Experience the “moveable feast” of Paris during springtime, with the glorious light and weather of this season, and participate in a street photography workshop led by Peter Turnley, one of the most acclaimed street photographers of Paris life of his generation. Peter Turnley’s Paris Workshops offer a unique opportunity to take a week in one’s life to see and photograph the life of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It is a fantastic opportunity to grow as a visual storyteller and to offer oneself the gift of a wonderful week in Paris.
This one-week digital workshop is for students of all photographic experience levels interested in exploring the rich humanistic traditions of street photography in Paris and an opportunity to create a strong portfolio of Paris images. Turnley, who has lived in and photographed Paris for the past 40 years, worked early in his career as the assistant to the famous French photographer Robert Doisneau. His latest book, French Kiss – A Love Letter to Paris, is a wonderful contemporary portrait of daily life. Please see also the New York Times “Lens” blog’s “Open Eyes and Heart in Paris”.
To see a portfolio of Peter Turnley’s Paris photographs, please see the video: French Kiss – A Love Letter to Paris below:
Participants will spend much time exploring and photographing the rich daily life of Paris. The workshop embraces the spirit of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Decisive Moment” approach and philosophy, and encourages participants to “keep their head up, and their eyes and heart open” to recognize the visual power of daily life in Paris.
Peter Turnley, who is a master at photographing moments of the human condition worldwide, will discuss and help participants overcome their timidity and anxiety in photographing people and spontaneous moments and stories of daily life. Much time will be spent discussing effective camera techniques for street photography, and also discussing more profound notions of sense of purpose in photographing people and life. Participants will also spend an extraordinary week thinking about seeing and witnessing life-the life of Paris. They will also be encouraged to dig deep and use their own life experience to frame moments that touch their hearts. Peter Turnley is not only one of the most prominent photographers in the world of the past several decades, but he is also a highly acclaimed workshop instructor, and participants of his workshops worldwide have found his workshops to be transformational experiences on not only a photographic level, but a human one as well. During the workshop, Peter and participants will discuss as well essential life themes of empathy, compassion, sensitivity, kindness, culture, society, history, and visual esthetics.
Peter Turnley has followed in the rich humanistic traditions of the French school of photography exemplified by photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, André Kertèsz, Robert Doisneau, Edouard Boubat, and Willy Ronis, all of who were his friends and mentors. During the workshop, Peter invites some of the greatest French photographers working today to come and present their photographs and life story to the group. He also invites Voya Mitrovic, who was Henri Cartier-Bresson’s printer for 35 years, to come and give an amazing demonstration of his art and lifetime of black/white printing. Participants also visit many of the rich museum spaces for photography in Paris.
Participants will be encouraged to work on their own personal portraits of the daily life of the city during the week.
Students will be expected to think not only in terms of single images in a fine art sense but will be highly encouraged to think of the notion of telling a story with a group of pictures. Students will be encouraged to photograph the life of Paris and accept the challenge of photographing people, as well as the environment and visual landscape of the city. Peter will help the students with this process and offer tips for overcoming any hesitations or timidity.
Each day, the workshop meets for in-class sessions for approximately 3 hours, with many presentations, lectures, and videos by Peter Turnley and influential members of the Paris and world photography community. Each day, starting on Tuesday morning, there will be as well group photo review sessions of the participant’s previous day’s photographs. Most afternoons and evenings, participants will explore and photograph the life of the city, on their own or in small groups. Peter and his assistant will provide a list of amazing places to visit and photograph in the city. At the end of the week, Peter will edit a 15-image final “story” which will emerge from the daily edits of each participant’s week of photographs of Paris. The stories can be very broad in scope reflecting the participant’s visual impressions of Paris, or if a participant so chooses, centered around a more narrow theme, if the participant wants to concentrate on a specific theme of Paris life. This will be discussed at the beginning of the workshop and Peter will help participants find the approach that best suits each person. Peter encourages participants to look at the final shows of previous workshops. At the outset, students will choose whether they will photograph in black and white or in color. They will be expected to stick with their choice once it is made. If so desired, participants can photograph in color and convert their work to black and white at the end of the week. In all of Peter Turnley’s Paris workshops, the final day “show” is full of amazing visual representations of the life and emotions of this unique city.
In Peter’s workshops, a very positive community spirit is encouraged, putting any competitive spirit aside, and offering participants the chance for a gift of a week in Paris. Peter has been leading this Paris workshop for more than 20 years and has seen this experience be transformational in a life and photographic sense for many participants.
Peter will discuss technique, intent, composition, and the creative use of the camera and lens. This workshop is for photographers of all levels of experience who want to explore Paris while working with and learning from one of today’s masters of photojournalism and street photography. This is an opportunity to be inspired by the street and nightlife of Paris and to produce a new body of images. Students will explore the rich tradition of the “decisive moment” and be encouraged to contemplate the themes of humor, sensuality, light, elegance, art, and joie de vivre of the Paris landscape. This seven-day workshop should be one of the richest experiences of a lifetime for all participants.
Each day the workshop group meets for three hours inside-sessions in a very charming rooftop apartment with an elevator and balcony with a view of Paris (Peter’s apartment.) This workshop meeting place is located on the rue des Guillemites, Paris 75004, in the very heart of Le Marais, one of Paris’ most charming centrally located neighborhoods.
