© Jean-François Merle – Spéos 2014
Established in 1985, Spéos has 35 years of experience in higher education in professional photography. Spéos is the only photo school to have been created and directed today by a professional photographer.
Spéos’ mission is to prepare students to meet current market demands and accompany them in becoming successful photographers in the field of their choice.
Spéos trains the photographers of tomorrow, all around the world
To keep up with customer demands and market developments, Spéos only hires professional photographers, actively working at a top level in their domains and up to date with the latest trends. This gives a direct access to high quality teaching and advice from industry professionals all year round. Being in contact with the industry gives students the opportunity to network and be exposed to new perspectives and opportunities in the market. In 2018, nearly 90 lecturers, all professionals in the image, gave conferences and workshops within the school.
Classes take place in small groups for a personalized and tailored approach, allowing students to develop their own style and personal direction (excellent student/teacher ratio).
All Spéos programs emphasize hands-on practice, which requires a strong personal investment by students and a real desire to become a professional photographer.
Spéos provides students with spacious facilities equipped with state-of-the-art equipment available outside of class (18 studios in Spéos Paris and 3 studios in Spéos London).
> Discover the premises of Spéos Paris by watching this video
In order to support and help graduates take their first steps in photography, Spéos has set up the Alumni Care Program which aims to promote their work throughout the world. The Alumni network has 4,000 professional photographers in more than 50 countries.
Choosing an international school, recognized by the State, the profession and the industry
Spéos diplomas are recognized by the French State with the Title of Photographer RNCP level 7 and the school has received numerous accreditations. The Title of Photographer RNCP level 7 awarded by Spéos represents the highest level of professional training qualification for photographers, equivalent to a Bac +5.
The international and multicultural aspect of the school lies at the heart of Spéos. Spéos is the only school to offer courses in English since its creation in 1985 – which is a first for France! The school has campuses, in Paris, in Biarritz and in London, allowing students to exchange and learn photography in 2 major capitals of the photo.
Spéos has the particularity of offering programs in 1 year or 2 years. These intensive cycles allow students to professionalize quickly, for a final training budget lower than the long conventional cycles in 3 years.
Spéos is the only photo school in France to offer unique and exclusive specialized programs with prestigious partners (Magnum Photos, Polka, INSEP), and to invite in its programs famous names in photography such as Dominique Issermann or Paolo Roversi.
For over 20 years Spéos has been part of the Voies Off festival in Arles. In July, the students participate for several days at the Rencontres d’Arles — a major international photography event in the south-east of France. They attend the events organized for the profession during the opening week and can visit exhibitions. They are most of all encouraged to present their portfolios to professionals and start networking. Their works are also exhibited each year through a group exhibition or a projection of their work as part of Voies Off Festival.
The school regularly participates in other events: International Festival of Photojournalism Visa pour l’image in Perpignan, International Photo Fair of Bièvres… Spéos also hosts photo events within its facilities, notably for Fotofest Paris, the world’s second biggest photo festival after Arles, the Leica Days, the Prophot Days…
Spéos is recognized internationally and ranked in the Top 5 best photo schools in the world for several years by different, independent rankings.
Finally, the school extends and illustrates its passion for photography by preserving a very significant French National Heritage site since 1999: The Nicéphore Niépce House Museum. This is the location where the very first photograph in the world was taken by the true inventor of photography, Nicéphore Niépce. The Museum was awarded the prestigious label “Maison des Illustres” by the French Ministry of Culture in 2013, with sponsorship of the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Fine Arts. In 2019, Spéos/Maison Niépce, together with the Clemenceau-de Lattre Museum and the Ministry of Culture, has created the Club des Illustres, an association aimed at promoting exchanges between the Maisons des Illustres in order to create a professional network and make the Maisons and their activities known to as many people as possible.
A wide range of programs, tailored to everyone’s needs
Spéos helps students achieve their goals by providing programs tailored to both current market demands and their needs. The school offers programs in 1 year or 2 years, programs in 5 months in Paris or London, workshops in Biarritz and summer workshops in Paris or London. Spéos also offers specialized programs in Creative Documentary with Magnum Photos in 1 year in Paris or 5 months in London, in Photojournalism with Polka, in Sports Photography with INSEP, as well as in Fashion, Luxury and Beauty photography.
Spéos offers the opportunity to acquire advanced professional skills and develop a set of skills that are monitored throughout the year, and validated by a graduation jury composed of professionals. This final exam allows students to present their portfolio as well as their website, then to refine on the advice of the jury these two showcases representing both their personal style and their professionalism. The traditional Spéos end-of-the-year exhibition, held annually in late May for more than 30 years, allows students to present their work to a wide range of professionals and the general public.
Spéos graduates have the opportunity to work in all photographic fields, from photojournalism to fashion photography, advertising and still life. The practical courses offered at Spéos give all the necessary skills to be able to work as soon as completed studies, and often even before! The Alumni of the school are referenced on the Spéos online directory.