The Art of Digital Photography: The Inspirational Series, with Joe McNally and Mia McCormick

In this interview you’ll hear the story of how Joe got started in photography, gain insight into what he’s thinking while on assignment, learn the back stories behind many of his most well known photographs, discover what drives him to give so much back to the photographic community, and so much more!

Join Mia McCormick as she sits down with Joe McNally, an internationally acclaimed photographer, for an inspirational hour of conversation that spans Joe’s 30 year career. Joe has always strived to use his photographic vision to convey the emotionality and visceral impact of his experiences to the viewers of his work. In this interview you’ll hear the story of how Joe got started in photography, gain insight into what he’s thinking while on assignment, learn the back stories behind many of his most well known photographs, discover what drives him to give so much back to the photographic community, and so much more!

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: On Getting Started (Duration 12:50)

After leaving school Joe headed to New York with the hope of hitting it big in news photography, but found a healthy dose of reality instead.

Lesson 2: On Being Inspired (Duration 15:28)

Joe takes us through the back stories of some of his photos that mean the most to him.

Lesson 3: On Working in Dangerous Places (Duration 15:48)

While not a conflict photographer, Joe has brought his unique photographic vision to some of the world\'s hot spots.

Lesson 4: On Photographing People (Duration 17:24)

You have to have an ability as a photographer to know a picture when you\'re looking at it. You need to be able to recognize the photo that you need, and then make it.

Lesson 5: On the Hard Work of Photography (Duration 12:27)

Being a professional photographer requires hard work; financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Lesson 6: On Paying it Forward (Duration 08:34)

Having been fortunate to have had experienced photographers show him the ropes along the way, Joe believes photography has always been a pass-it-along business.

Meet Your Instructor: Joe McNally

Joe McNally is an internationally acclaimed photographer whose career has spanned 30 years and included assignments in over 50 countries. He has shot cover stories for TIME, Newsweek, Fortune, New…

Meet Your Instructor: Mia McCormick

Mia McCormick works as a resident technology expert for Kelby Training and B&H Photo - one of the largest electronic retailers in the world. She also conducts a series of…


  1. This is an interview that every photographer should see. A fascinating, multi-faceted talent in the realm of photography, who articulates his vision, not only photographically, but also in prose in this interview. This is part of: "The Inspirational Series". Well here is a stellar example of it.

  2. Joe McNally is my main source of inspiration, and this interview adds to my respect and admiration for him. He's more versatile than most, he has the history providing all the cred one can have. He is a master of his craft, and he explains so beatifully well what are his intentions and thoughts behind a picture. Not only will he paint an awe inspiring picture with light, he will paint the same picture with words as well making someone like me unerstand so much more of what has taken place in the making of his pictures. More classes with Joe, Please... And thank you to Kelby one for providing photographers such as Joe Mcnally to the public for a quite reasonable fee.

  3. I have had the pleasure to meet Joe at one of his lighting seminars and at Photoshop World. He is truly an amazing photographer. That being said this is a very well done interview. His philosophy of light, people etc. is brought out very well by Mia and Joe himself. This truly should be seen by anyone in any type of photography and more than once at that.

  4. This is an example of a lifetime work brought out in an interview; an insight into what made Joe McNally what he is today. Mia does a wonderful job and asked poignant questions at appropriate times which made the interview that much more enjoyable. This is true inspiration.

  5. I can't find words to truly describe what it is like to just sit back and listen to Joe talk. I have tried to type this comment three times and I'm at a loss for words. This a must see for any photographer.. Thank you Mr.McNally... Thank you.

  6. We all know Joe is one of the best in the world as a photographer, what is more amazing is how truly gracious he is. In an environment where many of his far less talented peers display such incredible arrogance and narcissism, Joe stand as a shining and inspirational model of humility and talent. Joe is in it for the love of the game. Love his work. Wish I had a modicum of his creativity and looking forward to attending his workshop later this year. Also impressed with Mia, great interviewer who has the skill to lead without getting in the way of her interviewee.

  7. Awesome interview with an awesome photographer. His images need no explanations and his teaching both in person and on Kelby are on the highest level.

  8. Joe has got to be one of the most interesting, well spoken, skilled, humble, energetic, creative people on this planet alive today. I attended all of his presentations at a PSW in 2013 and was so blown away by how honestly he presents his craft and himself that no other instructor I have ever studied with for any subject can compare. Joe has changed my life and I've never even spoken with him face to face. This interview brought tears of joy to eyes and a song of elation to my heart. Thank you, Joe. Thank you, Mia. Thank you, Kelbyone crew. I cannot say it enough.

  9. are you kidding me this man is a legend and a icon for every artist, I don't want to be him but his insight and teachings wants me to be who the world has never seen... me Thanks Kelby Training!

  10. This is by far the best interview on photography that I have ever watched. Joe has such a nice way of explaining things and, by the way, he seems to have a stellar memory, too! Thank you very much.

  11. Joe is not only a great photographer, he is a very integer, honest and great person. This interview shows it very well. One of the best (best?) shows in the series till now. The way Joe talks about photography is inspiring and gives a lot of material to think about. For example, how to win trust of people to get the great portrait of them. How to keep up and learn from failures. My compliments go also for Mia, who prepared a nice set of questions, sometimes going very deep into the matter. Congratulations to Kelby Training! Thank you!

  12. Compliments to KelbyOne for providing members insight to the creative mind of legends such as Joe McNally. Mia is not to be overlooked for her exemplary skills as an interviewer keeping the questions brief and targeted. Well done Mia... And "Well Done Joe"! I am a 72 year old amateur photographer finding ,myself inspired by Joe's story and dogmatic approach to capturing the concepts he initially envisioned. His description of bearing up under 'G' forces provides a whole new meaning to 'bucket' lists. Thank you.

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