The Search Is the Story: Practical Storytelling Workshop with Anush Babajanyan

From: June 1, 2021 @ 10:00 EDT
To: June 19, 2021 @ 13:00 EDT
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Photo by Anush Babajanyan / VII. Part of a missile seen on a street in Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh, on October 16, 2020. Armenians call this town Shushi while Azerbaijanis call it Shusha, the town came under Azerbaijan's control by the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

About the Workshop

  • Dates: June 1-19, 2021
    Price: $1,000 USD
  • Number of students: 9
  • Class hours: 12
  • Language: English
  • One on one languages: English, Russian, Armenian
  • Excerpts of participants’ work will be hosted on the VII photo agency Instagram feed.

For three weeks over the summer, Anush will work with up to nine participants on starting or continuing a photographic story. Regardless of your photography experience or the equipment you use, you’re welcome to be part of this learning experience. All you need is passion for the subject you’d like to explore.

The foundation of this workshop is openness and a joint purpose of understanding where you are and where you can be as a photographer. The beautiful and often worrisome exploration of ourselves as visual thinkers is pretty much an endless one. And for the duration of this workshop you will go through this process in collaboration with Anush and a group of new friends, who are all searching like you.

Week 1

June 1, 2021 @ 10 AM EDT: An introductory group session of two hours where Anush will share her work and approaches to storytelling, using photography and social media. The session includes a 40-minute lecture, while the rest of the time is dedicated to questions and discussion, in order to cover specific and general industry-related questions.

June 2-4, 2021: Participants will be asked to send Anush their story ideas for the duration of the workshop, and these will be finalized by the end of the week. Together you will go over the concept and discuss approaches. The work can be new or in progress.

June 5, 2021 – 10 AM EDT:  A follow-up one-hour group session will be scheduled for participants to present their story proposals to the group. After the presentation, photography begins!

Week 2

Anush will conduct online one-on-one tutorial sessions with each participant to review work, answer questions, and support your work in moving the story forward. Each session will be 30 minutes long and everyone else is welcome to attend.

The week will also include a one-hour group discussion at 11 AM EDT on June 12 with Anush and a guest photographer / industry professional. 

Week 3

One-on-one tutorial sessions with participants continue to review and bring together edits for the final presentation. Each session will be 30 minutes long and everyone is welcome to attend.

The workshop will end with a two-hour group presentation at 11 AM EDT on June 19 of stories created or continued over the course of the workshop. 


“Anush is an incredibly warm person, that made me feel so welcome and comfortable during the workshop with her in Sri Lanka. She is able to push you, and really inspire, in an environment where a lot of learning happens. In the 10 days working with her, Anush was able to transform me, as a photographer and storyteller. I discovered how I see the world, with her guidance, and am now able to present that through photography.” — Jordan Sirek

“Anush, you offered an ideal blend of encouragement, honesty, support and most importantly, professional criticism in our Sri Lanka workshop. You have a gentle way about you that allowed me to come into my own growth as a photographer and as a human. You are patient beyond words, and you juggled everybody’s questions with equality and respect, while never letting on if you were tired or possibly frustrated with hearing a question over and over. I sincerely hope I’ll be able to join you for another workshop, as I’m sure we’ll pick up where we left off and you’ll push, bend, stretch me even further.” — Tracy Barbutes

“In February 2018, I had the pleasure of attending the John Stanmeyer Storytelling Workshop in Sri Lanka facilitated by John Stanmeyer and Anush Babajanyan. It was my first time attending such an intensive workshop, and I was extremely anxious. Anush not only alleviated my anxiety, but elevated my experience from day one with her considerate and immediate responses to my questions. Her thoughtful insights on my project ideas helped guide me on my journey before even arriving. From the beginning planning stages to day-to-day troubleshooting to the late night editing sessions, Anush was an outstanding mentor, thoughtful in her criticism, giving of all her time and energy to ensure the success of the students, and dedicated to elevating the workshop experience by being present and available. There is no match for her professionalism, talent, and warm, sincere nature. I look forward to working with Anush again one day.” — Ghadah Alrawi