Book now to participate in a four session seminar series on the foundations of the photographic archive. 

This seminar on the photographic archive is aimed at both cultural workers and photographers who want to understand the role of the archive in the record, observation, and interpretation of the photographic medium. The seminar will focus on how photographers can use their image archive as a source of inspiration to produce new bodies of work, publish books that best express their ideas and intentions, sell prints, and work directly with institutions collecting images. Featuring lectures, case studies, guidelines and examples to help attendees understand and apply the concepts covered, the seminar will be led by experts in the field who will provide valuable insights and advice on how to use the photographic archive in a creative and productive way.

In the course of four sessions, curators, scholars and Magnum photographers such as Susan Meiselas and Martin Parr will discuss how they use archival practices and the photographic archive as a source for inspiration to produce exhibitions, workshops and publish books. We will hear from the Magnum Production team on most sustainable and efficient practices to store your digital or analog images and categorize your library.  Finally, the estates of Marc Riboud and Ara Güler will share how they care for and disseminate the work of a photographer after their death. 

The Magnum Photos library is a living archive updated daily with new work from across the globe. The library houses all the work produced by Magnum photographers and some special collections by non-members. There are approximately one million photographs in both print and transparency in the physical library, with over 600,000 images available online.


Free Session – Monday 27th March 2023, 12.00 – 13.30 EDT

*12:00 – 13:30 New York Time, 17:00 – 18:30 London Time, 18:00 – 19:30 Paris Time

Photographer’s guide to selling prints with Magnum Retail Team

This free session discusses pathways to earning income online. The Magnum Retail team offers a variety of merchandise and posters curated from Magnum’s extensive archive that can be purchased, including prints of iconic photographs, clothing, and other items featuring images from the archive. Sharing the behind-the-scenes, the Retail Team will provide case studies and examples for emerging photographers to sell prints and merchandise through a variety of channels such as online marketplaces, physical retail stores, or  a personal website.

Panellists will discuss how they the various stages of production of merchandise and managing online sales.

Panelists: Laura Bancroft, Creative Projects and Product Manager at Magnum Photos, Shore Delano, Digital Project Manager at Magnum Photos, Jack Minto, Digital Gallery Manager at Magnum Photos, Hedvig Werner, Social Media Manager at Magnum Photos

Session 1 – Wednesday 29th March 2023, 12.00 – 13.30 EDT

*12:00 – 13:30 New York Time, 17:00 – 18:30 London Time, 18:00 – 19:30 Paris Time

Artistic and curatorial practice

This session discusses creative approaches to archival practice. In a scenario lacking an existing archive for an artistic or research project, what methods exist to imagine or build your own?

Panellists will discuss how they have used archives in artistic and curatorial practice, and how they collaborate with photographers and subjects of an archive.

Panelists: Susan Meiselas, photographer, Magnum Photos. Taous Dahmani, editor, curator and researcher.

Session 2 – Thursday 30th March 2023, 12.00 – 13.30 EDT

*12:00 – 13:30 New York Time, 17:00 – 18:30 London Time, 18:00 – 19:30 Paris Time

Organizing a photographic archive

This session discusses how present day cultural and market values affect how you make retrospective image selections in an archive. In contrast, it advises working photographers on whether and how to “shoot with an archive in mind”.

The session then covers the technical aspects of archive management. It explains how to maintain a high-standard image catalogue using metadata and digital tools.

Panelists: Hamish Crooks, Estate of Abbas. Pierre Mohamed Petit, digital production manager, Magnum Photos

Session 3 – Monday 3rd April 2023, 12.00 – 13.30 EDT

*12:00 – 13:30 New York Time, 17:00 – 18:30 London Time, 18:00 – 19:30 Paris Time

Book publishing

How can you implement your knowledge of the contemporary photo book market to make the most of your archive? Once you have identified book ideas, how do you work with designers and publishers? Also: Photo book festivals, contests, and photo book connoisseurship.

Panelists: Martin Parr, photographer, Magnum Photos and Andrew Sanigar, Commissioning Editor at Thames & Hudson Ltd

Session 4 – Tuesday 4th April 2023, 12.00 – 13.30 EDT

*12:00 – 13:30 New York Time, 17:00 – 18:30 London Time, 18:00 – 19:30 Paris Time

Working with cultural institutions

Participants will learn about the role of cultural institutions in collecting images, how to approach institutions with their work, and how to work with institutions to create exhibitions and other projects.

Panelists: Lorène Durret, Marc Riboud Estate, Ara Guler Estate and Simon Baker, Director of MEP


  • The event will take place on Zoom Video Webinar
  • The series will spread over 10 days, with each session lasting 1.5 hours
  • The Magnum Learn team will be on hand to help with any difficulties joining the event
  • All participants will be encouraged to submit questions using the chat option
  • Participants who are not able to attend will receive the video and audio of the seminar after the event which can be viewed for a month


About the speakers

Jade Chao is a producer and heritage researcher who trained at Magnum Photos initially through the New Museum School programme in 2018 and worked editing the magazine until 2021. She programmes events and makes journalism about community histories.

