Join Stella Johnson on a journey of image-making, storytelling and discovery

May 24, 2020 - May 31, 2020

Levels: Intermediate, Advanced,
Workshop Fee: $2195
Class Size: 12

Join Greek-American Stella Johnson on a journey of image making, story-telling and discovery on the Greek Island of Crete.  Stella has been photographing in Crete since 2007, working on her book ZOI. 

Participants learn how to approach the incredibly welcoming Greeks for a storytelling project or learn how to make a set of disparate images work together to form a narrative that chronicles the students’ week- think culture, light, color or whatever strikes you!

Stella teaches how to develop a personal style of shooting, see and use all sources of light, abstract the details, and make strong compositions. She assists students in determining and defining their interests and ideas while learning how to shoot compelling images that tell a story.

Participants are out each day photographing an area, a segment of the culture or a person, depending on individual interests. Stella meets privately and in class for daily critique as she reviews images, shares her professional experiences working on stories in remote destinations, and explores what it takes to develop the strong relationships necessary to work on long-term projects.

The class works with Greek teaching assistants who photograph with the group and act as translators and guides adding an essential local flavor to the experience with insiders’ perspective of the culture.

The class is open to all students who love photography, love learning about new cultures, and want to hone their visual skills. An iPhone for image-making is encouraged and helpful for photographing strangers.

There will be a two-day event in the mountains; making food, slaughtering animals, milking the sheep and a religious celebration/party with musicians and dancing. We will stay one night in the mountains in Anogia on Wednesday and return Thursday to Chania where we are based and have our classes. This will be an unforgettable experience. See Itinerary below.

Please contact Stella at [email protected] for information and suggestions for accommodations. Rooms are reserved at Danaos Hotel, Nea Chora, 10 minutes outside of Chania, 20 minutes from Chania airport. Our classes will be held there. Rooms are reserved in Anogia for students Wednesday night.

Prior Student work: View on Facebook  or on Stella’s website

Arrival  Plan to arrive in Chania by Sunday, May 24.  The workshop begins that evening with a group dinner and introductions. The first day of classes is Monday, May 25.

Departures  The workshop ends Saturday, May 30 with a group dinner and presentation of all participants’ work. Departure is the following day, May 31 or you can remain on to explore more of Crete.

Technology  This workshop is conducted using digital cameras and iPhones. If you wish to shoot film, you may so do, but we suggest that you take it home for processing.



Sunday May 24, 2020
7:00pm: Welcome dinner

Monday May 25, 2020
7:00am: Breakfast
8:00-11:00am: Class photographs at outdoor market/Laiki
11:00am-4:00pm: Download/edit/lunch/class
5:00pm- 8:30pm: Photograph at Nea Chora Beach
8:30: Dinner TBA

Tuesday May 26, 2020
7:00am: Breakfast
8:00-10:00am: Class photographs at indoor market/old town, Chania
11:00am-4:00pm: Download/edit/lunch/class
5:00-8:30pm: Photograph at Nea Chora Beach
8:30: Dinner TBA

Wednesday May 27, 2020 
7:00am: Breakfast
8:00-10:00am: Drive to Anogia with rental car/s.
10:00am-7:00pm: Check in to hotel and drive up to Nido Plateau to photograph preparations for the Paniyiri (celebration) at the Mitato of Aristos Stavrakakis. This includes preparing food, slaughtering the animals, etc. Lunch will be at the mitato, the shepherd’s house in the mountains.
7:00-8:00pm: Return to the village of Anogia
8:30pm: Dinner in Anogia. TBA

Thursday May 28, 2020
7:30am: Breakfast
8:30-9:30am: Drive to Mitato
9:30am-5:30pm: Photograph the paniyiri, the celebration of the Asencion, 40 days after Easter. All villagers and friends are invited to eat, drink, dance, and celebrate.
5:30-8:00pm: Return to Chania
8:00pm: Dinner TBA

Friday May 29, 2020
8:00am: Breakfast
9:00am-12:00pm: Editing of images made during the two-day celebration in the mountains.
12:00-1:00pm: Lunch
1:00-4:00pm: One on one conversations with Stella
4:00-7:00pm: Photography at Nea Chora beach
8:30pm: Dinner 

Saturday May 30, 2020
7:00am: Breakfast
8:00-11:00am: Laiki, different location
11:00am-4:00pm: Downloading, image prep, lunch
4:00-8:00pm: Slide show preparation by Stella while students photograph at Nea Chora beach or wherever they choose.
8:30pm: Farewell dinner and slide show presentation.

Monday and Tuesday we will photograph in Chania, at the markets and beach,

Go to Anogia overnight Wednesday May 27 with rental car and return to Anogia Thursday May 28

Friday in Chania photographing and Saturday we will review all of the work.

© Aris Kamarotos

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.
  • 2. Cancellations
  • 3. Basis of Rates
    • All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.
  • 4. Insurance
    • 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.

Header Image Credit: Stella Johnson 

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Instructor: Stella Johnson

Stella Johnson is a photographer and educator known for her passionate and honest documentary projects. She received a Core Fulbright Scholar Grant to photograph in Mexico in 2003, and Fulbright Senior Specialist grants to teach in Mexico in 2006 and in Colombia in 2018. The University of Maine Press published her monograph, Al Sol: Photographs from Mexico, Cameroon and Nicaragua in 2008. Johnson’s photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and internationally. A dedicated educator, Johnson holds teaching positions at Boston University and Lesley University College of Art and Design. She also teaches workshops in Greece, Cuba, and Mexico. She was a 2013 finalist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50, and a nominee for the Boston Foundation’s Brother Thomas Fellowship. Johnson’s work has received numerous honors including a New England Foundation for the Arts Cultural Collaborative Artist-in-Residence Grant and Julia Margaret Cameron Award.