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November 10, 2019 - November 15, 2019

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Photo by Ashley Gilbertson

Photography Studies College

Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII

Instructors: Ashley Gilbertson & Gary Knight
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Cost: $2,250 USD
Duration: 6 Days
Class size: 16
Skill level: All levels
Scholarships: Yes

VII Photo Agency is heading to Oz! In partnership with Photography Studies College, join Gary Knight and Ashley Gilbertson as they push you–kicking and screaming at times–beyond your comfort zone. They’ll guide you to capture more emotion in a narrative, to think anew about the image as a stand-alone image, and ideally, to rethink your approach to photography.

They’ll encourage you to embrace new ideas, think outside of the box; how to approach strangers; what it takes to make powerful images in confronting situations; and above all, how to photograph how a place feels over simply how it looks. The emphasis in this workshop is how to get in touch with an emotional response to a story and translate that into great photographs.

Anyone from professionals looking to hone their talents, to students looking to learn new techniques, to amateurs wanting to improve their skills are welcome, as are people looking for a weeklong adventure in one of the world’s greatest cities. Intensive lectures and demos will cover narrative development, funding, and dissemination of projects, writing, editing, ethics, and digital workflow.


There will be a maximum of 16 attendees. All participants must be 18 years or older.

The masterclass will be held at Photography Studies College (PSC), 65 City Road, Southbank, Melbourne.

Lunch will be provided at PSC, as will coffee each day. Attendees are responsible for all other food, travel, transport, accommodation and any other costs associated with attending. Melbourne is an easy city to navigate. Getting from place to place on foot around the city is easy, the public transport system of trams, buses and trains is excellent, and there is a bike share program for people who would prefer to ride.

Our venue PSC is close to Flinders St Train Station and is 5 minutes walk (over the Yarra River) from the CBD. There are lots of options for hotel accommodation close to PSC though inexpensive hotels in the city are few and far between – therefore we strongly recommend using Airbnb for budget accommodation. If you are looking for more accommodation options try South Melbourne, St Kilda, Richmond, North Melbourne, Carlton or Fitzroy – all less than 20 minutes by public transport or bike.


Day 1 — Sunday, November 10 (10:00 – 15:00)

You’ll meet Ash and Gary, who will introduce themselves and their work, and will expect you to do the same. Please prepare a portfolio of maximum 20 photograph, and have ready at least three different story ideas you might like to cover for the week. There are no bad ideas. Please try to research your ideas and write at least 150 words about each.
You may find a story that’s driven by a person—a storekeeper; a yogi; a cab driver–anyone! You might be interested in profiling a business–a bar; the zoo; a classic Aussie milk bar. Or you might be interested in a scene or a place—skaters; punks; bankers; LBGTQ; a street; a suburb. The scene/issue based work is normally how we work at VII Photo, but you are welcome to work in your own manner.
Don’t feel pressured to do something you think we want, but rather work on something you want. You need to care about what you’re shooting, and whether you love the subject or hate it, we need you to be engaged. We’ll be pressuring you in other ways, and your interest in your story should be a source of inspiration. There is drama and beauty in every person and place we come across, and your talent will be to refining your ability to discover those moments.

Day 2 — Monday, November 11 (10:00 – 15:00)

Shoot in the morning, concentrating on environmental portraits of those people involved in your story idea. Return to the studio from 10am to download and edit the day’s work, and a lesson from Ash and Gary about light and composition. Shoot in the afternoon and evening.

Day 3 — Tuesday, November 12 (10:00 – 15:00)

Shoot in the morning, concentrating on wide, establishing shots of your stories and scouting different angles and aspects. Return to studio from 10am-3pm to download and edit the day’s work. A lesson in digital workflow and captioning. Shoot in the afternoon and evening if you can.

Day 4 — Wednesday, November 13 (10:00 – 15:00)

Shoot in the morning, concentrating on the candid moment. Return to the studio from 10am to download and edit the day’s work, have discussions on your progress in your project, with an emphasis on looking for holes in the story. Lesson by Ash and Gary on narrative development and storytelling in photography. Shoot in the afternoon and evening if you can.

Day 5 — Thursday, November 14 (10:00 – 15:00)

Shoot in the morning, focusing on filling holes in your story. Lessons by Ash and Gary on funding and dissemination in narrative photography.

Day 6 — Friday, November 15 (10:00 – 17:00)

Shoot in the morning, and return to the studio at 10am to edit the week’s work to prepare a final edit of 8-15 images to be shared over dinner. The final day is an intense day of editing and lessons will be given using participants’ work as well as Gary and Ash’s own work.

The workshop concludes with drinks, food, and a slideshow for the whole group.

Terms & Conditions

Please read our Terms & Conditions and Cancellation Policy carefully before enrolling in a workshop. Please contact workshops@viiphoto.com with any questions.

Enroll Now


“This was the best street photography course I’ve ever attended. I’ve attended several in-person workshops for which I’ve often paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars but this course beats them hands down in terms of the amount of useful content addressed by Ash. I also really enjoyed the fact that Ash Gilbertson is not just some random street photographer and he brings the rigor of many years of hardcore photojournalism to the table as well.” — Dotan Saguy, 2016


Click here to apply for a scholarship to this workshop.

Requirements: Since the VII Academy is particularly aware of the need to support indigenous communities, eligible applicants must be indigenous people of Australasia, Micronesia, Melanesia or Polynesia. We also welcome those considered refugees to those countries to apply.




November 10, 2019
November 15, 2019
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Melbourne, Australia

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