This three day workshop will focus on the techniques and insights needed to make meaningful images of people. The emphasis will be on taking photographs of people on the street, and to capture the atmosphere and excitement of San Francisco. We will also consider the variety of ways to photograph individuals, including friends, family, and strangers in such diverse settings as the home, the street and in work situations. The workshop will also explore ways of organizing environmental elements to make persuasive statements of and about people.

Topics covered:

  • Capturing character
  • Methods of approaching and photographing strangers
  • Natural light and flash as aesthetic elements
  • Focusing quickly
  • Posing and interacting with subjects
  • Strategies for editing and developing a body of work

The workshop will be presented in lectures, demonstrations, and photographic field trips to various areas, where people congregate, in and around San Francisco. Time will be spent discussing photographs taken during the workshop, concluding with a group review of the best images on Sunday.


Harvey is a professional photographer, teacher, lecturer, author and curator based in New York City. He currently teaches at the International Center of Photography and at various workshops throughout the country. Stein is a frequent lecturer on photography both in the United States and abroad. He is the Director of Photography at Umbrella Arts Gallery, located in the East Village of Manhattan. He has also been a member of the faculty of the New School University, School of Visual Arts, Drew University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Bridgeport.

Stein’s has published seven books. His latest, Briefly Seen New York Street Life, is the third in a trilogy focused on New York. The first monograph, Coney Island 40 Years (Schiffer Publishing, 2011), documents Stein’s ongoing fascination with the eccentric and exuberant aspects of this famous Brooklyn beach community. The second title, Harlem Street Portraits (Schiffer Publishing, 2013), is a series of more formalized environmental portraits of the people who live in this historically significant African American neighborhood.

Stein’s photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe—79 one-person and over 160 group shows to date. He also curated 41 exhibits from 2007-2015. His photographs are in more than 55 permanent collections, including the George Eastman House, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Denver Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), Museet for Fotokunst (Odense, Denmark), Musee De La Photographie (Charleroi, Belguim), the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art, and among others, the corporate collections of Reader’s Digest, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett Packard, LaSalle Bank (Chicago), Barclay Bank and Credit Suisse.

Stein’s work can be seen on his website.


The workshop will officially begin on Friday May 19th at 9:00 a.m. at the Leica Store San Francisco. Friday and Saturday sessions will include full day (9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.) shooting sessions on the streets throughout San Francisco. Sunday, class will resume back at the Leica Store for editing and critique.

Owning a Leica is not required. A selection of Leica cameras will be available to use throughout the weekend. Attendance is strictly limited to 12 participants.

Target group

Those who are intrigued by the variety, psychology, and social interactions of people and who want to capture these elements photographically, will benefit from this workshop.

Participants are expected to have good understanding of the general operation of their cameras, this is not a basic technical program. Laptops will be needed on the final day of the workshop. Students should be conversant with their hardware and software in order to facilitate downloading and review of photos made during the workshop.

Masterclass, Workshops
Harvey Stein