Guided by renowned Parisian photographer, Peter Turnley, start the new year off with a fantastic one-week photography workshop in the world’s most beautiful and visually exciting city.

Dec 28, 2024 - Jan 2, 2025

Levels: Intermediate, Advanced,
Workshop Fee: $2500
Class Size: 12

Instructor and renowned photographer Peter Turnley talks about his career and the “themes of life” that he photographs.


The Paris New Year’s Workshop will offer participants an amazing opportunity to start the new year off with a fantastic one-week photography workshop in the world’s most beautiful and visually exciting city. With this special workshop, the group will bring in the New Year together at one of Paris’ top restaurants. No one knows how to bring in the New Year like Parisians, and participating in a Paris New Years’ Workshop will be an experience of a lifetime.

Photo of Paris by Peter Turnley
©Peter Turnley

This one-week workshop is designed for students interested in exploring the rich humanistic traditions of street photography at a very special time of year. Instructor Peter Turnley, who has lived in and photographed Paris for the past 25 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 in the world’s most beautiful city. For more information on French Kiss, see the New York Times article Open Eyes and Heart in Paris.

Children playing in the streets of Paris - Photo by Peter Turnley
©Peter Turnley

Students will spend much time exploring and photographing the rich daily life of Paris. They will be exposed to the work of many of the greatest photographers of all time who, at one time or another, have documented the Paris scene: Kertesz, Doisneau, Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Atget, Izis, Ronis, Boubat, Ronis and Turnley, among others. Students will visit many of the rich museum spaces for photography in Paris, will meet several prominent members of the Paris photographic community, and get to meet one of the greatest black-and-white printers of all time. Students will be encouraged to work on their own personal portraits of the daily life of the city.

French man in an outdoor bathtub reading a book - Photo by Peter Turnley
©Peter Turnley

“The Streets of Paris” deals with the humanistic traditions of street photography. 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. Students will create a photo story with 15 photographs on a theme of their choice about Paris or the life of the city. Peter will work with students on the choice of their theme, which can be very broad, such as “My Impressions of Paris”, or very narrow, such as “The Life of the Seine River”. It is not important that students know in advance what their theme will be, but they will be expected to accept the challenge of choosing a theme early in the workshop and sticking to it in order to create an interesting and coherent photo essay. At the outset, students will choose whether they will shoot their story in black and white or in color. They will be expected to stick with their choices once they have been made.

Children playing in trunk of an old car in Paris
©Peter Turnley

Peter will discuss technique, intent, composition, and the creative use of the camera and lens. He will review and critique your portfolio and works-in-process, discuss careers, getting published, and give you an idea of where you are and what to do next to become better. This workshop is for experienced photographers and photography students who want to explore Paris while working with and learning from one of today’s masters of photojournalism. 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. There are lectures and presentations by Peter and several of the most prominent members of the international photographic community.

Camera Gear and Technology

Couples dancing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
©Peter Turnley

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. 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 laptops. 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 Adobe Lightroom may be used. PhotoMechanic can be downloaded for a free trial basis here.

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 or the other throughout the workshop.

Final Group Show and Portfolios of Past Work

Guitarist playing for a crowd in Paris
©Peter Turnley

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.


A man and a woman dancing in the street in Paris
©Peter Turnley

Peter has found three very nice hotels, each has different rates and all are within walking distance of his apartment where classes meet. Below are the names, rates, websites, and phone numbers. We ask that each of 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.

There are many other great, reasonable hotels that you can research online in Le Marais near Peter’s apartment where the class meets daily. Peter’s apartment is in the very heart of the Marais on the rue des Guillemites, Paris 75004, which is where the class will meet.

Hotel Turenne le Marais

[email protected]
6 Rue de Turenne 75004
Tel: (+33) (0)1 42 78 43 25
Fax: (+33) (0)1 42 74 10 72

Hotel Abbatial Saint-Germain

[email protected]
46 Blvd. St. Germain
Tel: (+33) (0)1 46 34 02 12
Fax: (+33) (0)1 43 25 47 73 

Hotel Saint Roch

[email protected]
Two steps from the Louvre
25 rue St Roch 75001
Tel: (+33) (0)1 42 60 17 91
Tel: (+33) (0)1 42 96 06 36
Fax: (+33) (0)1 42 61 34 06 

Hotel Caron du Beaumarchais

[email protected]
12 Rue Vielle du Temple, Paris, 75004
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 72 34 12


Plan to arrive on Wednesday or at the latest by noon on Thursday. The first workshop session will begin at 2pm on Thursday. Flights from the States are often in the evenings which means that you could fly Tuesday evening and arrive in Paris on Wednesday and give yourself an evening to get acclimated before the workshop begins on Thursday.


The workshop ends on Tuesday with a final show of the students’ final 15-image photo stories made during the week. Those wishing to stay in Paris or France longer are free to continue their trip after the final class.

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 on the internet.


Two meals are included in the cost of the workshop. You will be a guest of the workshop for a group opening dinner on Friday night and for the New Year’s dinner on Sunday night. Aside from the two group meals, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are independent; students are encouraged to join each other in local restaurants and cafes. Expect to be paying around $50 a day on meals.


The tuition for this workshop is $2,500.  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 $2100 will be due within 30 days of the workshop.

  • 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.

All Images ©Peter Turnley

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Instructor: Peter Turnley

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.