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Long-term Project Development Photography Workshop

Dates: April 2-5, 2020
Location: Guerneville, CA

Image by Brian Frank


This intensive, hands-on and immersive visual workshop will be beneficial to photographers looking to develop their personal and long-term projects. Long-term documentary work demands a high level of commitment, creativity, persistence, planning, and strategy. Long-term work is about far more than making images: students will be challenged to push their ideas and projects further through exploring creative approaches to long-term photography projects, ethics, distribution models connected to social impact, personal well being and sustainability. 

The workshop’s focus is to dig into the logistical and emotional challenges unique to long-term photography, and to send participants home with new ideas, strategies, and a refreshed vision for their personal project development. 

All skill levels are welcome, however, those pursuing long-term projects or those interested in delving deeper into personal work are best suited for this workshop. CatchLight Fellows, Brian L. Frank and Sarah Blesener, will lead the workshop and share their projects, approaches and personal development strategies. Guest speakers will include: Talia Herman, Justin Maxon, Jenny Jacklin-Stratton, and Mark Murrmann.

Image by Sarah Blesener

Image by Sarah Blesener


Alongside group and one-on-one critique sessions of their personal projects, participants will have the chance to put concepts into practice through a short photo assignment series in the local community of Guerneville, California. Located 1.5 hours from San Francisco, Guerneville has been a beacon of acceptance to Bay Area counterculture, from the LGBTQ community to off-the-gridders and cannabis entrepreneurs. Instructors will help with assigning and producing stories and local access. The workshop will conclude with a culminating presentation and mixer including local community members, photographers, Bay Area editors and media professionals.  


- Narrative development & artistic expression 

- Strategic project planning

        - Personal & professional sustainability 

        - Rethinking distribution models

         - Collaboration and social impact 

- Representation, ethics and challenges specific to long-term projects

Guerneville, California. Image by Talia Herman.

Guerneville, California. Image by Talia Herman.


Full schedule, pre-readings, & logistics guide will be shared with registered participants prior to workshop 

Thursday, April 2: (half day) workshop introduction & guest speaker 

Friday, April 3: (full Day) includes lectures, hands-on assignments, group/one-on-one critiques, guest speaker(s) and editing sessions 

Saturday, April 4:(full Day) includes lectures, hands-on assignments, group/one-on-one critiques, guest speaker (s) and editing sessions 

Sunday, April 5: ( half Day + mixer) includes lecture, group critiques, community presentation & mixer

Image by Brian Frank

Image by Brian Frank


The workshop will provide three meals (welcome dinner Thursday + lunches Friday and Saturday). Aside from this, students are expected to provide their own food and lodging. 

Students are expected to arrange their own accommodation, however, we suggest they stay at R3 or Cottages on River Road to make transportation easier throughout the workshop. Their rates can be found here http://ther3hotel.com/room-rates-winter/ & https://www.cottagesonriverroad.com/guest-rooms.htm


$1000 (deadline, February 21st 2020 or until filled)

***With the intention of fostering inclusion and accessibility, we are able to offer a limited number of tuition scholarships to exceptional applicants. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please state so on the application form. Scholarship applicants should apply by September 30th. Scholarships are for tuition only and do not include travel, lodging and personal expenses.

Workshop capacity: 14 including students, including two scholarship recipients.

-To register students must fill out the application form.

Students are expected to bring work from a long-term project currently in progress, a digital camera, and a laptop to the workshop. The workshop will include intensive reviews and editing of existing work. Students will gain practical knowledge and fresh perspectives to advance their ideas and personal projects to a new level of quality, artistic expression, and impact.


Questions? email contact@sarah-blesener.com

Downloadable flyer available here.