Narrative Photography with Ashley Gilbertson & Ed Kashi

From: September 23, 2019 @ 00:00 EDT
To: September 27, 2019 @ 23:59 EDT
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This workshop 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. Students will learn to 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 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 are welcome, as are people looking for a New York adventure with a couple of insiders. 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 in downtown New York. Healthy snack food will be provided as will coffee each day. Attendees are responsible for all other food, travel, transport, accommodation and any other costs associated with attending.

New York City is an easy city to get around. Walking is easy here, the subway system is excellent and inexpensive, and there is a bike share program for people who would prefer to ride.

We strongly recommend using Airbnb for budget accommodation. Inexpensive hotels in the city are few and far between.

The Jane Hotel in the West Village has good, small rooms for $79 a night. Book well in advance, though.

There is an “hourly” hotel in the Meatpacking district that charges $200 per night and could well be a story in itself.

Please contact [email protected] for further information and read the Terms & Conditions here.


Day 1 — Monday, Sept 23: 10:00 – 15:00

The first day is indoors and will consist of introductions, and portfolio presentations.

Please prepare a 20 photograph max. portfolio to show, 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 Tai Chi instructor; a cab driver; anything. You might be interested in profiling a business — the Comedy Cellar, for example; or a bar; or the zoo; whatever! Or you might be interested in a scene — skaters; punks; bankers; LBGTQ. The scene/issue based work is normally how Ed and Ash work, but you are welcome to work in your own manner.

Don’t feel pressured to do something you think we want — work on something you want. You need to care about what you’re shooting — love or hate — 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.

Day 2 — Tuesday, Sept 24: 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 10 AM to download and edit the day’s work, and lesson from Gilbertson and Kashi about light and composition. Shoot in the afternoon evening if you can.

Day 3 — Wednesday, Sept 25: 10:00 – 15:00

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

Day 4 — Thursday, Sept 26: 10:00 – 15:00

Shoot in the morning, concentrating on the candid moment. Return to the studio from 10 AM to download and edit the day’s work, have discussions on your progress in your project. Lessons in narrative development and storytelling in photography, and in funding and dissemination. Shoot in the afternoon/evening if you can.

Day 5 — Friday, Sept 27: 10:00 – 15:00

Shoot in the morning, and return to the studio at 10 AM to edit the week’s work to prepare a final edit of 8-15 images to be shared over dinner.

The workshop concludes with dinner and slideshow for the whole group at Ashley’s place.


“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

“During the last five years as working as a freelance photojournalist, I have attended a wide variety of workshops and classes trying to improve my abilities as a visual storyteller. One thing I have learned is that being an outstanding photographer has no direct correlation to one’s ability to teach this skill to others. Some of the best creators in the world are also some of the most difficult to learn from.

No so with Ed Kashi, who is as gifted an educator as he is a documentarian. Patient, approachable, and warm, learning from Ed is more like being mentored by a talented friend. While some workshop environments can lead to stress and anxiety over one’s future, Ed finds a way to bring out the best in his students in a supportive way.  

Make no mistake – a workshop with Ed is not a time to be lazy or self-congratulatory. He will push you to produce the best work that you’re capable of, and makes no illusions about the difficult nature of professional work as a photographer. Getting in a classroom with Ed will not be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination, but the challenge will be one that you can leave feeling good about.” — Luc Forsyth, Photojournalist and Videographer, 2017

“Thank you [Ed] for being an inspirational leader/teacher/artist and a sensitive, caring, and humble person. Thank you for your honest, truthful, positive and encouraging teaching skills, comments and feedback which empowered me both as a person and as an artist! Big thank you for sharing your ideas, perceptions and your work and methods with us. I am truly grateful that I had the opportunity to attend and participate in your workshop!” — Student, Visual Storytelling, July 2019 workshop in Paris

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