Boyle Heights to Venice Beach.
On assignment with John Free and his son Scott in America’s most dynamic city and the impact of Housing, Immigration and Transportation on the city and its people.
Labor Day weekend 2017.
Celebrating 25 years of workshops, LA’s own John Free and son Scott invite any and all photographers to share in the positive pressure of a photojournalistic book project.
Their last group project, The Downtown LA Challenge With John Free, documented one weekend in the rapidly changing culture of DTLA and resulted in a book that included John and Scott’s photographs as well those of 34 photographers who participated in the challenge. Here is a link to the book: The Downtown LA Challenge with John Free
All participants’ photographs will be considered for inclusion in the book.
►Storytelling with John Free about how he made and printed some of his most iconic photographs
► Lecture and intensive survey/slide show of some of the most effective photography historically in John’s opinion, how these photographs were achieved and how they relate to the project
►Daily meet-ups at locations to be covered in the book and an opportunity to walk the streets with John
►Assignments, story subjects, a list of objectives, challenges and locations
►Culminating in a group dinner party, inviting the subjects we meet during assignments and share experiences
►Each participant will have one week post Labor Day to finalize their photographs into a photo essay and/or shots to be included in the book. John will select the three most effective photo essays to be included in the book in addition to individual photographs along with quotes from subjects you meet along the way
The pleasure is mine – to be working with others who see photography as a way to document our culture. Nancy Lehrer, participant in the Downtown LA Challenge with John Free.
Friday, September 1
7 – 9 PM Introductory lecture and storytelling with John Free including coffee and dessert
Saturday, September 2
9 – noon, Lecture as well as objectives, challenges and assignments
Noon Start work on assignments
8:00 PM Night shoot with John and Scott (optional)
Sunday, September 3
9:00 AM Meet-up with John and Scott (optional)
Work on assignments
Monday, September 4
9:00 AM Meet-up with John and Scott (optional)
Work on assignments
6:00 PM Celebration Dinner and wrap-up
$300 – includes listed meals, lectures and photo review by John and the opportunity to be included in the book.
$150 – John Free workshop students, including the DTLA Challenge participants
$150 – high school students
Your inspiring methods of teaching, wit and insightful techniques are invaluable to any photographer. I will definitely ‘put in the work’ as you encourage me to improve my images and share what I’ve learnt with others. – Linda Wisdom, London
PRIVATE ONE-ON-ONE WORKSHOPS WITH JOHN FREE in Los Angeles are available year-round for a full day working on the street with John while he demonstrates, and you practice, his techniques for getting in close without disturbing the subject, or even being noticed. You will also learn how he makes photographs at the speed of life, how to increase speed in camera handling and mental calculations to make an effective photograph. He will also discuss and demonstrate the various ways to find or build subject.
The day will begin with a lecture, slide show and discussion by John and his son Scott of the history of street photography, analyzing the approach and intent of John’s favorite photographers including Hine, HCB, Frank and Smith. He will also give you the inside story about how he made some of his most iconic photographs. The lecture will give you a great warm up for a day of working alongside John.
• Gain insight and motivation from the discussion and slide show
• Understand the discipline of manual focus, full frame, available light and candid subject and why adhering to a set discipline allows greater freedom and ability to notice and seize the moment
• Observe and practice John’s unique approach to in-the-street encounters and his ability to find and deal with subject
• Hear firsthand how John’s most famous photographs were made
Just a fantastic one-on-one workshop with John today. John’s ability to explain how to put elements together to create an effective photograph is second to none. It is true most of the time people do not even know John is there allowing us to get close and create those wonderful images. If someone did notice us we had a smile and John’s hilarious verbal judo made everyone laugh! – Gary T., Los Angeles
If you join one of John’s street photography workshops you will participate in a photographic celebration, dedicated to improving your abilities to make meaningful and powerful images. You will be offered an assignment that John will critique at the end of the day.
