Be challenged to see differently through your images.

Date: Aug 5 – 11, 2018
Levels: Advanced, Master
Workshop Fee:  $1695
Class Size: 14

In this workshop, we aim to learn to see the world in a new way and utilize the idea of mystery as a tool. There are two ideas at work here and we will join them together to help you make fresh images, whether your work is based in reality or fantasy.

We look at things every day but we don’t always see them. If we really focus our attention on something, be it an object, idea, or issue we can begin to see it for the first time, to re-see it instead of just looking. This takes some daring because there is always great pressure on photographers to create images that are already familiar to us which means we are not being original and creative. The idea of using mystery as a theme– — and don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not talking about murder mysteries– -is to augment our visual tools and use the idea that mystery is in all things and surrounds us, and to use it as a compass to find our ways to originality. Using mystery in this way, we explore the elusive and mysterious nature of ideas, sometimes dark, sometimes dreamlike, whatever the photographer considers mysterious. Whether you are a visual storyteller in the documentary style or someone who creates images in a more artistic vein, this workshop is for you.

In a world where one billion photos are taken each day we suffer from a collective visual fatigue, even among a vibrant array of venues and greater opportunities for sharing photos. The big challenge is to show people something they haven’t seen before, a new approach to an old issue or idea that won’t go away or that has been neglected. These are the two big goals for this workshop.

In being serious about our work, we forget to play. Playing ignites the imagination. I myself forgot how to play until recently. I have photographed other peoples’ stories for over 3 decades. These stories of others become housed in our subconscious and at some point, it just gets too full. We forget that we have our own story and that will be one of the exercises in this workshop….to find a way to tell our own story, something about ourselves. And this is where we will play and by that I mean that there will be no rules, no boundaries. It’s sort of like that old adage: before you can love someone else, you have to love yourself. Before we tell the stories of others, we have to tell our own. You are free to work on an idea that tells the story of someone else or something else and I will help you figure out a new way to tell that story that might capture the attention

of the audience you are seeking. But we will also do visual exercises that liberate our imaginations. We will play but it will be serious play with the goal in the mind that you leave with new tools, new ideas, and a new way of regarding where you fit into this overwhelming, over populated world of photography.

The class will be structured as follows BUT there could be changes According to how the class is doing on their work.

Day One:

Students bring 10 favorite images that reflect their work, style, interests. They can all be from one project or single images.

You may bring prints or digital images (jpegs please, with longest side being about 2000 pixels, no larger). We will look at the work of photographers working in various genres who have found new and original ways to “tell stories” be they more documentary or conceptual. We will brainstorm about your personal and professional goals so please bring two goals you would really like to achieve or enhance during the workshop. We will do some in-class photoexercises so bring your cameras or you can also use your smart phones but bring something to use for taking photos. Brainstorming about what you will do during the week so think about some ideas. This first day may be long but we’ll should break by early afternoon to give you shooting time.

Day Two:

Come with your best ten images from the day before shooting BUT BRING ALL YOUR IMAGES….just do an edit of ten to show. We will Do a class critique and make some suggestions. We will have a sign up sheet for one-on- one times with Maggie so that you will have more shooting time. That means there will be one afternoon and one full day where there is no class but there will be one-on- one appointments. This will serve each student so much more.

Day Three:

One on ones with Maggie individually.

Day Four:

Class meets at 9am to share what you have done so far. At that point, we will discuss how to proceed depending on how students are doing.

Day 5:

Most likely an editing day to put your work together and a few other things to be determined.

All photo credit © Maggie Steber

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Instructor: Maggie Steber

Maggie Steber, a documentary photographer specializing in humanistic stories, has worked in 67 countries. Her honors include a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation in 2017, the Leica Medal of Excellence, World Press Photo Foundation, the Overseas Press Club, Pictures of the Year, the Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the University of Missouri, the Alicia Patterson Grant, the Ernst Haas Grant, and a Knight Foundation grant for the New American Newspaper project. Steber has worked in Haiti for three decades. Aperture published her monograph, "Dancing on Fire."