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

Alexandra Uhart

Year 2009-2010
Chile
www.alexandrauhartphotography.com

The unique experience of studying professional photography in Paris is something that I highly recommend to anyone wanting to follow this path. It is an inspiration that will likely last a lifetime, with smartly chosen courses, exhibitions and talks that students are invited to attend, plus a great cultural exchange with photographers from all over the world.

It was a fun learning experience that gave me all necessary tools to create images on the highest technical level. After studying at Spéos in 2010 (I graduated from the program Professional photography in 1 year), I went on to work in London as the Photography Director of a culture magazine.

I currently work and exhibit freelance internationally.

Marieke Zapasnik

Switzerland – Great Britain
www.mariekezapasnik.com

At my arrival at Spéos, I was already doing photography for about 8 years. But I knew that I needed to push further and deepen my approach, especially in documentary photography. I entered the school because, at the time, except of the school in Arles, Spéos was the only one that had a photojournalism specialization. I followed the Professional photography in 1 year program, specialization photo reportage.

My time at Spéos taught me to get out of my comfort zone. The people I’ve met, teachers and students alike, made my photography evolve, taught me move forward fearlessly.

Today, thanks to this period of my life, I feel more capable to accomplish my projects, to go deeper and to meet others. I’ve also learned that I shouldn’t wait for opportunities to come to me, but to create them, and seize them at the maximum.
I am proud of the 2017 batch, the people that shared my journey and shared paths!

Louise Cardon de Lichtbuer

Belgium
instagram.com/louise.ca.dl.photo

Interested in photography since childhood, the choice to pursue this passion later in life came intuitively. And so, in 2016 I chose to deepen my knowledge at Spéos, enrolling in the Professional Photography in 2 years, specialization photo reportage.

My time at Spéos has taught me all the necessary techniques needed when it comes to professional photography. And just as important, it provided me and my classmates to connect with passionate and skilled people already working in the industry. My work improved a lot and these exchanges, as well as the classes at Spéos, encouraged and guided me to present my photography work for many different contests and grants.

To name some of my personal favorite highlights: receiving the Belgian Journalistic Foundation Grant, and having my work exhibited in Paris, London, Tel-Aviv, Antwerp thanks to the contests I have enrolled in.
The school guides you through all the essential steps needed to start or perfect your skills to become a professional photographer.

Today my photography work has evolved, and I shoot mainly portraits and yoga. With the skills I learned at Spéos, I was able to define and develop my personal style and visual identity over the years.

Elvira Viedma

Spain
instagram.com/elviraviedma

While studying Audiovisual Communication in Madrid, I became interested in photography. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a group of creative friends who were actively participating in the development of Madrid’s alternative cultural scene. Thus, I started documenting what was happening around me with my analog cameras.

After some years, I decided that I needed a change and came to Paris to study at Spéos into the Professional Photography in 1 year. I couldn’t be happier about the choice I made. The school allowed me to meet amazing photographers that would later on become friends and that would also be a great source of inspiration. Assisting the classes at Spéos really pushed me to go forward in my photography. I would go everywhere with my cameras and wouldn’t be afraid to shoot in any kind of situation, always excited to show the results to my classmates and teachers.

Lately I’ve been more focused on my other passion, mainly the organization of concerts, but photography has always been present. As the years have passed, I’ve kept collaborating with other Spéos students, for photography but also for other cultural projects.

Amir Tikriti

USA
www.amirtikriti.com

I followed the Fashion Photography program in 2017 with Dominique Issermann. I cannot speak highly enough of her. She was very open with her knowledge, patient, instructive and even invited us into her home for classes. It was an amazing experience!
As a matter of fact, the best part about Spéos was the teachers and faculty. They encouraged us to play and experiment, and they were available to us almost whenever we needed. It was evident that they really cared about their work and wanted us to succeed.

In addition, I made some amazing friends at Spéos. I keep in contact with many to this day and they make up the backbone of my life in Paris.

Raul Guillermo

Peru
www.raulguillermo.com

At my arrival at Spéos, I was already doing photography as a hobby for quite some time. However, I knew that I needed to explore further, especially because I was not sure if I wanted to pursue documentary or fashion photography. I visited the school before enrolling into the Professional Photography in 1 year program and I found it perfect for what I needed. I also liked the idea that you are able to follow classes both in photojournalism and fashion, and for the second part of the program decide to specialize in one. My time in Spéos taught me to open my eyes and embrace the unknown.

All the experiences and people made me evolve in my way of seeing, they taught me to open myself and move forward. Today, thanks to this period of my life, I feel more confident and determined on accomplishing my projects, to go deeper on subjects and to talk about my work easily.

Habib Dargham

Lebanon
www.habibdargham.com

Leaving my family and friends was quite a hard thing to do. Spéos helped me start anew in Paris and understand the system and business of photography in France. Most importantly, Spéos has become like a second family: the friends and the connections I made through the school were the beginning of my career.

The school is an experience for everyone, always up to date in their teaching, and always following up with their students post-graduation. Even though I did the fashion program, this didn’t stop me to expand my knowledge in photojournalism, and Spéos gave me really important advice that helped me win the Grand Prix Paris Match du Photoreportage Étudiant 2021 with my series Le cri d’un silence (“The cry of silence”).

Photography is creation, it’s an art that you can’t learn, it’s an experience and Spéos is here to help you do exactly that.

Valérie Chauffour

France
www.valeriechauffour.com

When I left Air France I had been practicing photography for some years but I needed to get my overall skills to the next level. I wanted to join a short and efficient course and it was better for me to stay in Paris — my home town — at that time. So Spéos appeared to be the best choice, and it was indeed. I would definitely recommend the Spéos programs: lots of great new courses, the school is always evolving, successfully bringing new talented photographers out to the world.

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.