Shenzhen Workshop • Magnum Photos

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Bruce Gilden Cemetery. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 1988. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos

Directed by two Magnum street photographers, the legendary Bruce Gilden and new nominee Matt Stuart, this workshop will offer a unique and intensive photography experience in the dynamic Chinese city of Shenzhen, in collaboration with the Shenzhen Daken Art Center. From April 26 to 30, Bruce Gilden and Matt Stuart will lead their groups through daily programmes of shooting, reviews, group critiques, mentoring, editing sessions, providing the opportunity to learn and improve one’s photographic skills amongst peers.

The workshop is intended for photographers or photography students with a good understanding of photographic practice. Candidates will spend five days alongside their selected photographer, developing visual language, photographic identity, practical, technical and conceptual skills and the expertise required to compete in a changing marketplace. Students will have the opportunity to build a photographic story in Shenzhen or its surroundings, in some cases, relating to previous photographic works or interests.

Magnum’s photographers will lead students through self improvement of  their photography and editing rather than imposing their own photographic style. Each applicant will be able to choose the photographer they would like to work with, and all efforts will be made to accommodate their choice.

The reduced number of participants, 12 max per group, and the location of the workshop will permit to work in an intimate and inspiring atmosphere. The workshop will end with a public projection of the participants’ works produced during the 5 days and two evening talks led by each Magnum mentor.

Matt Stuart Oxford Street, London. England, GB. © Matt Stuart | Magnum Photos

Applicant Requirements

Workshop participants should be able to show a good level of photographic aptitude. Candidates will be expected to arrive comfortably, 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 five days.

Due to the fast pace of the workshop, we 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. Lab services will be recommended.

Bruce Gilden JAPAN. Asakusa. 1998. Two members of the Yakuza, Japan's mafia. The Yakuza's 23 gangs are Japan's top corporate earners. They model themselves on American gangster fashion from the 1950s. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos

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. Daken Art Center can provide letters of support when necessary.


Click here for more information and to apply.

The first deadline for acceptance is April 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. All applications received after April 20th will be reviewed, space permitting.

For further information, please contact :

Bruce Gilden Debbie. West Bromwich, GB. 2014 © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Terry. Iowa State Fair. Des Moines, IA. USA. 2014 © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos

"I'm known for taking pictures very close, and the older I get, the closer I get

- Bruce Gilden

Bruce Gilden

An Iconic street photographer with a unique style, Bruce Gilden was born in Brooklyn, New York. His photographic style of  is defined by the dynamic accent of his pictures, his special graphic qualities, and his original and direct manner of shooting the faces of passers-by with a flash. Gilden’s powerful images in black and white and now in color have brought the Magnum photographer worldwide fame.



Matt Stuart New Bond Street. London, England. GB. 2006 © Matt Stuart | Magnum Photos
Matt Stuart Trafalgar Square. London, England. GB. 2004 © Matt Stuart | Magnum Photos

"Buy a good pair of comfortable shoes, have a camera around your neck at all times, keep your elbows in, be patient, optimistic and don’t forget to smile

- Matt Stuart

Matt Stuart

Born in 1974, Matt Stuart was raised in the leafy suburbs of Harrow, North West London. He admits to a less than distinguished school career, but was called upon aged 11 to play a trumpet solo in front of the Queen Mother. Her Majesty’s reaction is not recorded. A little later, in 1986, Matt discovered skateboarding after watching the film “Back to the Future”. Skating occupied his every waking moment until 1994, when he looked up from the half-pipe and noticed that girls had got a lot more interesting. He also indulged in a brief, ill-advised affair with Kung Fu.

Matt’s father, keenly aware that his son would never be the next Bruce Lee, introduced him to photography, handing over books by Robert Frank & Henri Cartier-Bresson. Ever since then, photography has been Matt’s overriding passion, although he’s still quite interested in skateboards and girls. (But thankfully not Kung Fu).

More information on the Magnum 70th anniversary program a can be found here.

Matt Stuart GB. England. London. 2015. © Matt Stuart | Magnum Photos