Weaving stories: a street photography and zine-making workshop in Istanbul, Turkey

with Stephen Leslie and Gerry Orkin

15–20 September 2019

Limited places | €670 Early Bird | Register

Turkish translation

About the workshop

This intensive workshop in Istanbul, Turkey, is designed for relatively experienced street photographers who want to move their practice up a level, away from the tyranny of the single image and towards new ways of creating meaningful photographic narratives, sequences and series. 

The workshop goals include working together to create a zine, a finished product that features a selection of every participant’s work. While the zine will include photographs we have made during our time together, the story-making and narrative sequencing skills and understanding gained on the workshop will be transferrable to your ongoing work and existing and future projects.

If you already have a project, exhibition or series that you have been working on, we'll also help you sequence that work.

As part of developing your practice, you will begin the workshop by making a presentation that introduces yourself and your work. In that way, we'll start the process knowing more than usual about each other,  and what it is we want to say and achieve through our photography. 

Key things that we'll focus on during the workshop include:

  • Recognising content – Why are you making that photograph? What is the photo about vs. what is it a photo of? What are you trying to say? Is there more to it than just an aesthetically pleasing image? How does it relate to your other work? And what is its value within a story, series or sequence?
  • What is the difference between developing a style and simply repeating yourself? Learning about your own interests, why do you photograph what you photograph? What happens when you step (or are pushed) outside your comfort zone and try to take different kinds of photographs?
  • How to edit your own images – learning to be objective and recognise what's good and what's not so good.
  • Sequencing – how to select images and use them constructively to tell a story or examine a theme. Understanding the difference between story and narrative.

Workshop schedule

The workshop begins on 15 September with student and teacher presentations and a sequencing session that focuses on student's existing work.

We'll then shoot for four days (with editing sessions every evening), and spend our last day reviewing, selecting and sequencing images for inclusion in our collective zine. Be prepared to work hard!

The zine

For the zine-making sessions we'll be working with prints, and after the workshop we'll convert the final product into a digital format for printing and distribution to participants. The digital version will be able to be printed locally, so participants can make further copies at their leisure.

About Istanbul

Istanbul's position at the boundary between Europe and Asia underpins its social and political importance as well as its reputation for cultural diversity.

The city is one of the best locations in the world for street photography. Residents hang out and socialise in the street and the place is always buzzing with activity, from large open spaces and parks to small alleyways and crowded suburbs. It's also culturally and ethnically rich; Turks, Syrians, Kurds and recent refugees have created a diverse community across the city.

We'll be visiting markets, parks, waterfronts and winding alleyways. We'll do a lot of walking as well as travelling by ferry. 

September is one of the best times to visit Istanbul, with daytime temperatures of 25c and mild nights (around 17c). We'll be shooting from early morning until late in the afternoon, to ensure we can make the most of the amazing light.


What's included

  • The fee covers tuition, guidance and feedback during the workshop, and materials used for the production of the collective zine. 
  • It also includes a printed copy of the zine after the workshop ends. All other costs e.g. transport, accommodation, food and drinks, are your responsibility.

What you'll need to bring

  • A digital camera with a wide-angle lens 
  • A laptop with Lightroom (or your preferred photo management and editing software) already installed. NOTE: please be familiar with that software - we can't teach you how to use it!
  • Memory cards and enough batteries to last you a very full day shooting in the streets.
  • Comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, water bottle.
  • We'll use WhatsApp to stay in touch while we are out and about in Istanbul, so it'll be important to have an internet connection while you are on the workshop. SIM cards can be purchased at carrier stores at the airport, but will be more expensive compared to those bought in the city.

Before the workshop

  • You'll need to prepare a presentation that introduces the group to you and your work. It must include between fifteen and twenty images. We'll want to hear about your street photography philosophy, your preferred styles and approaches, and your goals for your practice and the workshop.
  • We'll create a secret Facebook group so we can communicate in the weeks leading up to the workshop. You'll be able to discuss accommodation options, travel arrangements etc. and meet your fellow students.


  • We take all reasonable care in the conduct of the workshops that we teach, but education sessions conducted in public places can involve risk of personal injury.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you are physically and mentally fit for the workshop and must at all times take care of your own personal safety. 
  • We will accept no responsibility for injury or loss caused to you during the workshop. We will not be liable for any other fate that befalls you.


  • There are a minimum number of students required to make this workshop viable.  It's a reasonably small number, but you should not finalise your travel and accommodation arrangements until we confirm that we are proceeding. 
  • We'll let you know how things are progressing four or five weeks out from the workshop start date.


  • If we have to cancel the workshop for any reason or if you withdraw before 15 August 2019 we'll provide you with a full refund (less fee processing charges).
  • If you withdraw between 15 August 2019 and 30 August 2019 we'll provide you with a 50% refund (less fee processing charges).
  • If you withdraw between 30 August 2019 and 15 September 2019 we'll not be able to provide a refund.
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