For over 30 years internationally renowned photographer Steve McCurry has been one of the world’s most influential image-makers. From his work for National Geographic and Time to his personal projects he strives to reveal the soul of a subject through visual storytelling.
From his career defining images of war-torn Afghanistan, which includes the iconic refugee portrait ‘Afghan Girl’, to his subsequent war photography and documenting of the Indian subcontinent, Steve has always focused on the human consequence of conflict and the irrepressible human spirit.
An Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society and Leica Hall of Fame inductee, Steve has published 17 books and won innumerable accolades, including an unprecedented 4 first prizes in the World Press Awards and the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal.
In over 4 hours of video and study material, Steve takes you on a journey, guiding you through how he approaches a subject and what he looks for, as you walk with him and explore viewpoint, light and composition together.


Join Steve in an inspirational journey, as he explains how he creates his photographs.


25 lessons in over 4 hours of video and study material. Watch these easy to follow lessons with Steve at your own pace, with lifetime access.


Receive downloadable notes of each lesson, includes quotes from Steve and a synopsis of each lesson.


Share and showcase your work with your fellow students and receive helpful written feedback and peer rating on your photographs.


Receive a Certificate from Steve upon completion of his Masterclass.


Watch Steve’s lessons on any device, from desktop to mobile

Sharbat Gula, Afghan Girl, at Nasir Bagh refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984.


Sharbat Gula, the Afghan Girl, at Nasir Bagh refugee camp near
Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984
-Untold (pg. 81)

National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 167, No. 6, June 1985, Along Afghanistan's War-torn Frontier.

"The green-eyed Afghan girl became a symbol in the late twentieth century of strength in the face of hardship.  Her tattered robe and dirt-smudged face have summoned compassion from around the world;  and her beauty has been unforgettable.  The clear, strong green of her eyes encouraged a bridge between her world and the West.  And likely more than any other image, hers has served as an international emblem for the difficult era and a troubled nation." - Phaidon 55

The iconic image does not stand outside of time.  Rather, it connects with the moment in a deeply profound way.  Such as images are imbued with meaning, a significance that resonates deeply with a wide and diverse audience.  McCurry's photograph of the Afghan girl is one such image.  For many, this beautiful girl dressed in a ragged robe became a worldwide symbol for a nation in a state of collapse.  

Haunted eyes tell of an aAfghan refugee's fears. 


Bannon, Anthony. (2005). Steve McCurry. New York: Phaidon Press Inc., 12.

NYC5958, MCS1985002 K035

Afghan Girl: Found
National Geographic, April 2002

Phaidon, Iconic Images, final book_iconic, page 33.

National Geographic Magazine, Along Afghanistan's War-torn Frontier, June 1985, Vol. 167, No. 6

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About the Course

In Steve's easy to follow, non-technical classes you’ll learn at your own pace.
How do I find a subject to photograph?  How do I know the light is right? How can I approve my compositional skills?
Watch and learn with Steve as you accompany him through the fishing villages of Portugal and in the vibrant streets of Havana. See for yourself how he creates images, as he shares ideas and experiences, and explains how to make great photographs. Steve will also suggest some projects for you to try for yourself.
You can use any device from camera phone to’s all about the image and storytelling.
Join today!

01 Meet your Master

Meet your master. Steve McCurry, an internationally renowned photographer and one of the most influential image-makers in contemporary photography for over 30 years. Steve has 17 acclaimed photographic books to his name and innumerable honours. (00min 47sec + downloadable study sheet)

02 The early years

Learn about the beginnings of Steve’s career and what it was that inspired him to start photographing. Find out what camera equipment Steve uses and why he chooses to shoot in colour. (08min 31sec + downloadable study sheet)

03 Going to War

Find out about Steve’s fascinating experience in Afghanistan and be inspired to journey and explore close to home or further afield with your own photography. (08min 03sec + downloadable study sheet)

Show All 25 Lessons

04 Influences: Cartier-Bresson

Steve shares with you some of the significant photographers and the photographs that have influenced him throughout his career. Including his main influence, the great Henri Cartier-Bresson. (08min 29sec + downloadable study sheet)

