Born in White Plains, N.Y., Schaefer became an avid still photographer at age 13 after receiving an Instamatic camera. He studied fine art and photography at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and took a formative trip to Europe and Africa in his junior year, taking photos all the while. After graduation, he spent four years working as a production manager and producer at a commercial studio in New Rochelle, N.Y., and took freelance cinematography jobs whenever he could. In 1982, he moved to Italy and stayed for 10 years, shooting commercials and music videos and working as one of the country’s few Steadicam operators.
Schaefer has enjoyed nine feature collaborations with director Marc Forster, including Machine Gun Preacher, Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner and Monster’s Ball. (The two shared Camerimage’s Cinematographer-Director Duo Award in 2013.) For director Christopher Guest, he shot the HBO series Family Tree and the features For Your Consideration, Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman.
Recently, Schaefer teamed with director/actor Don Cheadle on the Miles Davis drama Miles Ahead, which will premiere at the New York Film Festival in October. Another of his projects, Dean Devlin's Geostorm, will be released in 2016.
You’ll find his personal site here.