© Stephen Wilkes 2019  All Rights Reserved.

© Jay Maisel 2019  All Rights Reserved.


THE STEPHEN WILKES Masterclass with Special Guest JAY MAISEL: A Deep Conversation About Photography

Orientation Sunday, May 5th, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Monday, May 6th – Wednesday, May 8th, 9:00am – 4:00pm. Thursday, May 9th 9:00am – 11:00am (Optional)

At the age of 19 years old, young photographer Stephen Wilkes arrived at Jay Maisel’s famous bank building on New York City’s Bowery and applied for an assistant’s position. The resulting friendship and collaboration over a 40-year period had become legendary.

In this unique workshop, photographers Jay Maisel &  Stephen Wilkes, world renowned for their fine art and commercial photography, will discuss how to sharpen our ability to really “see” as we photograph. Their unique visions have propelled them into the ranks of today’s most successful commercial & fine art photographers without being put in a box, ie” Stephen is a landscape photographer or “Jay is an advertising photographer.” They firmly calls themselves generalists and have resisted being categorized with the result being their vision informs all their work regardless of the subject.

Stephen will talk about how his subtextual use of narrative helps him to “find his picture.” Jay will discuss how he feels the picture he’s taking, how the image needs to resonate for him as he photographs and the importance of the act of photographing itself to his process. This class will involve deep conversations about images and involve the attendees in discussions as well as photographing in the field followed by in-depth critiques.

On day 3 of this unique master class, Wilkes will lead the class on an expedition to return to one of his favorite surreal landscapes and portrait opportunity for this class: The Salton Sea, California’s most troubled lake. Once a lure for tourists, a fluctuation in sea level has flooded settlements and forced people to abandon their homes, leaving buildings to rot in the salt encrusted water. This abandoned and decaying area will provide a dramatic environment for exploration. The region attracted a fair share of unusual individuals, such as the artist Leonard Knight, who has redesigned the desert landscape with adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint. He and his national folk art shrine “Salvation Mountain” will be another exciting subject for the participants.

Photographers should bring their laptops and be conversant with their hardware and software in order to facilitate downloading and projecting their work for critiques in class. Digital projectors with standard DVI / VGA cables will be provided. If you require any special adapter for your computer for this purpose, please be sure to bring one to class. All Workshop Participants are invited to the Canon/Freestyle Digital Print Center at Korakia on Thursday, May 9th from 11:00am to 6:00pm to have an image of their choice printed out on a Canon Pro 2000 printer, using custom profiles and on their choice of several inkjet papers.

PRICE: $1630


Stephen has just completed writing & directing his first feature film, about Jay Maisel, entitled, Jay Myself.



After studying painting and graphic design at Cooper Union and Yale, Jay Maisel began his career in photography in 1954. While his portfolio includes the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Miles Davis, he is perhaps best known for capturing the light, color, and gesture found in everyday life.

Some of his commercial accomplishments include five Sports Illustrated swimsuit covers, the first two covers of New York Magazine, the cover of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue (the best-selling jazz album of all time), twelve years of advertising with United Technologies, and awards from such organizations as ICP, ASMP, ADC, PPA, and Cooper Union.

Since he stopped taking on commercial work in the late ’90s, Jay has continued to focus on his personal work. He has developed a reputation as a giving and inspiring teacher as a result of extensive lecturing and photography workshops throughout the country. He also continues to sell prints, which can be found in private, corporate, and museum collections.


Since opening his studio in New York City in 1983, photographer Stephen Wilkes has built an unprecedented body of work and a reputation as one of America’s most iconic photographers, widely recognized for his fine art, editorial and commercial work.

His photographs are included in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Dow Jones Collection, Griffin Museum of Photography, Jewish Museum of NY, Library of Congress, Snite Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Museum of the City of New York, 9/11 Memorial Museum and numerous private collections. His editorial work has appeared in, and on the covers of, leading publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Time, Fortune, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, and many others.

Despite his intense dedication to personal projects, Wilkes continues to shoot advertising campaigns for the world’s leading agencies and corporations, including: OppenheimerFunds, SAP, IBM, The New Yorker, Johnson & Johnson, DHL, American Express, Nike, Sony, Verizon, IBM, AT&T, Rolex, Honda, McCann Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather, and McGarry Bowen.

Wilkes was invited to speak at the TED2016: Dream Conference on his Day to Night series. He is currently working on a documentary film about legendary photographer Jay Maisel. His photograph, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Day to Night, 2013 was included in Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843- Present, an exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum curated by Gail Buckland.

Wilkes’ extensive awards and honors include the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography, Photographer of the Year from Adweek Magazine, Fine Art Photographer of the Year 2004 Lucie Award, TIME Magazine Top 10 Photographs of 2012, Sony World Photography Professional Award 2012, Adobe Breakthrough Photography Award 2012 and Prix Pictet, Consumption 2014. His board affiliations include the Advisory Board of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications; Save Ellis Island Board of Directors, on which he served for 5 years; and the Goldring Arts Journalism Board.