Workshop: Three Faces of Portraiture with Maggie Steber, Sara Terry and Tomas van Houtryve in New Orleans


Tomas van Houtryve is partnering with Maggie Steber and Sara Terry for a week-long VII workshop devoted to portraiture in New Orleans. Full details below:

During this seven-day workshop, photographers will experience three different approaches to one of the most revealing — and challenging — genres of photography: portraiture. In small, two-day group sessions – one each with photographers Maggie Steber, Sara Terry and Tomas van Houtryve — students will be exposed to each tutor’s distinct way of creating portraits. Maggie Steber will teach from her Guggenheim-work, “The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma” as well as portraits that tell a story. Sara Terry will help students explore collaborative portraiture, working with subjects to allow them to be part of the image-making process, using interviews and inviting subjects to write on or about their portraits. Tomas van Houtryve will explore alternative processes for making portraits, including the wet plate collodion technique he uses for his “Lines and Lineage” series.

Students will leave with fresh perspectives on portraiture and clear ideas about how they can make original and compelling portraits.

We’ll get together the night before the workshop starts, March 31, so that we can get to know each other a bit before jumping in on the first day of class. We’ll split students into three groups that night.


April 1 – 2, 2019 (Monday – Tuesday)

Students begin work, in groups, with one of the three tutors.

April 3 – 4, 2019 (Wednesday* – Thursday)

Groups rotate and begin work with the second tutor.

* Wednesday night — everyone is welcome to join the tutors for dinner at one of New Orleans’ top restaurants (everyone pays their own way).

April 5 – 6, 2019 (Friday* – Saturday)

Groups rotate and begin work with the third tutor.

* Friday night — we’re thinking it might be time to hit one of the city’s amazing music venues

April 7, 2019 (Sunday)

Final review of student work made during the workshop (full day)


New Orleans is one of the most interesting cities in America — lots of great food, lots to photograph, and lots of fun places to stay. Check Airbnb for some good deals and great places to stay.

Please read VII’s Terms & Conditions and Cancellation Policy carefully before enrolling in a workshop.




Sara Terry

“Sara Terry is among the brightest, most challenging and interesting instructors I’ve had the pleasure to study under and my educational experience includes a master degree, so I’ve had a lot of instructors, and a dozen plus photography classes in recent years.” — Hilary White, Photographer

“Sara’s experience and ground rules really worked to make the classroom a welcoming space to share vulnerability and a playful connectedness to myself and the world around me.”— Bonnie Blake, Camera Operator

“I think of [Sara Terry] like an oracle who sees so much before we do in our own work, and she has a beautiful, brilliant way of shepherding us into seeing what’s underneath the surface in our work, our lives, and ourselves.” — Saman Assefi, Photographer

Tomas Van Houtryve

“My imagination was opened up to a variety of new and challenging ideas.” —Danny Uhlmann

Maggie Steber

“Maggie is an exceptionally kind, generous and funny teacher. She’s the rare kind of teacher that will wholeheartedly share her experience and point of view, but always in the spirit of helping her students develop their own voice and become a better version of themselves.”— Eléonore Simon

“The Mystery workshop I took in Oaxaca with Maggie was by far the best workshop I’ve ever attended. Maggie inspires you every day, and has the magic of making you feel comfortable outside your comfort zone. She creates a safe place for you to be wild at heart and to try new ideas without judgement but instead with encouragement and assurance. Anyone who wants to learn more and better should study with Maggie.”— Alejandro Cupi

“Maggie Steber opened up my eyes to a new way of perceiving the world and expressing myself through photography, and for that I am forever grateful. I found her exceptional experience, infectious enthusiasm and her genuine desire for everyone to grow, created a nurturing environment that drew out the best in her students. With Maggie’s guidance, I left my comfort zone, explored mystery, and came out a more confident photographer. Working with Maggie in any capacity, whether in a workshop or portfolio review, should absolutely not be missed. ” —Nancy Moon