autograph, london

Teaching Portraiture

Thu 5 Oct 6:30 - 8:00pm

Free event - fully booked

Are you a teacher or educator? Join us for a session focused on the power of portraiture, with ideas and tools to bring back to your classroom or group


This event is suitable for teachers and educators across all age groups


Rivington Place
London EC2A 3BA, UK

past event

This event is now closed. View our current events here


Autograph's events are very popular, and Teaching Portraiture is fully booked.  Are you a KS2-5 teacher in London, who would like to join us at this event? Contact, as we have set aside additional tickets for London teachers. 

From the evocative self-portraits in Hélène Amouzou: Voyages to the playful fashion shoots featured in Armet Francis: Beyond the Black Triangle, Autograph’s new exhibitions encapsulate the importance and power of portrait photography. We warmly invite teachers and educators to join us for a session centred around teaching portraiture, exploring the breadth, potential and ethics of the medium.

This event will be led by authors of The Portrait Photographer's Manual, Cian Oba-Smith and Max Ferguson. Dedicated to their Sixth Form Photography Teacher, the book sets out to engage and inform aspiring portrait photographers.
After reflecting on their time studying Photography at Secondary School, Cian and Max will share key moments from the book drawing out examples of photographers and projects that push the boundaries of portraiture photography. This will be followed by a facilitated group discussion and a chance to reflect on ideas and tools raised in the presentation thinking about how they might be taken back to the classroom. 
Want to also see the exhibitions? They are free, and the galleries will be open both before and after the event.

Part of the exhibitions

Armet Francis: Beyond the Black Triangle

22 Sep 2023 - 20 Jan 2024Chronicling the lives of people of the African diaspora for over 40 years

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Hélène Amouzou: Voyages

22 Sep 2023 - 20 Jan 2024
Contemplating the complex emotions of displacement and exile

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Cian Oba-Smith

Cian is an Irish Nigerian photographer who was born and raised in London. His work focuses on communities and subcultures around the world with a particular interest in approaching subjects that are often misrepresented with a view to presenting them in an alternate light. The relationship between human experience and environment is at the core of his projects.

His photographs can be found in a variety of places online and in print including FT Weekend Magazine, The Guardian, TIME Magazine, The Fader, Le Monde, Port, Dazed & Confused, The New Yorker and others. He graduated from the University of the West of England with a First Class BA (Hons) in Photography, since then he has spent time guest lecturing at various universities and art instituitons including, Falmouth University, London College of Communication, Middlesex University, Plymouth University, The Photographers Gallery, The Arnolfini and many others.

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Max Ferguson

Max is a photographer, writer and curator. He is the Founder of Oval Press, the Founding Editor of Splash & Grab Magazine, the Photo Editor of Granta Magazine. Alongside his friend, and collaborator Cian Oba Smith, Max co-authored The Portrait Photographer’s Manual, which was published by Thames & Hudson in 2023. He is a Senior Lecturer on the BA Photography course at the London College of Communication and a regular visiting lecturer on various photography programmes across the UK. 

Previous experience includes five years as the Director of Photography of Port Magazine and several as a regular freelance Photo Editor at the Financial Times Weekend Magazine. Max recently completed his MA in Photography at UWE in Bristol. His debut book of photographs Whistling for Owls has now sold out.

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Everyone is welcome at Autograph. Planning a visit? Have a look at our Visit Us page to find out more about getting to the gallery, accessibility and more.


Accessible VEnue

Autograph welcomes people with all types of disabilities


Step free

Our building and entrance is step free. A wheelchair accessible lift goes to all floors


This event will take place in the Education Studio at Autograph

Also for educators

Exhibition Tours

Free, Oct 2023 - Jan 2024
Bring your class to Autograph for a free guided tour of our exhibitions

Read more

Preserving the Archive

Free, Oct - Nov 2023
Bring your class to Autograph for a hands-on workshop exploring photography, archives and collective history

Read more

Group visits

Free, Sep - Jan
Book a self-led group visit to Autograph's exhibitions for your class

Read more

ticketing policy

Autograph's events are popular, and often sell out. We recommend booking a ticket in advance. You do not need to bring your paper ticket to the event.

supported by

Banner Image: Armet Francis, Self-portrait in Mirror [detail], 1964. Courtesy the artist and Autograph, London.