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Leica Akademie

Portraits on the Run with Maggie Steber


About the Event

Join world-renowned photojournalist, editor, and instructor Maggie Steber for a hands-on workshop intensive exploring approaches to making great portraits, even with limited time. Using her own experiences creating images for National Geographic, The New York Times, Miami Herald and many others.

In addition to reviewing the work of some of the great portraitists, this session will demystify the process of making a portrait on the run, both in theory and in practice during an actual portrait session.

Whether you have only a few minutes to capture your children at play or a sitting with a very important person, there are key skills and tools that can be practiced, making the process less challenging. The aim of this workshop is to help you go beyond snapshots, selfies or passport pictures and find an approach to portraiture that puts both you and your subject at ease.

Topics Include:

  • How to engage or connect with someone quickly
  • Finding the right light for a portrait
  • Going beyond a simple head shot
  • Working with natural vs. single light sources
  • Techniques for getting past someone’s “Camera Face”
  • Ways to make others comfortable
  • Tips for shy photographers
  • Storytelling in portrait photography
  • Camera and lens selection

Owning a Leica is not required to participate. A limited selection of Leica products will be available for use by students. Participants are required to bring a blank SD card.

Maggie Steber is a Miami-based documentary photographer who has worked in 71 countries revealing stories on culture, history, society, and people. Her numerous contributions to National Geographic have ranged from American Indians to stories on Dubai and Nepal, the history of the African slave trade and the sciences of memory, sleep and face transplants. A recently named Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, Maggie received support for a new project entitled “The Garden of Lily LaPalma,” her alter ego in an alternate universe that describes her experiences in single-image stories, differing greatly from her documentary work. Maggie has worked in Haiti for 30 years. Aperture published her monograph, Dancing on Fire. In 2013, National Geographic named her as one of 11 Women of Vision. Her work is widely exhibited worldwide and is in the American Women Collection at the Library of Congress. Recent honors include Pulitzer Prize Finalist 2019; The Lucie Award 2019; Overseas Press Club’s President’s Award, 2019; the Photographer’s Photographer Award from Nat Geo Photographers, 2019; Leica Medal of Excellence, World Press Photo Foundation, Pictures of the Year, Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the University of Missouri, the Alicia Patterson Grant, the Ernst Haas Grant and a grant from the Knight Foundation to design the New American Newspaper.