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Magnum Workshop with Patrick Zachmann
May 20, 2013
by Patrick Zachmann
As part of Magnum Paris' 2013 educational program, collective photographer and filmmaker, Patrick Zachmann, will lead a five-day practical workshop, giving twelve photographers the opportunity to absorb the wisdom he's has amassed over his long and distinguished career.

The workshop will be held inside the Magnum Photos’ agency – 19, rue Hégésippe Moreau, 75018 Paris - from July 17th to 21st, 2013.

Photography as an “Aller-Retour” Between the Outside world and Oneself

“This workshop will assist participants in developing their own unique personal vision and ability to tell a story visually. Thinking about one's subject, one's approach and successfully editing your pictures is as important as being in the field. Over the course of five days, I will talk deeply about photography; the choice of the subject, the 'right' distance to find, the point of view, the composition, the ethics, how to approach the people, the form to choose to use the content, the editing process, the story telling… We'll analyse together the difficulties faced in the field, review how to resolve them and understand how to combine the intention of the photographer with the result.

During my workshops, I alternate between screen projections of my work (photographic series, web-docs or video movies) and portfolios reviews of participants’ works. After having discussed the story ideas of each photographer and sharing tips and guidance, participants will spend two days devoted to shooting sessions. I believe a photographer should dedicate most of his time before and after the shooting; like in a movie making process. I always insist on the fact that during my workshops, the main goal is not necessarily the shooting session, but the experience of it and the human and professional exchange."

-Patrick Zachmann

Patrick Zachmann Bio

Patrick Zachmann has been a freelance photographer since 1976 and member of Magnum Photos since 1990. He has dedicated himself to long-term projects on the cultural identity, memory and immigration of different communities. From 1982 to 1984, he worked both on a project on highway landscapes (backed by the French Ministry of Culture), and on the challenges of integration facing young immigrants in the northern neighbourhoods of Marseilles.

In 1982, he plunged into the violent world of the Neapolitan police and Mafia - the Camorra - resulting in the publication of a book and a fictional text inspired by his cinematographic images. In 1987, after devoting seven years to a personal project about Jewish identity, Zachmann published his second book, Enquête d'Identité ou Un Juif à la Recherche de sa Mémoire (Inquest on Identity or a Jew in Search of His
Memory). In 1989, his story on the events at Beijing's Tiananmen Square was widely published in the international press. That year, he was awarded the prestigious Prix Niepce.

For the next six years, Zachmann continued his research on the Chinese diaspora around the world, and in 1995, published his acclaimed book, W., ou L'Œil d'un Long Nez, accompanied by an exhibition that toured in 10 countries in Asia and Europe. Between 1996 and 1998, Zachmann directed the short film La Mémoire de Mon Père (My Father's Memory), followed by his first feature-length film, Allers-retour: Journal d'un Photographe (Round Trip: Diary of a Photographer), which captures the disappearing traces of memory, particularly in Chile.

In 2006, he began a new project, entitled Confusions Chinoises (Chinese Confusions), for which he received a grant from the French Fine Arts Delegation (DAP). Additionally, he taught classes at the National School for Decorative Arts in Paris and the Institute Superiore di Fotografia e di Communication in Rome.

From 2006 to 2008, he directed a feature film called Bar Centre des Autocars, about the destinies of 10 young people whom he had photographed 20 years earlier from Marseille's poorest neighborhoods. In May 2009, at the Cité d'Histoire de l'Immigration in Paris (Centre for the History of Immigration), Zachmann will present his entire body of work about immigration and the suburbs, spanning 25 years.

Patrick Zachmann’s portfolio is viewable on the Magnum website


This workshop is not about learning technical skills, but rather improving each student's own unique photographic vision. Workshops will be held in French/English and the class will be assigned an assistant who will facilitate the workshop and help students when it comes to technical or logistical issues. In addition what is sure to be a fruitful dynamic in class, there will also be ample informal time for forum, sharing and cross-pollination of ideas with other teachers and students.

Through the generous support of Magnum’s educational partners, Blurb, workshop participants will also have the opportunity to further their editing experience through the production of a group Blurb books. The session will culminate in a projection of participant work at the Magnum Paris office.

Workshop participants should be able to show a good level of photographic aptitude. Candidates will be expected to arrive comfortable with their equipment and ready to photograph. The workshop is limited to just 12 participants and photographers will be subject to online applications. We recommend participants arrive with at least one realistic project idea they wish to develop during the workshop, and that preliminary research be conducted before the workshop begins. This should include contact liaison, access information and even early shooting – please refer to your teacher’s specific requirements.

Due to the fast pace of the workshop, Magnum highly recommends that participants produce and edit their work digitally, using their own laptops. Individuals wishing to use film may do so, but at their own cost and during the time imposed. Lab services will be recommended.


950€ (does not include travel, accommodations or on-the-ground expenses). All fees must be paid within 7 days of acceptance or you will forfeit your space. Refund policies will be emailed with acceptance letter.

Please note: Magnum Photos reserves the right to cancel groups with less than 7 participants. Students will be given either a full refund or offered a place with an alternative photographer. In the event of a cancellation, students will be given at least 2 weeks advance notice.

Magnum Photos reserves the right to change or alter the program advertised.
- If a participant decides to cancel for whatever reason, it must be confirmed in writing:
. Magnum Photos will reimburse all the registration costs except for €100 administrative fee, if the participant informs Magnum Photos of cancellation at least 3 weeks before the first day of the workshop. Beyond this time limit, Magnum Photos will charge the following:
. 50% of the cost if cancelled between 6 and 20 days before the workshop commences.
. 100% of the cost if cancelled less than 5 days before the workshop commences.
. All workshops that are commenced but not completed through the fault of either the contractor/or participant need to be paid in full.
- Magnum Photos is not responsible for reimbursement of travel expenses in case a workshop is cancelled. We recommend that you buy refundable air tickets and/or travel insurance.

Travel & Accommodation

Participants are expected to make their own arrangements regarding travel and accommodation; a list of suitable accommodation options will be provided to successful candidates. International visitors can travel to Paris from most major terminals. Please ensure you have the necessary travel documents & relevant visas in order to attend the event. Magnum Photos can provide letters of support when necessary.


Click here to apply

The first deadline for acceptance is June 30th, and qualified applicants will be selected through a combination of the merit of their work and their personal statement, and the order of their application's receipt. All applications received after June 30th will be reviewed, space permitting.

For queries please contact: Elsa Bizet

Patrick Zachmann’s portfolio on the Magnum website