Walking on the Wild Side: the Mystery Workshop

Level: Photography - Confident Beginner

This workshop explores the elusive mysterious nature of ideas, sometimes dark, sometimes dream-like, whatever the photographer considers mysterious. 

Mystery is all around us if we choose to see it.

It can be on the street at night or during the day, in the light and shadow of street lamps where someone lurks, or the slicing rays of hot light that fall between tall buildings, inside an apartment where some drama takes place, or a forbidden love. Where and how we find mystery is what this workshop is about.

Each photographer takes on the theme of “Mystery”, creating an essay inspired by the sights and emotions of the life in the city and the tools we learn in class.

The workshop is for the photographer who wants to open their imagination and explore a new territory, even if for a short while, that will expand their thinking and visual approach.

To pique our imaginations, we will review the photographs of a wide variety of photographers whose work addresses mystery, including Maggie’s.

Film noir and pulp fiction, the use of light and shadow to portray love and loss, life and death, suspense, murder, or the yin and yang of life; the idea of mystery and considering how to visualize it, is something we will explore together to reach into the fascinating darker genre of photography where anything goes. Consider this your secret garden, a safe place to express wherever your imagination takes you.

We will brainstorm about what direction each participant wants to take and how to go about that. In our first session we will have 3 in-class photographic exercises to put us into the right mood for finding mystery. These are great fun!

Each time we meet, we will look at and critique your photographs as a class.  

On the final day, we will meet to edit and sequence our work for presentations.

There will be one-on-ones with Maggie daily as well as class days.


Participants are expected to have a basic understanding of their camera functions and operation. This is not a “how to” or technically-focused program.

A testimonial of a previous student: 

Last year, I had a chance to attend Maggie Steber's workshop: “DARING TO SEE THE WORLD IN A NEW WAY” at Obscura Photo Festival. I feel so lucky as I heard a lot of great things about Maggie’s teaching from friends. It's truly is a life-changing experience to have a mentor who is the best of both worlds: an ideal human being and extraordinarily gifted master.

I had learned not only about photography but also about the mindset of a good human being. She enlightened us and nurtured us without changing who we are.

After the workshop, I thought I will get friends and instead what I have now is a new family. And yes, I dare to see the world in a new way, thanks to my mentor and still continuing the project I had started from her workshop.
I strongly recommend every photographer to join Maggie’s workshop if you have the chance.



Masterclass spread over 5 days

You are currently at least at the level of shooting in Aperture or Shutter priority modes and can use the basic features on your camera confidently to create a correct exposure.

who should attend

You are currently at least at the level of shooting in Aperture or Shutter priority modes and can use the basic features on your camera confidently to create a correct exposure.

* Your camera and lenses

* A USB with a selection of 10/15 pictures you have taken, for review

* Your laptop.

What you should bring

* Your camera and lenses

* A USB with a selection of 10/15 pictures you have taken, for review

* Your laptop.


The workshop will run on February 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12, 2018.


While days are fixed as per the schedule on this page, it is expected that you dedicate your free time to working on your project. Exact start and end timings of each day will be communicated by Maggie at the start of the workshop, and will be dictated by the needs of the students and the group. 

We therefore do not recommend signing up for other workshops at GPP PHOTO WEEK 2018. 


About the Instructor
Maggie Steber

Maggie Steber is a documentary photographer known for her humanistic stories of people and cultures. She was named a National Geographic Woman of Vision and has worked in 66 countries, producing cultural stories as well as significant work on Haiti, Native Americans, and the sciences of sleep and memory loss. She has photographed for 30 years in Haiti. Aperture published her monograph entitled DANCING ON FIRE: Photographs from Haiti

Steber’s photographs are included in the Library of Congress. She was Assistant Managing Editor for Photography and Features at The Miami Herald from 1999-2003 and has served as judge on many competition and grant panels. She regularly teaches workshops at the World Press Photo Master Classes in Amsterdam, the Foundry Workshop, LOOK3 Photo Festival, Bursa Photo Festival in Turkey, and at various US workshops. Clients include National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, Smithsonian, The New Yorker and many American and European publications

Booking Closed

Wednesday, February 7
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Thursday, February 8
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Saturday, February 10
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Sunday, February 11
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Monday, February 12
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Includes UAE VAT 5%

Cost $1100
This session is limited to 12 students only.
Workshop Location
Cancellation & Exchange Policy
  • You can cancel and/or exchange your GPP Photo Week 2018 workshop until January 7, 2018. No refunds or exchanges after January 7, 2018.
  • If you cancel your workshop before January 7, 2018, you get back 70% of the workshop value.
  • If you want to exchange your workshop for a different one, it must be of the same or higher value, providing that you pay the difference for a more expensive workshop.
Presenting Partner
Venue Partner