Shaffer began his career as a professional photographer in New York as an assistant in 1964. He opened his first studio in New York in 1967. His love of black and white printing and images never left him. He contributed to many major fashion magazines in the U.S. and Europe, including covers for Vogue, Elle, and The New York Times’s Fashions of the Times. He photographed some of the most beautiful and famous people in the world, producing unforgettable photographs of Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, Janice Dickinson, Halston, Gloria Vanderbilt, Brooke Shields, Patti Hansen, Uma Thurman, David Kennedy, Pete Townsend, and Naomi Sims, among countless others.
His photographs are in public and private collections throughout the U.S. and internationally. His work has been shown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the show American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity, and featured in the documentary film about Halston titled Ultrasuede. His industry awards include the Art Directors Club of New York Annual Award, the Society of Publication Designers’s Award of Excellence, and the CINE Golden Eagle as a Director/Cinematographer for Best Short Film by an amateur filmmaker. You Should Have Been With Me, his first book and ultimately his swan song, was published by Hendrik teNeues in the fall of 2010. The book chronicles his love of photography and life, and records the fashion and pop culture of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.