Program presentation

This top-up program is intended for recent photography graduates or already established photographers, who wish to broaden their skills in areas related to photography, which are often requested by clients. The program is available in French and English, at the Spéos Paris campus, from September until May.

This top-up program is based on three main pillars: video, 3D/CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) and niche markets. It allows participants to develop expertise in cutting-edge fields that are increasingly sought after by clients (public or private, individuals or companies).

Courses are taught by recognized professionals who ensure that the participants acquire the necessary skills. Outside of class, they organize their own shoots, in the studios or on location, under the continual guidance of their supervisors.

Next sessions: September 2021-May 2022
Campus : Paris
Language of instruction: English, French
Tuition: 8 500 €
Diploma: Spéos School Certificate

Course description

Semesters I and II: 6 hours/week

This course is designed to bring participants to a professional level in videography. It addresses each step that needs to be mastered, from the first client brief to the delivery of finalized footage. Theory and techniques are taught alongside practical exercises to learn shooting videos with dedicated tools and executing the appropriate post-production process.

The topics covered comprise:

  • Shooting with video tools: participants acquire the required knowledge to choose the right tools, formats and settings to shoot a video professionally. Skills taught include:
    • Understanding and choosing the appropriate format and video settings.
    • Handling different types of camera (hybrid, video or indie-film making cameras).
    • Considering useful accessories: lenses, stabilization system, camera rig, sound gear, focusing system, recorder and monitoring, lighting, energy management, media storage and back-up process.
  • Pre-production / Production: participants learn how to plan and prepare an upcoming shoot
    and follow the production while filming to keep the project smooth. Skills taught include:

    • Developing a screenplay / shooting script / storyboard / shot-list.
    • Thinking about location scouting and authorizations.
    • Team building.
    • Calculating a budget and providing quotations. Keeping the budget.
    • Production design (if necessary).
    • Location management.
    • Choosing appropriate gear.
    • Casting (if necessary) to find the right talents.
  • Post-production workflow: the post-production process is the decisive part when raw material turns into a finalized project. Skills taught include:
    • Building an editing and post-production system: which gear is involved (computer, storage requirements, display and video monitoring, audio monitoring).
    • Importing and managing your video rushes.
    • Editing your footage on pro-grade NLE (Non Linear Editing) software (Davinci Resolve, Final Cut X, Premiere).
    • Sound editing and mixing.
    • Using stock music / stock sound / stock footage from online libraries.
    • Adding titles and sub-titles.
    • Understanding and managing color spaces.
    • Color correction / color grading / LUT (Look Up Table): key steps to enhance and give a personal visual style.
    • Exporting footage to the required formats (web, social networks, broadcasting).
  • Adding Special Effects / Motion Design: training based on software such as After Effects, Fusion, Houdini, Nuke.

Semesters I and II: 6 hours/week

This course is aimed at those who wish to develop skills within the domain of 3D/Computer-Generated Imagery, both in their photographic work and the creation of digital images. Future image makers will thus be able to acquire a solid basis in different categories: modeling, creation and editing of materials, lighting, rendering, compositing and integration.

The classes of the first semester deal with all the topics pertinent to the design of Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI). The first weeks allow participants to acquire basic techniques to create visuals through the use of 3D. Combining theory and practical exercises, they acquire the following skills:

– to learn and practice the creation of digital assets, mainly hard surface models,
– to understand and know how to use digital lighting as well as to define the correct rendering settings (Arnold render),
– to understand the techniques inherent to the creation of digital images and to anticipate postproduction,
– to understand the operation of different tools.

The elements covered allow them to make relevant technical choices according to the desired result.
Whatever the situation they face – preparation before a shoot, finding an angle, creating a decor, adding material or elements – this course will allow them to face the various possible and useful applications of 3D.

During the second semester, the participants improve their practice and broaden their theoretical knowledge, approaching new themes related to 3D, such as procedural shading, fluid simulation, digital sculpture as well as visual programming. They understand the requirements specific to the various activities of the digital artist. The classes complement and enrich the knowledge acquired during the first semester.

Teaching focuses on:

– the mastery of digital light through an understanding of natural and artificial light,
– the creation of materials in a procedural way,
– digital sculpture, in order to treat 3D models in a more organic way,
– visual programming to facilitate certain aspects of digital creation,
– the simulation of fluids to replicate natural elements (fire, water).

Semesters I and II: 6 hours/week, or an average of 12 hours for each of the following modules during the year

  • Black & white laboratory: thanks to the Stop-System method invented by Spéos, participants learn all essential techniques used in the black & white lab very fast and at a high level. From film development to printing, quick access to the right density, contrast adjustment as well as blending and masking.
  • Large format cameras: whether film or digital, an analysis and practice of front and back tilts will allow participants to learn how to optimize the incredible possibilities of large format cameras. They are far superior to small and medium format cameras, and very popular in still life, studio, architecture as well as portraiture.
  • Drone: acquiring essential knowledge how to operate a drone with test flights by experimenting with different piloting modes, understanding the very strict laws regulating these devices, identifying potential partners for aerial photography..
  • Time-lapse photography: exploring different approaches to time-lapse photography by means of different photo or video tools. These techniques can be used to make sequenced images spread out over long periods of time which – once presented in accelerated form – allow us to see all kinds of subjects evolve in a short period of time. A real market can be found in the construction industry, especially for buildings.
  • Capture One : discovery of the photo retouching software developed by Phase One, which is in high demand in photo studios. Next to image editing, Capture One is used for image cataloguing, raw image file processing as well as tethered photography.
  • Architectural and interior photography: how to photograph and reconstruct facades that – in theory – cannot be photographed due to the lack of distance. Using the panorama, HDR (High Dynamic Range) techniques for dark interiors with windows too bright via Lightroom Aurora and others.
  • Culinary photography: participants learn how to select products or replace some of them with artificial textures. They get to know how to improve the look of “sad” items and how to organize themselves, so that the products look always fresh for the moment when the photo is finally taken.
  • Wedding photography: this class teaches the essentials of wedding photography, from meeting the bride and groom to delivering the photos, including location scouting for the bridal preparations as well as the civil and religious ceremonies, followed by the festivities.
  • Long exposure photography: this class allows to learn how to photograph with long exposure times in order to fix immobile elements while modifying the rendering of moving elements, by day or by night.
  • Social networks: the evolutions of the main networks (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) are fast and require to closely follow their continual updates. These tools have become indispensable and competition has intensified. This class teaches how to design a digital communication strategy, how to analyze the performance of actions in order to improve them, how to create an audience and how to set up profitable advertising campaigns.
  • Finished goods: establishing contact with companies that produce finished goods using images (books, prints, 3D prints, etc.) to learn how to create additional products that are in high demand by customers.

During the week, participants can book time in the school’s studios for their professional projects from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Enrollment and Contact

Registrations are open all year round and subject to availability.
Feel free to contact Spéos if you have any questions about this program.
At any time you are most welcome to come and visit the school, just make an appointment!