THE Photographic Creative Process Workshop (Fes + Chefchaouen, Morocco)
Morocco| Sept 15-Sept 22, 2020 | 7 days|6 Arabian nights | $5600| 10seats
A full course photographic workshop focusing on the creative process, from the spark of the idea to the final intended presentation.
"Parker, you never cease to amaze me. The way you created a safe space for us in the Badlands, allowed me to tap into the artist that I wanted to be. It is all about the feeling for sure. You gave me confidence that maybe I was on the right track after all. I had nearly given up on the idea that I was an artist. You saved me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will see you at another workshop next year!" A. Watkins
Morocco| Sept 15-Sept 22, 2020 | 7 days|6 Arabian nights | $5600| 10seats
When I was a kid, everytime a new copy of National Geographic’s signature yellow framed issue came in the mailbox, I’d study its glossy pages, wows or ohhhs escaping my lips. Everything was magic. The process, the subjects, the moments.
For years, I dreamt of becoming one of those photographers behind those images. I imagined myself traveling all over to witness the wonders of the world, to feel — and then document — the joys and pains of our multicultural world. Its life and its death. And not a single image altered, doctored or embellished.
In my mind, this purity was my target. I longed to become part of this world-changing, authentic tribe of artists.
But over time, with the pressures of career, money and the American way, I fell into wedding and portrait photography. And I did what most photographers do: I focused on amassing the best gear, acquiring the most renowned subject, showing up in the right place at the right time (luck), and, worst of all, always looking outwards to see what others were doing.
That’s when I realized I’d missed my target entirely.
My work had become slick.
From that day on, I gave myself absurd assignments, assignments that would most likely fail but would fuel my creative fire.
And fail I did, over and over. But I felt life in my images again, while simultaneously learning how not to do it.
After that, nobody else’s opinion mattered anymore. No awards, no contests, no accolades. These images were truly just for me, for me to learn about myself, my community, and my world. They were how I made order out of chaos. They became my interpreter of the world we live in.
And it worked. I started to feel a pride in my work that I’d never experienced before, not because my technique was perfect, but because I was doing work that felt vital, life-changing.
For the last three years, two of my images have been touring around the world in between Sebastiao Salgado, a prolific documentary photographer, and Steve McCurry, one of the most highly regarded National Geographic photographers in the world. Together our images have reached millions, creating a visceral experience of what climate change means to us and to our homelands.
I haven’t made any money from it. And I haven’t won any awards. But I’ve had the chance to speak to more than three million hearts, to help them feel the precious and precarious beauty of our world.
And, more important, it’s become my mission and my passion to teach others what I taught myself:
A great photograph is more than a pretty picture.
A great photograph begs more questions than answers.
A great photograph should not only be seen but deeply felt.
A great photograph has story running deep through its layers.
A great photograph is determined by YOU and therefore a great photograph can be created by YOU.
A great photograph changes the course of history. Whether it is your history, the history of one person or the history of the world.
This is your value. This is your task. This is your time.
Isn’t it time to make your photographs include a part of you? Isn’t it time to find your authentic self?
I will answer for you.
If you want more meaning from your images — and from yourself — step up. This is your time to rise.
This is your time to show the world something new...YOU.
This is your opportunity to find your unique voice.
You will leave knowing you are creative.
You will uncover the path to your why.
You will leave understanding your artistic translators.
You will leave understanding your own creative process.
You will leave able to self inspire.
This workshop IS NOT for those that want a vacation. Go on a cruise;-)
This workshop IS NOT for portfolio building. Go to another workshop;-)
An investment of $5600 includes your lodging, model fees, location fees, artisan breakfast, lunch and dinners.
Your retainer of $2000 will reserve your space in this workshop. The balance of $3600 will be due 60 days prior to the workshop date.
This workshop will be limited to 10. After we are full we will be making a standby list.
Both Film and Digital are welcome.
More details . . .
You will be staying in amazing traditional Riads in some of the most authentic cities in the world!! Fly into Casablanca and hop the train to Fes. It's about $40 round trip through amazing country! We will pick you up from the train station and hold you captive for one week.
