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Through the Looking Lens:
Developing Staged Narratives
A PH21 Academy workshop with Vicky Martin

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A workshop to explore staged narratives in the world of conceptual photography. We will explore how to craft astaged narrative from an initial idea to a final series: how to take a concept for an initial photograph to develop it into a series, while ensuring visual coherence thematically and aesthetically, suchas through composition and colour, before finally considering how to edit and sequence a series.

Each session will include an introductory talk about that week’s topic and then an opportunity for a Q&A and general discussion before participants each receive personalised feedback on their images and/or series.


Key Workshop Highlights:

  • An Introduction to Staged Narratives: course overview; identifying what conceptual and staged photography is; and, discussing initial ideas and ways to develop them.

  • Visual Coherence: how a series can be linked through styling, colour, lighting, and theme, even when combining different genres of photography, such as portraiture and still life.

  • Staged Composition: after considering an overall look for a series, taking a step back to focus on single images and how to convey a series’ intent in each photograph, especially in relation to staging.

  • Studio vs. Location: discussing the benefits and challenges of working both in studios and on locations and, how to plan a photograph or series using either setting.

  • Editing and Sequencing: considering how to create narrative unity within a series, tips on how to self- edit and the importance of sequencing for visual storytelling.


Workshop Details:

  • Limited number of participants: To ensure personalized attention, we can accept a maximum of 12 participants on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Duration: 4.5 hours (3x1.5 hours)

  • Dates: May 4, 11, 18, 2024 (Saturdays), 5:00 – 6:30 pm, CET, Europe / 11:00 – 12:30 pm, EST, USA​​

  • Workshop with Vicky Martin

  • Format: Online (accessible from anywhere): Zoom Video Conferencing software (available for free from will be used to facilitate the class sessions.

  • Language: English



  • Regular workshop tuition: €190.00

  • Special workshop tuition: €120.00

  • The special rate is for students, unwaged individuals, and applicants from low-income economies. Please do not inquire about your eligibility or provide any proof, as we trust your judgement. The special rate is simply for people who, for the reasons indicated, would have difficulties paying the regular fee.

  • Full refund until March 15, 2024.

  • 50% refund until April 1, 2024.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to dive into the intricacies of photography theory and gain valuable insights from an experienced photography theorist and curator. Reserve your spot now to secure a place among a select group of passionate photographers.

Please use PayPal to pay your tuition fee and reserve your spot. We can only accept payments via PayPal at the moment.

Instructor: Vicky Martin


Vicky Martin is an award winning British photographer with a background in art and design.  She is best known for her conceptual portraits depicting the conflict between themes of fantasy and reality and strength and vulnerability, especially in relation to the female experience.

Vicky intertwines her created characters with staged realities, which seek to convey the tension and conflicts found within the self. Throughout her work she likes to explore, through strong female characters, recurring themes that she is drawn to, which include: conformity to the stereotypical, individual and societal expectations of femininity, vulnerability and self-doubt. Whilst all her works contribute to the narrative framework developed across her series', they also each depict an element of ambiguity that the viewer is invited to interpret in relation to themselves and their unique perception of the world.

Her work has been widely published and exhibited nationally and internationally, from Europe to the USA in solo and group shows and her work continues to garner many awards and nominations which include Portrait Photographer of The Year 2020 at the Minimalist Photography Awards, Finalist at the Lensculture Art Photography Awards 2019, Winner of the Professional Beauty and Fashion Category at the Chromatic Awards 2018, Winner of the All About Photo Magazine Colors issue 2018, Winner of the Single Image in the Professional Fine Art Category at the 12th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards 2018 and Winner of the Professional Fine Art Series at 2016 Fine Art Photography Awards.

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