Magazine tearsheets from Kris Davidson's  assignment work in Louisiana.

Magazine tearsheets from Kris Davidson's  assignment work in Louisiana.

Small Class, Cultural Immersion, Seasoned Educator

New Orleans is one of America's most fascinating cities. Locals will tell you she's alive — laden with history, but still bursting with life and song, New Orleans is home to sinners and saints and a host of characters in between. Elegant and rough, the Big Easy is shaped by a complicated history that paradoxically gives rise to both an enduring legacy of inequality and some of America's most celebrated cultural fruits. 

Join photographer and educator Kris Davidson for an intensive  3-day workshop in New Orleans and a foray into the surrounding wetlands. Kris has worked extensively in Louisiana, shooting numerous features about the state for magazines such as National Geographic Traveler, Lonely Planet Traveller and many others. The New Orleans and Wetlands Workshop has been designed with a journalist's curiosity, shying away from canned experiences with an eye towards nuanced moments and engaging storytelling. The workshop will be small, allowing for meaningful one-on-one guidance and the ability to move efficiently as a group while on location.

With over 10 years experience as a photography instructor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Kris has had the honor of guiding countless photographers on their creative journeys. The cornerstone of her teaching philosophy is to help refine  the individual voice; she will meet you where you are, whether you have specific technical questions, or if you want high caliber guidance on thematic development, journalistic storytelling or feedback on a conceptual art series. At the kick-off we'll discuss our creative aspirations and throughout the weekend the lectures and experiences will be tailored to individual goals. We'll take to the street to discover the extraordinary local culture  — the music, the architecture, the food and all the wondrous characters that call New Orleans home.

Engaged Critiques

Learning photography is a layered process — it is also very individual as the photographer works on shaping a visual voice in the midst of gaining technical knowledge. Kris  has designed this workshop to include insightful lectures to be followed by on-location shoots — a chance to put your new knowledge into practice. But where it all gels is in the post-shoot critiques — this is where the classroom information, the on-location shooting crystallize with your creative aspirations and the real learning happens. As a group we will look at the work from our expeditions from a myriad of perspectives, considering technical, artistic and storytelling aspects.  Learning photography  takes time,  practice and thoughtful reflection — but, it's some of the most rewarding practice that there is, and in this workshop you'll be in a supportive environment of other like-minded people who love to explore the world photographically.



A Portrait of a Time and Place

Culture is borne out of the overlapping events, historical fragments imprinted on the the modern day in varying degrees of prominence. It could be said that culture exists largely in our minds — that it is fleeting, and constantly recreated and amended as time flows by. In a sense, photographers and storytellers we are the keepers of culture. In our time together, we'll work to capture the "sense of place" in a collection of images. New Orleans is a wonderful, rich setting in which to do this work — her history is simultaneously dark and bright, prominent and elusive, joyous and moody. Bringing your individual voice to the table, you'll work on visually communicating how you experience the New Orleans culture. 


The Disappearing Wetlands

New Orleans is a city completely defined by the water that surrounds her. Every day more of the wetlands disappear. As a part of this workshop we'll experience the disappearing wetlands just beyond the city, embarking on a 4-hour photo-oriented tour with a local wood builder who scavenges the swamps for sunken cypress trees from the logging boom 150 years ago (pictured above). We'll go down the intercoastal highway, perhaps seeing some big ships, venture into remaining cypress groves and marshland areas (and perhaps see some alligators and other wildlife), ending with a sunset over the mystical waterscape. 


Enrollment Details

In 2017 we have two workshops scheduled in the fall (perfect time to be in Louisiana) bookended by Halloween, which means the characters roaming the city will be even more colorful than usual. We also have two classes scheduled in March 2018. Classes are limited to six participants. Price: $985

Sign up today to reserve your spot! 

REGISTER: Friday, October 27 — Sunday, October 29
REGISTER: Friday, November 3 — Sunday, November 5
REGISTER: Friday, March 2 — Sunday, March 4
REGISTER: Friday, March 9 — Sunday, March 11

• DSLR camera, lenses and empty CF cards
• Laptop with available memory for new photos and editing software (Lightroom is recommended)
• Sensible walking shoes, layered clothing
• Optional: Waterproof boots/shoes for the swamp, rain-resistant windbreaker 

• 3-day workshop with award-winning photographer Kris Davidson
• 2 lectures (technical overview, storytelling, composition, approaches to portraiture)
• Technical consultation in classroom (and on location as needed)
• 2 individualized critiques for workshop-created photographs (in group setting)
• 1 photography-oriented tour of the Jean Laffitte/Barataria swamp and wetlands (4-hours)
• Transportation during workshop scheduled hours when traveling as a group
• Snacks and water during class sessions and swamp shoot

• Airfare
• Hotel accommodation
• Photographic or computer equipment
• Meals
• Incidental expenses