“I like to dive deeper into why photographers choose to cover certain subjects, and then help them find the best possible way to tell their story from a personal perspective. In this intensive weekend masterclass we’ll have the chance to brainstorm as a group on how to open new directions within your ongoing projects. I find that often when students can be more questioning of the reasons behind their personal connections to a certain topic or subject, their initial approach and methods can be clarified, and a deeper relationship with – and representation of – the subject can further develop. So this class will be all about paving the way to new modes of collaboration in your projects to benefit the final outcome and vision involved.

I also strongly believe that photographing is always a conversation, one that interestingly occurs outside of language. It should never be a one way direction. I think trying to understand our own position in our work is very important. Realizing that, as photographers we are never a fly on the wall, even if we pretend we are.

In my own work I like to ask more questions than giving answers. Creating new work is the opportunity for us to dare ask the hard questions, and raise the doubts we all have around photography outright. Doing so might set us free, and while we won’t find the answers to all questions, we’ll have at least addressed them.

During the first meeting session on Friday we’ll get to know each other better by starting with a ‘virtual roundtable’ briefly introducing each participant, their own backgrounds and positions as photographers, along with the main challenges they face today. Following I’ll deliver a one-hour presentation of my work and career up to now, also sharing how I conceived some of my better known series. You’ll then have the chance to ask me many questions during our group Q&A.

The two next 5-hour meetings on Saturday & Sunday will each be devoted to all the participants and their work, looking at it in depth from multiple perspectives and building crucial, current conversations around it to overcome whatever obstacles might be in its way be it emotionally, technically or conceptually. The format for this will require each of the participant to present their main or most important body of work through 20-25 images, also having more ready in case I want to expand the conversation. I’d also encourage you to writeup a short summary/artist statement that the FotoFilmic team can circulate to everyone beforehand for reference.

Photography can be very lonely, this will be our chance to honestly share with each other, learn from ourselves – myself included – and move through us the photography community forward in these difficult times.”


A fully detailed masterclass program including the list of materials to have ready before the start of the class, logins to upload portfolios and Zoom invitations is provided once enrolment is confirmed.


Cover image: © Bieke Depoorter. From the series Agata, 2017-19.

© Bieke Depoorter. From the series I Am About To Call It a Day, 2010-14.

© Bieke Depoorter. From the Series Sète #15, 2015.

© Bieke Depoorter. From the series As it may be, 2011-17.


© Kaat Pype

Bieke Depoorter received a master’s degree in photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in 2009. Three years later, at 25 years old, she was made a nominee of the photo cooperative Magnum Photos, where she was named a full member in 2016. Depoorter has won several awards and honors, including the Magnum Expression Award, The Larry Sultan award and the Prix Levallois. She has published four books: ​Ou Menya, I am About to Call it a Day, As it May Be​, and Sète#15.​ She worked together with Aperture, Editions Xavier Barral, Edition Patrick Frey, Lannoo, Hannibal and Le bec en l’air to publish these books. The relationships Depoorter establishes with the subjects of her photographs lie at the foundation of her artistic practice. Accidental encounters are the starting point, and how these interactions naturally develop dictates the suite. Several recent projects have been the result of Depoorter always questioning the medium itself. In ​As it may be​, Depoorter gradually became more aware of her status as an outsider, both culturally and as a photographer. So, in 2017, she revisited Egypt with the first draft of the book, inviting people to write comments directly onto the photographs. In​ Sète#15​, and also ​Dvalemodus​, a short film she co-directed, she began to see her subjects as actors. Although she portrayed them in their true environments, she tried to project her own story onto the scenes, fictionalizing the realities of her subjects in a way that blurred the lines between their world and hers. In the ongoing project​ Agata​, a project about a young women Depoorter met at a striptease bar in Paris in October 2017, she explores her interest in collaborative portraiture. This is exemplary of the artist’s interest in finding people that can work with her in telling a story. These stories are always partially hers, and partially theirs. In her latest project ​Michael,​ she investigates the disappearance and life of a man she met on the streets of Portand in 2015. After giving her three suitcases full of scrapbooks, notes and books, everyone lost sight of him.