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Magnum Workshop in Paris with Eli Reed
September 18, 2014
by Eli Reed
Magnum Photos is thrilled to announce an exciting photography experience held as part of the fifth edition of the Magnum Days in Paris: A 5-day workshop led by Eli Reed, in the heart of the Magnum agency in Paris.

This 5-day practice workshop will allow 12 photographers to benefit from the vast experience of an established Magnum photographer.

The workshop will be held inside Magnum Photos’ agency in Paris – 19, rue Hégésippe Moreau, 75018 Paris - from November 8th to November 12th, 2014.

The Workshop

“The decisive portrait

My class will be about taking the students to the place where they learn to see beyond the exterior image of possible subjects, in order to successfully capture the individuality of each subject.
I will help them discover how use everything at their disposal in order to reach the central core of the people that they are photographing within a limited box of time.

They will learn how to use environment, light, mood, and the feelings of those they are photographing. Learning the art of approaching unfamiliar subjects in order make strong portraits that stand out without being boring and how to make a portrait session gets the subject on the photographers side instead of the subject wanting it to end quickly.

Hands-on use of different lenses and lighting that are used in portrait photography will be a part of the workshop classes”.

As part of a special partnership with the British Journal of Photography, Eli Reed will identify a deserving workshop participant, who will enjoy a special online feature of his work accompanied by an interview.

The Photographer

Eli Reed was born in the US and studied pictorial illustration at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, graduating in 1969. In 1982 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. At Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he studied political science, urban affairs, and the prospects for peace in Central America.

Reed began photographing as a freelancer in 1970. His work from El Salvador, Guatemala and other Central American countries attracted the attention of Magnum in 1982. He was nominated to the agency the following summer, and became a full member in 1988.

In the same year Reed photographed the effects of poverty on America's children for a film documentary called Poorest in the Land of Plenty.
Reed's special reports include a long-term study on Beirut (1983-87), which became his first, highly acclaimed book “Beirut, City of Regrets”, the ousting of Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti (1986), US military action in Panama (1989), the Walled City in Hong Kong and, perhaps most notably, his documentation of African-American experience over more than twenty years. Spanning the 1970s through the end of the 1990s, his book Black in America includes images from the Crown Heights riots and the Million Man March.

Reed has lectured and taught at the International Center of Photography, Columbia University, New York University, and Harvard University. He currently works as Clinical Professor of Photojournalism at the University of Texas in Austin.


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.

On the first day participants will have the opportunity to present their existing work and discuss project ideas. The workshop structure is self-directed and participants will be responsible for their own coordination and time management. Candidates are encouraged to be realistic about what is achievable in four days.

Students are expected to bring from 5 to 10 examples of their own work for critique, the latter being designed in order to point students in the right direction during the workshop.
This critique will ideally be a stepping-stone for students and will of course be based on what each student photographer is interested in as far as his photographic work is concerned.

If the students wish to bring their works on paper prints, they should at least be 5” by 7”.

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. A list of recommended Laboratories will be provided.

Please note that this workshop will be conducted in English.


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 8 participants. 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, this 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 where necessary.


Click here to apply

The first deadline for acceptance is October 20th, 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.

For queries, please contact Nicolas Ossard and Alexandre Vecchini, our Workshop Coordinators.