This is the preliminary information you will need for your travel as well as your work preparation.

You can always log onto this private page wherever you are so try to keep it handy during your travel.

Password: participants

Please make sure you are member of our 2018 private Facebook page for getting in contact with one another.

Please send  back to us your Travel Forms as well as a photo of yourself with these the 3 parts filled out in one email to: Subject: YOUR NAME_Travel_Release_Photo
Here is the pdf for download.

ARRIVALS on SATURDAY, JULY 7, 2018 should between 12:30 and 1:00 PM at the the Montpellier train or airport or in Arles.
Arrivals should be at 3:00 at the Retreat if you are arriving by car.

DEPARTURES on SATURDAY, JULY 15 should be between12:30 AND 1:00 PM  from the Montpellier train or airport,
at 11:30 from the Retreat if you are by car.

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between 12:30 and 1:00 PM at the train or airport of Montpellier, at 11:00 if in Marseilles,

at 2:30-3:00 pm at the Retreat if you are by car.



 Map of Montpellier to La Bastide d'Esparon in the hamlet of Esparon.

Map of Montpellier to La Bastide d'Esparon in the hamlet of Esparon.

TRAVEL FROM PARIS to MONTPELLIER BY TRAIN-TGV: Aim at arriving at around 1:00 pm to benefit from the car

Best option: travel from Paris to Montpellier by train-TGV: the closest city where you have a fast bullet train (TGV) from Paris Charles de Gaulle, Roissy international airport is Montpellier: it is a 3:35 minutes TGV direct train ride from Charles de Gaulle.
Montpellier is 1 hour and a half from Le Vigan by car, taxi or bus. Le Vigan is is 7 minutes from La Bastide d'Esparon.

I would advise all the participants to plan on arriving at around 1:00 PM so they can benefit from car/taxi pools and arrive at 2:30-3:00 pm at La Bastide d'Esparon.

1/Coming from Paris-Charles de Gaulle-Roissy to Montpellier by TGV:
We would advise you to book your train reservations quickly. There is a 8:30 am train on July 7th from Charles de Gaulle-Roissy 2 arriving in Montpellier at 13:34 pm. if quite a few of you take this train, we will organize the taxi-pool. 

2/Coming from Paris-center of Paris-Gare de Lyon-to Montpellier by TGV:
If you are leaving from Paris, Gare de Lyon TGV, it will take you 3 hours, there is a 9:13 am TGV 6207 train which arrives in Montpellier at 12:34.  If quite a few of you take this train, we will organize the taxi-pool.

It will cost 

Aim at arriving at around 1:00-2:00 pm to benefit from the car pool.

If you want to take the plane from Paris or another major city, you can land in Montpellier. You have direct flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle and major european cities to Montpellier. Air France has a flight leaving at 12:45 arriving in Montpellier at 2:05 pm.
If quite a few of you take this plane, we will organize the taxi-pool.


2/ DIRECTLY AT THE RETREAT: You may want to arrive by car directly to The Retreat. Plan to arrive by 3:00 pm in the afternoon.

For those of you arriving directly, the address is: Hameau d'Esparon, Bez-et-Esparon, 30120, France.

If you are coming from Nimes or Montepellier, to get to Esparon, it is 8 kilometers from LE VIGAN. So you must find directions to LE VIGAN and follow them.

You will see directions to Millau at the entrance of Le Vigan, so you avoid going into town, follow that road for some 2 kilometers (an old railroad track). At one point you will see an Intermarche supermarket  to your right and an old bridge, pass that also. Pass Cavailhac. 800 meters later, you will see a roundabout in the road. You will want to make a sharp right turn towards Molieres. After 800 meters, you will want to make another very sharp turn left turn in direction of Molieres/Route de Molieres.

Then you will be going uphill for 5 kilometers. Do not go into the village of Molieres, just continue up to Esparon with the road in front of you going slightly to to the right, leaving the village of Molieres to your left. Go all the way uphill on a narrow road for 3 kilometers.. be cautious, it is a two way road which is narrow. Honk when you do not have any visibility. Drive slowly.

Once on the piazza of Esparon, you will see a fountain. You park here AND LEAVE YOUR LUGGAGE IN THE CAR. Then you walk. You will see on your right an alley, you are  there. We will welcome you and indicate to you your rooms.You have arrived. Go up the stairs and you enter by a big blue gate which is to the right. This is the entrance to the house.


