Now accepting applications for The Photography Master Retreat 2020

application due December 1, 2019 for early bird special
14 photographers will be selected

The next retreat will take place from July 4 to 11, 2020 in the South of France



  • Applications are currently open for 2020’s retreat. Call for Early Bird Special ends December 1, 2019 before 11:59pm EST. Applications can be sent any time before that date. Applicants will be notified after the selection committee process by March 10, 2020.

  • There is no cost to apply.

  • Our selection committee will select 14 participants.


La Bastide d’Esparon where The Photography Master Retreat is held is the family home of founder Martine Fougeron
  • The fee for accepted participants is US $3,300 (approximately 2,900 euros). Accepted applicants who apply by 12/1/19 will get special consideration and an early bird discount

  • 7 nights. From Saturday July 4 at 4pm on location to Saturday July 11 at 10 am

  • It includes 3 meals a day, including a welcome dinner on Saturday evening and a celebration dinner on Friday night

  • Optional local wine in the evenings

  • Optional guided tour of the hamlet of Esparon

The Photography Master Retreat emphasizes intensive review and discussion of each participant’s process and work.  Portfolio reviews, supportive critique, discussions, and opportunities for introspection are all integral components of this special program. The Mentors schedule the week working with the larger group (14 participants maximum), smaller groups, as well as several individual one-on-one sessions. For more information on the weekly schedule, go to schedule.

Not included: Airfare and travel to the house in Esparon (for transportation from the airport or train station, see below)

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. I expanded my photographic community with wonderful photographers and mentors. The total experience went above and beyond my expectations.
— Peggy #TPMR2017

HOW TO APPLY: send your free application on line

Use our free Online Application Form to provide us with contact information, details about you and one or two photographic projects you want to work with. The on-line application form consists of four short parts in a google form:

A/ Contact Information

Your basic contact information - so we know how to reach you.


1/ Letter of intent (200 words): A brief statement of your intention and your motivation to participate in The Photography Master Retreat. Tell us in a few paragraphs how you currently see yourself and your work as well as where you want to be in the next few years.
2/ Artist’s statement (200 words)
3/ Biography (200 words)

C/ Project/Porfolio Submission: 

You can submit 1 or 2 projects. Submitting one project is mandatory. Submitting a second project is optional. Each project should be sent as a PDF file (which you can zip). Please send the pdf file by email right after having sent your google form to:

1/ Project 1 Statement (200 words) & Images (20)
Please submit a single PDF file for Project 1 with the project statement of 2 or 3 sentences and up to 20 images. Please put in the subject line of the email your first name and last Name_Project 1. (ex: Paul Smith_Project 1)

2/ Project 2 Statement (200 words) & Images (20)
Please submit a single PDF file for Project 2 with the project statement of 2 or 3 sentences and up to 20 images. Please put in the subject line of the email your first name and last Name_Project 2. (ex: Paul Smith_Project 2)

D/ Addional information:

A few quick questions about your photography background.



The 3 Mentors, Lyle Rexer, Elisabeth Biondi and Martine Fougeron announce the winners of the Instagram contest

We are here to answer your questions about this retreat and the application process. If you do not receive an immediate email with a confirmation of receipt of your application to The Photography Master Retreat, please contact us at:  


View on the tiny hamlet of Esparon at sunset where the Master Photo Retreat is held
  • Non-refundable deposit of US $1,300 must accompany your confirmation to attend.

  • Balance (US $2,000) is due 3 months before the start of the retreat.

  • Single rooms are available on a first come, first served basis with a supplemental fee of US $400 per participant 


  • Participants (not at Les Rencontres d'Arles) should travel to Montpellier by plane or train

  • The bullet train (TGV) direct from Paris (Charles de Gaulle airport) to Montpellier takes under 3 hours

  • Flights are also available from Paris to Montpellier

  • Transportation to and from the Retreat can be scheduled in advance, and can be coordinated with other participants

  • Transportation from Les Rencontres d'Arles can also be scheduled in advance, and can be coordinated with other participants

  • Go to Place for more information.

“The Photography Master Retreat is the only workshop-based experience that emphasizes intensive critique and reflection, with the goal of advancing the participants’ practice to levels they may not have contemplated. There are many shooting-based photography sessions, in scenic locations, all promising to enhance technical and professional skills.

At the Photography Master Retreat, the main goal is to heighten creativity – by looking intensively at the work you have made and are making, thinking about what it means, and discovering what it should be. What is the essence of the work? What marks it as yours and no one else’s? What paths are most productive and what should be set aside? The result is new decisions, new directions, and a new level of creative ambition.

The process is joyful and challenging, and the impact can transform your sense of yourself not only as a photographer but also as a person.
— Lyle Rexer, #TPMR Mentor
A portfolio review during which one of the14 students’ work is being critiques, resequenced and edited.
TPMR is for photographers who want to spend an entire week focused on one or two long-form projects, under the guidance of professionals who not only have years of experience in their fields, but have spent years trying to figure out how to make the retreat as productive as possible.
Perched on a steep hill with a certain monastic remove, the stone house has the quality of a fable, and the wide variety of its spaces, both indoors and out, encourage constantly changing groupings of mentors and participants. The ideal participant will have respect for the program’s process and schedule and still be entertaining at dinner. Enjoy the views out the windows, of course, but come with a project you care about, and be prepared to make progress.
— Barry Munger #TPMR2018


Share this page: