facebook Photography Masterclass – Bath Spa University

Photography Masterclass: Portrait Encounters

Short course

    A practical and intensive four-day photography workshop culminating in a pop-up exhibition in Bath

    • Discover the strategies used for making portraits and use them in a range of practical applications.
    • Explore and experiment with storytelling through photography, working with a variety of subjects.
    • Learn from experienced photographers Jon Tonks and Roman Franc.

    In this four-day masterclass workshop, Jon Tonks and Roman Franc will share their experience and knowledge of portrait photography.

    They'll lead you in a series of practical portrait exercises in the city of Bath, culminating in a collective pop-up exhibition at the end of the workshop.

    Workshop dates: TBC

    About your tutors

    Jon Tonks

    Jon Tonks is a British photographer based in Bath. His work focuses on telling stories about people’s lives, shaped by history and geography, and with a focus around portraiture. He has been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing National Portrait Prize three times and presented with the Vic Odden Award 2014 by the RPS for his first book, Empire, which explores life on four remote British territories. His work has been exhibited around the UK, the USA and China, and featured in The New York Times, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, Sunday Times Magazine and more.

    Jon holds an MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism from London College of Communication. His work features in a number of private collections both in the UK and abroad, including The Hyman Collection of British Photography, The Martin Parr Foundation, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.


    Roman Franc

    Roman Franc is a photographer from Brno in the Czech Republic. He studied Social Science at Masaryk University in Brno, followed by an MFA in Photography at the Silesian University in Czech, where he now continues his PhD. He devotes himself to free photography and enjoys working with the Flexaret 6x6 medium-format camera. Roman Franc prefers taking photographs of people and creating their portraits. He has collaborated with the office of former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

    Franc organises and teaches photography courses and workshops for both private and public institutions with emphasis on inspirational environments and experiences. His work has been exhibited internationally in Europe and the USA and is held in a number of private collections internationally, including the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. His book My Name Is Hungry Buffalo, was awarded among the most beautiful books in Czech in 2017.



    What you'll do

    Day one

    Jon and Roman will introduce their own work and strategies for making portraits. They'll discuss ways that some of their methods can be implemented and applied in practice. This will be followed by an initial photographic exploration of surrounding areas.

    Days two and three

    The class will venture outside, meeting people, making portraits, and responding to a series of challenges and live briefs. The emphasis will be on small, local stories - finding something from the everyday and bringing that into insightful and illuminating portrait studies. Small extracts from conversations could be an important addition here - taking notes and learning stories.

    The challenge of asking people if you can take their picture is a tough one for many people, and something to work on, and Jon and Roman would like to set a challenge to meet, photograph and gather stories about a range of subjects.

    Day four

    You'll prepare images from the workshop for a final collection of finished exhibition prints. You'll also have the opportunity to print more of your own portfolio prints using the University’s Chromira C-type printer. This will give you the opportunity to get feedback on your own projects from Jon and Roman.


    The course will take place at Bath School of Art and Design in central Bath.


    The fee for this course in 2019 will be updated here soon. The fee for the programme in 2018 was £400 inclusive of tuition.

    As part of the workshop, participants will be able to create high-quality portfolio prints using the Chromira C-type printer. These will be offered at the following very low prices to participants. In 2018 these were:

    • 10" x 8" = £0.75
    • 16" x 12" = £1.50
    • 20" x 16" = £3
    • 24" x 20" = £4.50
    • 30" x 20" = £6
    • 40" x 30" = £10

    What to bring

    You can bring your own lunch, or eat at Café Sion. Light refreshments are provided.

    On the second and third days in particular, we'll do a lot of walking, so please wear comfortable clothing and footwear.

    Register your interest

    We look forward to receiving your Registration of Interest form (below). If you have any questions, please contact us by email bsadshortcourses@bathspa.ac.uk.

    Register your interest form (doc)


    To book, or if you have any questions, please contact bsadshortcourses@bathspa.ac.uk.

    Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk