I’m pleased to be able to offer a five-day workshop through FOTOFILMIC on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver from Monday April 17 to Friday April 21, 2023. I rarely come to North America, I hope you’ll like to join me.

In this workshop we will discuss, share & learn about the development of your long-term photographic projects. I’m good at visual narrative and storytelling and I want to help with crafting your stories. Together we’ll work on (re)conceptualizing and clarifying your project ideas; making them sharper and more effective. I get shown a lot of work that is pretty good but not often do I see work that is really special. I think a lot of us can get up to a fairly good level (even a fairly good professional level) but don’t know how to make that final step up to getting published/assigned/taken on by galleries etc. How do you give your project that extra sophistication, the sharpness that makes it stand out from the rest, the lucidity that wins awards or gets published in top-flight outlets?

I want to show you how I craft my projects and how I layer them up with ideas to make them multifaceted. I’ll show you a little (very little) of my old work, some newer, unseen projects but more importantly I’ll show you how I research and clarify an idea and the influences I bring to bear not just on what I photograph but why I make my pictures look the way they do.

The class is aimed at photographers with some experience, but are now ready to shift up to a higher level. Ideally, you’ve begun or have the sketch for a larger body of work or a more serious project.

We’ll also go out shooting one late evening followed by a very early morning (that’s the routine I stick to when I’m on assignment) and we’ll have the chance to review the work made. 

Don’t underestimate how much you will learn from the rest of the class; I’ll try to stream the entrants so that everybody is about the same level but also everybody has something to teach each other. The class will be limited to just 12 and I expect it to be friendly and supportive as well as lively and challenging.

Simon Norfolk

Schedule: Meets in-person at FotoFilmic on Bowen Island on Monday April 17, Tuesday April 18, Wednesday April 19, Thursday April 20 and Friday April 21 from 9am to 5pm (hours subject to change).

This program is limited to 12 participants.

© Cover image: Simon Norfolk, The Lewis Glacier, Mt. Kenya, 1963 (A), 2014. From the series When I am Laid in Earth.

© Simon Norfolk, Controlled destruction by the Halo Trust of US cluster bombs dropped in error on the civilian village and orchards of Aqa Ali-Khuja on the Shomali Plain, north of Kabul, May 2002. From the series Afghanistan: Chronotopia.

© Simon Norfolk, Former teahouse next to the wreckage of the old, Soviet-era ‘Afghan Exhibition of Economic and Social Achievements’ in Kabul. Balloons were illegal under the Taliban, December 2001. From the series Afghanistan: Chronotopia.

© Simon Norfolk, BBC Relay Station, 2003. From the series Ascension Island: The Panopticon.

© Simon Norfolk + Klaus Thymann, Shroud 8, 2018. From the series Shroud.



Born: 1963 in Lagos, Nigeria. Lives in Hove, UK and Kabul, Afghanistan. Simon Norfolk is a landscape photographer whose work over twenty years has been themed around a probing and stretching of the meaning of the word ‘battlefield’ in all its forms. As such, he has photographed in some of the world’s worst war-zones and refugee crises, but is equally at home photographing supercomputers used to design military systems or the test-launching of nuclear missiles. Time’s layeredness in the landscape is an ongoing fascination of his. His work has been widely recognised: he has won The Discovery Prize at Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2005; The Infinity Prize from The International Center of Photography in 2004; and he was winner of the European Publishing Award, 2002. In 2003 he was shortlisted for the Citibank Prize now known as the Deutsche Börse Prize and in 2013 he won the Prix Pictet Commission. He has won multiple World Press Photo and Sony World Photography awards. He has produced four monographs of his work including ‘Afghanistan: Chronotopia’ (2002) which was published in five languages; ‘For Most Of It I Have No Words’ (1998) about the landscapes of genocide; and ‘Bleed’ (2005) about the war in Bosnia. His most recent is ‘Burke + Norfolk; Photographs from the War in Afghanistan.’ (2011). He has work held in major collections such as The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Getty in Los Angeles as well as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Wilson Centre for Photography and the Sir Elton John Collection. His work has been shown widely and internationally from Brighton to Ulaanbaatar and in 2011 his ‘Burke + Norfolk’ work was one of the first ever photography solo shows at Tate Modern in London. He has been described by one critic as ‘the leading documentary photographer of our time. Passionate, intelligent and political; there is no one working in photography that has his vision or his clarity.’ He is currently running at a pretty nifty Number 44 on ‘The 55 Best Photographers of all Time. In the History of the World. Ever. Definitely.’


Nestled in spectacular Howe Sound, North America’s southernmost fjord surrounded by towering peaks that rise straight out of the sea, Bowen Island (Nexwlélexwm is its native Squamish name) has been Vancouver’s paradisiac getaway since the 1900s. This enchanted island is known for its exceptional serenity, centennial parks, artistic culture, and laid-back country living a short 20-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver.

FotoFilmic has called Bowen Island home since 2015, and currently hosts all its in-person mentoring programs there at the FotoFilmic space conveniently located in Artisan Square. The large 1600+ sq ft venue is set up to accommodate a wide range of hands-on artistic activities and lab type experimentations, while also acting as a photography gallery. The island’s lush natural settings yearlong, its small and relaxed coastal town feel and few amenities all combine to offer an immersive, inspiring and nurturing retreat experience unlike any other.

FotoFilmic acknowledges, with gratitude, that the land on which it operates is the unceded and ancestral territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation.





Tuesday, February 28, 2023

$1795 USD
Past Attendee:
$1495 USD

* subject to 5% GST (Good and Services Provincial Tax)

[ Early-Bird and scholarship applications are closed (Nov.21, 2022) ]


Applicants selected to register must confirm their participation by sending either a $895 USD tuition deposit, or a full Regular or Past Attendee tuition payment.

If choosing to send a registration deposit, the remaining tuition balance will then come due in full by Friday, March 17, 2023.

At this late enrolment stage, payment plan options are unfortunately no longer available for this early spring workshop.


Flights, local transportation, accommodations and meals are not included in the registration fees. A detailed information packet will be sent to confirmed participants to help coordinate their stay on Bowen Island, inclusive of on-island accommodations options (single or shared), local transportation directions, a list of restaurants and other amenities available, and general island life tips.

Meets in-person at FotoFilmic on Bowen Island on Monday April 17, Tuesday April 18, Wednesday April 19, Thursday April 20 and Friday April 21 from 9am to 5pm (hours subject to change).

FotoFilmic Space
103-555 Prometheus Pl
Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G2


Applications to register are free (no fee to apply). Enrolment will be limited to just 12 participants. Photographers from all educational backgrounds and at all career stages are welcome to apply (film & digital). A portfolio of 10-20 images focused on past and/or ongoing projects must be submitted as a prerequisite for consideration (please include images from no more than 2 different series/projects).

Applications are reviewed on a weekly basis, with regular email communication from reception to final decision. The entire review and acceptance process usually takes 8-12 days from the day your application is received.


The deadline to withdraw your participation and request a refund is Friday, February 17, 2023. Please note a $500 USD cancelation fee remains applicable. Cancelation and refund requests received after February 17 will not be accepted.

In the event the program was not meeting minimum enrolment, or needed to be canceled for any reason, paid tuition will be refunded in full without any cancelation fee. Please also note FotoFilmic cannot be held responsible for any traveling expense refunds if the program gets canceled: purchasing travel insurance is therefore highly recommended.


For any questions or inquiries, please contact FotoFilmic Co-Director Bastien Desfriches Doria directly at


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