The Streets of Paris Workshop

May 15 - 21, 2016 – Tuition $2,195

There is only one seat left in the May session... act quickly!

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Experience the “moveable feast” of Paris during spring or fall, with the glorious light and weather of these seasons, and participate in a photography workshop led by Peter Turnley, one of the most prominent photographers of Paris life of his generation. No matter when you visit, this city is an experience of a lifetime.

This one-week digital workshop is for students interested in exploring the rich humanistic traditions of street photography in Paris. Turnley, who has lived in and photographed Paris for the past 40 years, worked early in his career as the assistant to the famous French photographer Robert Doisneau. His latest book, French Kiss – A Love Letter to Paris, is a wonderful contemporary portrait of daily life in the world's most beautiful city. For More information on French Kiss, see the New York Times' "Lens" blog's "Open Eyes and Heart in Paris".

Students will spend much time exploring and photographing the rich daily life of Paris. They will be exposed to the work of many of the greatest photographers of all time who, at one time or another, have documented the Paris scene: Kertesz, Doisneau, Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Atget, Izis, Ronis, Boubat, Ronis and Turnley, among others. Students will visit many of the rich museum spaces for photography in Paris, will meet several prominent members of the Paris photographic community and get to meet one of the greatest black and white printers of all time. Students will be encouraged to work on their own personal portrait of the daily life of the city.

"The Streets of Paris" deals with the humanistic traditions of street photography. Students will be expected to think not only in terms of single images in a fine art sense, but will be highly encouraged to think of the notion of telling a story with a group of pictures. Students will be encouraged to photograph the life of Paris and accept the challenge of photographing people, as well as the environment and visual landscape of the city. Peter will help the students with this process and offer tips for overcoming any hesitations or timidity. Students will create a photo-story with 15 photographs on a theme of their choice about Paris or the life of the city. Peter will work with students in the choice of their theme, which can be very broad, such as “My Impressions of Paris”, or very narrow, such as “The Life of the Seine River”. It is not important that students know in advance what their theme will be, but they will be expected to accept the challenge of choosing a theme early in the workshop and sticking to it in order to create an interesting and coherent photo-essay. At the outset, students will choose whether they will shoot their story in black and white or in color. They will be expected to stick with their choices once they have been made.

Peter will discuss technique, intent, composition and the creative use of the camera and lens. He will review and critique your portfolio and works-in-process, discuss careers, getting published and give you an idea of where you are and what to do next to become better. This workshop is for experienced photographers and photography students who want to explore Paris while working with and learning from one of today's masters of photojournalism. This is an opportunity to be inspired by the street and nightlife of Paris and to produce a new body of images. Students will explore the rich tradition of the "decisive moment" and be encouraged to contemplate the themes of humor, sensuality, light, elegance, art and joie de vivre of the Paris landscape. This seven-day workshop should be one of the richest experiences of a lifetime for all participants. There are lectures and presentations by Peter and several of the most prominent members of the international photographic community.

Camera Gear and Technology

Participants will need to bring a digital SLR or rangefinder camera, a laptop computer, and a thumb drive. Two camera bodies are recommended, with a minimum of at least one wide-angle lens such as a 17-35mm zoom, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, or 50mm. Students may bring longer lenses as well, but Peter will strongly encourage participants to use a wide angle lens in order to get close to the subject, which allows a sense of context, environment, and intimacy. A wide-angle lens that is relatively fast and has a wide aperture (1.4, 1.8, 2, or 2.8) is encouraged in order to photograph in low light situations. It is recommended that participants bring extra memory cards, extra camera batteries, and all necessary battery chargers for their equipment.

Students will need to know how to transfer the photographs they make each day onto their laptop computer. Each day, participants will bring a selection of their favorite photographs, or those they’d like to discuss, in a folder on a thumb drive, to the daily photo review and critique sessions. Students are encouraged to use image management software for this selection process. Peter recommends PhotoMechanic, however other programs such as Apple’s Aperture, or Adobe Lightroom may be used. PhotoMechanic can be downloaded for a free trial basis from

Students will be encouraged to choose from the outset if they want to show their work in color or in black and white, and they will be encouraged to stick to their choice of one of the other throughout the workshop.

Final Group Show and Portfolios of Past Work

At each photo critique and review session, Peter will work with each photographer to make a a “selects” folder of their most successful images. At the end of the week, Peter will select with each photographer from this overall “selects” folder, a final individual photo story of 15 images, which will be seen as part of a group final show during the last workshop session.

Each participant should also bring a portfolio of a selection of their past work. Approximately 30 photographs are recommended, and they may be brought in a folder on a thumb drive, or as a selection of prints. Students’ portfolios of past work will also be shared during the final session of the workshop.


This is an ideal workshop to bring along a spouse, son or daughter or partner. Non-photographic companions may join the group sessions and meals but are not involved in the critique or review sessions. Companion supplement is $250.


Peter has found three very nice hotels, each has different rates and all are within walking distance of his apartment where classes meet. Below are the names, rates, websites and phone numbers. We ask that each you call and reserve a room at the hotel of your choice. You can also see each of these hotels on their respective web sites and book on-line through a variety of sites.

There are many other good, reasonable hotels that you can research on-line in Le Marais near Peter’s apartment where the daily class meets_**. Peter’s apartment is in the very heart of the Marais on the rue des Guillemites, Paris 75004, which is where the class will meet.

Hotel Turenne le Marais
6 Rue de Turenne 75004
Tel: (+33) (0)1 42 78 43 25
Fax: (+33) (0)1 42 74 10 72

E-mail :

Hotel Abbatial Saint-Germain
46 Blvd. St. Germain
Tel: (+33) (0)1 46 34 02 12
Fax: (+33) (0)1 43 25 47 73

Hotel Saint Roch
Two steps from the Louvre
25 rue St Roch 75001
Tel: (+33) (0)1 42 60 17 91
Tel: (+33) (0)1 42 96 06 36
Fax: (+33) (0)1 42 61 34 06

Hotel Caron du Beaumarchais
12 Rue Vielle du Temple, Paris, 75004
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 72 34 12


Plan to arrive on Saturday or at the latest by noon on Sunday. The first workshop session will begin at 2pm on Sunday. Flights from the States are often in the evenings which means that you could fly Friday evening and arrive in Paris on Saturday and give yourself an evening to get acclimated before the workshop begins on Sunday.


The workshop ends at noon on Saturday with a final show of the students’ final 15-image photo stories made during the week. Students are free to leave on Saturday afternoon which would enable those needing to get back to the States to work on Monday the time to do so. Those wishing to stay in Paris or France longer are free to continue their trip after the final class.

Research and Preparation

Research and preparation are important parts of any adventure. There are many very thorough guidebooks about Paris and extensive information about Paris and France can be found online.


The first and last meals are included in the cost of the workshop. You will be a guest of the workshop for a group opening dinner, and a final dinner on the last evening. Aside from the two group meals, breakfasts, lunches and dinners are independent but students are encouraged to join each other in local restaurants and cafes. Expect to be paying around $50 a day on meals.

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley