© Joakim Eskildsen

Program presentation

Polka, a French magazine specialized in photography, and Spéos open a new program dedicated to photojournalism. This 22-week intensive program takes place once a year in Paris, with intake in January. This program is intended for students who wish to acquire the fundamentals of photojournalism / documentary photography.

During this program, students acquire the basics of photo shooting whatever the situations, and learn to tell a story in different forms (press, book publishing or artistic installation).

Supervised by the Spéos professors and the Polka team (including Dimitri Beck, the director of photography), the students will follow a program combining lectures, workshops and meetings with professionals and renowned photojournalists.

The credits acquired during this program allow students wishing to become professionals to continue their studies at Spéos by integrating the second part of the following 2-year programs:
Professional photography,
Title of photographer RNCP level 7,
European Master of Photography.
Please contact Spéos for more details.

> See this program on Polka’s website

Next session: January-June 2021
Campus: Paris
Language of instruction: English/French
Tuition fees:
– France, UK, EU nationals: €9,200
– International students: €11,200
Diploma: School Certificate signed by Spéos and Polka

Course description

3 hours/week
This course is devoted to the acquisition of the essential techniques for the practice of shooting in different reporting situations. Students are introduced to the Stop-System, the different types of lighting, the general principles of light source balance and the proper use of a 35mm camera.
The learning process focuses on:
– the control of natural and/or artificial light in outdoor situations,
– a studio complement to enable photoreporters to respond to a wide range of professional lighting situations: site-specific portraits, still life on site, corporate, documentary photography, etc.

3 hours/week
The course is designed to give an overview of photojournalism, focusing on 3 main areas – place, event and theme. Assignments include the coverage of events in Paris and a long-term documentary project on a local neighborhood.

6 hours/week
Students spend one day a week at Polka to gain a comprehensive view of visual storytelling: they will learn how to tell stories through photography and make them public. Students will be brought the keys of understandings of photojournalism and develop the different steps of a reportage: from finding an idea, pitching it, producing it and selling it. It will address the students know-how needed to accurately show and reflect realities through their photography. Also, in today’s world, the tremendous progress of technology is giving priority to the rapidity of the transmission of images rather than the absolute and sacred requirement of their authenticity. The input of photo professionals, their ethics, and rigor are a must. Students will explore the different markets (press, galleries, publishing, festivals, contests, grants…) where they can work.

Key photoreportage steps and knowledge:
During this course, students will learn:
– Understanding the different steps of a reportage.
– Finding a story and making ideas / subjects to become visual storytelling.
– Choosing the visual approach to tell the story (portrait, reportage style, documentary photography…).
– Writing a synopsis.
– Working on the field.
– Editing its production and a story.
– Writing the captions of the pictures.
– Selling the stories.

Participants will be able to tell visual stories by themselves, to be skilled enough to stand in a professional photographic sector.

1h30 per week – 14 weeks
This course deals with a variety of purely practical aspects of photographical techniques.
2 to 3 hours per week – 22 weeks
In line with the acquisition of studio shooting techniques, this course gives participants an overview of the different digital post-production techniques allowing them to process and enhance their images. It aims to:
  • understand what the main parameters and formats of digital images are,
  • learn how to process Raw files in a professional way with Adobe Lightroom Classic CC development tool,
  • Deepen the participants post-production skills with Adobe Photoshop CC: non-destructive work flow through adjustment layers, knowledge of layer masks and selections, basic retouch.
1h30 to 3 hours per week – 22 weeks
Firstly this course will help 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. Then the course will cover 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 your visibility on the internet, design an online portfolio, know how to use social network for photographers.
2 to 3 hours per week – 22 weeks
Combining lectures with visits to museums and galleries, this course aims at giving an overview of the history of photography and the constantly evolving photographic processes, from their origins to the present trends of contemporary photography. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of real prints rather than reproductions, taking advantage of the rich photographic resources available in the local museums and galleries.
Optional – on demand and at the end of the year only
Possibility of creating discovery sessions of analog photography with film developments and Black & White prints 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 year only, once students have acquired all the essential knowledge and techniques of professional photography.

Enrollment and contact

Registrations are open all year round and are subject to availability.
You can send your application via the online Enrollment form.

Feel free to contact Spéos if you have any questions about this program:

  • Telephone: +33 (0)1 40 09 18 58
  • Email: info[@]speos.fr
  • Skype: speos-admissions01

At any time you are most welcome to come and visit the school, just make an appointment!

Enroll now!