I try to publish news about my photojournalism workshops when I have extra time and I appologize to the many students who have written me over the past several years with exciting news, that for the most part I have not had time to post about. I do my best to keep up which is often hard with the nearly constant travel.
I recently got an email from Luc Forsyth who recently finished his second workshop with me. Two years ago Luc took his first workshop in Bangladesh and just a few months ago I designed an advanced workshop for him which we did together in Cambodia.
Since his last workshop Luc's work has been published by TIME, The LA Times, The New York Times Lens Blog, Al Jazeera, NBC News, ABC News and The New York TImes Online. He also had an image on the cover of the International New York Times and was featured on Time Magazine's pictures of the week. Congratulations on your excellent work Luc and keep it up
I will soon be offering new group workshops in Chernobyl and I continue to offer one-on-one photojournalims workshops all around the world whenever I have a bit of time away from regular work and assignments. Feel free to contact me if you would like more info on these programs.
Advanced Photojournalism Workshop: Testimonial Written by Luc Forsyth
"After taking Zoriah’s workshop nearly two years ago, I decided to take his advice and fully take the plunge into making photojournalism my full time job. I spent the next two years shooting full-time on an extremely tight budget, not ever expecting to get paid, or even published, for my efforts. But as Zoriah drilled into me on the first day of our workshop, photojournalism is all about the long-term commitment - there is no magic bullet to achieving success quickly. After producing dozens stories in eight countries on a variety of subject matter, I decided that my skill as a photographer was finally at a level worthy of publication - and ideally payment. However, after investing my life savings into the improvement of my skills, I realized that I needed some serious help when it came to making photojournalism a viable way to support myself. I knew from taking Zoriah’s workshop previously that he was an incredibly patient teacher, and someone who is completely open and honest with students about what it takes to succeed in a competitive industry.
When I approached Zoriah about the possibility of a second, shorter workshop, focusing only of the logistics and business of photojournalism, he responded almost immediately with a custom-designed syllabus. These were not just generic tips, but rather genuinely thoughtful areas of focus based on my real life needs. Though I was again hesitant in sinking more money into education while earning virtually nothing, I knew that, as a hand-on learner, a 1-1 workshop would be the most effective way I could affect changes in my developing career.
Zoriah met me in Cambodia, where I live, and over two full days - he is able to pack an unbelievable amount of information into a short period of time - we talked about a multitude of ways I could move from the realm of dedicated amateur into full-time professional. The advice was not simply a regurgitation of the ways in which Zoriah had been able to make a career for himself, but a truly personalized course. Unlike many teachers out there, Zoriah isn’t trying to turn students into reflections of himself or his style or photography, but rather helps his students to form their own style and project their unique vision into their storytelling. Over the two days in Phnom Penh, we talked about how to expand my online presence, how to approach editors and agencies, what sort of stories I could follow to broaden my portfolio, and developed comprehensive plans for both long and short-term development. Though when we parted ways I felt slightly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knowledge Zoriah had passed on to me, for the first time I had a clear set of goals to follow.
Before taking this workshop, my photos and writing had appeared in a handful of (mostly unknown) local publications. Now, less than 5 months later, my work has been featured internationally in TIME’s pictures of the week, the New York Times Lens Blog, Al Jazeera, The LA Times, NBC News, ABC News, The New York Times Online, and, almost unbelievably, on the front page of the International New York Times.
This is definitely not to say that I have become an overnight success. Despite this exposure, I am by no means a well-known personality in the industry, and there are no international editors beating down my door with lucrative assignment proposals. What Zoriah told me holds truer now than ever: there is no magic-bullet method. I don’t think of myself as having “made it” (not even close), rather simply as having moved on to the next plateau in what is sure to be a very long road. Zoriah will be the first to tell you that he can’t offer any quick guarantees, but the knowledge he imparted to me in just two days would have taken me years to learn on my own. Day-by-day the progress seems slow, but by persistently following Zoriah’s advice I am now fully supporting myself from the work that I love."