Past Course

One Year Course: Creative Documentary and Photojournalism with Magnum Photos and Spéos, 2019-20

A unique one-year masterclass for Creative Documentary & Photojournalism in Paris, developed in partnership by Magnum Photos and Spéos Photo and Video School.

Patrick Zachmann Gard department. Village of Bagnols-sur-Cèze. Languedoc-Roussillon region. France. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos

This course is underway. If you are interested in our course in 2020/21 please contact us here.

This intensive one-year 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 accredited course runs from September 2019 – July 2020 and will equip 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 will be learning from the established Magnum 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, located in Paris, and its appointed teachers and supplemented by Magnum photographers and staff. Patrick Zachmann as a mentor, will guide the students on a yearly personal project toward an exhibition in the Magnum Photos Gallery.

Patrick Zachmann First Worldwide meeting of Holocaust survivors. Survivor of a concentration camp. Jerusalem. Israel. June 1981. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann A drama student who came with a couple of fellow students to show their solidarity with the protestors, perfoms "the pain of the Chinese people". Tienanmen Square. Beijing. China. May 1989. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos

Where & When

Spéos Photo and Video School: 8 rue Jules Vallès, 75011 Paris, France
Magnum Photos: 19 Rue Hégésippe Moreau,
75018 Paris

September 2019 – July 2020


The course will be taught in English


30 000 € for the entire year and the diploma


Creative Documentary and Photojournalism by Magnum Photos and Spéos
Titre de Photographe RNCP level I (France) and 7 (Europe) – code NSF 323 t
This program is registered in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP)


This course is underway. If you are interested in our course in 2020/21 please contact us here.

More Information

For more info on the course:

Patrick Zachmann A prostitute in the red-light district of Sao Paulo. Town of Sao Paulo. Brazil. 1997. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini Downtown Havana. Rationing store. La Havana. Cuba. January 6, 2008. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos

Structure of the Program

Semester I – September to December

The first semester comprises the core courses, which cover all aspects of professional photojournalism and creative documentary. Top-level professionals lead 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.

Semester II – January to May

During the second semester, the students will improve their practical skills and broaden their range of knowledge. The course 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.

End of Year Exhibition: Spéos + Magnum

The final week of the second semester is dedicated to the set-up of the students end of year exhibition at Spéos school and another themed exhibition at the Magnum premises.

Expert Module + Rencontres d’Arles

The Expert modules aim at deepening the students’ previous knowledge and skills in those areas that are most demanded by the professional market. Each module takes place over several weeks, in June and July.
Courses and conferences are taught by experienced and recognized professionals who share their experience and know-how from their respective fields of expertise. These speakers emphasize the practical ownership of these skills and offer students valuable experience gain for their own personal projects.

In July the students equally participate for several days at the Rencontres d’Arles — a major international photography event, during which they visit exhibitions, present their portfolios and start networking.

Classes and Content

• Photojournalism and Documentary
• Computer Imaging
• Image Management and Publication
• Studio for Photojournalists
• Printing Techniques
• Essentials of Photography
• Tutoring Magnum Photos
• Story Telling: Words & Images
• Expert Module: The Photo Business
• Expert Module: Advanced Photo Reportage

Thomas Dworzak Destruction in the city center. Nothing has been rebuilt since the two wars. Girl with balloons. Grozny, Chechnya. Russia. 03/2002. © Thomas Dworzak | Magnum Photos
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