Tuesday is check in/ meet and greet, preview of the week, portfolio review and a welcome dinner. Arrive and all be settled by 5ish.
Wednesday is the heart and gut day. With our belief that the camera gets in the way of the photographer and the photographer gets in the way of the artist, you will set aside your camera to discover your unique purpose for pushing the shutter button.
Most of this day, you will be digging deep in your soul with Elizabeth and me to uncover your dreams, creative process, and the path to your own why. This will propel you to be your best authentic, artistic self!
Continuing throughout the week, we will help you create images of story. A story you will create through our process of deep self discovery.
Stories that you will start seeing unfold in front of you more often now.
Later in the day we will explore the Medina and play with light and composition.
Thursday will add the head and eye to the equation of your authenticity! Up early for a photo walk around the amazing city of Fes. Then some writing and planning that will turn into a full day of my creative challenges that WILL reset your creative artist. Afternoon reset/ breakout sessions, followed by evening light explorations of this magnificent city. These days will be filled with the gold of Wednesday’s heart explorations and you WILL see a difference in the work you create. I promise!
Friday will be focused on the technicalities and science of photography. We will learn to use them with intent. You WILL stand out from the crowd and discover what you want to say with your images!
Saturday morning we will pack up and head out to Chefchaouen (the Blue City) and create one of a kind images using the things we have learned over the past few days! Things will start to feel and look different by now. Maybe a little blue...
Sunday is our full day in Chefchaouen. We will be challenged to make images of both the documentary and editorial genres.
Monday morning we will play in the blue streets one more time before we load up and head back to Fes for more explorations.
We will end Monday with an amazing feast and fun night!
Tuesday morning we will gather for review. Farewell to your new tribe of courageous creatives at 10 am.
Parker Pfister is an artist, a teacher and a mentor. He creates stories using photography and film as his translators. He is an avant-garde director of photography and photographer based out of Asheville, NC, and traveling often. His capacity to not only navigate and embrace any given situation, but to own it and make it speak is what distinguishes him from others. Parker has been a creative process educator for 19 years and photographing for over 35 years. His work has shown in Paris, Mexico City, Rome, Bangkok, and, most recently, Bologna, Italy.
Elizabeth Dankoski Alina is a writer, TEDx speaker, and the founder of The Dream School Project, a mentoring program for high school students. She originally began in the college consulting realm, where she helped students express their unique stories on their applications. As she moved deeper into her work, however, she became intrigued with helping her students understand what truly lights them up and what problems they want to solve. This interest plunged her deep into studying and teaching the creative process. As a result, she has helped hundreds of students develop a newfound sense of joy and purpose in their gifts. Elizabeth is now partnering with Parker to share her passion for teaching the creative process and helping others bring their unique artistry to the world.
What past attendees are saying!
"When you know how to use the gear in your hands, but over time, the gears in your head have locked up. Parker J Pfister takes you apart piece by piece, before the workshop even begins, and rewires your brain so that the gears in your head work the gear in your hand in a whole new way!" Kim D.
"Parker reminded me that photography is an art form, not just a service I provide."
"I have never been to a workshop where it was not about the instructor but it was truly about me. I have never had an experience before or since quite like it. I learned to embrace me and my own path and make peace with it in a way that it began to show up in my work like never before. It was life changing and career changing. It was the best gift I could have ever given myself." -Cindy S.
"This workshop was the catalyst in our business that propelled us in a direction that separated us from the rest of the photography crowd. Rather than Parker just teaching you how he does what he does or how he shoots the details and bride and groom, he teaches you how to shoot in a way that makes it completely you, and in doing so you find your voice and your work becomes a representation of your soul. This Workshop was the best money we have ever spent on our business and is one of the biggest reason our work stands out the way it does, ultimately leading to bookings and finding the right clients for us!" -Devin R.
Images above are all made by Parker J Pfister or are from Parker J Workshops and made by attendees. None of these images are from Morocco but there sure will be some to share soon!