Spéos Alumni Testimonials2020-12-09T12:09:51+02:00

Anna Shumanskaia

Russia
www.annashumanskaia.com

I had always wanted to become a professional photographer and it was probably a hand of fortune that led me to the stand of Spéos at the Salon des Étudiants in Paris (we went there to look for the school for my daughter). The girl representing Spéos was Russian and I didn’t speak any French at that time! It was a pure intuition choice, which I’m really happy about!

I enrolled in The Entrepreneurial Photographer in 2 years program, in French, having studied the language for 9 months only. It was a real challenge for me! I found myself in a new world with the discovery of technical terms which I didn’t know even in Russian! But thanks to the friendly teachers and groupmates I started feeling at ease. My favourite part of studying was shooting in the studio, which permitted me to express my imagination without limits! Photojournalism part was very interesting and inspiring too! Photoshop, Visual Identity, Visits of Exhibitions, Printing Techniques…
Everything was new and magical for me! So it was a wonderful period which began a new chapter of my life.

Since that time I have been participating in different exhibitions and International Art Events. I have also been working as a freelance photographer for the press and individuals and have had two personal projects published in photo books.

My Spéos life was fantastic and I recommend it to those who want to turn their photography passion into a profession.

Liza Moura

Brazil
http://www.lizamoura.com

After a course in Art History, I wanted to immerse myself in Photography. At Spéos, I was precisely oriented towards finding my own photographic and visual identity. I followed the Professional Photography in 2 years program. I had the opportunity to have highly qualified professionals as teachers, real masters in photography who transmitted me a knowledge that I had never imagined existed before entering school!

The photojournalism team is excellent, it transmits not only the technique but also the passion. This school opened me to a different world. It’s a unique experience.

Through Spéos, I had the opportunity to know the Paris Match Student Grand Prix where I submitted my final study project (a series entitled “Jaurès, the corner of hope”) and I won the Public Prize with the most voted report!
With this work, I was also chosen to exhibit in Arles with the BYOPaper project. It was a good start.

At Spéos, the exchange of experiences is constant, not only with the teachers, but also with the other students. I met people from all over the world and I made friends that I will keep forever.

I highly recommend the Spéos School to anyone looking for a high level of training and a memorable experience. Many thanks to the Spéos team and in particular to Phillippe Bachelier, Ana Cruz and Leonardo Antoniadis.

Robert Hyde

United States
www.roberthyde.xyz

The Spéos/Magnum Creative Documentary program was exactly what I needed; a fast-track to a professional photography practice.

The administrative team at Spéos is highly competent and the teachers and guest lecturers know their fields intimately. The workshops at Magnum were instructive, inspiring and formative and the staff was warmly welcoming.

Invitations to exclusive Magnum events and the opportunity to collaborate with students in Germany and Denmark were unexpected pleasures.

Penelope Thomaidi

Greece
www.penelopethomaidi.com

Studying at the Creative Documentary and Photojournalism 1-year course with Spéos and Magnum Photos has been an intensive and very productive experience that widened my understanding of both the photographic practice and the photographic industry.

Learning on the side of Magnum photographers and recognized professionals of the industry was a great privilege. We were encouraged to be critical towards our production and challenged to overcome difficulties in order to get the most out of our photography. The development of our graduation long-term project was quite a life-changing experience.

While every class with Magnum gave food for thought related to the way we take pictures, Spéos teachers taught us how to organize our production and be prepared to meet the standards of the professional world. At the end of the course, a series of lectures and portfolio reviews was a unique chance to meet in person important players of the French photographic world.

The human approach and the kindness of most of the people we interacted with, was itself a source of inspiration which makes me to consider myself lucky to have studied with Spéos and Magnum Photos.

Shortly after the course, I became member of a photographer’s collective and I feel that the experiences and the relationships that started in Paris are the best beginning for my professional activity.

Adam DelGiudice

United States
www.delgiudicephoto.com

My experience studying at Magnum & Spéos International Photography School has been a dream come true and a life experience I will always remember. Under the guidance and critical eye of some of the titans of documentary photography I’ve grown as both a photographer and a person. There is no substitute for experience and this experience has been life changing, to be able to do workshops with the photographers I look up to and to have my work critiqued by them has honed my talents allowed me to solidify my vision. I will have graduated this program changed for the better and am extremely grateful to everyone at Magnum both the photographers and the gracious and hospitable staff at the agency for giving me this incredible opportunity to nurture and develop my passion for photojournalism.

Lance Laurence

United States
lancelaurence.com

Through my time in the Magnum Photos & Spéos International Photography School Creative and Documentary storytelling Master Class, I learned how to better organize a photographic essay and how I could make a series stylistically coherent. Before I came for the program I just made “pretty pictures.” They often times looked as if they were created by different photographers and they didn’t offer much deeper insights. Now I have a much better understanding of how to create a story that is structured well and conveys a narrative that resonates with viewers.

Antonia Sehlstedt

Sweden
antoniasehlstedt.format.com

It has been a beautiful experience in many ways, to grow and be challenged throughout this year with the guidance of teachers, storytellers, photographers and staff of Spéos International Photography School and Magnum Photos, all representing and passing on a deep love and respect for photography. I hope all aspiring artists, all aspiring everything will have the opportunity to do a workshop with someone their work speaks to. I think it is very important to find a mentor, a guru. I discovered many great photographers during the year but above all great people, passionate about what they are doing and about bringing good work and journalism to the world and that’s really what it all comes down to. Special thank you, Susan Meiselas and Stanley Greene.

