THE ENGLISH SEASIDE: a 12 month STREET / DOCUMENTARY project

Take part in a unique project based on the English seaside – starting off with a 3-day workshop in Blackpool

THE ENGLISH SEASIDE . . .

This assignment-based workshop is the start of a year-long creative investment in a substantial street / documentary photography project – with a tangible output. You will follow the creative journey of a substantial project – from concept to book. For a maximum of six participants, your project will start with a 3-day workshop in Blackpool and will focus on an assignment based on the theme of THE ENGLISH SEASIDE.

The initial workshop will equip you with the ideas, the inspiration and motivation to continue to develop your project during the following 12 months culminating in the production of your book – with ongoing support from Brian Lloyd Duckett along the way. The date of the initial workshop is 16-17-18 April 2021. (Please note that the September 2020 workshop is now fully booked).

This workshop could change the way you approach street photography. By the end of the 12 month period, you’ll have had the opportunity to produce a substantial body of work.

For many street photographers, the documentary perspective is the missing piece of their jigsaw. This workshop will bring a strong narrative element to your work, bridging the gap between initial concept and finished project; you will spend time developing your visual language, your photographic identity, practical, technical and conceptual skills and the expertise required to compete a substantial street / documentary photography project. We will use Blackpool as the canvas for the first part of the project, starting in April 2021; students will then be encouraged to continue the project, working on their own, in other British seaside resorts – or return to Blackpool.

The seaside is often thought of as being a metaphor for the state of the nation and this project is an exercise in visual sociology. We will dig deep into the good and the bad; the traditions, the rituals, the stag & hen parties, the culture and the sub-cultures, the fading Victoriana, the unrelenting sense of fun. We’ll immerse ourselves in the glory and the tragi-comedy that is the English seaside – in season and out of it; this backdrop of the seaside through the four seasons provides a natural framework for critical documentary. For inspiration, you will be encouraged to explore the work of photographers such as Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, Dougie Wallace, Simon Roberts and David Hurn.

Core elements of the project:

  1. A series of coursework exercises to complete prior to the workshop
  2. 3-day workshop in Blackpool
  3. Working in your own (in any English seaside town) to add to the body of work
  4. 2x Zoom conference calls with Brian after 4 and 9 months
  5. Production of your book – ideally by the following March

It is recommended (though not obligatory) that we all stay at the same hotel. Brian will endeavour to negotiate a preferential rate and will make a block booking once places are confirmed.

Before the workshop

There’s some ‘homework’ to complete in the period preceding the workshop:

  • You will be asked to think about and develop your creative theme for the project
  • You will need to prepare four images for group discussion and critique
  • There will also be a short assignment for you to work on prior to your workshop – a purposeful ‘warm-up’ task designed to test and exercise your story-telling skills
  • You will be invited to join a private Facebook group where you can get to know the other participants, discuss your images, make joint travel arrangements and exchange ideas

The 3-day workshop

  • The project is centered around a workshop in Blackpool over 3 full days (Friday to Sunday); there will also be a ‘get to know you’ drinks and dinner on the Thursday evening (cost not included) – not obligatory but please do your best to join us
  • The workshop is split into 8 sessions; 2 sessions are ‘classroom based’ and 6 sessions are in the field
  • Whilst out shooting there will be ongoing feedback on your images from Brian
  • Most of the shooting in the field is done individually or in pairs or threes – we don’t work as an intimidating tribe of photographers; the groupings will alternate so that everyone has a chance of working with each other during the weekend
  • Everyone will have a one-to-one session with Brian whilst out in the field; we will discuss your project, techniques and explore your images together
  • The days are not ‘9 to 5’ and there will be plenty of opportunity to shoot early in the mornings and after dark
  • This will be an intensive, immersive experience; you will be encouraged to face your fears and to step outside your comfort zone

Continuing to work on the project – following the workshop

  • You will be encouraged to continue to work on your project on your own for the next 12 months; this could be in Blackpool or in any other English seaside town(s)
  • At intervals of approximately 4 and 9 months following the workshop, you will have one-to-one Zoom video-conferencing calls with Brian to discuss progress, critique your work so far and ensure everything is on track for the production of your book
  • Production of your book (this is down to you, with support from Brian where needed)
  • You will be invited to join the StreetSnappers Collective, a lively group of talented and enthusiastic street photographers

Who is this workshop for?

  • This is not an introductory street photography workshop and it is assumed that you are already a street photographer who has a good understanding of the genre.
  • You must be able to shoot independently and be familiar with your gear and your editing software
  • It is possible that you have reached a plateau in your street photography and need a big challenge to push you to the next level
  • You should have a digital camera and a wide-angle lens (28-35mm is ideal). Feel free to also bring a film camera – but you will need digital gear to be able to take part in the ongoing critique and appraisal process. You will need a laptop or tablet loaded with your choice of editing software
  • As most of the workshop is outdoor-based, you must be able to cope with a substantial amount of walking and the English weather!

How many people are involved?

This workshop is strictly limited to a maximum of 6 participants.

Dates

The workshop will be held in Blackpool over the weekend of 16-17-18 April 2021.

The project will then continue until March 2022, when participants should aim to produce their book.

Costs

The cost for participation in the project is £625.

The fees for the workshop and the subsequent follow-ups are included in this cost. You will need to pay for your own travel and hotel accommodation, plus all food & drink consumed during the weekend. You will also need to consider the cost of producing your book (which could be as little as £18 per copy – Brian will guide you through the book production process).

If you would like to take part in this workshop, please don’t delay – the September workshop was fully booked within 48 hours of the launch.

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