that captures the human spirit.