Instructors: Ed Kashi, Ashley Gilbertson
Location: NYC, USA
Cost: $2,000 USD
Duration: 6 Days
Class size: 16
Skill level: All levels
About the workshop
Long time friends and collaborators, Ashley Gilbertson and Ed Kashi, are known for unique approaches to stories for high profile clients including The New York Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker and NGO clients including UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders. Gilbertson and Kashi met in 2009 in New York and have been close friends ever since, seeing one another regularly for snacks, schvitzes and perhaps too many espressos. Between meals, they’ve also worked on editorial pieces together, including the award-winning It’ll Be Better Next Year and The Undecided.
Ashley and Ed have taught various sold out workshops in the past, though they have never hosted a week long masterclass together. Ashley almost never does workshops of this length due to commitments to shooting, so this is perhaps an even rarer opportunity than usual.
The two bring unique talents to the class that participants can learn from, including thinking outside of the box, approaching strangers, making powerful images in confronting situations, and above all, how to photograph how a place feels over how it looks. The emphasis in this workshop is how to get in touch with your feelings and how to translate them into great photographs with feeling.
Anyone can make a strong photograph, as evidenced by a cursory glance at some of the two billion photos uploaded every day. What makes a great photograph? Emotional content. Mood. Feel. This masterclass will be beneficial to anyone looking to push the boundaries of their photography–how to capture emotion in a narrative; the image as a stand alone image; the approach itself.
This workshop will be designed from courses Ashley and Ed have independently taught at institutions including International Center of Photography, Yale University, Syracuse University, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Maine Media Workshops. Your time actually out shooting will be maximized without compromising the time for instruction and lectures and constructive critiques.
Anyone from professionals looking to hone their talents to students looking to learn new techniques are welcome, as are people looking for a New York adventure with a couple of insiders.
The program will begin with three days of preparation in narrative photography and technique in New York City’s East Village. We will conclude the workshop with three days of editing as we shoot and post production including toning and captioning. A slide show and dinner will be held for participants one the final night in President Trump’s residence on Fifth Avenue. If he reneges on his offer, then we’ll have it at Ashley’s apartment.
Prior to the masterclass, you will have the opportunity to work by e-mail with Gilbertson and Kashi to develop an idea that you can photograph during the masterclass. Your idea can be developed further when the masterclass starts. Beginners are encouraged to consider geographical boundaries—parks, squares, blocks—within New York City that you might like to photograph, like Gilbertson has in downtown New York. Those with more experience are encouraged to find stories within the city itself.
The days will be organized as follows:
Instructors introduce themselves with work; our personal history and goals with our photography. You’ll present work and explain your story ideas and discuss workshop goals.
Morning shoot concentrating on environmental portraits of those people involved in your story idea.
1pm: Return to classroom. Download and edit the day’s work. Lecture by Gilbertson and Kashi about light and composition.
Morning shoot concentrating on wide, establishing shots of your stories and scouting different angles and aspects
1pm: Return to classroom. Download and edit the day’s work. Lesson in digital workflow and captioning.
Morning shoot concentrating on the candid moment.
1pm: Return to classroom. Download and edit the day’s work. Lesson in narrative development and story-telling in photography.
Morning shoot concentrating on completing your story.
1pm: Return to classroom. Download and edit the day’s work. Lesson in funding and dissemination.
Spend the whole day in the classroom editing the week’s work to prepare a final edit of 10-15 images to be shared in a group critique in the afternoon, where we will go over sequencing in a group session to prepare our final show.
Class concludes with dinner and slideshow for the whole group.
“This class is a must take for any type of photographer–you will finish the class a better photographer. Ashley and Ed are terrific teachers each with diverse backgrounds and styles. They were incredibly generous with their time and knowledge. They assisted me in narrowing down my subject for the shoot prior to the class and that was very helpful. Once it started, every day they assisted in my story in photos and the result is the best work I have ever done. TAKE THIS CLASS!
Ashley and Ed were terrific in not letting us settle for anything less than excellence and asking for the most of all of us. The class as a group was incredibly collaborative, each of us helping decide on shots and approaches to subsequent days shoots. We exchanged ideas and skills, and it was super fun meeting such a diverse group.
Shooting in NYC is the other benefit of the class. The city is full of so many stories, it was great learning the city and using it in our photos.” –Rob Chickering
“I took this workshop in 2017 and it was the start, for me, of a major project concerning the people and history of Alphabet City.
The workshop is intense and students have to be ready to jump right in and start photographing. The payback to participating can be enormous. Both Ed and Ashley give very insightful critiques as well as offering a wealth of information from their years of experience as photojournalists. They made themselves easily available to the class. I left the workshop with a clearer understanding of how to make a good picture and what my goals in photography are. Really cannot ask for much more.” – Joan Lederer
“I was tremendously inspired by the Visual Storytelling workshop with Ed Kashi and Ashley Gilbertson. They were extremely generous with their time, advice and skills, and the experience was warm, personal and intimate. As a freelance journalist for the past 10 years, I could take all the inspiration and skills with me, and imply them into my daily work-life and also into my ambitions for the future. I loved every minute of it and I would love to learn from both of them again.” – Christina Skreiberg
“Being mentored by Ed Kashi and Ashley Gilbertson for an entire week was moving, intense and insightful into what a career in photojournalism involves. They give you 100% and use their own work and professional workflows to feed your practice to be more empathetic, more intelligent and more intimate. Their varying personalities, sense of humor and grit really keeps you switched on through the duration of the workshop and pushes you to create your best work. I left feeling exhausted as hell but ultimately more driven than ever.” – Mridula Amin