Workshops

John Free Street Photography Workshop  PARIS

September 1 – 2, 2018

I took the Paris workshop with John because I wanted to push myself to a new level that I couldn’t have reached on my own. I was blown away by John’s knowledge and enthusiasm about photography and the simple, philosophical way he got his message across. I knew I would gain something from the course but I never expected to learn as much as I did and be given so much. His skills are amazing and he shows you how to do it…..how to get real close without disturbing the subject, how to frame, what to include and what to leave out.

I took my best pictures in Paris and I will be doing another course with John as soon as I can because I know he will take me up another level.  David B.

The Paris workshop is designed to allow participating photographers to spend as much time as possible with me photographing at various locations in the city, with opportunities to learn by watching me work. We will work in the neighborhoods in Paris where street photography had its beginning and was made famous by photographers such as Andre Kertesz, Willie Ronis, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Brassai and many others.  We will also study the techniques that made these photographers some of the best known street photographers.

The  workshop will help you improve your ability to photograph people at close range without discomfort about invading the subject’s privacy. You will learn to recognize potential photographic situations and quickly analyze the elements and factors that give the subject meaning.  You will learn to frame and photograph the subject at the precise instant that all elements are arranged and coordinated with proper timing.  By being able to work quickly and quietly, you will be able to photograph the event at the correct moment when all elements and factors have converged to a peak of visual intensity.

Lectures and discussions occur as we work together and at meal breaks. There is also ample time for reviewing your photographs and having one-on-one discussions with me. You will be able to observe me finding and evaluating subjects and how I am able to get in close, without disturbing the subject, or even being noticed. Throughout the weekend we will also give you street photography assignments that will break you outside of your comfort zone and help you take your street photography to a higher level

The workshop is limited to ten photographers and is open to all, regardless of their skill level. Beginning photographers will not “get in the way” or “inhibit” more advanced photographers with their presence. All photographers regardless of their skill must constantly study the same things in order to improve their images. We are always students when it comes to our photography.

YOU WILL LEARN

  1. How to develop your own unique personal vision in street photography and stick out from the crowd
  2. How to master composition in street photography and develop your visual literacy
  3. How to create a memorable body of work and the secrets of unforgettable images
  4. How to focus on a project rather than just single images
  5. One-on-one counseling on what to look for when shooting on the streets
  6. How to identify your weakest images and effectively edit and sequence your work
  7. An in-depth study of famous historical and contemporary street photographers
  8. Personalized street photography assignments to push you to the next level
  9. How to develop a visual consistency in your work
  10. Advanced techniques on shooting on the street

SCHEDULE

The daily locations are subject to change based upon events or photographic opportunities. Each morning we will meet at 9:00 a.m. at one of the many parks to review each photographer’s work from the previous day. Students should be prepared for extensive walking and occasional Metro rides to various locations. I try to choose the areas of the city where I have had the best luck in finding suitable subject material.

 MATERIALS: A camera with manual settings is suggested. Digital photographs can be reviewed each day. If using a film camera you can send me scans of your photos after the workshop. Critiques are optional and are offered free of charge for one year after the workshop.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

The cost of the workshop is $900. Students will provide their own transportation, lodging and meals, as well as print processing (if using film).  The workshop includes an introductory lecture and the opportunity to work one-on-one with me to develop an individual working technique tailored to fit each photographer’s unique personal vision.

A 50% deposit is required to reserve a space, the balance to be paid by August 1. Payment may be made through PayPal. Cancellations must be made no later than August 15 for a refund minus a 10% cancellation fee. In the event that the workshop is cancelled for any reason, participants will receive a full refund.


Paris Workshop 9/1-2, 2018



 

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

kai mai 4

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.

You will:

•  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

Cost:      $400

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) via email at:  johnnienikon@yahoo.com


Date desired


 

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

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 johnnienikon@yahoo.com.