In this immersive workshop, you will intensely reflect on your photography projects and practice in a uniquely communal and constructive spirit.


The Photography Master Retreat was an incredible opportunity to let my photographs speak to me.
It felt like time stood still here in Esparon and I could explore the depths of my work in ways that I have not experienced before. And with the help of smart & dedicated mentors and fellow participants we all grew in our own way.
— Peggy #TPMR2017

A UNIQUE, IMMERSIVE WORKSHOP for established and emerging photographers.

The Photography Master Retreat is a one-of-a-kind, career-enhancing opportunity for established and emerging photographers to engage in artistic introspection and professional critique. It’s not a shooting trip but a rare chance to pause, reflect on your work, and bond with peers who are passionate about photography. It is designed for a select group of 14 artists who have to apply.

The Photography Master Retreat was founded in 2014 as an annual, one-week, immersive workshop in her family home by Martine Fougeron, herself a celebrated photographer and artist, as well as faculty at International Center of Photography, New York. She is one of the three mentors at the retreat. The other two are also renowned in the world of photography, Elisabeth Biondi, Visuals Editor, 1996-2011 at The New Yorker, also an independent curator and writer; Lyle Rexer, a critic and curator – both faculty at the School of Visual Arts, New York. 

The Photography Master Retreat edition will take place July 6-13, 2019 in the south of France, right after the opening week of Les Rencontres d’Arles nearby.

Retreat mentors briefing on the week's agenda


The Photography Master Retreat is not a practice-based photography session – those are everywhere, in every wonderful location around the world (you shoot and you learn how to do things.) This is the only retreat where photographers are asked to reflect. Where the main activity is to look at the work you are making and have made, and think about what it actually means. What’s good about it, what’s most important, what’s you about it? What is it that’s yours, and to let that come out in a variety of different ways, and let the other things fall away. What you should walk away with is a better sense of yourself as a photographer, and perhaps a better sense of yourself as a person.

The house in the south of France is conducive to concentration and calm


A retreat is a sanctuary, a hideaway, a haven. It is also a departure, a different approach, an adventure, a leave-taking, the beginning of a journey, a change from the usual or expected path, a definite time spent away from one’s normal life.

Take your work to the next level.

Designed for professional, emerging professional, serious advanced, and aspiring photographers in any genre – fine art, conceptual, or documentary – who are passionate about their existing work and committed about taking it to the next level.  


During this one-week retreat, the participants and the mentors will live and work together as a community in a large house in a remote location, the hamlet of Esparon in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. By spending days, meals and evenings together, there is ample opportunity for discussion, input and support. This helps inform the process and creates special bonds and friendships – yet another bonus of gathering people together in one remote, beautiful place and sharing local, fresh, delicious Provençal cuisine.

A mentor in a one-on-one session with a student

How the mentors work.

The Photography Master Retreat emphasizes intensive review and discussion of each participant’s process and work. The three mentors are committed to taking individual students to their highest photographic potential in a creative, supportive, and enjoyable environment.

Portfolio reviews, supportive critique, discussions, and opportunities for introspection are all integral components of this special program. The mentors schedule each day working with the larger group (14 participants maximum), smaller groups, as well as individual one-on-one sessions. 

Communal meals with mentors and students

the beginning of a new course of action.

The Photography Master Retreat is not based on an ideology or a predetermined aesthetic approach – it engages each participant’s work on its own terms, and seeks the best ways to improve and enrich the photographic encounter.

A week in Esparon becomes a path to better and more conscious work. Together we explore photographic ideas and process in depth, allowing you to the time and space to rethink your aesthetic and your path forward.


The medieval interior courtyard of the retreat’s house is magical


Find out how to applyThe Photography Master Retreat selection committee will review all submissions and choose 14 participants. Call for application deadline is: December 1, 2018.

Is it your time to seize this unique opportunity to rethink your work... refocus your trajectory... and recharge your artistic batteries? 

If so, we are happy to answer your questions. Contact us by email at

We look forward to hearing from you.

This photographic retreat or work­shop was a most rewarding, intellectu­ally challenging one. The camaraderie we developed, the support which was offered to one and all, and the reaffir­mation of being a working artist, was paramount. We all felt rejuvenated and more focused. We exchanged working prints and addresses. We have become loyal to one another and will continue to be supportive of one another.
— Raymond #TPMR2017
Summer blooms
Students relax and exchange after intense work sessions
I have just started a new project which required extensive focus and research and strategies for approaching this new work. I found answers during the retreat.
— Loli #TPMR2017
Yes, a great group of people—mature, thoughtful, committed with lots of good ideas and feedback, very supportive in a beautiful setting. I also like that it was a neutral, non-competitive environment in a hard-working group of individuals.
— Ellen #TPMR2017
The tiny hamlet of Esparon at sunset
One can see the rolling hills of Les Cevennes Meridionales from everywhere
I saw my projects in a new light, and I revisited a project I had all but abandoned.
— Lee #TPMR2016

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