© Alison Trescarte – Spéos 2018

Program presentation

The Entrepreneurial Photographer program is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in photography, with a particular emphasis on the business management of the profession. This is an intensive 1-year program from September to July of the following year. It delivers the Title of Photographer RNCP level 7.

This program is registered in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP) by decree of February 25th, 2016 — published in the Journal Officiel of March 17th, 2016.

The Title of Photographer RNCP level 7 awarded by Spéos represents the highest level of professional training qualification for photographers, equivalent to a Bac+5.

The Entrepreneurial Photographer in 1 year program (RNCP level 7) allows students to master the photographic technique in all its artistic and technical dimensions. They are able to produce their own portfolio for professional use.

This program comprises 3 phases:
– The Professional Photography in 1-year Program, from September to May.
– The Expert Modules, in June and July.
– The planning and elaboration of the Professional Project, from June to September.

Top-level professionals hold the courses and monitor the students’ individual acquisition of skills. Outside of class, students independently organize their shooting sessions and post-production, with the continual guidance of their supervisors. Particular attention is paid to the synchronization of subject matters taught in the different courses.

This program is also accessible via a VAE procedure (“Validation des Acquis de l’Expérience” — a French procedure by means of which work experience can be translated into educational levels). For further information, please contact us.

Next session: September 2021-July 2022
Campus: Paris or London (the Expert Modules are taught in Paris only)
Language of instruction: English

– France, European Union nationals: €23,500
– International students: €23,500

Diploma: Title of Photographer RNCP level 7 – code NSF 323 t
This title is registered in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP) by decree of 25 February 2016 – published in the Journal Officiel of March 17th, 2016.
> Know more about the professional certification RNCP level 7 (PDF)

Clara: « I am very glad about my year at Spéos »

Corentin: « Teachers are really good »

Julien: « I discovered Fine Art Photography »

Shengqi: « I like Spéos very much and I enjoy life in Paris »

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Structure of the program

The first part of the program comprises the core courses, which cover all aspects of professional photography, from September to December. The first few weeks are dedicated to the acquisition of the basic techniques, allowing the students to be able to produce photos of good quality. During the following weeks, the students continually improve their skills (shooting techniques, composition and style) up to the level of young professionals within the field of photography. At the end of the semester, according to their career goals, the students choose a specialization, either in studio, or in photo reportage.

During the second semester, the students improve their practical skills and broaden their range of knowledge, from January to May. Depending on their career choice, they specialize either in studio photography, computer generated imagery, or photo reportage.

Specialization in studio
The students specializing in studio photography focus on the organization of complex studio sets. With the guidance of their supervisors, they lead fashion, portrait and still life shoots, encountering work conditions that are technically and artistically comparable to professionals.

Specialization in photo reportage
The students specializing in photo reportage focus on complex topics of today’s society. They investigate and cover them – supervised by their instructors – with in-depth photo documentaries and essays similar to those published by the media (magazines, news agencies, online media etc.).

End-of-the year exhibition
The end of the second semester is dedicated to the set-up of the students’ end-of-the-year exhibition on the school premises – an important event visited by established photographers, picture editors, news and advertising agencies. The students also have the possibility to exhibit their work online in the web galleries.

The Expert Modules (held in English only) aim at deepening the students’ previous knowledge and skills in those areas that are most demanded by the professional market. Each module takes place over several weeks, in June and July.

Courses and conferences are taught by experienced and recognized professionals who share their experience and know-how from their respective fields of expertise. These speakers emphasize the practical ownership of these skills and offer students valuable experience gain for their own personal projects.
See the list of lecturers year by year.

In July, the students participate in the design and creation of a magazine featuring their own photographic work to promote their achievements. This magazine is entirely designed by and for the students, with an editorial written by one of them.

The last step is the Professional Project, during which students reflect on their position at the beginning of their career and write their business plan. This stage runs in parallel with the Expert Modules, from June to September.

Adrien Tisserand, Spéos Alumni 2019 : « Cela permet d’avoir une idée plus concrète de ce que l’on veut faire »

Andres Bravo, Spéos Alumni 2019: « It was the best two months in my Spéos experience »

Audrey Eberhard, Spéos Alumni 2019: « A real idea of what life after school will gonna be »

Candice Rovère, Spéos Alumni 2019 : « On a vraiment élargi notre réseau »

Clara Berbessou, Spéos Alumni 2019: « It was a real added value for the program »

Shenqi Tang, Spéos Alumni 2019: « I learnt a lot from this program »

Corentin Damas, Spéos Alumni 2019: « We have lots of confidence to grow as a Photographer »

Stephanie Lee, Spéos Alumni 2019: « Very practical modules for students who are going to face the real world »

Course description

Essentials of Photography
Semester I: 1h30/week
This course is dedicated to the acquisition of techniques essential to the practice of professional photography. Combining theory and practical exercises, it allows students:
– to learn and practice the Stop-System, the global learning method of light control in photography, a method developed by Spéos,
– to understand and know how to define its settings when taking pictures,
– to understand the techniques inherent in shooting and to anticipate post-production,
– to understand the operation of different types of cameras, including the large-format camera.
The elements covered will allow students to make relevant technical choices according to the desired result. Whatever the situation, in studio or on location, indoors or outdoors, this course will enable them to deal with the possible constraints encountered when taking pictures.

Semester I: 3 hours/week
This course is dedicated to the acquisition of the techniques essential to studio shoots, as well as to the treatment of digital images. Students are initiated to:
– the Stop-System,
– different types of lighting,
– the general principles of balanced light sources,
– as well as different types of cameras, from 35mm to the large format.
An introduction to the “Style and Composition” class will initiate the students to the notions of style and composition in professional photography.

Photo Reportage
Semester I: 3 hours/week
The course is designed to give an overview of photo reportage, focusing on 3 main themes: corporate photography, social photography and photojournalism. It includes discussions on the work of past and present photoreporters and coverage of Paris and London events.

Computer Imaging
Semester I: 3 hours/week
This course aims to:
– understand what the main parameters and formats of digital images are,
– discover the Photoshop application and design a layout using this software,
– learn how to manage a stream of digital images and retouch photos using Lightroom software.

Image Management and Publication
Semester I: 3 hours/week
This course helps photographers to manage their image stock with guidance on how to caption a picture, to assign the right key-words, to fill in the IPTC data. All of these are essential for any photographer to locate their pictures and to have them published.

Printing Techniques
Semester I: 1h30/week
The course covers printing techniques with the programs Photoshop and Lightroom on Fuji Frontier or Durst Lambda printers as well as large-format ink-jet printers. Color management principles will be studied within the graphic chain of a typical digital lab (screen, printer, viewing booth). Students will gain the necessary knowledge to obtain high quality prints, true to their digital shots, whether by themselves or through a professional lab.

Visual Identity
Semester I: 3 hours/week
This course aims at encouraging students to develop their own ideas and concepts and turn them into “photographic realities”. It provides them with the critical tools to discuss and analyze their own photos as well as those of their fellow students, so as to give constructive criticism using the basic rules of composition and their own sense of aesthetics.
The course aims to:
– understand how an image is constructed, how to compose it, how to present it in a more efficient way,
– develop a certain photographic coherence and students’ own “visual signature”.

Contemporary Photography
Semester I: 2 hours/week
These lectures are given by artists or actors of the art market. They aim to educate students about the history, evolution and current trends of photography. Exhibition visits can be organized on an ad hoc basis.

Meet the Profession
Semester I: 2 hours/week
The purpose of these meetings is to present a variety of professional careers within the photography industry, aiming at broadening the students horizons with regard to future career plans. Speakers include:
– former students of the school who present their activity,
– professionals in fields related to photography,
– representatives of major brands of photographic equipment, demonstrating new materials and presenting trends in the evolution of the profession.
These meetings bring together students from all programs and are held in English.

Style and Composition
Semester II: 6 hours/week
The weekly sessions become simulations of professional studio shootings in the form of 6-hour workdays. Different topics with specific technical constraints will be dealt with, so as to:
– perfect the knowledge acquired in the first semester,
– adopt a work methodology covering the different market sectors.
Emphasis is put on the notion of teamwork, in close collaboration with a professional stylist who provides the students with the topics and a network of young designers, and thus opens up the studio activities to the outside world.

Computer Imaging
Semester II: 3 hours/week
This advanced level course in Photoshop will conduct students to acquire digital imaging techniques on a professional level, in-depth retouching of images and design of photomontages. The students thus will be capable of providing high quality post-production after their shooting sessions in the studio.

Image Management and Publication
Semester II: 3 hours/week
In the second part of the program, the course covers the following topics:
– add value to a photo stock with a good knowledge of captioning and keyword management,
– find sources of information for photographers,
– know the photo market,
– develop an Internet strategy: create a website using a CMS (Content Management System), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), know how to use blogs and social networks for photographers.

Printing Techniques
Semester II: 1h30/week
Continuation of semester I towards a more advanced level.

Visual Identity
Semester II: 3 hours/week
Continuation of semester I towards a more advanced level.

Video for Photographers: the Essentials
Semester II: 3 hours/week
This course aims to:
– provide students with the basics of audiovisual production in the field of promotional or experimental short films,
– teach them how to enhance their photographic work with the animated image,
– train them in software specific to this type of creation.
The assignments will focus on diverse topics so that students can experience their own approach to video making, regardless of the shooting mode used: documentary film, fiction film, family and animated film, experimental film, advertising and institutional.

Contemporary Photography
Semester II: 2 hours/week
Continuation of semester I towards a more advanced level.

Meet the Profession
Semester II: 2 hours/week
Continuation of semester I towards a more advanced level.

Black & White Printing
Optional – on demand and at the end of the school year only
Possibility of organizing introductions to analog photography with film development and black & white printing in the Spéos laboratory. The school has one of the largest labs in Paris still in activity. Students will be introduced to the Stop System, a method developed by Spéos that allows to quickly take control of prints and masks. These sessions will take place at the end of the school year only, once students have acquired all the essential knowledge and techniques within professional photography.

Photo Reportage
Semester II: 3 hours/week
This course aims to make students work on long-term thematic projects. The work continues with the coverage of events taking place in Paris or London during spring. After short photo-essays, the participants work on a personal theme for a long-term project. In a domain that is changing fast these days, students in photo reportage also need to continually keep up with the latest technologies.

Lighting for Photo Reportage
Semester II: 3 hours every other week
This course is designed to help students acquire complex lighting techniques – control of natural or artificial light in outdoor situations, both with natural/ambient and artificial light.
This course includes a studio supplement to allow photoreporters to respond to various professional lighting situations: portraits in situ, still life on site, corporate, documentary photo, etc. Students will be introduced to use of compact flashes, diffusion filters and reflectors.

Semester II: 3 hours/week
This course is an introduction to writing techniques and photo editing. It is given by a journalist / editor, helping students to edit their photo stories and back-up their reportages with a well-structured narrative. Key concepts:
– Understand the different steps of a photo reportage from the idea of a topic to the final publication in a magazine.
– Learn how to tell a story with images: they show, inform or provide evidence.
– Write a synopsis or narrative to accompany the photo story.

Computer Imaging
Semester II: 1h30/week
This advanced level course in Photoshop will conduct students to acquire digital imaging techniques on a professional level, in-depth retouching of images and design of photomontages, respecting the ethics of photojournalism.

Image Management and Publication