Our instructors have a well-deserved reputation for their dedication and always putting student’s interests first. Anyone who has attended a week-long workshop in the Whites has seen how hard our staff works to optimize the experience for our students. We all operate within the framework of what we call the “teaching trilogy”: mastery of craft, passion for the medium, and genuine compassion for our students.

We have a combined 140 years of involvement in photography! We’ve studied with some of the great masters of 20th century West Coast Photography. We’ve struggled with the sometimes conflicting demands of work and family and creative lives. We’ve been starving artists. We’ve confronted the question, “As a photographer, what is my place in the world?” In short, WE’VE BEEN THERE, and our experience comes through in our teaching. We’re all looking forward to meeting you.

Stuart Scofield, Director

Stuart has spent twenty-five years refining the craft approach to photography, and the teaching of that craft. Craft is simply the mechanism that the artist uses to translate the experience and the visual imagery into a personal, creative statement. He is a tireless advocate for the potential of photography as a means of creative expression. Stuart is also our resident cowboy mountain man. His grandfather homesteaded in Big Oak Flat (near Yosemite) in the 1880’s, and he has spent his entire life in and around Yosemite and mountains and deserts. Stuart has recently moved from Lee Vining (Mono Lake) to Winnemucca, Nevada, in order to establish a new business to serve as a permanent, full-time home for photographic craft.

Virginia Newton

There used to be a Mono Basin Photographics before Jenny, but it’s hard to imagine how we got along without her. She brings a passion for the medium and an understanding of the emotional and spiritual importance of our work in photography — a very powerful and necessary ingredient in the educational mix. Jenny has been a photographer for over 30 years. She has studied with Ruth Bernhard, Al Weber, Ralph Talbert, and V.M. Robertson. She served as the program administrator for the UCSC Extension Photography Program for many years. Jenny works with a 4x5 view camera in both black & white and color. She lives in Pope Valley where she's cultivating a new house, darkroom, and small vineyard.

Sam Hipkins

Sam is a bit hard to describe... “A veritable fountain of positive energy and outgoing Italian effervescence” is the best we’ve come up with so far. Sam spent 35 years teaching math, literature and English to 2nd-8th graders — along the way he’s learned a thing or two about interacting with students! Retired (“redefined” he calls it) now, Sam devotes his artistic energy to photography and his teaching energy to our students. Sam has been involved with photography for over fifty years — his first camera was a Sparta Full-View acquired at age 11. He is currently working with a 4x5 view camera and Polaroid black & white materials. Sam has a body of Polaroid work that would make Dr. Land rise up and dance and shout! And he has just completed the construction of a new darkroom in his garage. Not bad for a fellow who climbed Half Dome on his 70th birthday! When not on walkabout, Sam effervesces in Capitola and dreams of owning a creamy yellow ’39 Packard.

Douglas Vincent

Douglas and Jerry (below) are our two “young guys”. In our group, anyone under fifty is young! Douglas has had a very interesting path in photography. He spent time in Utah as an assistant to Michael Fatali. He immersed himself in Cibachrome, then digital, then returned to his roots in Ilfochrome. He is an immensely gifted visual artist, and has a wonderful ability to turn ordinary objects into beautiful and powerful images. He currently works with a 4x5 view camera and both Polaroid black & white and color transparency materials. Douglas is Sr. Manager, Web Development, at Apple Inc., and our resident web designer. Douglas lives in San Jose where he spends time in his spacious new darkroom/studio.

Jerry Welch

As part of our tandem of “young guys”, Jerry makes it a habit to cruise the grounds during workshop breaks looking for gorgeous images before Douglas can find them. Honestly, the two of them can find beauty in a dishrag! Jerry made a photograph of a commercial bread hook against a cookie sheet… let’s just say I would have no problem hanging it alongside Edward’s pepper! He is currently working with a 4x5 view camera and both Polaroid and conventional black & white materials. Jerry is a Senior Lead Surfer at Yahoo! and lives in Los Gatos where he struggles to work in a makeshift basement darkroom.