Meeting Point: Saturday, July 7 th at 1:00 pm, Brasserie Le France, 6, rue de La Martine, Arles, 30120

 Map of Arles to La Bastide d'Esparon in the hamlet of Esparon.

Map of Arles to La Bastide d'Esparon in the hamlet of Esparon.

For those of you going to Les Rencontres d'Arles the week before. If you are coming from Arles, and attending Les Rencontres d'Arles, we can organize a car pool which would leaves Arles at 1:00 pm. It will cost around 80 euros if you are 3 or more, 240 euros if you are alone (which is unlikely).

This meeting point is within walking distance of the center of Arles on Saturday, July 9th at 1:00 pm at Brasserie Le France, 6, rue de La Martine, Arles, 30120. It is in the direction of the station, near the Rhone river. 
Bring your luggage.
For the drivers, there is parking in Le Parking Lamartine as it is a big circular piazza or probably just outside the Brasserie if you do not stay too long.
We thought it was a nice coincidence to meet at Brasserie Le France. The Brasserie is called Le France and the street name is La Martine!!  Easy to remember.

 Brasserie Le France: click for google map

Brasserie Le France: click for google map

 Brasserie le France, 6 Place La Martine, Arles: click for google map

Brasserie le France, 6 Place La Martine, Arles: click for google map


For some of you Marseilles international airport might be the best. In this case you are better off renting a car or taking the Train to Montpellier from the airport.




BETWEEN 12:30 AND 1:30 PM  from the train or airport at Montpellier,
at 11:30 from the Retreat
if you are by car.
DEPARTURES on Saturday July 14 th, 2016 after breakfast, between 10:00 until noon

Leave from La Bastide d'Esparon to either Montpellier Train Station or Montpellier Airport or to any other destination

Suggested departures to benefit from taxi pools:

1/ Train from Montpellier Saint-Roch Train station.

We would recommend the TGV 6210 13:26 pm from Montpellier Saint-Roch arriving in Paris-Gare de Lyon at 16:47 if you are planning to spend some time in Paris.

or TGV 5029 14:58 pm from Montpellier Saint-Roch arriving in Paris-Charles de Gaulle international airport at 19:02 if you are planning to go back abroad.

2/ Plane from Montpellier Airport to Charles de Gaulle:
We would recommend a flight leaving from Montpellier Airport at 2:55 arriving at Charles de Gaulle at 16:25 pm in Terminal 2 : Air France 7683. Great if you  have an international flight to catch or are just staying in Paris and like the plane better than the train. Sometimes the flights are cheaper than the train and your baggage will follow you to your final destination which is great.

Many of you will be leaving from Montpellier, so there will be no problem for car pools from the train station or the airport. 
We will define this precisely when we receive your schedules.


3/ Leaving on their own from the Retreat.

You should plan on leaving before noon.


I would send a taxi-pool as a courtesy from Le Vigan to pick you up either in Montpellier or in Arles. It is likely that the taxis at Montpellier might not want to take you so far. Once I have all of your travel arrangements, I will organize the car-pool as a courtesy and group you by 3 people.

Having a car during the retreat is not mandatory. Last year, some participants had a car and car pooled to get to the Retreat, or go to the river or explore the area which was nice. The participants who do not plan to have a car, we will organize as a courtesy a car pool if possible for your arrivals and departures.

From Montpellier:
If you taxi pool from Montpellier Train Station or Montpellier International airport. You will pay the taxi driver directly. He will know the way. It will be 180 euros if you are alone, and around 60 euros if you are pooling in a group of 3 with the luggage. You will pay the driver directly.

From Arles: 
If you taxi pool from the Arles meeting place. You will pay the taxi driver directly. He will know the way. It will cost 80 euros if you are 3 with luggage, 240 euros if you are alone (which is unlikely). You will pay the driver directly.


You will want to bring complete portfolios of your work so that the mentors can look at the totality of the body of work/bodies of work. Bring as much work on these projects as you feel is relevant. If you need feedback, we encourage you to bring more than what you have edited down, as the mentors might review the edits and choices or comment on possible opportunities.

