© Céline Alson – Spéos 2017

Program presentation

The Professional Photography in 2 years Program is aimed at students who wish to acquire all current skills and techniques within professional photography and put them into practice: photo reportage, studio photography, fashion photography, corporate photography, art direction, image management and publication.

After a first year dedicated to the core skills, the students focus on their preferences (backed up by the advice of their instructors at Spéos): they either specialize in studio photography or in photo reportage during the second year of the program. Students thus learn to master the process of shooting in all the technical and artistic dimensions; they also produce their own portfolio for professional use.

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.

Next session: October 2020 – May 2022
Campus: Paris or London
Language of instruction: French, English (subject to a minimum of participants)
Per year tuition for the program in French:
– France, UK, EU nationals: €7,950
– International students: €10,250
Per year tuition for the program in English:
– France, UK, EU nationals: €9,000
– International students: €10,250
Diploma: Spéos School Certificate

Structure of the program

The first year of the program comprises the core courses, which cover all aspects of professional photography, from September to May, during semesters I and II. This year is dedicated to the acquisition of the basic techniques, allowing the students to be able to produce photos of good quality. 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 year, according to their career goals, the students choose a specialization, either in studio or in photo reportage. The first year ends with the completion of a first personal project.

During the second year, the students improve their practical skills and broaden their range of knowledge, from September to May, during semesters III and IV. Depending on their career choice, they specialize either in studio photography or in 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.).

The last week of the fourth 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.

Course description

Essentials of Photography
Semester I: 1h30/week
This course deals with a variety of purely practical aspects of photographical techniques.

Studio
Semesters I and II: 3 hours/week of lessons and 3 hours/week of tutorials
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.
The purpose of this first part is to broaden and consolidate the field of knowledge in order to develop and develop a creative approach.

Photo Reportage
Semesters I and II: 1h30/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
Semesters I and II: 1h30/week
This course aims to:
– understand what the main parameters and formats of digital images are,
– learn how to manage a stream of digital images and retouch photos using Lightroom software,
– discover the Photoshop application and design a layout using this software.

Image Management and Publication
Semesters I and II: 1h30/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.

Contemporary Photography
Semesters I and II: 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
Semesters I and II: 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.

English
Semesters I and II: 1h30/week, only for the program in French
During the first year, the basics of English conversation for basic / independent users will be covered. The second year focuses on Business English, as used by professional photographers.

Studio
Semesters III and IV: 6 hours every other week
From the third semester, the shoots become thematic (for example fashion still life), then get further developed into complex professional shoots including all actors involved on a studio set (make-up artists, hair-dressers…).
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
Semesters III and IV: 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. The students thus will be capable of providing high quality post-production after their shooting sessions in the studio.

Image Management and Publication
Semesters III and IV: 1h30/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
Semesters III and IV: 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
Semesters III and IV: 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”.

Business
Semesters III and IV: 2 hours/week
This course covers all necessary aspects to prepare the professional photographers for launching their business.
This covers:
– financial aspects: accounting, budgets, quotes, billing, business plan,
– legal aspects,
– marketing strategies,
– customer relations,
– communication.

English
Semesters III et IV: 2 hours/week, only for the program in French
The second year focuses on Business English, as used by professional photographers.

Meet the Profession
Semesters III and IV: 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.

Video for Photographers: the Essentials
Semester IV: 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.

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
Semesters III and IV: 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 III: 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.

Visual Identity
Semesters III: 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”.

Computer Imaging
Semesters III and IV: 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 photo reportage.

Image Management and Publication
Semesters III and IV: 1h30/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
Semesters III and IV: 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.

Business
Semesters III and IV: 2 hours/week
This course presents students with the tools and methods necessary for their first professional steps:
– financial aspects: accounting, budget, estimates, billing, business plan,
– judicial aspects,
– marketing strategy,
– customer relationship management,
– communication.

English
Semesters III et IV: 2 hours/week, only for the program in French
The second year focuses on Business English, as used by professional photographers.

Meet the Profession
Semesters III and IV: 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.

Storytelling
Semester IV: 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.

Video for Photographers: the Essentials
Semester IV: 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.

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.

Testimonials

Ricardo: « I’m very ready to be a professional, the school helped me a lot »

Sharva: « I specialised in studio and work mainly in portraits »

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!