The Professional Practice Series offers a range of online workshops, each organized over two weekends, whose focus is on demystifying the business of the photography industry, establishing a network of industry contacts, understanding the requirements of the market and identifying realistic routes into photographic employment.

The third workshop in the series focuses on personal projects.

“Excellent. So much information and amazing people giving the lectures. Definitely filled a gap in my knowledge.”

Research ideas, engage your audience, work with curators and photo editors, and shape stories that matter to you.
20 & 21 March (lectures) – 27 & 28 March 2021 (consultations)

Your tutors will comprise of Sabiha Çimen (2020 Magnum nominee member), Marina Paulenka (Artist, Curator, Educator, Consultant), Monica Allende (Artistic Director, Consultant), Karen McQuaid (Senior Curator at The Photographers’ Gallery) and Nicola Shipley (co-founder and Director of GRAIN Projects).

You’ll join your tutors over two weekends for in-depth discussions about the core of documentary photography: yourself, and what constitutes your ideas for personal projects.
With this workshop, we want to go back to the essence of storytelling. What makes a good story? What happens when you have a story idea? How do you research it? When do you know it’s finished? How do you work with professionals to shape your story? What is editing and what can it do to your story? How do you work on an exhibition? How do you fund your projects?

Personal projects are often a stepping stone to getting recognized editorially and commercially. It is what editors, art directors and other professionals will look at when deciding whether to work with you. This workshop will guide you into shaping ideas for personal projects, understanding how to contact — and work with — curators or photo editors, and accessing funding.

“My initial motivation for making images was never career-based. l am using this medium to express myself, transform my emotions, dreams, words, and even my fantasies.” – Sabiha Çimen

How does it work?

During the first weekend, you will engage in practical lectures given by four industry professionals, show your work to Sabiha Çimen, see a presentation of her work, and participate in discussions.

The second weekend, each participant will take part in two meetings of 25 minutes each, conducted one-to-one with the invited speakers. During these consultations, the speakers will provide you with honest and constructive critique of your existing work.

Sonia Jeunet will also moderate an ongoing conversation during the second weekend during which each photographer can engage in conversations around ethics, copyright, how to improve a website, how to negotiate prices, contracts, how to prepare a pitch, how to look for fundings and much more.

All sessions are taking place online and moderated by Sonia Jeunet, Magnum’s Education Manager.


$420 USD (including VAT)
Applications are open on a first come first served basis and limited to 34 participants.

Deadline to apply is Sunday 28 February 2021.

Register for the workshop here.

What people say about the Professional Practice Series

“Very informative and productive. The advice I received from both reviewers was really helpful and opened my eyes to a lot of areas I hadn’t considered before.”

“The weekend with Sonia was totally great. It was a good opportunity to share our thoughts about important issues and to know opinions of the others. It was formative and inspiring and Sonia moderated the room respectfully and inclusively.”


We offer one scholarship opportunity for this workshop to a female or non-binary photography.

Apply for the scholarship here.

This workshop offers:

– Lectures by Sabiha Çimen and industry experts
– Two one-to-one sessions of 25 minutes each with experts
– Networking opportunity
– Professional workbook

This workshop is for both amateur and professional photographers.


Saturday 20 March 2021 – 1-6pm GMT
Introduction to the course, ‘housekeeping’ guidelines.
Lectures and Q&A with industry experts.

Sunday 21 March – 2-7pm GMT
Participants show their work to Sabiha Çimen
Lecture by Sabiha Çimen
Exercises, Discussions

Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 March 2021
One-to-one reviews – 25 minutes per participant, by appointment
Advice surgery with Sonia Jeunet

About the Professional Practice Weekends Series:

Magnum Photos’ Professional Practice Series is a series of online photography workshops, each organized over two weekends, whose focus is on demystifying the business of the industry, establishing a professional network of industry contacts, understanding the requirements of the market and identifying realistic routes into photographic employment.

Led by Magnum photographers and industry professionals, the programme presents valuable training opportunities for early & mid-career photographers.

The series is divided into five workshops, all taking place online. Each workshop focuses on a specific aspect of the industry (such as book-making or commercial and editorial assignments) and is designed to encourage discussions and networking opportunities.
Topics include: Editorial Photography (November 2020), Book-making (January 2021), Personal Projects (March 2021), Commercial Photography (April 2021), The Working Photographer (May 2021).

For information on prices and programme, please contact Sonia Jeunet:

Sabiha Çimen (...) Sabiha Çimen

About Sabiha Çimen

Sabiha Çimen was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1986. She is a self-taught photographer.

Voted in to Magnum Photos as a nominee in July 2020, Çimen has collected numerous photography prizes this year: the Canon Female Photojournalist Grant, second prize in World Press Photo’s 2020 Photo Contest, and finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant. In 2018, she was a participant on the World Press Photo Foundation’s Joop Swart Masterclass program, and won third prize in the PH Museum’s Women Photographers Grant scheme.

Çimen graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University with an undergraduate degree in International Trade and Finance, and a Masters degree in Cultural Studies.
Her Master’s thesis on subaltern studies, which includes her photo story titled ‘Turkey as a Simulated Country’, was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2019.

Industry Speakers

Karen McQuaid
Karen McQuaid is Senior Curator at The Photographers’ Gallery and is here in an independent capacity as she also regularly contributes to international workshops, writes for photography publications, edits artists books, and guest lectures across the UK and Ireland.