Simon Baker has been director of MEP since May, 2018. Prior to this he was Senior Curator, International Art (Photography) at Tate, London where he curated exhibitions including Don McCullin (Tate Britain, 2019), Shape of Light (Tate Modern, 2018) Performing for the Camera (Tate Modern, 2016), Conflict, Time, Photography (Tate Modern, 2014), and William Klein + Daido Moriyama (Tate Modern, 2012). His first exhibitions for MEP, which opened in March 2019, were Coco Capitan: Busy Living, and Ren Hang: Love, Ren Hang. Simon Baker has a PhD in History of Art and was Associate Professor of Art History at the Nottingham University (2004–2009). He has published widely on the history of art including the recent monograph George Condo: Painting Reconfigured (Thames and Hudson, 2015). Recent publications on photography include essays for books on Coco Capitan, Antony Cairns, Mari Katayama and Maya Rochat.

Hamish Crooks was the Global Licensing Director at Magnum Photos (2014 to 2019). His previous roles include Product Manager, Head of Picture Products, Sport books picture editor (2005 to 2014: Reuters News Agency), Sub-Editor: Sport, Journalist: Sport & Politics, Rugby Union, Olympics and World Cup specials (1996 to 2000: The Telegraph Online), Archive Director, Online Director and Deputy Bureau Chief (1993 to 2005: Magnum Photos). He is the head of the Abbas Foundation.

Taous Dahmani is a London-based French, British and Algerian art historian, writer and curator specialising in photography. Her academic research focuses on the photographic representation of struggles and the struggle for photographic representations. Her projects mainly involve the links between photography and politics — such as the visual culture of protests, migratory narratives and intersectional feminist discourses. She has published in various scientific journals and regularly gives papers in academic conferences. She also writes for art magazines and is frequently invited to hold public ‘in-conversations’ with photographers. Dahmani is Content Editor for The Eyes , a trustee of the Photo Oxford Festival and on the editorial board of  MAI: Visual Culture and Feminism . She was the 2022 curator of the Louis Roederer Discovery Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles . She is currently working alongside photographer Joy Gregory on a publication entitled Shining Lights. Black women in photography in the 1980’s-90's (MACK/Autograph ABP, 2023).

Lorène Durret is an arts program curator and director of Les amis de Marc Riboud, who has worked with photographer Marc Riboud and now takes care of his archive, donated in 2019 to Guimet National Asian Arts Museum (MNAAG), in Paris. Ms. Durret studied architecture and cultural management, receiving a Masters degree from the Sorbonne-Nouvelle university in Paris, and started her career in photography with internships at the Rencontres d’Arles festival, Contact Press Images and Polka Gallery. After working at Robert Delpire publishing house, Ms. Durret joined the Alliance française of Madras, India, where she developed a photography program including exhibitions and educational workshops for children, in partnership with The Hindu. Since 2009, Ms. Durret has assisted Mr. Riboud with archiving and curating his work for global exhibitions and books. After Marc Riboud passed away in 2016, she accompanied his family for the donation of his photographic archive to MNAAG, where she co-curated a major retrospective of his work in 2021.

Susan Meiselas is a documentary photographer based in New York. She is the author of Carnival Strippers (1976), Nicaragua (1981), Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History (1997), Pandora’s Box (2001), Encounters with the Dani (2003) Prince Street Girls (2016), A Room Of Their Own (2017) and Tar Beach (2020). Meiselas is well known for her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America. Her photographs are included in North American and international collections. In 1992 she was made a MacArthur Fellow, received a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), and most recently the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (2019) and the first Women in Motion Award from Kering and the Rencontres d’Arles. Mediations, a survey exhibition of her work from the 1970s to present was recently exhibited at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Jeu de Paume, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Instituto Moreira Salles in São Paulo and is presently on view at the Kunst Haus Wien. She has been the President of the Magnum Foundation since 2007, with a mission to expand diversity and creativity in documentary photography.

Martin Parr’s unmistakable eye for the quirks of ordinary life has made him a distinctive voice in visual culture for more than 30 years. Known for his use of garish colours and esoteric composition, he has studied cultural peculiarities around the world from Japan to America, Europe, and his home country of Britain. The themes of leisure, consumption and communication have occupied him for much of his career, all of which are explored with a penetrating irony. As photographer, filmmaker and collector, Parr has defined a generation.

Parr was born in Epsom, Surrey, UK. When he was a boy, his budding interest in photography was encouraged by his grandfather George Parr, himself a keen amateur photographer. Parr studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic, from 1970 to 1973. Upon graduating, he worked at Manchester Council for Community Relations for three months and then started working towards his first exhibition, Home Sweet Home, at the Impressions Gallery in York.

Pierre Mohamed-Petit is a French visual artist currently works at Magnum Photos as the Paris based Digital Production Manager, handling production initiatives for Paris office such as digitalization and archive management since August 2021.After studying photography and journalism in Falmouth, (UK), he worked as the personal assistant for Black American photographer Stanley Greene regarding producing projects and working on archiving his works, and prints. From 2015 to 2021, he became the Digital and Education Director of NOOR Images, a collective photo-agency based out of Amsterdam. As Digital and Education Director, he lead all digital initiatives such as the the archive and communication of the agency, as well as leading global education initiatives with various free learning programs taking place globally, for the NOOR Foundation and its partners.

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