Storytelling & Social Media Workshop with John Stanmeyer
Tbilisi, Georgia ~ 22-30 June, 2016
Our second in a series of Storytelling and Social Media Workshops will bring 12 photographers to the historic and beautiful city of Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia. Located in the heart of the Caucasus. Tbilisi is often called the Paris of the region with its gilded architecture, rich history warm and welcoming people, the perfect setting for deeply enrich storytelling.
John Stanmeyer spent has spent much time in Georgia and Armenia, falling in love with the region, the culture and its people. We now return for a second time this year to this enchanting area of the Caucasus for a workshop like no other — storytelling and the power of publishing in today’s ever evolving media landscape.
Throughout the 9 day workshop, John will collaborate closely with each photographer as they work on their individual stories, most specifically in the storytelling and editing processes. At times, John will try to go out with photographers, however experience shows that having another photographer around you while working only alters, affects the situations each photographer works in. If a photographer is having difficulty in the field connecting with the story, John will indeed go out with the photographer, guiding and inspiring wherever needed. Keep in mind that this is not a “Follow the flag, now take a picture of this!” type workshop. John’s workshops are all about individual, in-depth storytelling where each photographer not only will learn how to expand their photography, you will learn how to expand your thinking and awareness of the world around you. In every workshop John has hosted, each photographer leaves effected, expanded — for John and others, these are almost therapy photo sessions of enlightenment.
Editing of photography happens each day at the workshop venue. This is done both individually and in groups, making it a fascinating learning experience for all when witnessing how each photographers images evolve throughout the course of the workshop, into a completed story.
During most evenings of the workshop, John will present stories he has produced from over twenty years of photographing for the world’s leading publications, such as National Geographic and Time magazine. Stanmeyer will bring each photographer into his planning, research and psyche of creating more than 14 stories for National Geographic.
The workshop venue will be held in the heart of the old city of Tbilisi. To make this workshop truly affordable and accessible to all, we have chosen to rent out two houses where each participant will stay, one of the homes being the venue of the workshop, both in walking distance of each other. John and the workshop team will help each photographer choose which location they wish to stay based upon their budget — prices are roughly $20-$40 per night.
It is expected that each photographer arrives to Tbilisi by the morning of June 22nd. By the afternoon, we will converge at the workshop venue where each photographer will meet with John and will be introduced to their fixer/translators to begin logistics planning for the next day’s photography. Photography on your story begins either on that afternoon of the 22nd (if you so choose) or early on the 23rd.
Joining John this year will be Anush Babajanyan, co-founder of 4Plus, an NGO that uses photography to empower women in the Caucasus. Anush is one of of the most talented photographers working today in Caucasus, helping to expand both your photography and cultural understanding in the truly rich, subtle nuances of Georgian culture and traditions.
On the evening of the 30th of June, each photographer will project their completed work to all attending the workshop, as well as invited guests. Photographers will present and discuss the unique aspects of each story in the exact same manner as a completed story for National Geographic magazine is presented upon completion to editors. This evening event is truly something magical and amazing, with each photographer learning something new not only about their own work but also the work of their colleagues.
We encourage all photographers to consider staying longer in country to keep honing their photographic skills. John and the workshop team can help in offering expertise and insight into places around Tbilisi as well as in Armenia which is only a short 2 hours drive south.