As we walked John showed us how he disarms his subjects and avoids conflict while getting very close and most often not even being noticed. It was amazing to watch. I can honestly say it has changed how I approach all my photography. – Claire W., Dublin
You taught us way more than just the secrets of taking great snapshot of life. I learned how to be way more confident, aware and mainly to just be you! I will always be thankful for that. – T. Sweeney
One-on-One Workshop in Los Angeles – CONTACT JOHN WITH DESIRED DATE(S)
All workshops include a daily introductory lecture as well as the opportunity to work one-on-one with John to develop an individual working technique tailored to enhance each photographer’s unique personal vision. You will have the opportunity to spend as much time as possible with John photographing at various locations in the city, with opportunities to learn by watching him work.
The daily locations are subject to change based upon events or photographic opportunities and you will receive specific locations after your registration is complete. Students should be prepared for extensive walking and occasional public transportation rides to various locations. John chooses the areas of the city where he has had the best luck in finding suitable subject material.
The workshops are designed so that participants will provide their own transportation, lodging and meals, as well as print processing (if using film). Students may bring their laptop computers to view photographs during the daily critique sessions.
Payment may be made through PayPal. Cancellations must be made no later than two weeks in advance for a refund minus at 10% cancellation fee. In the event that the workshop is cancelled for any reason, participants will receive a full refund.
Two full days of street shooting in LA with John Free and other wonderful photographers…loved every minute! Excited to edit and see the candy! Thank you for sharing the practice. D. Arlook, Los Angeles
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. WHAT BOOKS/PHOTOGRAPHERS SHOULD I STUDY IN PREPEARATION FOR YOUR WORKSHOP?
“I recommend that my students study the works the photographers who have inspired me, of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank and W. Eugene Smith and the book the Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing by Gross and Shapiro. I also recommend the book The Family of Man.This book is the permanent embodiment of Edward Steichen’s monumental exhibition at the 1955 Museum of Modern Art in New York.
2. WHAT CAMERA AND LENS DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR THE WORKSHOP?
I recommend that you carry one digital or film camera, including smart phones. I use a “normal” lens on a 35mm SLR film camera. I also do not carry a camera bag so I can better blend in.
3. DO YOU CRITIQUE EACH STUDENT’S PHOTOS DURING THE WORKSHOP?
I do not require photographers to submit images for evaluation but I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity since it’s a good way for us to learn together. For those using digital cameras we can either look at them on your camera or on your laptop. Alternatively, students using film can email me their images up to one year after the workshop and I will critique them online.
4. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR/BRING?
We do a lot of walking during the workshop so comfortable shoes and clothes are a must. This also helps you blend in and nothing wrong with people thinking you’re just a tourist out taking pictures. Sunscreen and bottled water is also strongly suggested! What is most important is that you bring with you the excitement and willingness to learn how to take great pictures.
5. I JUST FINISHED MY FIRST PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS AND I LOVED IT! BUT I KNOW I STILL HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO LEARN. WHEN WILL I BE READY TO TAKE YOUR WORKSHOP?
We are all students when it comes to our photography and anyone and everyone who wants to improve their photography is welcome to take the workshop. Many of John’s students have found that they met a group of fellow street photographers that will be your life-long contacts and friends who share a passion for street photography.
6. I AM AN EXTREMTLY SHY PERSON AND MAY BE TOO AFRAID TO GET IN CLOSE TO TAKE A PHOTO OF A STRANGER. WILL I BE PUT IN A POSITION WHRE I DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE?
No one will be placed in any uncomfortable situations. Remember most of my techniques involve people not even noticing we are even there. I will be demonstrating these techniques and you can participate in them when you feel ready. My goal is to make you invisible.
It was great to meet you and get a first-hand experience of how you do that voodoo you do… you’re a funny guy, made me laugh. Listening to your philosophy was inspiring and an education to watch how you dance with your subjects -Gardner H
For more information or questions email John at email@example.com.