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Magnum Professional Practice: Belfast
May 20, 2013
by Mark Power
Magnum Professional Practice: Belfast is run as part of the Belfast Photo Festival,Northern Ireland’s premier visual arts festival and the photographic biennial for the island of Ireland.

The event is run in collaboration with the University of Ulster, and held at their Belfast campus, 25-51 York St Belfast, County Antrim BT15 1ED.

Conceived as a response to the constantly changing nature of the photography market, Magnum’s Professional Practice seminars deliver guidance for photographers on the practical business of photography.

Our seminars allow photographers to extend their professional networks with an emphasis on industry contacts, identifying realistic entry routes into employment and paid opportunities from a wide variety of sectors including advertising & corporate, editorial, gallery, NGO, museum, publishing and rights management. In their professional capacities, our roster of high profile speakers routinely work with photographers; commissioning, selecting, editing and purchasing images for a range of purposes.

Magnum’s Professional Practice events fill a widening gap between academic learning and the professional world, offering unparalleled vocational knowledge often unassociated with the traditional teaching. This event is aimed a wide range of photographers at different stages of their careers: emerging photographers who require practical, vocational training, semi-professional photographers wishing to make a full-time commitment and professional photographers working in a particular discourse but wanting to explore other avenues. It is also a unique opportunity for non-photographers interested in working within the arts to receive an overview of the wide variety of jobs available in the visual industry; from picture researchers, editors, art buyers and gallerists.

Each of Magnum’s Professional Practice lectures is tailored to deliver the best impartial advice and provide networking opportunities to meet with key decision makers. Places on Magnum’s Professional Practice course are limited and successful candidates will be chosen on the perceived benefit to the applicant's career.

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Through the generous support of Magnum’s educational partners, 10 bursary places are available for photographers aged 16-25 years for the subsided rate of £50 (+VAT)
Click here to apply for bursary places

Confirmed speakers

Emma Bowkett – Picture Editor, Financial Times FT Weekend Magazine
Emma Bowkett is photo editor of the Financial Times FT Weekend Magazine. Prior to this she worked as first assistant to a commercial London photographer. Emma is also a visiting lecturer and regularly participates at international portfolio reviews, awards and festivals. Emma has a masters degree in Image and Communication from Goldsmiths University.

Emma will be discussing the process of commissioning photography for the FT Weekend Magazine and looking at individual stories and photographers. Emma will also talk about the ways in which she finds work, pitching and the benefits of working for editorial publications.

Fiona Rogers – Cultural & Education Manager - Magnum Photos
Fiona Rogers studied at Surrey Institute of Art & Design, beginning her career in photography at a London gallery in 2004. She moved to Magnum Photos in 2005 and originated Magnum’s Educational activities; creating international workshops and professional development events. Fiona also oversees the origination and touring of Magnum’s global exhibitions, as well as the representation of Magnum’s photographers in the commercial print sale market. In early 2011, Fiona created Firecracker; an online platform supporting European women photographers through web activity, networking and events. In June 2012, Firecracker launched its inaugural Photographic Grant, announcing the first recipient in September 2012.

Fiona will present an overview of considerations for photography exhibitions including how to approach venues, means of presentations, funding opportunities and marketing practices. She will also discuss independent productions and guerilla style displays as a means of promotion for your work.

Anna Stevens - Head of Multimedia, Panos Pictures
Anna is Head of Multimedia at photography agency Panos Pictures and a freelance multimedia producer. She is also a contributor to online multimedia platforms Panos Picks and Flak Motion, and founder and director of Contact Editions, an online print gallery and blog. Anna’s productions have won awards in the Netherlands (Zilveren Camera 2012), France (Nuits Photographique 2012), Poland (Bzwbk Press Photo 2011), Slovenia (Fotopub Award 2010), Italy (AICA Award 2010), the UK (Lens Culture International Exposure 2011) and the US (Anthropographica 2012). Her work has been shown at film and photography festivals in New York, Los Angeles, Quebec, Copenhagan, Arles, Perpignan, Liverpool and Dublin and online for Marie Claire, The Global Post, The Atlantic, The Sunday Times, Telegraph and Guardian. It has been exhibited in Flowers Gallery, London, La Fabrica, Barcelona, the Berlin State Museum for Art, Museum auf Abruf, Vienna, Museo D'Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Carré Rotonde, Luxembourg and The Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo.

Anna’s presentation will introduce multimedia as a photography tool, providing an overview of the current trends in the sprawling beast that is defined as 'multimedia'. She will discuss both opportunities and pitfalls by considering a variety of examples and looking at a variety of platforms, distribution methods and funding mechanisms.