Participants will need to find their own lodging for the week. Many participants find wonderful nearby flats to rent through Airbnb.
Peter has also found four very nice hotels, each with different rates and all within walking distance of his apartment. Below are the names, websites, and phone numbers. We ask that you call and reserve a room at the hotel of your choice. You can also see each of these hotels on their respective websites and book online through a variety of sites (this is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other Paris hotels nearby you can find).
Plan to arrive on Saturday or at the latest by noon on Sunday. The first workshop session will begin at 2pm on Sunday. Flights from the States are often in the evenings which means that you could fly Friday evening and arrive in Paris on Saturday and give yourself an evening to get acclimated before the workshop begins on Sunday.
The workshop ends at noon on Saturday with a final show of the students’ final 15-image photo stories made during the week. Students are free to leave on Saturday afternoon which would enable those needing to get back to the States to work on Monday the time to do so. Those wishing to stay in Paris or France longer are free to continue their trip after the final class.
Camera Gear and Technology
Participants will need to bring a digital SLR or rangefinder camera, a laptop computer, and a thumb drive. Two camera bodies are recommended, with a minimum of at least one wide-angle lens such as a 17-35mm zoom, 24mm, 28mm, or 35mm, Peter’s preferred lens. Students may bring longer lenses as well, but Peter will strongly encourage participants to use a wide-angle lens in order to get close to the subject, which allows a sense of context, environment, and intimacy. A wide-angle lens that is relatively fast and has a wide aperture (1.4, 1.8, 2, or 2.8) is encouraged in order to photograph in low light situations. It is recommended that participants bring extra memory cards, extra camera batteries, and all necessary battery chargers for their equipment.
Students will need to know how to transfer the photographs they make each day onto their laptop computer. Each day, participants will bring a selection of their favorite photographs, or those they’d like to discuss, in a folder on a thumb drive, to the daily photo review and critique sessions. Students are encouraged to use image management software for this selection process. Peter recommends PhotoMechanic, however other programs such as Lightroom may be used. PhotoMechanic can be downloaded for a free trial basis from camerabits.com.
Students will be encouraged to choose from the outset if they want to show their work in color or in black and white, and they will be encouraged to stick to their choice of one of the others throughout the workshop.
Research and Preparation
Research and preparation are important parts of any adventure. There are many very thorough guidebooks about Paris and extensive information about Paris and France can be found online.
Two group dinners are included in the cost of the workshop. You will be a guest of the workshop for a group opening dinner, and a final dinner on the last evening. Aside from the two group meals; breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are independent but students are encouraged to join each other in local restaurants and cafes.
Final Group Show and Portfolios of Past Work
At each photo critique and review session, Peter will work with each photographer to make a “selects” folder of their most successful images. At the end of the week, Peter will select with each photographer from this overall “selects” folder, a final individual photo story of 15 images, which will be seen as part of a group final show during the last workshop session.
Each participant should also bring a portfolio of a selection of their past work. Approximately 30 photographs are recommended, and they may be brought in a folder on a thumb drive, or as a selection of prints. Students’ portfolios of past work will also be shared during the final session of the workshop.
This is an ideal workshop to bring along a spouse, son, daughter, or partner. Non-photographic companions may join group meals and are welcome to attend our final show. They may of course accompany their *photographer* partner during their individual / non-group photographic time. They will not be able to attend daily class sessions.
The tuition for this workshop is $2,400. At the time of registration, a $400 deposit will be taken. At that point, all further communication, billing, etc will be handled directly by Peter Turnley. The remaining balance of $2000 will be due within 30 days of the workshop.
Terms and Conditions for Travel Workshops
1. Reservations & Payments
A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop. Final payment in full is due 45 days prior to the start date of your workshop unless stated differently in the course description. Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.
All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.
It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries, or illnesses. See our travel insurance recommendations here.
5. Itinerary Changes
The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.
6. Passports and Visas
A valid passport is required for all international travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered. Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.
7. Medical Issues
All participants must be in good health. You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration. This document may be found on the course description page.
8. Liability Waiver
Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop. Click here to download.
9. Responsibility & Photography
To ensure a safe experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations. The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive, or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment. No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop.
Peter Turnley is renowned for his photography of the realities of the human condition. His photographs have been featured on the cover of Newsweek forty-three times and are published frequently in many of the world’s most prestigious publications. He has worked in over ninety countries and has witnessed most major stories of international geopolitical and historic significance in the last forty years. He has produced portraits and covered many of the modern world’s most influential people: Obama, Castro, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin, Mandela, Arafat, Schroeder, Ceausescu, Gaddafi, Chirac, Clinton, Reagan, Bush Sr., Lady Diana, and Pope Jean Paul II among others. His photographs have been exhibited worldwide, and recently in October 2019 he had a major exhibit in Havana, Cuba at La Fototeca de Cuba, “Paris-Cuba”. Turnley lives in both New York and Paris and has published seven books: Beijing Spring, Moments of Revolution, In Times of War and Peace, Parisians, McClellan Street, French Kiss: A Love Letter to Paris, and Cuba: A Grace of Spirit.
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