I followed the Creative Documentary Course by Magnum Photos & Spéos and I spent an amazing year meeting several Magnum photographers giving us an insight on how they work as well as learning the ropes on how to build a photo story and presenting it to the media.
I had the opportunity to explore, make mistakes and build my practice during my time at Spéos with the Creative Documentary Course by Magnum Photos & Spéos. In the world outside it’s rare to have an opportunity to have genuinely explore and be challenged. The program provided me with an amazing community of colleagues and friends who I am still in touch with today and often work or collaborate with.
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.
Through my time in the Magnum Photos & Spéos Creative 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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 Course with Magnum Photos & Spéos. 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.
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!
Studying at Spéos was an extraordinary experience and my best year of a student life in Paris. I did the Professional Photography in 1 year program, that gives you all the necessarily skills in technical, as well as in creative part for establishing yourself as an artist. Moreover, the international atmosphere of art students from all over the world in mix with the beauty and historical heritage of Paris dives you in a totally creative universe and helps to discover your artistic way. Spéos brings your photography understanding on an international level.
Thanks to Spéos experience I found myself as a photography artist, developing my personal art series. I established myself as a professional in a highly competitive field, working with international magazines, designers and fashion brands.
I highly recommend Spéos to any person who seriously considers studying photography in a professional way.
> See Ksenia’s exhibition at the Spéos Gallery
It was always my dream to live in Paris, ever since I was a kid. After graduating from Art School in Hong Kong, I started searching for photography schools overseas and Spéos became a definite choice for me.
During my Professional Photography in 1-year training, Spéos helped me understand the importance of building a visual identity as an artist. It gave me time to experiment different kinds of techniques and effects to search for the direction of my expression. I also learnt to be observant and detailed when using photography, so as to visualize my concepts.
While studying at Spéos, there was a time for me debating to choose between Studio or Photojournalism & Documentary. I finally picked the latter, which was definitely the right choice, even though I am not a journalist but someone who is moved by stories of people over beautiful objects. The time I spent with Photojournalism & Documentary professionals from Magnum, Polka, Reuters (and many others) was unique, valuable and eye-opening. Those experiences helped me tremendously in developing my own style of photography, using a photo reportage approach whenever I am taking pictures.
> See Suet-sum Lai’s exhibition at the Spéos Gallery
The one year that I spent at Spéos doing the Professional Photography in 1 year program really opened up a new world to me. The advantage of being in a city like Paris also added to the value. There’s always so much happening in the field of photography and art here.
I did a one year intensive course in Studio which is exactly what I was looking for at that time.
The school is very well equipped, has a great team and good resources. I had some of the best times exploring the artist within me using the tools and techniques that the school provided.
The exercises, the gallery visits, the assignments and all the experiments help me even today when I have to conceptualise for a project.
I would definitely recommend spending some time at Spéos… but be ready to work really hard, get proactive and soak in all the art!
I graduated from a 3-month studio course at Spéos London in 2013. I believe that attending the program in London was the most unique part of the entire experience, acquiring new skills in a city full of inspiration.
I chose to attend Spéos because at that time I needed self-confidence and the belief that photography is not only art but also a job. My time at Spéos has dramatically changed my life: I used to be a Monday to Friday worker in an economic environment before.
I recommend the school’s program to build self-confidence, but I also strongly believe that in addition to this, assisting whoever you believe is your master for a short and planned period is the best choice.
Living in international cities, such as London and Paris, can be really helpful if you want to be a photographer, but the most important thing is perseverance and professionalism!
Graduated from a business school, and long passionate about photography, I decided to try a reconversion. Spéos, a school recognized by the best professionals, had the training that suited me. It offers the opportunity for time-sensitive people like me to train and catch up very quickly. A Professional Photography in 1 year program, well-built modules, very professional teachers with impeccable follow-up.
Today, I am a professional photographer and laureate of several competitions. Belonging to a well-managed Alumni network is a major asset that Spéos brings to us during our career. A real resource that offered me many professional and personal opportunities.
I strongly recommend Spéos to anyone who wants to have a safe training in photography and who wants to evolve in the world of image and art. However, you will have to be ready to work a lot!
So I have only one word to say to you: Get started! It’s so exciting.
British, lives in New Zealand
After a decade working in the event management industry, I realized it was time to follow my dream of becoming a photographer. I set about looking for a comprehensive, intensive course to support my move into the market of professional photography. The Spéos program was exactly what I was looking for and it delivered in spades.
The Professional Photography in 1 year course in Paris gave me a fantastic foundation, however, it was the Expert Modules which truly took me to a whole other level. The knowledge and confidence I gained meant that I was able to begin my business as soon as I finished and turn a profit within the first two years of establishing in a country I’d never lived or worked in before. I have since relocated countries five times since my studies in Paris and have successfully created businesses in each new market. I believe this is largely down to the basic principles and artistic growth I experienced at Spéos. I have go on to win awards and have also recently written my first book ‘For the Love of the Photograph’, an educational and inspirational guide.
> See Chloe Lodge & the WYWH Collaborative exhibition at the Spéos Gallery
I absolutely wanted to have a complete training in photography before starting my photography business. I chose Spéos for several reasons: complete training in one year with the Professional Photography in 1 year program, self-service studios for practice and personal work, and the international environment.
The training allowed me to go beyond the expected technical level. In addition to the technical courses, the photography market and ways to promote his work were addressed, topics very important when you create your own business. I really appreciated the analytical approach of some courses that allow me today to deal with the many constraints encountered during shootings.
I would recommend Spéos to anyone wishing to work in photography. My advice: The more technical knowledge you have before training, the more you will learn details that make the difference!
Having a background in advertising, I thought I had a very clear understanding of what I wanted to do in terms of photography.
After just a few months into my education at Spéos, I began to realize how much more that I could do and how to do it in order to differentiate myself in my field.
With a very thorough education and so many wonderful memories, Spéos is a time of my life that I will always treasure.
After completing my BFA in photography in the States, I decided it was time for a new challenge elsewhere. I discovered the Fashion Photography program and I found it interesting in terms of the curriculum and instruction, not to mention learning in one of the fashion capitals of the world was quite thrilling. Studying fashion photography in Paris has its advantages.
The program provides a huge network of make-up artists, designers and stylists to collaborate with, which will give you a professional portfolio at the end of the year. Having a lot of the technical skills already, my focus was finding my visual voice, and the guidance was very useful in helping me pinpoint that. Another great aspect is guest lectures by iconic fashion photographers living in the city and being able to ask them questions about their experiences or for advice.
Spéos has created lifelong friendships, connections and bonds. I’m in touch with quite a few people still to this day. It ended up being a very rewarding experience that changed my life completely, as I still live in Paris now!
> See April Wiser’s exhibition with Foto Femme United at the Spéos Gallery
Spéos was so much more than a photography school, it was a major life experience. It provided me the opportunity to develop and refine photographic skills in the dream setting of Paris alongside classmates and instructors from all over the world. Spéos is as valuable for the networking and contacts it provides as the photographic knowledge gained. I developed friendships and connections I know will last my lifetime and which have led me to very exciting places.
I give Spéos my highest recommendation to aspiring photographers. It is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity that exceeded my expectations in every way imaginable.