Stephen Spinder Fine Art Photography Book Tours Links Hungarian Contact References About me

Heather Hermant
Stephen Spinder is an American professional photographer, artist, dancer, originally from Rochester, NY. He graduated from SUNY Oswego in upstate New York and continued his formal education at Rochester Institute of Technology. He first visited Hungary 16 years ago (1991) fell in love with the people and the culture in Transylvania, and has been photographing there ever since. He has travelled worldwide, exhibited in Europe and America but Budapest has been home for the better part of the last 12 years. His story is even more unique given the fact that he has no Hungarian roots.

By 1996 he had developed stronger ties to Hungary and established a successful market in the international business/diplomatic community which led to a commission by Budapest Office of Tourism for Europe-wide exhibition of the city. His framed photographs were also purchased by the Foreign Ministry and sent to Hungarian Missions Abroad. His work has shown at the American/Hungarian Museum, New Jersey, Budapest Spring Festival, the Hungarian Consulate NY, Vancouver BC, L.A. Hungarian Consulate, London ("Magyar Magic") and The Netherlands (”Hungary-At-See”). His work has appeared in many American and Hungarian publications.

“As a photographer I have been interested in Hungarian folk culture since my introduction to this fascinatingly rich part of the world in 1989 while living and dancing in Colorado. As a dancer I had become fascinated with the syncopated rhythms, the improvisational boot-slapping and body-whacking the strength involved in throwing woman around, and of course, the dominant masculine energy and machismo. Upon seeing it the first time I remember saying, "Hey that's how I dance now, what's this called?" I've been involved in it since moving to Budapest in 1995. Since then, my field of interest has been the traditional folk culture of Europe's largest ethnic minority, the Hungarians of Romania uprooted since the Treaty of Trianon in 1920.”

His images - and over a decade of experiences - have now been collected in two beautifully publications - "Budapest Through My Lens, a Solitary Perspective", and "Tiz estendo Erdelyben/Ten Years In Transylvania.” Both are exquisite hardcover albums. In his first book of unique black and white photographs of the capital, he photographs the Gothic spires and neo-classic facades and urban city-scapes; He is also renown for his sensitive images of a Hungarian folk culture that still survives in Hungarian speaking Transylvania (Romania). In his second publication, we take a personal journey through a fabled landscape, revealing the still powerful vestiges of an ancient culture that have changed little over time in spite of the encroaching eastern wave of westernism.

Stephen's journey through Transylvania, reveals his passion and his search for the rich folk culture that remains despite it being in its ‘utoso ora’ (last hours). This passion earned him high standing with the Hungarian Cultural Ministry who generously supported his book and tours in Europe and USA.  His “Budapest portfolio” - his first pubished work sold out, gaining international recognition, and revealed he had “fallen in love with the city’s old world turn-of-the-century charm of her ‘Golden Age.’

Spinder was invited for the official premiere of his Budapest book at the in Washington, DC., Ambassador Simonyi (Hungarian Embassy). By 2004 – ”Ten Years In Transylvania” – gained the attention of Dr. István Hiller, Hungarian Cultural Ministry and Katalin Bogyay with an exhibition at the Hungarian Cultural Center in London, part of "Magyar Magic". In December 2005, Budapest books were presented to US President George W. Bush, George H. Bush, Colin Powell and the Hungarian Prime Minister.

He returns often to USA and has now produced 15 successful book/exhibition tours, where his two published books found recognition and exposure in major US media including the New York Times. Through photographs and stories we learn about his interesting and incredibly unique 16-year history - his discovery of and travel through Transylvania and his city-life in Budapest. A dynamic, informative and humorous speaker, Stephen brings the images to life with personally refreshingly and entertaining stories.

This is a brief history of Mr. Spinder’s most recent photographic projects and accomplishments both here and in USA. Having completed 14 USA exhibition/presentation book tours, Stephen was recently invited to participate in events remembering the 50th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, including “Budapest Then And Now" an exhibition in Boston with Gabor Garai, Honorary Consul General; and at the prestigious George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. his home town; and his first exhibition at the Rochester Image City Photography Gallery.

"My immediate aim and focus is to search out avenues to help bring awareness of the beauty of this city and its people - to allow American and Europeans to discover the rich beauty and charm of this ancient capital city. Budapest is proud of her multitude of architectural styles, and Transylvania still guards and preserves her folklor traditions. I feel strongly that these sights and stories, as illustrated in my journey, will transform people throughout the art/travel/book/ lovers circle."

Excerpt from “Budapest Through My Lens”:

“A crossroads in Eastern Europe, Budapest is a romantic meeting point for people from diverse cultures. Some come to visit and stay a week. Others are sent here by their parent company headquartered in another country and leave upon the completion of their contract. Still others ended up here when, as they were looking for a place to go, they found an abundant market for teaching English and a relatively inexpensive cost of living. My experience was not like this at all. I came here because I wanted to. So, my love affair with Budapest and Transylvania started in the fall of 1991. I didn't realize it then. Even after the change of the political system I had a glance behind the Iron Curtain.”

Kindly send me an email to express your interest and your memories (if we have them!) of our meeting and/or how you found me.


George W, Bush; President of United States of America
George Herbert Walker III; US Ambassador to Hungary
Andras Simonyi, Hungarian Ambassador to United States
Ferenc Gyurcsany, Prime Minister of Hungary
Géza Jeszenszky, former Hungarian Ambassador to US
Péter Meggyessy, former Prime Minister of Hungary
Lászlo Kovács, EU Minister for Hungary
Gabor Demszky; Mayor of Budapest
George H. Bush, former President of United States
Colin Powell; former Secretary of State, United States
Akahito, Emperor of Japan
Hungarian Foreign Ministry, global embassy enhancement
Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, United States
Márta Sebestyén, world renown folk singer

Publisher: Stephen Spinder Fine Art Photography
Contact: Stephen Spinder ­ Studio 54: 1062 Budapest, Bajza u. 54. ­ Tel.: 36 1 331 2601 ­ Mobil: 36 70 214 7221
USA address: 119 Hidden Valley Rd, Rochester, New York, United States 14624 ­ USA phone: (585) 247 7956 ­

All content on this site
Photographs, graphics, backgrounds and text were created by, and are the copyright property of Stephen Spinder Fine Art Photography. Any use, including duplication or alteration of any content within these pages, by any means or for any reason, commercial, personal and including Internet use is STRICTLY PROHIBITED without the written permission of the artist.

The images on this site are available for purchase, either as a fine art limited edition print or to license for commercial purposes.

Stephen Spinder Fine Art Photography,
119 Hidden Valley Road
Rochester, New York 14624
America tel.: 00 1 585 247 7956
Budapest tel.: 011 36 1 331 2601
Mobile tel.: 06 70 214 7221 (Budapest)

Budapest Central America Asia Other Places Commercial
© 2002 - 2007 Stephen Spinder. All rights reserved. | Web site developed by  Artamax Creative Studio