“The Path as Destination” Photography Workshop with Vanessa Winship and George Georgiou

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a photography workshop with renowned British photographers Vanessa Winship and George Georgiou. The workshop took place in the picturesque village of Mandritsa, nestled in the eastern part of the Rhodope Mountains, from June 1st to June 4th, 2023.

Workshop Overview

The workshop was a part of the accompanying program for their exhibition, “The Long Road”, which was showcased at the Synthesis Gallery from May 12th to July 8th. This unique workshop marked the first time Vanessa and George opened their home in Mandritsa to share not only their creative insights but also their life experiences with a group of 6 lucky participants.

The focus of the workshop was on the process of exploration, selection, and arrangement of frames in the creation and development of a photographic project. Vanessa and George guided us through discussions on our individual projects, whether they were in the early stages of development or just a few touches away from completion. In group discussions, we delved into the artistic intentions and approaches of each participant. We also had the opportunity to explore reference photo books from their library, enriching our creative perspectives.

The workshop fostered an intuitive approach to image selection and arrangement. Together with Vanessa and George, we refined the concepts and visual language of our projects. Identifying strengths and weaknesses, we collectively sought solutions, methods, and approaches to elevate our work to a higher level.

Summary of the schedule:

June 1st (Thursday): 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM

  • Participants’ introduction
  • Practical exercise by Vanessa and George focused on narrative structures in photography
  • Each participant briefly introduced their project
  • Vanessa and George shared insights into their own work

June 2nd & 3rd (Friday & Saturday): 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM with lunch break

  • Intensive discussions on each participant’s project, receiving feedback, ideas, and suggestions for refining project direction, selection, and arrangement.

June 4th (Sunday): 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

  • Group discussion on the edited final versions of participants’ projects.

Participation criteria included photographers working on independent projects in the intermediate to advanced stages of development. Each participant was required to have physical copies of a wide selection of photographs from their project to present during the workshop.


The mentors, Vanessa Winship and George Georgiou, brought their wealth of experience as photographers and authors of photobooks spanning over 30 years. They shared their journey of developing their own projects, providing valuable insights into their creative processes.

Vanessa Winship

  • Born in 1960 in Barton-upon-Humber, England
  • Exhibited her work in prestigious museums, galleries, and festivals worldwide
  • Recipient of several awards, including the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award
  • Her photographs are held in esteemed collections, including the Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery

George Georgiou

  • Born in 1961 in London to a Cypriot Greek family
  • Exhibited his work globally, receiving accolades such as the World Press Photo Awards
  • His thought-provoking photobooks, like “Fault Lines/Turkey/East/West,” explore diverse themes and perspectives

The Workshop Experience

The workshop was a blend of artistic exploration, self-discovery, and collaborative growth. It provided an intimate setting where photographers from different backgrounds came together to share, learn, and evolve their craft. The picturesque backdrop of Mandritsa and the guidance of Vanessa Winship and George Georgiou made it an unforgettable experience that will undoubtedly influence my photographic journey.

Final words

Looking back on the workshop, I am filled with gratitude for the insights gained, the friendships formed, and the beautiful memories captured through our lenses. “The Path as Destination” workshop truly embodied the spirit of artistic exploration and growth, creating a lasting impact on all who participated.