Learning How to Make Bold, Powerful and Dramatic Photographs

Martin Isaacson, M.Ed.

For photographers, artists, journalists and enthusiasts who want to learn how to:

  • Make powerful, dramatic, bold, highly visual images
  • Learn about universal story concept and symbolic visual vocabulary that convey universal meaning

Through lecture and dialogue you will:

  • Find you own style
  • Deepen your creative process
  • Clarify your visual point of view
  • Empower your visual voice
  • Explore new visual subject matter
  • Create new powerful photographs for portfolios

Session will not discuss digital techniques, technology, processing, cameras, printing or equipment.  You do not need to bring your camera.

Learn a new way to think about your voice and point of view.  Class is for portfolio enhancement, travel journals, museum exhibitions, books, commercial work and personal enrichment.


LECTURE with VISUAL MATERIAL & ASSIGNMENT:  participants will be given a choice of two assignments based on the lecture for them to shoot during the following week, print and bring to class for the critique.




  • Understanding universal picture theory for creating powerful commercial and artistic images
  • Examining universal myths and visual archetypes as models for photographic multi-media commercial and art themes
  • Photographing the landscape and its ecology in commercial and artistic multi-media art forms
  • Using sex and the unconscious as source material for photographic multi-media ideas.



About Martin Isaacson

Mr. Isaacson is a well-known University lecturer, visual consultant, and expert in the field of visual aesthetics for photographers and media-makers.  Currently he is a partner and creative consultant to Chris Milk, world-renowned director and music video maker.  Isaacson is creating a marketing program for Milk’s art-technology installation born out of Intel/Vice Media’s The Creators Project titled “The Treachery of Sanctuary.”

As creative consultant to legendary Hollywood photographer George Hurrell, Isaacson was responsible for the sale of the rights to publish Hurrell’s portfolios.  Mr. Isaacson was a business project partner of Tom Kelley Jr. and recently sold 67,000 commercial negatives of Mr. Kelley’s father’s photographs to Getty Images of London.  It was Kelley, Sr. who photographed the iconic nude image of Marilyn Monroe that was seen in the first centerfold issue of Playboy Magazine.

Isaacson teaches black and white film photography at Ventura College, conducts workshops two times a year at Brooks Institute of Photography, and taught Visual Aesthetics at UCLA Arts Extension for 30 years. 

Participant Reflections & Comments:

~ Martin, you gave me so many important keystones to incorporate into my work process.  There was so much material you covered that I will return to for guidance and inspiration.  Your encouragement to push the inner voice and go deep inside.  Great life advice.  The experience was exciting and spiritually awakening.  Thank you for giving me the push!

~ My take away is to put more effort into a meaning behind my pictures. Symbolism, etc.  Really enjoyed the class. Thank you.

~ Lots of insights into own work and the power of images.  And the great art history refresher.  Role of Duchampian ideas and Surrealism in contemporary practice.

~ Evolve a full cosmology for a photograph or a body of work.  The best and richest works of art work on many many levels and need conceptual layering.

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