At The Photographers’ Gallery she has curated exhibitions including Jim Goldberg, Open See (2009); Fiona Tan, Vox Populi, London (2012); Andy Warhol, Photographs: 1976 – 1987 (2014); Lorenzo Vitturi, Dalston Anatomy (2014) and Rosângela Rennó, Río-Montevideo(2016). She has co-curated Geraldo De Barros, What Remains (2013) with Isobel Whitelegg, Made You Look, Dandyism and Black Masculinity (2016) with Ekow Eshun and Shot in Soho (2019) with Julian Rodriguez.

Karen has curated external exhibitions at The Moscow House of Photography and The National Gallery of Kosovo.
Karen also facilitates TPG New Talent, a programme and exhibition for UK based emerging practitioners.

Marina Paulenka
Marina Paulenka is an artist, curator, art consultant, and educator in photography. She was Artistic Director of UNSEEN Foundation and UNSEEN, an Amsterdam based platform for contemporary photography that presents the latest developments in the field of photography and amplifies the careers of boundary-pushing artists.

Prior to her role at Unseen, she worked as a curator and Artistic Director of the Organ Vida International Photography Festival and the non-for-profit Organ Vida Photography Organization, the leading institution for contemporary photography in Croatia.

Currently, she is involved in the organization of FUTURES Photography, a platform focused on amplifying emerging talents in photography in Europe and she is the keynote curator for FORMAT21 International Photography Festival.

Paulenka is the recipient of the Lucie Awards 2018 for a best curator/exhibition of the year for the exhibition “Engaged, Active, Aware: Women Perspectives Now”.

So far she has curated numerous exhibitions and work with artists such as Tabita Rezaire, Dana Lixenberg, Zanele Muholi, Hannah Starkey, Roger Ballen, Pieter Hugo, Nina Berman, Amalia Ulman, Laia Abril, Katrin Koenning and many others.

Paulenka nominates photographers for The Joop Swart Masterclass, the Prix Pictet, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize and she is an international juror and portfolio reviewer at many institutions, awards and festivals worldwide including the Les Rencontres d’Arles, Hamburg Triennial, Parallel Photo Platform, Robert Capa Prize, FORMAT.

As an educator, she gives guest teaching and workshops and working closely with emerging photographers and visual artists in developing their personal work/projects and professional practice.

Monica Allende
Monica Allende is an independent curator/artistic director, consultant and educator.
She is the Artistic Director of Landskrona Foto Festival, and was GetxoPhoto International Image Festival Artistic Director from 2017 to 2019. She has also collaborated with WeTransfer as a Consultant and Creative Producer, and was the director of FORMAT17 International Photography Festival. She is curating the Blues Skies Project, a multidisciplinary project with artist Anton Kusters and Ruben Samama, shortlisted for the Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation Prize 2019. She collaborated with Screen Projects as a producer of the ScreenLabs.

Allende was the Photo Editor at the Sunday Times Magazine, where she launched Spectrum, the award-winning photography section.

She is a visiting lecturer at the London College of Communication, London & EFTI in Madrid.
She has also produced and taught creatives labs for FIFV in Chile, ScreenLab in London and Taskheil in Saudi Arabia. The Mentorship Business Programme for the University of Sunderland’s and workshop for Internazionale Ferrara, WPPh workshop Angola, Magnum Professional Practice, among many others, as well as WPPh JOOP Masterclass.

She is dedicated to nurturing new and established talent and nominates photographers for prizes including the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, the Prix Pictet and The Joop Swart Masterclass/ WPP.

Allende is also a reviewer and ambassador for Reminders Photography Stronghold in Japan and Docking Station in Holland.

Nicola Shipley
Nicola Shipley is a Producer, Curator, Mentor and Consultant specialising in contemporary photography. She trained as an art historian, has an MA in History of Art, and a background in the visual arts, including in commissioning, exhibitions, collections, public art, artists education and professional development.

She is co-founder and Director of GRAIN Projects, based in Birmingham UK. GRAIN is a platform for contemporary photography and a hub and network for practitioners. Part of the national photography network GRAIN collaborates with arts and photography organisations, galleries and museums nationally and internationally. Nicola is responsible for commissioning new work, developing and curating exhibition and publication projects and producing professional development programmes that include masterclasses, bursaries, mentoring, internships, portfolio reviews and training. In her capacity at GRAIN she also co-produces events and symposia including the biannual national conference ‘The State of Photography’.

Recent projects have included working with Edgar Martins, Anthony Luvera, Arpita Shah, Maryam Wahid, Nilupa Yasmin, Sam Ivin, Kate Peters, Lydia Goldblatt, Tom Hunter, Mark Power, Murray Ballard and Sam Laughlin.

Nicola is on the board of Photofusion and is a mentor for Redeye Lightbox. In 2020 she was invited to select the Source magazine BA photography awards and in 2019 was one of the selectors for the Taylor Wessing Photography Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery.

Sonia Jeunet
In her previous life, Sonia Jeunet was a librarian and archivist. A month spent in Afghanistan in 2008 working on Aina’s agency’s digital photography archive convinced her she wanted to work in photography and with photographers. She is now the Education Manager at Magnum Photos where she oversees the organisation of photography workshops. Since joining Magnum in May 2018, she has produced more than 20 workshops in the UK and abroad. She has worked with leading industry professionals and institutions and has engaged with more than 300 emerging photographers. Sonia has more than 12 years’ experience working in the photography industry. Prior to Magnum, she worked as photo editor and creative producer for Panos Pictures (London) and NOOR (Amsterdam).

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