Paris is one of the world’s most visited cities and has many things to offer: a rich history, well-established universities, an international atmosphere and so much more. Even if you don’t speak French, you can always find someone who speaks English to guide you around!
It is a visually stunning city, bursting with colours, textures, shapes and architecture to enjoy every day. From seemingly ordinary neighbourhoods to tourist destinations, from hidden passageways or along the river Seine, there is always something new to discover in Paris.
The cultural and economic influence of Paris, particularly in the domains of fashion and photography, is one of the main reasons why photography students find ideal conditions to study and work.
Choosing to study photography in Paris is an excellent decision towards a great career. France is the birthplace of photography and Paris – “la Ville Lumière” – is the worldwide reference in the domains of fashion photography, commercial photography, photojournalism and fine arts.
The city is rich in museums and galleries dedicated to photography and hosts many well-known international photo festivals. Being the economic centre of France, it is also the main scene for all major photographic players: news agencies, renowned advertising companies, beauty and luxury, as well as large international companies… they all have headquarters in Paris.
Students at Spéos have diverse cultural and educational backgrounds (up to 50 nationalities at times); they are open-minded, dynamic and eager to learn and this filters through to their pictures.
Teaching – All Spéos teachers are professional photographers and artists acclaimed in their fields. This gives a direct access to high quality teaching and advice from industry professionals all year round. All Spéos programs emphasize hands-on practice.
Being in contact with the industry gives students the opportunity to network and be exposed to new perspectives and opportunities in the market.
Read more about the Spéos team and the lecturers.
Skills – Spéos presents students with the opportunity to gain and develop an advanced professional skill set: technical skills for inside and outside shoots, learn how to direct a photographic vision, develop leadership skills by managing a team (make-up artists, hair artists, models, peers etc.) and effectively manage time. Students learn how to harness their creative energy and transfer it into an end image by understanding the evolution of an initial idea to an end result. Spéos prepares students to meet the current market demands and gain a true understanding of what it takes to become a successful photographer. Read more about Spéos missions and values, and its accreditations.
Equipment – Students have access to Spéos’ modern, up-to-date and high-quality equipment inside and outside of the school. They learn about the different types of essential equipment and tools for a photographer and learn to use the 4×5 format camera.
Spéos Paris is equipped with Apple computers, Eizo calibrated screens, projectors, studio lights and equipment, a dark room and a large selection of props to help stylize each photo-shoot. Equipment is available for students to practice with outside of school hours such as portable flash kits. Students have access to the studio and equipment throughout the year for independent work.
They are required to purchase their own Digital DSLR camera in preparation for the course and to be able to shoot their personal projects.
Specialization – Spéos understands how important it is for a photographer to find their niche in an ever-growing market. This is why students following the Professional photography programs (in 1, 3 or 3 years) can tailor their program and choose their specialization in the second semester.
They have the opportunity to choose their major (either photojournalism and reportage or studio photography – including industry, advertising and fashion photography) and choose their supporting classes. All available classes can be found in the different programs specifications (see below the section “Programs available in Spéos Paris”).
Network – At Spéos, students are in constant contact with the industry, giving them the chance to grow their personal network. Professionals are frequently invited to lecture at Spéos, giving students the opportunity to connect and network and be exposed to new perspectives and opportunities in the market.
Read more about the lecturers invited each year at Spéos.
Spéos students graduate with the ability to work in all photographic fields, from fashion photography to photojournalism, to still life to documentary, from advertising to news and more.
The practical courses offered at Spéos give all of the necessary skills and abilities to be able to find work after studies.
Spéos is recognized by many sources as one of the best photography schools in the world, meaning that students can find work internationally.
There is an abundance of work opportunities in Paris in the photography industry.
Examples of some job prospects post Spéos are:
Examples of websites to help find photography jobs after Spéos:
Students need to make sure they have enough funds for daily expenses in Paris such as accommodation, bills, food, equipment, daily travel and entertainment. When applying for a visa, proof may be needed to show your funding for the year.
Spéos recommends students to have approximately €400 a month for living expenses.
The cost of accommodation varies from €500 for shared accommodation to more than €2,000 per month for private apartments.
The best way to travel around Paris is to purchase a Navigo card allowing you to travel by metro, bus, or Velib’ bicycle. A monthly ticket costs between €63 and €73.
There are plenty of housing possibilities in Paris including flat shares and studio apartments. Spéos provides all students with further information to help in their accommodation search.
The school has developed a partnership with the online accommodation platform Studapart, which gives students access to hundreds of exclusive offers: studios, flatshares, homestays… Students benefit from personalized support throughout their rent. From applying to booking, take all the steps online on the platform. To get started, click on “Tenant space” and sign up using the school’s login credentials or a personal email address. Book accommodation online to benefit from the Studapart Guarantee and support from a team of multilingual experts available 6/7d.
For the students who don’t have a guarantor living in France, Studapart can replace the guarantor over the whole duration of their stay. A guarantor is a person bringing financial security and attesting students are creditworthy. It’s difficult to rent a place in France without a French guarantor. In most cases, student residences and landlords require that guarantor earns income in France. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
The price for renting an apartment changes in different neighbourhoods of the city. The price per square metre (sqm) is the highest in the 1st arrondissement of Paris while it’s at the lowest in the 19th arrondissement.
A rough guide to housing prices in Paris are as follows:
Studio (furnished) 15-20 sqm: €500 – €800 per month
Studio (furnished) 20-35 sqm: €800 – €1,200 per month
A two-three bedroom flat: €1,000 – €1,800 per month