West Slope Photojournalism Workshop

Monday May 30 – Friday June 24


The West Slope Photojournalism (WSPJ) workshop is back for another summer of programming in Paonia!

This year, WSPJ is offering an updated, four-week curriculum featuring instruction by a group of hand picked photographers from around the country, each with their own unique expertise and focus spanning the worlds of commercial, journalistic and documentary photography. This workshop will be a fun and effective way for students to learn the following skills:

  • Mastering the use of a DSLR camera
  • Black and white film photography and development
  • Understanding journalism ethics
  • Studio and on location lighting
  • Developing a “visual voice,” including strong writing and storytelling skills
  • Artistic presentation of photos
  • Presenting and defending your work through critiques led by working artists and photographers

Round table discussions ranging from rules of classical aesthetics to modern concepts
This course will engage with local and national news in real time, which may include special sessions dedicated to breaking news events. WSPJ will provide industry-standard multimedia equipment (DSLR cameras, lighting equipment, editing software, etc.) and lots of opportunity for hands-on practice. Through a combination of lectures, roundtable discussions, and photography excursions, participants will learn concepts relating to camera use, journalism ethics, writing development, and artistic expression. Students will explore these concepts through the creation of their own long-form photo essays over the four-week period.

Participants are encouraged to reflect critically on their circumstances, and feel empowered to share their unique stories through photography. In doing so, students address a fundamental question of modern journalism: “Who controls the narrative?” These young storytellers will learn to wield their visual voice in consideration of a larger social context.

West Slope Photojournalism class


Monday May 30th – Friday June 24th.

Participants will meet every day from 9am-1pm. The typical daily schedule includes an opening photo exercise, followed by a lecture, a longer photo exercise, and then a photo critique. Each day is meant to function on its own, but each lesson builds on previous ones to culminate in a final project.

Weekly Structure: each one-week session includes five distinct meetings.

Week 1: Fundamentals: basic camera use, photographing using manual settings, camera care, composition, exposure

Week 2: Themed Lessons: how to tell the story, who/what are we photographing, what is “capturing” a photo about, how are stories conceived and designed

Week 3: Special Lessons/Film: special film instruction / continuation of themed lessons

Week 4: Articulation and Execution: organizing, editing, sharing the work. Presentation, visual literacy, communication

8:45am – Arrive
9:10 – 9:30 – ACTIVITY 1
9:35 – 10:30am – LECTURE + DISCUSSION
10:35 – 11:30 – ACTIVITY 2
11:35 – 12:00 – Break for snacks and water
12:05 – 12:45 – DISCUSSION / CRIT