The Artisans

The foundation of the Art of Photography program is Sony’s Artisans, a select group of professional photographers who have achieved an elite level of focus and artistic refinement in their work. Each of these Artisans is dedicated to the art of photography and also to inspiring and teaching photographers to get their best shots.

David McLain is a globe-trotting photojournalist who has built a career telling stories visually. He tells real stories of real people, most frequently for National Geographic, and he applies those same narrative skills to assignments for commercial clients that value the photojournalist’s passion for authenticity. Whomever he may be working for, McLain manages to tell his stories and communicate the power of real, decisive moments in a way that seems almost effortless. He works hard at it, though, and he’s going to explain how he does it, in depth, right here. To see more of McLain’s work, visit his website at

Cristina Mittermeier is one of the premier nature photographers in the world. As the chairperson of the ILCP, she has a particular dedication to endangered people and places around the world. She offers first and foremost a vehicle for raising awareness—the first step in inspiring change—and she does it with the deliberate use of her camera. Ultimately Mittermeier goes beyond the sound bite to reveal a story that offers hope. Her images focus on the increasingly fragile relationship between human cultures and the planet, and her work encompasses important sustainability topics such as biodiversity and indigenous peoples. She is the ideal teacher for those interested in nature photography and to anyone who seeks to make a meaningful impact with photography. For examples of the photo essays she has crafted, please see her online portfolios at

Celebrity portrait photographer Brian Smith has photographed both the famous and infamous, and he’s equally comfortable in-studio and on location. It’s his environmental-portrait prowess that allows him to tell much more about a person than could ever be gleaned from a simple headshot. The art of environmental portraits, in which the photographer uses the subject’s surroundings to add information and interest to an image, are Smith’s forte. He will share his expertise for crafting sublime contextual portraits, whether you’re photographing well-known luminaries or the girl next door. See more of Smith’s amazing photographs on his website,

One thing every photographer shares—each of these Sony Artisans included—is a reliance on light to shape their creations, no matter what subject they’re focused on. For Sony Artisan Andy Katz, though, light often is the subject. Working in both color and black & white, whether it’s people, places or landscapes, Katz is able to transcend boundaries of simple subject classifications in order to craft images that are as much about light as they are about tangible subjects. From documenting foreign cultures to creating fine-art images of landscapes closer to home, he has a master’s understanding of the many subtleties of light. No matter where or what you photograph, Katz will help you see the light, as it were, and to photograph it even more effectively. Learn more and see samples online at