New York Workshop: May 4-9, 2023

Alex Webb, from the Aperture book, Brooklyn: The City Within, with Rebecca Norris Webb; 2nd printing Spring 2023


Workshop Teachers: Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb

This workshop will be about finding your own unique vision of New York City by using the camera to explore the city in a direct, spontaneous way. Open to both serious amateurs and professionals alike, it is a workshop that will emphasize the development of your own personal way of seeing photographically. This workshop will also be about learning how to edit your work intuitively, and also include discussions about how to take your photography to the next level.

NOTE: This is a workshop for photographers who collaborate with the world, not for those who dramatically alter their photographs digitally. All participants must be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to attend this workshop, and follow all COVID-19 protocols

Workshop location: Magnum Foundation

59 W. 4th St. #7w, New York, NY 10003

Limit: 10 photographers

Applications open:  Monday, January 9, 2023

Early Acceptance Deadline: Monday, February 6, 2023

Early Acceptance Notification: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023

Final Application Deadline: Monday February 27, 2023

Workshop fee: US $2000 

Workshop Assistant: Bridget Lai


Please email:

1. 10jpgs (72dpi; 2000 pixels longest side) that represent who you are as a photographer, or direct us to a series or two on your website or other online link.  If you work in a series, please include a selection from one or two personal projects –– the work that represents your passions, your obsessions. 

2. Also include a short description of why you’d like to take this workshop and what or where you’d like to photograph for the week (no more than 150 words in a word doc).

3. Lastly, please include a short bio (not more than 100 words) that includes where you live, your day job,  and something about your relationship to photography.

Please write on the email’s subject line—FYV: NYC May 2023—and email your application to Bridget at the following email:


Thursday, May 4: 9:30am-3:00pm

Friday, May 5: 9:30am-1:30pm

Saturday, May 6: 9:30am-11:30; 12-2:30

Sunday, May 7: 9:30am-11:30; 12-2:30

Monday, May 8: 9:30am-1:30pm

Tuesday, May 9: 9:30am-9:00pm

Schedule is subject to change at any time.


There are two main components of this class: the spontaneous act of photographing and intuitive editing.  The workshop will begin with Alex and Rebecca, a creative team who often edit projects together (including their joint books Brooklyn: The City Within and their upcoming book, Waves), who will critique each participant’s past work as a starting off point for a larger discussion about various photographic issues. By that first afternoon, participants will be working on their first assignment, which they will choose themselves. It may be a specific street, neighborhood, subculture, ethnic group, profession, family or individual; it may be continuing work on an ongoing project in New York City; but it must be something that you’re passionate enough to return to every day to photograph.

For the rest of the workshop, we will meet in the mornings and critique as a group each student’s ongoing work. Throughout the workshop, we will try to build a coherent set of images for each photographer that will begin to represent his or her photographic stance or attitude toward the city of New York. We will view this work as a group at the end of the workshop.

Besides photographing and editing each day, there will also be print and book demonstrations and an editing exercise.  We will also touch on a variety of topics, including the process of photographing spontaneously and intuitively; how to photograph in cultures other than one’s own; the relationship between images (such as the sequencing and juxtaposition of photographs); how to edit photographs intuitively; an introduction on being on press with a book; how to work with a designer on a book; the practical realities of the magazine and art worlds; the emotional and psychological implications of working in color vs. black and white; the difference between images in a book and images on the wall; and how long-term projects can evolve into books and exhibitions.  There will also be a chance for each participant to have a one-on-one meeting with Alex and Rebecca, including discussing a long-term project or work-in-progress that the participant is passionate about.


The first day we would like all participants to bring about 30 PRINTS (NOT digital files), representing the work that they feel best represents who they are as photographers. We are interested in each participant’s individual vision, rather than whether he or she can work professionally or not. So bring the personal project or projects –– the work that represents your passions, your obsessions –– not the set of portraits done simply to satisfy an editor or art director. For the first reviews, we find that working with prints has huge benefits. The prints do not have to be fine prints: they can be cheap 4×6 machine prints, inkjet prints, etc. – just prints that enable us to see the image.

Participants need to bring their digital camera the first day, because they will go out and photograph immediately after class.


During the week all participants will be photographing every day, except the last day. We encourage you to work digitally. All work needs to be downloaded into a single workshop computer attached to a digital projector. (We do not have time to shut down the projector and hook up individual laptops.) We need to be able to see work (from the previous day) at the beginning of the class everyday. Each participant will also need a thumbdrive or hard drive, and a laptop with Bridge, Light Room, or another editing software. (Participants will only bring laptops the last day of the workshop.)


And please bring lots of questions to the workshop. The ultimate direction of the workshop will be influenced by the kinds of questions that you pose.


Via credit card or bank transfer, half the workshop fee ($1000) is due upon acceptance; the second half not later than Monday March 6. If they prefer, participants may also choose to make a single workshop payment.

Rebecca Norris Webb, from the Aperture book, Brooklyn: The City Within, with Alex Webb; 2nd printing: Spring 2023

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