Intensive one-year Program From September to July
The Creative Documentary & Photojournalism program is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in documentary photography and/or photojournalism, in the Magnum Photos tradition of visual storytelling.
The course equips students with the historical and contextual framework required to develop and engage in critical thinking about documentary photography, as well as providing technical guidance and tutorial support to develop students’ individual documentary practice. Students have unique access to Magnum’s photographers and its experienced staff, with elements of the course taught at the Magnum Photos office in central Paris.
The formal program is delivered by Spéos and its appointed teachers and supplemented by Magnum photographers and staff.
Next session: September 13, 2017 – July 27, 2018
Language of instruction: English
– 30.000 € for one-installment payments
– 31.500 € for payments in five installments
Diploma: Creative Documentary and Photojournalism by Magnum Photos/Spéos
Titre de Photographe RNCP level I (Fr) and 7 (Eu) – code NSF 323 t
This program is registered in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP) by decree of February 25th, 2016 — published in the Journal Officiel of March 17th, 2016.
Part I / September to December:
The first part comprises the core courses, which cover all aspects of professional photojournalism and creative documentary.
Top-level professionals hold the courses and monitor the students’ individual acquisition of skills. Outside of class, students independently organize their shooting sessions and post-production, under the continual guidance of their supervisors and Magnum Photos. During this time, students will have access to the extensive book library at the Magnum Photos Paris bureau, featuring an inimitable collection of renowned photo publications.
Part II / January to May:
During the second part, the students improve their practical skills and broaden their range of knowledge. The last week of the second part is dedicated to the set-up of the students’ end-of-the-year exhibition on the school premises and at Magnum, an important event visited by established photographers, photo agencies, iconographers and the press.
The Spéos course proper will be complemented by the Magnum Photos component, consisting of regular review sessions, artist presentations, assignments and discussions with Magnum photographers and staff in the agency.
Part III (Experts Modules) / May to July:
The last months of the program are dedicated to students’ encounters with a vast range of photography professionals.
Duration: 8 weeks
The Expert Modules aim at deepening the participants’ previous knowledge and skills in those areas that are most demanded by the professional market. They cover the subjects of business management, image management and publication and photo reportage, combining theory and practice.
Participants meet up with photography professionals from various domains, who share their experience and know-how from their respective fields of expertise.
Program description classes and content
– 6 hours per week
This advanced course in creative documentary and photojournalism is designed for students who have the maturity and skills to work on long-term thematic projects, meeting with instructors for weekly critiques. Embedded within Magnum Photos, this program allows students a unique learning experience, and to encounter of some of the best photographers in the field. Assignments include event photojournalism, short photo essays and a long-term in-depth personal project.
– 3 hours per week
This course helps participants to understand the main parameters and formats of digital images. Introduction to Photoshop, design of layouts. Digital image management and retouching techniques with Lightroom.
– 3 hours per week
This course helps students to manage their image stock with guidance on how to caption a picture, to assign the right keywords, and to manage IPTC data.
Part II :
– 3 hours per week
This course instructs students on how to add value to their photo stock with a good knowledge of captioning and keyword management. It provides resources for photographers and develops their knowledge of the photo market.
It also covers web strategy: how to create a website using a CMS, SEO, blogging, social media for photographers.
– 3 hours every other week
This course is dedicated to the acquisition of the techniques essential to studio shooting, as well as to the treatment of digital images.
Students are initiated to the Stop-System, different types of lighting, the general principles of balanced light sources, as well as different types of cameras, from 35mm to the large format.
– 1,5 and 3 hours per week
The course covers printing techniques with the programs Photoshop and Lightroom on Fuji Frontier or Durst Lambda printers as well as large-format ink-jet printers. Color management principles will be studied within the graphic chain of a typical digital lab (screen, printer, viewing booth). Students will gain the necessary knowledge to obtain high quality prints, true to their digital shots, whether by themselves or through a professional lab.
– 1,5 hours per week
This course deals with a variety of purely practical aspects of photographical techniques. The work carried out by the students during the week will be analysed.
– 1 day per week at the Magnum Photos Agency
Discover and understand the daily activities of a professional photo agency in general and Magnum Photos in particular. How does the world’s most famous photographic co-operative work today? What is the role of agents, and of a press agency today? How does a historic agency stay relevant?
– The importance of image rights, archives, and the press
– Exhibitions and publications
– Magnum Photos and corporate & advertising photography
– Magnum Photos and the art market
– According to availability: Portfolio lectures, workshops and artist presentations with Magnum photographers
– 3 hours per week
An introduction to writing techniques and photo editing will be given by a journalist / editor, helping the students to edit their photo stories and back-up their reportages with a well-structured narrative.
– Understand the different steps of a photo reportage from the idea of a topic to the final publication in a magazine
– Learn how to tell a story with images: they show, inform or provide evidence
– Write a synopsis or narrative to accompany the photo story.
– Duration: 5 weeks
Different experts present the business management of all kinds of activities linked to professional photography. The module gives an overview of the photographic professions and the market, copyright legislation, marketing, accounting and financial management within the field of photography.
This module also allows participants to deepen their knowledge in the domains of image management and publication, which are presented from the point of view of independent photographers, photo agencies and image banks. Participants also encounter picture researchers/image buyers working for publishing houses and advertising agencies, art directors and photo agents. Throughout the module, they acquire in-depth knowledge about the various possibilities to syndicate their own image stocks. And – last but not least – they get a practical overview of how to efficiently use social media for photographers.
– Duration: 3 weeks
Photojournalism is analyzed from the point of view of agencies, dailies, magazines, and independent photographers. Participants meet professionals working in the fields of image purchase, sales and editing within various kinds of media (print and web). Through these exchanges, they learn how to position them selves and to efficiently prepare their entry into the professional world. Several meetings will be held at professionals’ workplaces.