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Magnum Workshop with Stuart Franklin
July 10, 2013
by Stuart Franklin
For the 5th session of its 2013 annual educational program in Paris, Magnum Photos is pleased to open in September a new unique five days’ workshop with the British renowned documentary photographer Stuart Franklin.

From September 26th to 30th, Stuart Franklin, author of the iconic “Tank Man” picture will give the opportunity to 12 international participants to benefit from his advices and experience in the intimate atmosphere of the Magnum Paris’ office. The workshop will be held inside the Magnum Photos’ agency – 19, rue Hégésippe Moreau, 75018 Paris - from September 26th to 30th, 2013.

Through a daily program of shooting, reviews, group critiques, mentoring and editing sessions, participants will develop their own visual language and ability to tell a story visually.

At the end of the course students will have a broad understanding of documentary photography in theory and practice.

The Workshop

Students will engage in one of two possible directed photographic assignments in Paris followed by constructive criticism and support in photography, story-telling, photo-editing, and post-production.

1) “A Sense of Place”: Students will learn how to develop their own subjective sense of documentary photography within the confines of a specific place, allowing them to develop an approach and style that works for them.
Ref: Thomas Struth – Museum Photographs, Lee Friedlander – Factory Valleys, Chris Killip – In Flagrante, Seacoal, Bruce Davidson – East 100th Street.
Objective: To produce a series of 12-20 photographs that describes a sense of place. This could be (some examples): a factory, a football club, a museum, an office, a shopping mall, a prison, a theatre or a ski resort. The aim is to use narrative and documentary skills to describe the place and to communicate effectively by engaging the viewer with the photographs. The work can be landscape-based or people-based, or both.
2) “Helping others”: students will learn to work with people in sensitive situations and focus on understanding relationships in a photographic way.
Ref: Stuart Franklin – On their own two feet, Curing and Caring.
Objective: The aim here is to produce a series of 12-20 photographs that convey the message “helping others”. The work could be done in (some examples) an old peoples’ home, hospitals, in the home environment, in a school, a charity shop, alcoholics anonymous, at the blind institute. The photographs should draw the viewer empathetically into the predicament of the person or people being helped and explore the relationship photographically between the people involved. Sound recordings may be used in the final presentation. Pseudonyms may also be used (see: Agee, James: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men).

The course will provide a basis for students thinking of working in online or offline newspaper or magazine editing, photography, multi-media, publishing or journalism.

Thanks to the generous support of Blurb, participants will have the opportunity to make a collective book of the work produced during the workshop, accompanied by a projection to the Magnum staff.

Stuart Franklin

Stuart Franklin was born in Britain in 1956. He studied photography and film at West Surrey College of Art and Design and geography at the University of Oxford (BA and PhD). During the 1980s, he worked as a correspondent for Sygma Agence Presse in Paris before joining Magnum Photos in 1985.

Franklin's coverage of the Sahel famine from 1984 to 1985 won him acclaim, but he is perhaps best known for his celebrated photograph of a man defying a tank in Tiananmen Square, China, in 1989, which won him a World Press Photo Award. Since 1990, Franklin has completed over twenty assignments for National Geographic. His documentary photography has taken him to Central and South America, China, Southeast Asia and Europe. Since 2004 he has focused on long-term projects concerned primarily with man and the environment.

In 1999 he produced The Time of Trees, a photographic essay examining the social relationship between nature and society through the prism of trees. This was followed four years later by The Dynamic City, about the evolution and everyday life of cities. In 2005 he completed Hôtel Afrique, an exhibition on Africa's elite hotels (the book of the same title is in progress); the same year, aided by a grant funded by the National Trust, he published Sea Fever, a documentary project about the British coastline. Franklin is currently working on a long-term project on Europe's changing landscape, focusing in particular on the climate and on patterns of transformation.


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 September 23rd, 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 September 23rd will be reviewed, space permitting.

For queries please contact: Elsa Bizet

Stuart Franklin’s portfolio on the Magnum website