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Photo Start’s Bolivia Fireside Chats and Workshops with Photography Professionals

By 3 May 2024No Comments

We're fueled by a passion to empower our students to become the best photographers they can be. That's why we endorsed a dynamic series of fireside chats and workshops in Bolivia featuring distinguished industry professionals! These sessions weren't just informative; they were immersive experiences designed to ignite creativity, refine technical skills, and provide invaluable guidance on navigating the world of photography.

April 3rd: Discussions on Editing Print Publications - Learning How to Formulate Photobooks and Photozines.

Picture an engaging conversation about a topic that fuels your creative spirit. That's precisely what unfolded in the group chat with Juan Carlos Usnayo, a leading figure in the Bolivian photography scene. Usnayo, the esteemed director and editor at Illa Ediciones, brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.

This session delved into the fascinating world of fotozines, those independent, self-published, and often handcrafted publications dedicated to photography. Usnayo led a discussion about the enduring relevance of printed works in photography. Participants were transported to a bygone era where the tactile experience of holding a photobook held immense value. They explored the artistic significance of fotozines and how they've served as a platform for photographers to experiment, express their unique vision, and bypass traditional gatekeepers in the art world.

This fireside chat wasn't just a history lesson. Usnayo delved into the contemporary fotozine scene as well, highlighting its resurgence in recent years. Students learned how these publications continue to push boundaries, providing a platform for emerging and established photographers alike. The discussion likely sparked creative spirits, perhaps even inspiring some to create their own fotozine – a fantastic way to showcase their work and connect with a global audience.

April 9th: Developing and Printing Masterclass with Mauricio Aguilar

Participants delved into the technical aspects of transforming digital captures into stunning physical prints with Mauricio Aguilar, an architect and photographer with over a decade of experience. Aguilar's virtual masterclass on Developing and Printing equipped participants with the valuable techniques and processes needed to achieve high-quality prints.

He discussed essential aspects like color correction, sharpening, and printing profiles to ensure their digital creations translated flawlessly to the physical realm. The Photoshop program and its Raw reading plug-in were used for the demonstration. It solved several questions when exporting an image and the necessary calibration of the computer screen.

This masterclass was an invaluable opportunity to gain insights from a seasoned professional and elevate the presentation of photographic creations.

April 13th & 16th: Photo Project Reviews with China Martinez and Carlos Sánchez Navas

Those working on personal photography projects had the incredible opportunity to receive personalized feedback from renowned photographers China Martinez and Carlos Sánchez Navas on April 13th and 16th.

Martinez, a skilled press photographer, brought her experience capturing real-world stories to the table. Sánchez Navas, a recognized photojournalist with a keen eye for social commentary offered invaluable guidance. Leveraging her broad vision of visual language, Andrea Martinez demonstrated how to read and interpret a series of images more accurately to assist the students further. During these interactive sessions, students presented their ongoing projects, sharing their vision and goals. Martinez and Sánchez Navas provided constructive feedback, helping participants identify areas for improvement and suggesting strategies to strengthen their projects.

The project reviews focused on crucial aspects like:

  • Constructing a Cohesive Series: Participants learned how to arrange their photographs in a way that created a compelling narrative flow.
  • Crafting a Powerful Visual Narrative: They explored techniques to use their images to tell a story, evoke emotions, and engage the viewer.
  • Ensuring Thematic Coherence: Participants gained insights into how to ensure their photographs all contributed to a unified theme.
  • Finding Your Unique Voice: Martinez and Sánchez Navas helped participants identify what sets their project apart and offered suggestions on how to further refine their personal style.

These personalized reviews were an incredible opportunity to gain insights from industry professionals who had honed their skills through years of experience. The constructive feedback undoubtedly played a role in helping participants elevate their projects to the next level.

A Unique Learning Experience

These fireside chats and workshops offer a unique learning experience that goes beyond traditional lectures or presentations – the moderated discussions encouraged active student participation. Unlike a typical mentorship session where the expert takes center stage, participants had the chance to actively shape the conversation.

In the lead-up to the fireside chat, participants were encouraged to submit questions. This allowed them to delve deeper into topics that piqued their interest and ensured the discussion addressed their specific needs and aspirations. The fireside chat became a collaborative space where ideas were exchanged, inspiration was sparked, and a sense of community was nurtured amongst aspiring photographers.

This initiative was about more than just acquiring technical skills. It was about igniting a passion for photography and providing the tools and guidance to transform that passion into captivating visual stories. The collaborative and engaging environment nurtured a sense of community among participants, undoubtedly inspiring them to embark on their photographic journeys with newfound confidence and a passion to excel.

Photography Professionals and Industry Leaders

Are you a photography professional with a wealth of experience and industry knowledge? We'd love to hear from you! If you have technical skills or valuable insights that could benefit young people looking to break into the field, then a fireside chat or workshop might be the perfect way to share your wisdom and make a positive impact - please get in contact with us!