People often hide their true feelings, while their facial expressions and body language tend to give them away. In this class we will investigate the micro expressions that are often so fleeting that they go unnoticed until they are captured on film or pixels. We will capture pride, shame, fear, anxiety, guilt, delight, and arousal. In focusing on subjects that are physically moving (dancers, athletes, musicians and performers), our goal will be to make emotionally moving images that have the power to challenge, amuse, enlighten or disturb. This course encourages students to photograph people in an entirely new way, to develop a sense of urgency in their photographs, and to capture the strange and complicated nature of being human. Daily assignments include both prearranged and spontaneous portraits, photographing at night, reportage, and storytelling. Class sessions include slide lectures and critiques.

In preparation for class, please read Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland. Digital cameras are recommended to facilitate critiques. Please bring a portfolio of roughly 20 images and a willingness to experiment.


Amy Arbus

Amy Arbus has published five books, including the award-winning On the Street 1980-1990 and The Inconvenience of Being BornThe New Yorker called The Fourth Wall her masterpiece. Her most recent, After Images, is an homage to modernist paintings by the masters. Arbus' photographs have appeared in over one hundred periodicals around the world, including New York Magazine, The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. She teaches portraiture at the International Center of Photography, Anderson Ranch, The Fine Arts Work Center, and NORDphotography. Amy Arbus is represented by The Schoolhouse Gallery in Massachusetts. She has had thirty-five solo exhibitions worldwide, and her photographs are a part of the collection of The National Theater in Norway, The New York Public Library and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

© Amy Arbus

Course Dates

Jul 16 to Jul 22



Class Size


Sponsored By