Workshops by Focus: street photography

Creative Core November 3 - 11, 2021
6 spaces | $* Register

Paris and photography; photography and Paris – the two have been bound together in a lyrical poetic dance since the invention of the medium nearly two centuries ago. Her romantic beauty, layers of history, and progressive culture  have long attracted many of the world’s greatest artists, among them some of the most important photographers of the last century – Atget, Kertész, Brassaï, Doisneau, Cartier-Bresson, and many more – yielding a collective body of work that informs our notions of the City of Light to this day.

Beyond the nostalgia and iconic views, however, Paris is always evolving. We find inspiration in the photographic raw material that Paris offers the creative photographer to capture new visions woven from aspects of past, present, and future. We invite you to join Justin Black and Paris-based photographic artist Julia Keil for this small-group workshop for just six passionate photographers, based at a 5-star boutique hotel on the Left Bank in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the heart of the 6th Arrondissement. We will explore our favorite vantage points along the river Seine, the city’s markets, parks, avenues, and side streets, so full of life, culture, and characters from another time. The streets of Paris have a unique ability to breathe beauty, and the city wears many faces depending on the time of day or night, the weather and the path you take through it. Through the changing light in early morning and evening, Julia and Justin will encourage you to open your mind’s eye to make the most of available opportunities, sharing creative insights and helpful instruction throughout. There is nothing like losing yourself in the Parisian arrondissements with childlike eyes, with the city’s symphony in your ears, wondering what notes may be played next.

While we are there, we’ll take advantage of Paris’s status as one of the world’s great centers of photography, to make visits to at least two of the city’s most important photography galleries, drawing inspiration from exhibitions of work by great masters and contemporary artists alike. Back at our hotel’s meeting room, we will hold at least two group image reviews during mid-day hours, to provide you with constructive feedback that you can then apply during our next photographic outing. When we have a little down time during the day, you’ll be free to explore on your own, edit your photographs, or just relax. And, of course, we invite you to join us for a celebration of Parisian gastronomic delights at group meals in some of our favorite cafés and restaurants.

If you have a spouse, partner or friend who would enjoy this exploration of Paris, we have two additional spaces available for accompanying non-photographers (limit of one accompanying non-photographer per participant). Accompanying non-photographers are welcome to join the group on all excursions and at meals, but photographic instruction in the field and classroom/critique sessions are not included in this registration option.

At the request of a few regular clients, we have designed this creative photography workshop in Paris, France. I find photographing in Paris exhilarating and immensely productive, and though I know my way around, there is no substitute for local knowledge and experience. So, I’ve invited my friend Julia Keil, an immensely talented Paris-based photographic artist, to join us as co-leader. Julia knows the city intimately, has a great deal of experience teaching photographers to make the most of Paris as a creative palette. She is warm, engaging, and an absolute joy to spend time with. Together, we will teach you how to use the characteristic and unique opportunities offered by the city to create unique creative compositions, rather than simply doing a “tick list” of iconic views (though I suppose some of that is inevitable). We look forward to welcoming you for this creative exploration of the City of Light! –Justin Black

Paris: City of Light
Map via Google
Expedition May 30 - June 15, 2025
6 spaces | $16,500* Register

“What an incredible experience! Beautifully orchestrated and managed, and exceptional guides and support staff. Choices of lodging and destinations very commendable. I have to say, the accommodations were all significant experiences in life, and the birthday celebration I was treated to has to rank at the top of the list for birthdays. Thanks! The whole trip was seamless, good job!” –T. Hanagan, 2017 Varanasi & Ladakh participant

We invite you on an unforgettable journey through the lens to northern India, where the soul-stirring beauty and vibrant energy of Varanasi and the ethereal landscapes of Ladakh converge to create a captivating symphony of colors, cultures, and spirituality. Join us for a transformative photography expedition that will immerse you in the rich tapestry of these remarkable destinations.

These are two of India’s most visually rich spiritual centers. In Varanasi, a city that breathes ancient wisdom and carries the echoes of countless prayers, you will witness a vibrant tapestry of life and culture unfold before your eyes. Capture the kaleidoscope of emotions as pilgrims bathe in the sacred Ganges River, the mesmerizing swirls of incense in narrow alleyways, the resplendent rituals that honor centuries-old traditions, and the majestic site of The Buddha’s first sermon, over two millennia ago. The city’s historic architecture, adorned with intricate carvings and timeless beauty, will become your muse as you hone your craft in documenting the captivating stories etched within its walls, and lived by its people.

From the spiritual heart of India, we move on to Ladakh, a Himalayan sanctuary that enchants with its breathtaking landscapes and the serene teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Lose yourself in the vastness of the snow-capped peaks, mirror-like lakes, and verdant valleys that unfold before you like a painter’s masterpiece. Witness the interplay of light and shadow on dramatic monasteries perched atop rocky cliffs, and find solace in the warm smiles of the resilient Ladakhi people, whose lives are intertwined with the harmony of nature.

This trip offers an exceptional combination of street photography and landscape opportunities. Guided by seasoned photographers Justin Black and Jassi Oberai, and immersed in the cultural riches of Varanasi and Ladakh, this workshop will provide you with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture the essence of two extraordinary worlds. Whether you are seeking inspiration to move your photography to the next level, or looking to expand your portfolio, let your camera be your passport to unlock the stories that await you in these magical lands.

Come, join us on this incredible photographic odyssey, where the past and present merge, and the extraordinary becomes a brushstroke on the canvas of your imagination.


Sacred India: Varanasi & Ladakh
Map via Google