The three internationally acclaimed mentors will enable you to reframe your work with the goal of advancing your practice to levels you may not have contemplated.

3 perspectives. intensive and constructive critique. one-on-ones. group sessions.

A communal atmosphere permeated all that we did – from our sessions and meetings to the homemade meals, to our walks and talks. This process combined with time to reflect provided like a cross between a graduate school critique and an artist colony. Extraordinary how every photographer there had an “epiphany”.
— Aleya #TPMR 2017

In Conversation: The Mentors of The Photography Master RetreaT

The structure of this retreat is brilliant. Breaking us into smaller working groups works so well. I felt quite bonded to the other members of the small group and eager to see each of them clarify and strengthen their work. The mentor I worked with was so encouraging. She gave everyone feedback and clarifying questions. Working later with the other two mentors was another layer of attention and insight. Every mentor was so generous with their time. I am so grateful.
— Parrish #TPMR2016

Photo by Steve Pyke

Photo by Steve Pyke


Independent Curator, Writer, and Visuals Editor 1996-2011, The New Yorker
Faculty, School of Visual Arts, New York
The Photography Master Retreat mentor, 2015-present

Elisabeth Biondi was the Visuals Editor of The New Yorker for 15 years until she left in 2011 to work as an independent curator, writer and teacher. She curated Subjective/Objective and Under the Bridge for the New York PhotoFestival 2011, and New Yorker Fiction/Real Photography at Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea. In the fall of 2011 her exhibition Beyond Words: Photography in the New Yorker was the season’s opening show at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York. An expanded version traveled to the Ullens Center in Beijing in 2012. Her exhibition Widely Different: New York City Panoramas was on view at the Seaport Museum, New York in 2012.

She was a photography consultant for Stern magazine, and teaches at the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts, and is a Senior Thesis Adviser. Her column Portfolio is published in Photograph magazine. Most recently she was a juror for the World Press Photography Awards and the Sony World Photography Awards, in addition to numerous national and international photography juries. She advises many up-and-coming photographers and edits their work.

Elisabeth Biondi joined The New Yorker in 1996, shortly after photography was introduced to the magazine. As Visuals Editor she helped shape the look of the publication by establishing a group of staff photographers, commissioning both masters and emerging talent. She built the magazine’s reputation for its use of photography, for which it received numerous awards, including two National Magazine Awards.

Born and educated in Germany, Elisabeth started working with photographers when Geo magazine, often described as a more contemporary and controversial version of National Geographic, launched in the US. The magazine won many awards for photography and design. Subsequently she moved to Vanity Fair, and as Director of Photography, focused on lively, witty portraiture – which became an important element of the magazine’s success.

After seven years at Vanity Fair, Elisabeth returned to Germany to work for Stern, one of Germany’s largest newsweeklies. As Head of the Photography Department, she explored the fast-paced world of news and reportage photography, and worked with celebrated photographers all around the world. She returned to New York in 1996 to become Visuals Editor of The New Yorker.

Internationally renowned Photo Editor Elisabeth Biondi is a mentor ofThe Photography Master Retreat.
During each Master Retreat, students courageously expose their work to the challenge of change in an atmosphere where creativity is allowed to flourish. They form intense relationships with each other and the mentors during a week of hard work and Provençal pleasures. To see their work shift, often in unexpected ways, is both my great pleasure and privilege.
— Elisabeth Biondi

Photo by Jerry Spagnoli

Photo by Jerry Spagnoli


Critic, Curator, and Faculty, School of Visual Arts, New York
The Photography Master Retreat mentor, 2015-present

Lyle Rexer is an internationally recognized curator and critic. Educated at Columbia, and at Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, he is the author of several books on art and photography, including The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography (2009) and Photography’s Antiquarian Avant Garde: The New Wave in Old Processes (2002).

In addition, Lyle has published hundreds of catalogue essays and articles on art, architecture, and photography, contributing to publications such as The New York TimesArt in AmericaApertureArt on PaperParkettBOMBPhotograph magazine and DAMn. Lyle regularly lectures at the Metropolitan Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern in Spain. As a curator, he has organized exhibitions in the United States and internationally, most recently The Edge of Vision, a selection of contemporary abstract photography.

He teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate photography programs at the School of Visual Arts and is a columnist for Photograph magazine.