05 Other influences

Learn about the other photographers work that help shaped Steve’s own photography and that will inspire you too. (08min 07sec + downloadable study sheet)

06 Street Photography: Great things

Join Steve on the streets of Havana, Cuba and find out how he becomes part of the street in order for great opportunities to present themselves. (12min 04sec + downloadable study sheet)

07 Street Photography: Spontaneous moments

Make the most of chance encounters! Learn from Steve as he teaches you about grasping spontaneous moments and opportunities. (14min 13sec + downloadable study sheet)

08 Street Photography: Engage the street

How do you become part of the scene? How do you blend into your environment? Steve shares with you the techniques and methods he uses. (13min 16sec + downloadable study sheet)

09 Finding subjects and stories

How do you find a subject? How do you find a project that interests you? How to find subjects and stories that matter. Listen to Steve’s advice about finding the perfect subject for your photography. (12sec 55sec + downloadable study sheet)

10 Choosing the light

How do I know when the light is right? When is the best time of day to take photographs? Find out from Steve how he likes to work with different kinds of light throughout the day. (08min 15sec + downloadable study sheet)

11 Tell a story

The best pictures are the ones that tell a story. Learn about Steve’s visual storytelling as he shares with you how he created some of his photographs. (17min 17sec + downloadable study sheet)

12 Conflict Zones

Learn about the importance of documenting war. Steve explains to you his philosophy behind the photographs he created during the Gulf War and the aftermath of 9/11. (15min 28sec + downloadable study sheet)

13 Interiors: Using existing light

See how Steve makes use of the available light in his portraits and interior scenes. Watch him create images at monastery in Portugal. (06min 14sec + downloadable study sheet)

14 Portraiture: Reveal the moment

What is a portrait? Who is it of? Is it about the subject or photographer? Look and see how Steve takes portraits and captures his moments of authenticity. (10min 43sec + downloadable study sheet)

15 Portraiture: 9 key tips

Steve shares with you his eight key tips to taking a portrait, from revealing emotion to what background to use. Watch and learn as he takes portraits in Lisbon and Cuba. (08min 28sec + downloadable study sheet)

16 The iconic portrait of Che Guevara

Steve talk to us about Korda’s portrait and how a brief moment has become an iconic image. (02min 00sec + downloadable study sheet)

17 Photographing children

Listen as Steve reveals to you how he photographs children and shares some of the stories behind his incredible photographs of children. (12min 37sec + downloadable study sheet)

18 The Afghan Girl

One of the most iconic portraits ever taken… Steve talks about how he created his famous Afghan Girl photograph. (05min 59sec + downloadable study sheet)

19 Using juxtaposition

Two ideas, one comment. Learn from Steve about the important use of this technique in his photography. (06min 38sec + downloadable study sheet)

20 Landscape

Steve teaches you how to approach a landscape and also how he creates his photographs of people within a landscape. (10min 15sec + downloadable study sheet)

21 Composition

What are the rules of composition? Steve discusses composition whilst giving you advice on what to look out for when composing your own photographs. (06min 52sec + downloadable study sheet)

22 Cityscapes

How to select a viewpoint that tells a story? Listen to Steve approach to cityscapes in India and around the world. (08min 51sec + downloadable study sheet)

23 Shoot in all weather

There is no such thing as bad weather. Steve teaches you to shoot in all weather conditions. Don’t put your camera down when the weather turns nasty… find out from Steve why. (06min 39sec + downloadable study sheet)

24 Editing, printing & the book

How do I edit down my photographs? Shall I print my photographs? How do I put together a book? Steve discusses with you the selection process, printing and putting together a photography book. (06min 39sec + downloadable study sheet)

25 Making pictures for a living

Go out, take chances, take risks and be curious about the world you live in. Steve gives his insights and advice on how to try and make a living out of your photographs. He leaves you with some inspirational words and wishes you the best of luck on your journey. (02min 20sec + downloadable study sheet)