Taushik Mandal

India
https://www.instagram.com/taushikmandal/

During the time when I was finalizing a career change from Engineering to Photography, my research got me to Spéos Paris. What appealed to me most was the school’s high ranking and a very informative website with Alumni listing.

This Alumni Directory is crucial as it allows prospective students to look up past scholar’s portfolios and gauge the progress made after a stint at Spéos. There is no doubt that Spéos Alumni have stunning portfolios and a similar aspiration shaped my decision to sign up for the Professional photography in 1 year program back in 2016.

I particularly enjoyed study topics in Printing techniques, Photojournalism, Visual Identity, Image Management/Publication and Styling for commercial photography assignments.

Living in Paris in itself is a great education in art and history. The city is a massive art gallery and the numerous museum visits and gallery openings that I attended further shaped my education. Not to forget my fellow artists who were making the same journey as me, living, collaborating and enjoying with them the slices of life taught me so much more too.

I highly recommend this whole experience to anyone who is willing to shift out of their comfort zone and make or add photography to their personal and professional art practice. Furthermore, I also recommend being open to new experiences, I could write a book on mine but yours could be the next volume in the series!

William Waterworth

Great Britain
www.williamwaterworth.com

I didn’t want to partake in a 3-year course as it seemed like a waste of time. So the Professional Photography in 1 year program at Spéos was just right for me. I was looking for a short and efficient program. I entered the school knowing nothing, and came out knowing enough to tackle the bigger picture.

The intense schedule suited me and got me out of bed in the morning and working. Within a couple of months, I’d transferred to solely black and white and was picking up a vague style through the help of my Visual Identity teacher. That certain class pushed me to take more pictures and I slowly got addicted.

Technically I knew nothing, didn’t know what ISO meant or how the camera functioned to gain a correct exposure, or how to edit a photo. So the technical classes helped me a lot.

Being away from home at Spéos put me out my comfort zone and shook me up in a good way. Being disorientated in a city you’re unfamiliar with tests you photographically.

The course fundamentally helped me find my agent in Paris and put me forward to Prix Picto de la Mode where I came third. Coming 3rd enabled free printing and resulted in my first photographic exhibition in London last year!

Meritxell Cortés

Spain
www.meritxellcortesphotography.com

After working in research for 10 years, I realized it was not making me happy anymore. That is why I decided to quit and study photography in Spéos. I had been studying photography for myself for years but I wanted to do a technical formation in order to well establish the basis and take my photography to the next level.

I chose Spéos because they have a very complete year program, and for me the possibility of getting the skills I need to work in photography in an intense year formation was a plus. During the Professional photography in 1 year program I improved my technical skills, experimenting with lighting and different ways of taking pictures in order to start developing my own style.

During the Expert Modules I learn about photography as a business which is as important as having the technical skills. We learned about how to show our work and how to get clients but also about copyright laws, the different status a photographer can have, we got to know a lot of professional photographers who came to the school to talk about their different experiences.

The school is a multicultural place where you get to know people from all over the world. Working with people from different cultures and different styles is very enriching. Besides living in Paris as a student is a one-time life experience!

My background in science helps my work in the field of scientific photojournalism. I also work for private clients, some of which have found me through the school. In my personal work I have two different directions. I like to experiment with old process techniques which keeps me involved with chemistry. I also like to take pictures of staged situations to express certain feelings or ideas.
Actually one of this projects that I did in the school in collaboration with another colleague was recently selected to be exposed in Byopaper in the rencontres d’Arles and I also had an article published in Fisheye Magazine.

I recommend Spéos to anyone who wants to start a career in photography and who is willing to work hard. The intensive program demands a lot of work but you also learn and improve your skills very fast.

Elina Kostabi

Estonia
www.elinakostabi.com

I had been photographing for many years, and looked for a way to develop my skills further. As my passion has always been documentary and photojournalism, I chose the Creative Documentary and Photojournalism, Magnum Photos-Spéos program. I am so glad that I did!

I learned so much during the one year at Spéos, and the ongoing feedback that I received for my work from experienced and talented Magnum photographers was simply invaluable.

The program gave me solid foundation for going into photography as a business, and even more importantly created the friendships and network of contacts that I have been relying on, and will continue to rely on, long after completing my studies.

Whether for developing yourself as an artist, or for starting to pursue a professional career in photography, I can wholeheartedly recommend Spéos as a first choice.

Eileen Cho

Korea, USA
www.eileenwcho.com

I chose Spéos because of the Magnum Photos & Spéos Program, international prestige and recognition, and because I wanted a new adventure in Paris!
I was working with sea turtles before in ocean conservation and I wanted to experience something new. I grew up looking up to Magnum photographers such as Inge Morath. When I saw this program, I took a leap of faith. It was truly one of the best decisions I have ever made!

I was part of the inaugural Magnum Program class so it was super cool to be a part of something new and exciting. Having access to the Magnum library and archives while learning from the Magnum greats was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I benefited a lot personally.

My current career as a photographer wouldn’t be possible without Spéos. I am a photographer today because of the education I received from the school.I loved Paris so much that I haven’t left since I started at Spéos! I just love that there is always something going on and that there is so much to experience.

I would recommend Spéos to those who are willing to put in the work. Photography is not an easy profession. You need to be willing to work hard!