Renowned critic and educator Lyle Rexer is a mentor of The Photography Master Retreat
This is the only retreat where people actually have to reflect. Where the main activity is to look at the work they are making and have made, and think about what it actually means. What’s good about it, what’s most important, what’s THEM about it?
— Lyle Rexer

Photo by Leslie Robert

Photo by Leslie Robert


Photographer, Artist, and Faculty, International Center of Photography, New York
The Photography Master Retreat, founder and mentor, 2015-present


 Martine Fougeron is a fine art photographer living and working in New York whose work has been exhibited internationally and is held in major public and private collections. Her incisive images of life and culture in that city have made her a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Sunday magazine, The Wall Street Journal magazine, New York magazine, FT and Les Echos Week-end.

Fougeron was born in Paris and studied at LFNY, l’Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, Wellesley College and the International Center of Photography. She has been living in New York since 1996 and working as a photographer since 2006 when she graduated from ICP’s General Studies program – having turned to photography after a successful career as a Creative Director in the fragrance industry where she was the ‘nose of the noses’ of 20 world-class perfumers.

Fougeron’s award-winning fine art project Teen Tribe offers an intimate portrait of the lives of her two adolescent sons and their group of friends. Fougeron has mounted solo shows in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia and her work has been exhibited internationally in China, France, Italy, South Korea, and Switzerland. This work was exhibited at The Gallery at Hermès in NY in 2013 and is held in major collections including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Bronx Museum of the Arts. The publication by Steidl of Teen Tribe is forthcoming.

Fougeron’s artistic document, The South Bronx Trades, is a revelation of the immense diversity of skills present in the South Bronx. The work was exhibited in a solo show at The Bronx Museum of The Arts in 2016.

Fougeron is on the faculty of the International Center of Photography and has been a guest artist and teacher at Pratt Institute, New York University, CCNY and SVA. She was a Yaddo artist in residence in 2016.

Fougeron is also the founder of The Photography Master Retreat

Internationally acclaimed fine art photographer Martine Fougeron is the founder of The Photography Master Retreat.
I perceived the palpable exhilaration of each photographer at having reached a better consciousness of his or her work as well as a more fruitful understanding of their fellow artists’ singular visions. This communal experience is rare outside of art schools and is precious for growing one’s work. A real bonding ensued. And it confirmed to me that Esparon is indeed a perfect haven for such a photographic retreat.
— Martine Fougeron

Mentor Martine Fougeron during a photo critique session in 2017 with a small group of 2 students.
When I arrived, all I knew was that my work was not where I wanted it to be. It was the frightening moment of shifting that finally freed an amazing amount of creative energy within me.
— Anna Rosa, #TPMR2016
Mentor Martine Fougeron critics a presentation in the big communal meeting room.
The biggest drawback to the digital world is that you no longer bump into peers and colleagues at the lab or supply store. So, for me, the exchange of ideas with the mentors and participants was special.
— Jeff #TPMR2015
The mentorship in small groups or one-on-one, and the ability to have time with three mentors. I valued that.
— Hilary #TPMR2017
Mentor Elisabeth Biondi during a critique session with a small group of 4 students during The Photography Master Retreat 2016.
Spending a week with a group of creative professionals, bonding with everyone through critique and exchange of ideas, has taken my work in different, more fruitful direction.
— Daniel #TPMR2015
A student explains her trajectory and work process to mentor Lyle Rexer
This retreat will be instrumental in the progress of my new series. I was challenged to consider new ideas and possibilities. I had to deconstruct and attempt a new path with my work. A week here is a present to myself.
— Linda #TPMR2016
The Mentors were very prepared for me. Meeting with them was very intimate. A complete change of environment. Intense, rich, work environment.
— Chris Raecker #TPMR2018
Mentor Lyle Rexer in a one-one portfolio review with a student during The Photography Master Retreat 2015.
I valued all the mentors’ commitment to help us achieve our goals and beyond.
— Loli #TPMR2017
A mentor sequences a portfolio of prints
What was most valuable for me on this retreat was that it gave me a safe place to discuss my work with other people and to get feedback from very insightful professionals
— Pej Behdarvand #TPMR2018
All of them are very accomplished people in the photo industry. And they specialize in different areas, which was great.
— Brenda #TPMR2015


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