Announcing the 2018 Focus on the Story International Photo Festival

© Chris Suspect

Well, that escalated quickly.

What started out as a modest idea to have a weekend of photography workshops and photowalks has grown into what is now the first Focus on the Story International Photo Festival, June 7 -10 in Washington, D.C. There’s still going to be workshops and photowalks but our initial speaker list, frankly, exceeds anything we had imagined when we began kicking this idea around.

We’re thrilled to announce that our star-studded lineup includes Martin Parr, Joel-Peter Witkin, Maggie Steber, Brian Griffin, Xyza Bacani, Ed Kashi, David Hobby, Carl Juste, Carol Guzy, André Chung, Leonard Pitts, Jr., Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Luis Rios and more that we’ll announce in the coming weeks.

O'Connell Bridge, Dublin, Ireland, October 1981. From 'Bad Weather' © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

If you’re passionate about photography, how can you pass up the chance to hear Martin Parr, one of the great documentary photographers of our time, talk about his work? Or Joel-Peter Witkin, whose dark, unsettling photographic tableaux are hailed as surrealistic masterpieces? Or for that matter, Maggie Steber, whose documentary work in Haiti over 25 years is equal parts inspiring and heartbreaking? Or Brian Griffin, whose iconic music photography led the British Journal of Photography to proclaim that he was “the most unpredictable and influential British portrait photographer of the last decades”?

The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma: Edward Hopper's Bedroom, 2017 © Maggie Steber
Depeche Mode, A Broken Frame © Brian Griffin

This is your chance to learn lighting from David Hobby, aka the Strobist, the photographer whose blog has helped countless thousands of passionate amateurs master off-camera flash techniques.

And you can’t miss the panel discussion that includes three Pulitzer Prize winners (Carol Guzy, Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Leonard Pitts, Jr.), two winners of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award (Carl Juste and André Chung), and the National Press Photographers Association’s recently-named photo editor of the year, Luis Rios. That’s a hell of a lot of photojournalism talent sharing one stage.

Then there’s the inspirational and important work of Ed Kashi, who has documented human rights issues around the world, and Xyza Bacani, who started dabbling in photography when she was a domestic worker in Hong Kong and who has since used her work to shine a light on modern slavery and other under-reported stories.

We’re sure this weekend of talks, workshops, panel discussions and photowalks in the nation’s Capital will inspire you to take your work to the next level, spark your creativity and move you with powerful, visual storytelling.