Anne Bourgeois-Vignon - Senior Commissioning Editor, Nowness
Anne Bourgeois-Vignon commissions photography and film projects for print and web, both editorially and in the context of branded collaborations. Currently the Senior Commissioning Editor of, previously she has held roles as the Picture Director of Forward Publishing (London) and the Cultural Director of photographers' agency INSTITUTE (New York). Her freelance photography and production work includes working for TIME Magazine and CondeNast Paris. She writes about photography (, regularly guest lectures at universities, and is developing a curatorial practice, collaborating with London-based collectives and spaces.

Anne Bourgeois-Vignon will talk about commissioning photography and moving image for editorial and branded publications, for print and online, spanning the entire commissioning process from discovering new work to developing the creative with different artists.

Stuart Smith – Designer & Co-Founder, GOST books
Stuart Smith studied at Newport College of Art and has been designing since 1987, specialising in typography whilst gaining an excellent reputation for his distinctive book designs. Stuart started at the Architectural Association and then moved to Phaidon Press, before going on to establish SMITH in 1994. He recently set up a new publishing venture, GOST books, with Gordon MacDonald. He has designed photography books for James Nachtwey, Martin Parr, Larry Towell, Elliott Erwitt, Eve Arnold, Mark Power, Peter Marlow, Paul Graham, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, James Mollison, Tony Ray Jones, John Davies, Luc Delahaye, and Artists Antony Gormley, Anish Kappor, Walid Raad, and Publishers Thames and Hudson, Phaidon Press, Steidlmack, Aperture, Boot Publishing and for galleries including The Whitechapel, Tate Modern, The Gagosian, Hayward Gallery, Royal Academy, Ffotogallery. He also lectures for the World Photography Organisation and at Newport College, Plymouth College, B righton, Kingston, East London University. &

Stuart will be giving a short history into the trials, tribulations and pitfalls in book design following a simple 5-step recovery programme to making your book super.

Mark Power – Magnum photographer
As a child Mark Power discovered his father's home-made enlarger in the family attic, a contraption consisting of an upturned flowerpot, a domestic light bulb and a simple camera lens. His interest in photography probably began at this pivotal moment, although he later chose to study painting instead. He worked in the editorial and charity markets for nearly ten years, before he began teaching in 1992. This move coincided with a shift towards long-term, self-initiated projects, which now sit comfortably alongside a number of large-scale commissions in the industrial sector. Power's work has been seen in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the world and he has published five books: The Shipping Forecast (1996), Superstructure (2000), The Treasury Project (2002), 26 Different Endings (2007) and The Sound of Two Songs (2010). His prints are in many important public and private collections. Mark Power joined Magnum Photos in 2002 and is Professor of Photography a t the University of Brighton.

Mark will provide an overview to his successful career as both a commercial and arts based photographer.

Zoe Whishaw - Commercial Photography Consultant
Zoe provides mentorship, creative direction and strategic advice for photographers and photo agencies She is an expert in the visual language of stills photography within commercial contexts. As a seasoned Editor and Art Director she has had many years of experience analysing and critiquing ideas and photography intended for commercial use across a broad spectrum of subject areas. Zoe has developed and contributed to the success of leading media company, Getty Images, where she worked for 17 years in senior creative and strategic positions, latterly as European Director of Photography. Since then she has been Creative Director at Image Source and Creative and Content Director at Gallery Stock. As a passionate believer in photography’s power to communicate at all levels, Zoe transmits her enthusiasm and knowledge through speaking widely at workshops and conferences. She has judged international photography competitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year, STA Tr avel Photo Competition, the Association of Photographers Open Awards and the 2011 annual Association of Photographers Awards.

Zoe’s presentation will discuss commercial considerations for photographers, including what will catch the eye of an art buyer, how photographers can craft their work for the commercial marketplace, thinking differently: coming up with innovative new ideas for personal projects and the personal definition of your vision.

Sophie Wright – Cultural & Print Room Director, Magnum Photos
Sophie’s interest in photography began whilst working as a picture researcher at Penguin Books. She then went on to work in a start up photography agency and gallery after which she became Deputy Editor of PLUK magazine, co-curating exhibitions at the gallery owned by PLUK’s publisher, artandphotographs. With Magnum Photos since 2003, her role involves origination and co-ordination of touring exhibitions both individual and group by Magnum's photographers within the UK, Middle East and Australasia. She has also overseen the creation of the Magnum Print Room, putting in place a schedule of exhibitions and talks in collaboration with the Atlas Gallery. She regularly writes on photography for magazines such BJP, Foam and Foto8.

Negotiating the art market can be tricky, particularly for emerging photographers trying to understand the complexities of this relatively new industry. Sophie has over 10 years experience of selling photographers, and will deliver a practical and informative lecture introducing the photographic fine art market, including types of client, understanding sales language, editioning structures, means of presentation and advice on how to apply this to your own practice.

Read previous participants testimonials and interviews with Professional Practice industry speakers and previous attendees on our IdeasTap partner page.

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