Photo © Deanne Fitzmaurice
Photo © Deanne Fitzmaurice

Develop Your Photographic Narrative

Like writers, photographers use all their tools—lighting, composition, and serendipity—to help capture the telling moments and raw emotion that contribute to a memorable and impactful story. Using the instructor’s own Pulitzer Prize–winning story as an example, we will discuss how to find a photo story (or what to do when a story finds you), and how to develop that story into an engaging photographic narrative.

Photo © Deanne Fitzmaurice
Photo © Deanne Fitzmaurice

In this workshop, students will learn how to approach people to gain trust and access, in order to capture with their camera what is authentic and how it contributes to the documentary narrative style. Students will learn the skills to create a visually compelling photographic narrative, whether it’s for a personal project or a story for a magazine, website, corporation, foundation, or nonprofit.

Each of the students will come to the class with their own photo story ideas and will develop their own project during the course of the week. Deanne and her producer, Amy, will be available to help you refine your story ahead of the class. Possibilities include cultural, issue-based or human-interest stories.

Class Schedule

Saturday, March 31, 9:30AM–5:30PM: We will be in the classroom discussing how to approach and build your stories. You will have a week to photograph your projects with a check in on the evening of Tuesday, April 10th to review progress. For this class, you should have basic working knowledge and proficiency of your camera as this is not a technical class.

Tuesday, April 10, 7–9PM: After a week of photographing your projects we will check in on the evening of Tuesday, April 10th to review progress.

Sunday, April 15, 9:30AM–5:30PM: We will edit students’ stories for impact and storyline. We will discuss transitions, sequencing, and visual pacing, all the while keeping an eye on our ultimate goal: to create honest, emotional images that together convey a compelling and engaging narrative.


Instructor Bio

Deanne Fitzmaurice
Deanne Fitzmaurice

As a Pulitzer Prize-winning documentary photographer and filmmaker, this San Francisco-based photographer is most known for her unique ability to go behind the scenes to discover and convey personal, intimate and emotional stories through images. Fitzmaurice, a Nikon Ambassador, represents a wide variety of publications, including creating content for Sports Illustrated, ESPN, National Geographic and many other respected outlets. In addition to her editorial work, she often collaborates with non-profits and foundations and also holds an impressive portfolio of commercial photography with a myriad of major brands and is a highly decorated storyteller.

Deanne’s work was presented with the American Photography Awards in 2011, 2013 and 2015 and selected for the Communication Arts Photography Annual in 2013. Deanne’s work has received top awards from PDN Photo Annual, Pictures of the Year International, NPPA Best of Photojournalism, and the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. In 2011, Deanne’s documentary work was a finalist for the Alexia Foundation Grant for World Peace. Her work is part of the permanent collection at the Newseum, and is part of their traveling exhibition of Pulitzer winning photographs. Deanne’s work has been exhibited at Visa pour L’Image in Perpignan, France, and with UNICEF Photo of the Year. She has also been a contract photographer for the best-selling Day in the Life books.

Deanne began her career as a staff photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle. When not on assignment, Deanne often lectures and teaches workshops. She is also a co-founder of Think Tank Photo, with her husband, photographer Kurt Rogers. Deanne is represented by National Geographic Creative.

Who Should Take This Workshop

Pertinent Details

  • Maximum ten (10) participants
  • Assistance in refining your story ahead of class

Workshop Fee Includes

Required Materials

  • DSLR
  • Laptop
  • Basic working knowledge and proficiency of your camera