Documentary Photography Workshops: Luxury Retreat Masterclasses

Next year, Paul Hill and myself, will take you through a series of documentary photography workshops to expand your photographic vision, giving you new perspectives in how to approach street, documentary and more personal image-making. 

Documentary photography workshops in the Ourika valleyA rural scene near the photography workshop location


Paul Hill is both a celebrated photographer and educator straddling traditions of photographic art and documentary styles. His unique take on personal creativity is a key benefit of attending the documentary photography workshops retreat.


Focusing on the less obvious


Morocco has the potential for storytelling by using colours and light for personal imagery and also through exploring how others live.

This masterclass will be an enjoyable series of workshops that lead you to make photos you may not have thought about before. Exploring new ways of looking at things and connecting photos across a sequence, using the local environment as a palette. As part of this, you’ll have access to local people to help you produce portraits or reportage imagery.

When it comes to Morocco street photography, one can thrive on making pictures of folk going about their daily business, which is both stimulating and challenging but should we try to get beyond that?

Images of elderly men with pointy headwear and young children looking up, are part of street culture and are valid as depictions of life, but they tend to show less about the person behind the camera. The focus for these 6 days will be on developing your creative voice.


What these documentary photography workshops will give you:


Developing a personal take on things and stripping back to what you like about photography.

Allowing you the freedom to both have fun through making images but to also see and notice the less obvious and hidden.

Building a collection with photos that relate to each other, in essence a narrative that could work as a book. By the end of the retreat, you’ll have an outline sequence for one.


Masterclass Retreat Format:


Presentations during which you will gain insights into the working methods and approaches of Paul Hill and Darren Lewey.

Documentary photography workshops on location led by two photographers at all times.

Workshop image reviews.

Portfolio feedback: The opportunity to have photos made prior to the workshop evaluated by Paul.



DAY 1 – Arrival day


1: Paul Hill presents his overview of where photography is now, in relation to making creative work as well as defining what creativity really is, reflecting on his personal journey and his current thinking about what photography can mean referencing his own images made in Morocco. His conclusion will centre on what makes a successful picture.  Paul will then set a creative exercise to be made within 100 metres of the workshop space.  After reviewing some of the images Paul will set out the aims for the afternoon’s workshop.

2: Exploring the town on foot with PH/DL. Potential subjects to personalise include; medina architecture, coastal scenes, and a reclamation yard.


3: Individual feedback with participants using their own computers to load images. Gathering further photos. The evening is set aside for a group viewing of the final selection.


4: A workshop with Darren –  One location but two approaches, showing it in different ways. Here you will be thinking about camera angle, lens choice, proximity, exposure, DOF, point of focus, black and white or colour. Followed by a review of images.

5: A presentation on storytelling with Darren and Paul, both closed and open approaches. Developing a point of view, using supporting text and final sequencing. Students to research and select a project focus. Introduction to local subjects. 


6: Individual/group discussions on projects selected.

7: Students to begin gathering images.


8: Individual feedback from Paul and Darren/gathering images.

9: Final sequencing with Darren followed by the presentation of the completed series in the evening.

DAY 7 Departure


DATES: May 13th – 19th 2023. 


FEE: One to three attendees –  £1350 pp. Four to six attendees  – £1195 pp. Excludes hotels: Recommended Riads to choose from: Ryad Watier, Villa Maroc, Riad Maison du Sud

Inclusive of airport transfers.


Paul Hill was born in 1941 and is a photographer, journalist, author and teacher.

A major influence on contemporary British photography, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 1990 and, four years later, was awarded an MBE by The Queen for services to photography. Between 1995 and 2010 he was a professor at De Montfort University, Leicester and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art by Derby University in 2011 and De Montfort University in 2012.

He has exhibited regularly since 1970 throughout the British Isles, Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia and is co- author (with Thomas J. Cooper) of Dialogue with Photography (1979/2005), Approaching Photography (1982/2004), and White Peak Dark Peak (1990) and Corridor of Uncertainty (2010). His work is in art collections across the world.



Darren Lewey was born in 1968 and studied photography at Derbyshire College of Art and Design and Film Production at Napier University.  After a career shooting and directing documentary projects for UK broadcasters, he taught moving image and photography at UK colleges before relocating to Morocco in 2010 to run photography workshops.  His recent images explore storytelling in different forms spanning landscape, reportage and portrait genres.



Register your interest below and for more information please contact Darren at:


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