The Monograph Masterclass – Mark de Paola

July 17th -August 27th, 2021

Mark de Paola


July 17th – August 27th 2019


© Mark de Paola


Computers, drives, texts, emails, and other digital media may fade away, but fine art monographs remain tangible testaments to an artists’ life and journey.

From the time a photographic series is completed, to the moment the final PDF file is submitted to the printing press, is an elusive and multi-faceted journey. Translating a body of work to a fine art monograph requires a long and intensive process with a strong set of team members.

This summer, the Leica Akademie USA presents the exclusive opportunity to work in close mentorship with NYC based fine art photographer Mark de Paola to bring your completed fine art series to a final design file, ready to go to the presses to become a finished monograph.

This online 7-week masterclass offers attendees the unique opportunity to go from idea to a ready for print monograph in an accelerated and exhilarating format working closely with Mark to explore every aspect of the bookmaking process. Each participant with go from an initial concept through the curation, sequencing, layout, and final design processes to create your own fine art book.


  • Why make a photography monograph
  • The creative and technical phases of the bookmaking process
  • Editing, sequencing, pairings
  • The relationship between text and images.
  • Printing materials and options from digital to offset
  • Understanding the roles involved in bookmaking and the advantage of working with a team.
  • The keys mistakes to avoid when making a book
  • Developing a project with a cohesive voice

What is Included

  • Opening and closing group sessions
  • Five consecutive one on one sessions with Mark de Paola
  • Personalized direction and assignments each week
  • On call production support from dePaola’s producer between sessions
  • Mailed welcome packet to jump start your book making process
  • Book design catered to your individual artistic vision and project
  • Sample test prints for book size and paper selection
  • Press ready  InDesign files of final book

What you should know

The objective of this Masterclass is for each participant to complete the final design of a fine art photobook over the course of seven weeks. Attendees should be prepared to dedicate time outside of the group sessions to complete assignments and move the project forward.

A basic understanding of InDesign software and ability to adjust, edit and position images in a document will be required. In addition to meeting with Mark de Paola, groups sessions will include guest speakers and experts in the field of book publishing.


Strictly limited to only six participants. This program is by application only. Interested participants are asked to submit 30-70 images of a cohesive fine art series with a brief description of the series to be considered. Submissions should be sent to email Images must be submitted via URL link, Dropbox, or WeTransfer in a low res format.


Week One – Group introduction and intensive monograph lecture with Mark de Paola.

Week Two – Market research and initial image selection edits.

Week Three – Approaches to sequencing, cover design and text.

Week Four – Finalize cover design and edit sequencing

Week Five – Finalize book specs and book layout

Week Six – InDesign file final preparations for concluding presentation & students receive project scope estimates.

Week Seven – Group presentation and critique with Mark de Paola & special guests

All Images ©MarkdePaola


Mark de Paola is a director and fine art photographer based in New York City.

Working with both still and motion pictures in fashion and beauty, De Paola has shot countless campaigns including Gucci, Brioni, and MAC Cosmetics as well as editorials and covers for various publications including Vogue Spain, Vogue Mexico, and Interview Magazine.

His storytelling has also been translated across a broad range of television work, having directed nearly seven hundred spots including Anheuser-Busch for the Superbowl, Giorgio Perfume (exhibited in MoMA New York and Bergdorf Goodman windows), Donna Karan, Neutrogena, Sephora, Sony, Toyota, Kawasaki, and Ford Motorsports.

De Paola continues to work with select clients around the world. His most recent commercial works are the Art of Backstage worldwide collaboration with Aveda during New York Fashion Week.

His lectures and workshops including “Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition” at the Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco, “Leica M Panel” with Ralph Gibson and Leica Camera at Photoville New York City, and “Photography Wide Open” at the Leica Store San Francisco, the Leica Gallery Los Angeles, the Leica Gallery Tokyo, and Photoville NYC.

Most recently, his fine art photographic series, “60 Seconds,” was exhibited at the Leica Gallery San Francisco, the Leica Gallery Los Angeles, the Leica Gallery Boston, and the Leica Gallery Tokyo, and is now touring to select cities including Chicago, Washington DC, Miami, and New York City.

“60 Seconds” delves into a realm of abstract figures, fluidity, and poetic forms, challenging and seducing the limits of motion contained within still image. With each photograph taken handheld with a 60 second exposure, de Paola has discovered the connection between his physiological make up, the Leica M camera as a tool, and time, the unflinching competitor to the timeless image.

Producing and directing multiple upcoming feature films, including Proof Film, as well as producing his own fine art portfolios, de Paola melds the crossroads between both fine art and commercial aesthetic.

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