Theory & Practice

Magnum Education

Develop your visual storytelling with the world’s leading photographers

Raymond Depardon Montady pond. © Raymond Depardon | Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos is committed to educating the next generation of independent visual storytellers from across the globe. As a microcosm of the photographic industry and with some 70 years of experience, Magnum Photos provides photographers at different stages in their careers with truly unique educational and professional development opportunities.

Activities offer practical, technical and theoretical training to help participants develop their own visual language and the skills required to compete in photography’s ever-changing marketplace.

“A core aim of Magnum’s education initiatives is to instil in students a concern with visual coherence. It’s about encouraging students to look inside themselves at the same time as looking out at the world. It’s in developing a fully formed voice as a photographer that Magnum’s contribution to photographic education can be so helpful.”

– Stuart Franklin, Magnum Photographer

Ian Berry Magnum photographer Chris Anderson giving a workshop at the Visa pour l'Image 2007 exposition surrounded by students. Perpignan, France. 2007. © Ian Berry | Magnum Photos



Magnum’s international workshop and masterclass program provides an opportunity for photographers to shoot, refine and publish their work under the guidance of Magnum’s experienced practitioners. Aimed at photographers with a good understanding of photographic practice, Magnum’s photographer’s lead intimate groups through programs of shooting, reviews, group critiques, mentoring, editing and the opportunity to learn amongst peers. Masterclasses are focused thematic programmes and intensively explore subjects such as bookmaking, editing, or editorial assignments.

“My workshops are all about my students’ personal growth. I really “squeeze the lemon.” I get out of them their very best work. This is my commitment always. Anyone who takes my workshop is my student for life. I stick with those who want to move ahead with their work for book publishing, for gallery shows, for assignment work, grants, etc. I just help push it forward. It’s all a whirlwind of discovery and adventure, it is magic for sure.”

– David Alan Harvey, Magnum Photographer

“I’ve been having a hard time trying to put into words my experience after a week long documentary workshop with Matt Black from Magnum Photos. I hold this experience very dear to my heart and soul. It was a great exercise in reflection on what truly matters. The core message I took away is that as documentary photographers we should always be striving to make statements through our projects.”

– Photographer Anahi Navarro, student of The Documentary Commitment: a one week workshop with Matt Black in Austin, Texas.

Bruno Barbey David Alan Harvey presents his work at a workshop. Cape Cod, USA. 2014. © Bruno Barbey | Magnum Photos


Conceived as a response to the changing nature of the photography market, Magnum’s Professional Practice seminars deliver guidance on the practical ‘business’ of photography. Our seminars allow photographers to extend their professional networks with an emphasis on industry contacts. Professional Practice helps photographers to identify realistic entry routes into employment and paid opportunities, across a wide range of sectors including advertising, editorial, gallery, NGO and publishing.

“It was an epic weekend, and the best money I have spent on my business for a long time.”

– Photographer Martin Hartley, after attending the editorial Professional Practice weekend.


Designed to immerse participants in the Magnum tradition of visual storytelling, Magnum Photos run a series of longer term photographic courses in partnership with academic institutions. These courses equip students with the historical and contextual framework required to develop and engage in critical thinking about documentary photography, as well as providing technical guidance and tutorial support to develop students’ individual documentary practice.

“My eyes have been opened, and I have not shut them for weeks. I’m kidding, of course, but the word intensive in the course title was no joke. That said, I am definitely not complaining. The course has been challenging on many levels, but also quite encouraging. I would do it again in a heartbeat. So far, we’ve had two immersive weeks of learning the ropes of documentary photography: the history of the genre and Magnum’s great impact on it, conceptualising and executing a documentary project, the wonderful world of the photobook, class and individual photo critiques, and much more.”

– Dean Berner, student of Magnum Intensive Documentary Photography, at London College of Communication 2016


Watch this space for new opportunities!