Alec Soth Is Teaching an Online Photography Course

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Melissa, Flamingo Inn. Canada Alec Soth NYC53300
Melissa, Flamingo Inn, Canada, 2005© Alec Soth / Magnum Photos

The acclaimed image-maker behind Sleeping by the Mississippi and Niagara is sharing his photographic wisdom in a new online course from Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos has announced its second online photography course, led by American image-maker Alec Soth. Following the photographic agency’s first course, The Art of Street Photography – taught by seven masters of the genre, including Martin Parr, Susan Meiselas, Mark Power and Bruce Gilden – Alec Soth: Photographic Storytelling will offer a detailed look at Soth’s photography background and the process that goes into making his striking images.

Alec Soth: Photographic Storytelling is a fitting title for a course led by Soth, a photographer who made his name with his various “grand narrative” series set in the USA. Sleeping by the Mississippi, for example – a project rooted in around a decade of travelling and research, which Soth unpacks in the Magnum course – was a detailed photographic study of the people and landscapes that exist along the length of the Mississippi River. Soth’s most recent book, a collection of 35 portraits taken in his subjects’ homes entitled I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating, was released earlier this year. “I wanted there to be this openness and lightness that I was feeling, and to have plenty of space for the pictures, but also not a lot of pictures... I wanted air,” he told AnOther at the time.

His Magnum course covers both landscape and portrait photography, using a large-scale eight-by-ten inch camera. The photographer adopted a spontaneous approach to choosing locations for his lessons, throwing a dart on a map to pick a place to visit. Comprising over four hours’ worth of interviews, practical guides, and footage of Soth preparing and shooting on-location, Alec Soth: Photographic Storytelling is a rare opportunity to learn from one of the most prolific and idiosyncratic names in contemporary photography.

Alec Soth: Photographic Storytelling is launched by Magnum Photos later in October, 2019. Find out more at