We recommend bringing digital files, having them organized and the photos flattened so that they can be viewed easily.

Do bring your computer with perhaps an external hard drive with the full projects you wish to work on as well as past projects you mighty want the Mentors to consider. Please bring large edits of your projects, as the Mentors will want to see the full scope of the project. This is very important, please bring big edits.

If you have prints, please bring them, but in a small format which might be relevant to our understanding of your work and trajectory.

We know prints are heavy so we do not want you to be overburdened. If you have books or Book mock ups or catalogues or exhibition shows, please bring those. We can also look at them via the internet if you so wish or as a pdf forma but the real book is always better.

There will be a shooting exercise, so please bring a camera. It does not have to be of the best quality. It can be a smart phone.


1/ A laptop computer (with Bridge or Lightroom preferably).

2/ An external hard drive and flash drive for extra space and back ups for your work in progress.
Bring at least a flash drive with your presentation on it so that we can download it easily onto one main computer.

3/At least one complete portfolio/project on which you will be focusing. Please bring a very large edit of the main portfolio/portfolios you will want to work on, as the Mentors will want to see the total scope of the project. If you can also bring small prints (like 5 x 7 or 8.5 x 11) that is usually also great as a complement to the digital files.

4/ Bring a camera. For our purposes, it does to need to be your best camera. A simple point and shoot might suffice (even an i phone).

5/ An international outlet converter for France as well as a multiple plug adapter if you have several devices to charge.



We will be asking each participant you on the first day to make a 20 minute presentation followed by10 minutes of Q & A:

1/Presentation of yourself and your trajectory: 4 minutes

2/Presentation of your project/projects: 15 minutes

3/Presentation of the goals you have for this retreat: 1 minute

4/Q & A: 10 minutes

Please have your presentation ready on an external flash drive with the photographs in a pdf or in a portfolio to look at in bridge/Lightroom, sequenced as you would wish in a resolution which is not too small as it will be projected on a screen. We recommend uploading 20-30  images, dimensions should be 1600px on the longest side at 144 dpi (or 72 dpi if higher res is unavailable). 


It is full summer at that time in Esparon so the days are warm but never too humid or damp.

Esparon is located at 700 meters high, so the nights can be cooler, which is nice because we do not need air conditioning. But do bring summer clothes as well as a wind breaker and a sweater and scarf. Also bring your bathing suit and good walking shoes for the mild hikes.

Attire will be casual and we will have one formal dinner -relaxed cocktail- at the opening and closing of the Retreat.


Susan Sontag: On Photography

Roland Barthes: Camera Lucida

John Berger: Another Way of Telling

David Hurn In Conversation with Bill Jay: On Being a Photographer

Charlotte Cotton: The Photograph as Contemporary Art

Download a pdf of this page: FOR PARTICIPANTS_ Arrivals_FinalPreparation_THE PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER RETREAT


7:00-7:30: MILD MEDITATION (optional)


9:00-12:45: WORK SESSION. Sometimes full sessions, sometimes one-to-one with each mentor.


2:15-5:00: WORK SESSION. Sometimes full sessions, sometimes one-to-one with each mentor.

5:30-6:30: WALK (optional)


7:30 PM- 8:30 PM: DINNER

8:30-9:45 PM: LECTURE/DISCUSSIONS lead by MENTORS followed by Q & A


2018_PARTICIPANTS and your photos,from left to right in order of appearance per row:


2016-PARTICIPANTS and their photos,from left to right in order of appearance:
Click on image to see the name of the participant:

Ms. Aleya Lehmann Bench
Mr. Gerard Turnley
Ms. Beth Galton
Ms. Avis Mandel
Mr. Michael Lopez

Ms. Anna Rosa Krau
Ms. Allison Plass
Ms. Giulia Berto
Mr. Lee Johnson
Ms. Chesher Cat


Brenda Biondo-USA, Cathryn Griffith-USA, Daniel Levine-USA, Elisabeth Scheder-Bieschin_Europe

GianLuca Caluste-Europe-Europe, Jeff Weddell-USA, Magali Trouffon-Europe, Malika Squali-Europe

Monika Barth-Europe, Renee Monrose-USA, Rosemarie Zens-Europe, Sharon Draghi-USA

Smith GaLtney-USA, Uschi Gross-Europe