This sixth edition of the Northern Lights Masterclass has a slightly adapted format from its previous five editions. It is aimed at professional documentary visual storytellers working on, or starting, a long term project of a duration of at least one year. During the residency, participants will receive extensive support regarding the various aspects of the coming to life of their project: proposal writing, editing, crowd sourcing and funding, project planning, and finding opportunities for the finished project.
As the new format also includes a residency at the Noorderlicht Gallery, selected candidates will be welcome to come to Groningen and use the facilities at Noorderlicht freely. Throughout the year there will be three meetings of three days each, treating specific subjects. such as editing, proposal writing, longterm project planning. They will be led by Marc Prüst and Lars Boering and at least one – but more often two – recognized international experts from the field. In between, several one or two day on line workshops will be organized.
You can sign up at any time during the year and participate in three consecutive meeting sessions and online support throughout the year.
For every session two masters are invited to join the group to provide insight and feedback on the participants' work. Previous masters to the program include Francis Hodgson, David Birkitt, Claudia Hinterseer, Magdalena Herrera, Claudine Boeglin, Adriaan Monshouwer, and others.
The three meetings take place the last weekends (Friday through Sunday) of January, May and October 2016 respectively.
Online support from Marc and Lars will be available during the entire year.
29-31 January 2016: photography as a visual language and longterm project planning
27-29 May 2016: editing and writing of project proposals
28-30 October 2016: publishing and exhibiting a finished project
27-29 January 2017: photography as a visual language and longterm project planning
26-28 May 2017: editing and writing of project proposals
27-29 October 2017: publishing and exhibiting a finished project
Participation in the Masterclass programme costs 2250€, and includes lunch and dinner during the meetings in Groningen, and additional online support throughout the year.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding logistics.
How to apply
- Are you a documentary photographer wanting to build a longterm project?
- Would you like regular feedback on your photographs, your editing, and your writing?
- Are you interested in meeting with motivated and like-minded professionals throughout the year?
Then the Northern Lights Masterclass might be the program for you. Apply now!
"We started the Northern Lights Masterclass because we saw too many good photographers struggling with the rapidly changing market for documentary photography. Instead of providing quick feedback, we wanted to provide more profound insight into what photography's relevance is today and to use those insights to build stronger careers for the participating photographers" - Marc Prüst
"I love meeting with industry professionals and the participating photographers during these sessions, together they have profoundly impacted my own understanding of what it means to be a photographer today" - Lars Boering
Managing Director and Consultant
With over 16 years of management and leadership experience within the cultural, creative and social sectors, Lars has acted as adviser to photographers internationally, taught at masterclasses and academies, and has been involved as curator for festivals, museums, publishing houses and other institutions. He was appointed the new Managing Director for World Press Photo in January 2015.
Photography consultant and curator
Marc is active as photography consultant, curator, and teacher. In that capacity he edits books, creates exhibitions, teaches and organizes workshops and masterclasses, lectures and writes on photography, and - on an individual basis - advises photographers on how to develop their work and how to market it.
Besides several smaller projects, he is also the Artistic Director of the Photoreporter Festival in Saint Brieuc, France.
George Philipas - participant 2011-2012
I was very much a news, editorial and commercial photographer, struggling to produce work that had long-term staying power targeted more towards the book and gallery markets. In particular I had trouble in the conceptualisation of such work more akin to socio-documentary art photography. Marc Prust and Lars Boering’s intensive course very much helped me achieve that aim and steer my work more in that direction.
The course was an eye-opener and full of insightful lectures and seminars by Masters involved in a wide range of photographic fields including but not exclusive to Francis Hodgson, Magdalena Herrera, David Birkitt and Rob Van Bracht. Each Master also took the time to review and give helpful advice with the projects we were all working on for the purposes of the course.
The Masterclass was also very helpful in getting a direct understanding of the photographic marketplace itself – an area that in my personal experience many courses do not unfortunately even touch upon. Each of the Masters took the time to explain their experiences with the photographers they themselves work and come in contact with, the best approaches to display work to them and what appeals and what doesn’t in their respective areas of expertise.
The advice and attention given by both Marc and Lars themselves was also excellent and helpful to me personally. It was not just firm but fair advice on my work and the best way to adapt it to the current photographic market, it was also insightful on a very personal level: In particular how my own personality for example and how I apply myself in my professional work sometimes acted to hinder progression.
While the course was useful, it is its long arm following its completion that has proved to be helpful as well. Apart from the long-term bonds I have made with other photographers who also undertook the 2nd Edition with me - always important in our profession in my opinion, Marc and Lars have shown a long-term desire for their students’ professional development - something I might say that I have found to be very rare in the business.
3 years after the course was completed, Marc was more than happy to see me and take time out of his schedule looking at not only new work in a 1 to 1 meeting but also taking a good hard look at me and my development as a photographer since the course. The advice that was given – including more practical help with edits etc helped enormously. His input was a big boost when I attended my first big portfolio review at the Palm Springs Photo Festival in April/May 2015, where I enjoyed a far better reception for my work and where the largely positive feedback was a good pointer of the personal and professional development I have made since completing the Northern Lights Masterclass in 2012.
Richard van Bennekom - participant 2014-2015
The Northern Lights masterclass shows you in a clear way how the other side of the photography business works. From different perspectives Marc and Lars teach you what is expected from you beyond being a photographer. The structure of the masterclass is well thought. The guest speakers, all specialists in their own field, are providing a very good and exciting contribution and share their view on the developments of the current market.
The Northern Lights masterclass is dynamic, challenging, encourages you to self reflection and is above all informative.
Marc and Lars, Thanks for the many eye-openers!
Ronny Rozenberg - participant 2011-2012
A good photo essay requires continuity over a period of time. So does a good masterclass. Over the period of 9 months and under the guidance of Marc Prüst, I’ve photographed an award winning series about African asylum seekers in Israel.
Masterclass Northern Lights is practical and up-to-date. Providing instrumental solutions to the various issues faced by photographers today.
The conversations didn’t stop at the end of the lecture but continued further at the dinner table (and at a very tasty one). So I’ve found myself constantly surrounded by inspiration both from the masters as well as fellow participants.
I’ve enjoyed the intimacy of the small class that allowed me to have enough time and space to undertake my development process. Therefore I recommend this masterclass to any photographer at any stage of their career.