On Assignment: Photography
Meet Your Expert
Part of what makes Paris so photogenic is the mingling of old and new, from the glass Pyramide that juts out of the courtyard of the stately Louvre Museum to today’s students sipping coffee at brasseries once frequented by Hemingway. Delve into the technical and creative aspects of photography during in-depth classes with a National Geographic photographer and a team of instructors. Learn how to capture light, mood, and motion on photo shoots in a city that has inspired artists for centuries.
From our home in the heart of Paris, break into small groups and set out on daily photo shoots amid some of the most iconic landmarks in the world. Each morning, we’ll gather in the classroom with our instructors and our National Geographic photographer to edit and critique our images and learn different elements of photography, such as working with light and shadow, composition, depth of field, and motion.
Set out on a photo assignment each day, using your new skills to capture the city’s extraordinary architecture, the pulse of modern-day life, and elegant monuments. Catch fearless roller skaters at the foot of Notre Dame, street artists in the winding lanes of Montmartre, songbirds at the Sunday market on the Île de la Cité, and boats churning up the Seine. Climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, or descend to the catacombs far below the streets to hone your low-light photography skills. Take an excursion to Versailles to capture the “golden hour” at the palace and gardens. Travel to nearby Chartres to photograph the majestic gothic spires and dazzling stained glass of one of the world’s most celebrated cathedrals. Capture the stunning landscapes of Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny. Visit the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay to examine the works of artists like da Vinci, Rodin, Picasso, and Stieglitz.
In the evenings, we’ll review our day’s work, then photograph Paris at night. Capture the bustling scene in the hip Left Bank neighborhoods, or the Eiffel Tower as it shimmers against the night sky. On certain evenings, our National Geographic photographer and photography instructors will hold seminars to discuss their professional experience.
During the workshop, we’ll organize, curate, and install an exhibition of large-format prints of the group’s best work. At the final gallery opening on our last evening together, share your images and the stories behind them.
Our Photo Workshop Teams
National Geographic Expert: A National Geographic photographer will join the teaching staff for the duration of the workshop to share their insights and experience, and give you guidance and inspiration as you work through each of your photography assignments. The expert joins the classroom lessons and group critiques, works with students one-on-one in the classroom and in the field, and presents during evening seminars.
Photography Instructors: Our workshop instructors are talented and enthusiastic professional photographers from around the world who, along with the National Geographic expert, work with the students on advanced, hands-on knowledge of a broad range of photography skills and disciplines. With a staff to student ratio of 1 to 8, each instructor is able to work with students one-on-one and give personal assignments based on individual skill level and interests.
We stay in centrally-located, dormitory-style accommodations. Breakfast is provided at the residence, while lunches and dinners range from picnics to sit-down meals at restaurants. Classrooms are equipped with digital projectors so we can share and critique our work.