Focus on the Story 2019 will bring together a community of photography lovers for a series of outstanding keynote presentations, panel discussions, workshops, exhibits, portfolio reviews, photowalks and community events. Focus on the Story is a nonprofit organization with a mission to support and encourage photographers of diverse backgrounds to use visual storytelling to bring attention to critical issues, bridge cultural gaps and spark social change.
Festival registration includes all Keynote talks, panels and breakout sessions during the Friday through Sunday portion of the event. Learn more at Focus on the Story.
This year's festival will be located at:
George Washington University's Marvin Center800 21st Street NWThird FloorWashington, DC
This discounted rate ends May 15. Save $20 off the on-site rate of $245. This pass gives you access to all scheduled speakers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It also includes your admission into the opening night party.
This pass is good for Friday, May 31 and gives you entry to all of the day's scheduled speakers. (It does not include entry to the opening night party.)
This pass is good for Saturday, June 1 and gives you entry to all of the day's scheduled speakers. (It does not include entry to the opening night party.)
This pass is good for Sunday, June 2 and gives you entry to all of the day's scheduled speakers. (It does not include entry to the opening night party.)
You get a free entry with your full 3-day registration -- buy another and take a friend. Drinks, appetizers, music and the opening of our festival exhibit.
If you are student, please contact us at [email protected] to request a coupon code for 50% off your registration.
Please note: There is a 7 percent processing fee on refunds through April 12. Unfortunately, we're unable to offer any refunds for registrations, workshops or portfolio reviews after April 12.
Returning to add a workshop, portfolio review or other item to your registration? Please email us at [email protected] and we'll be happy to add it to your existing registration.
Or you can manage your registration by clicking the button below.
Ruddy is an acclaimed photojournalist, whose work explores race and inequality. TIME named him Instagram Photographer of the Year in 2016.
Andrea is an award winning documentary photographer whose work focuses on people living in the aftermath of war.
Lucian is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist whose work focuses on documenting human interest stories.
Sharon was the first African-American and first woman to become Director of the White House Photography office.
Kathy Vargas is a celebrated Chicana photographer and artist known for her composite hand-colored photographs.
Xyza is based in Hong Kong and uses her work to raise awareness about under-reported stories.
Gulnara is a street and fine art photographer based in New York City and is the founder of @womenstreetphotographers on Instagram.
Huy is the founder of Fearless Photographers, the premier global network and directory of wedding and family photographers.
Jamie is a former photojournalist who now helps nonprofits tell humanitarian and health stories all over the world.
Ibarionex is a photography instructor, author and host of the must-listen-to podcast, The Candid Frame.
Patrick is the winner of the 2019 FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo for his coverage of the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.
Robert is a deputy photo editor at the Washington Post and, after 20 years as a photo editor, an emerging street photographer.
TIME magazine listed Michael as one of "12 African American Photographers You Should Follow Right Now."
David is a NYC-based photographer and filmmaker who was the longtime still photographer for Anthony Bourdain.
Sheila is an acclaimed fine art photographer whose current project highlights young leaders affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Workshops, photowalks and portfolio reviews listed below are not included with registration. They may be purchased separately.
Ibarionex Perello: From Taking Pictures to Making Photographs - A Personal Visual Language
Wednesday, May 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Thursday, May 30, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Discover how to use light and shadow, lines and shape, color and gesture to create exceptional photographs. In this intensive, two-day photo workshop, you will discover how to create strong and effective compositions while exploring the streets of the city. You will learn how to consider the setting and its relationship to your subject for not only making more effective photographs, but also telling a story. Read full workshop description
Jamie Rose: #PhotoBizSkills
Wednesday, May 29, 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.Finding new clients, creating effective marketing campaigns, negotiating contracts…. These are just some of the necessary skills photographers need to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. During this full day seminar, COO Jamie Rose will present Momenta Workshops’ highly popular #PhotoBizSkills presentations on marketing. The seminar includes in-depth presentations covering social media, websites, branding design, networking, presenting your work in person, interviewing, and much more. With plenty of audience participation and Q&A opportunities, Jamie will offer ways each attendee can make the most of their limited free time to find new and better paying clients, increase revenue, and grow your business every year. Laptops or paper for note taking are highly recommended. Workshop perks include coffee and donuts during the morning meet-n-greet, digital handouts, and a surprise guest speaker.
Xyza Cruz Bacani: Exploring Street and Documentary Photography
Thursday, May 30, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Learn how to capture the most decisive moments in street photography by using different elements of design and perspective with photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani. This hands-on workshop includes a discussion on various street composition techniques and how to apply them as solid foundations for pursuing documentary photography.Photographers will explore how images can be used to enact social change, from visual aesthetics to ethics. The class will feature a photo walk to apply what you’ve learned. There will be a curation of the images taken by students after the photo walk, which will be sure to offer insight and direction.
Michael A. McCoy: Documentary Photography
Thursday, May 30, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.Do you ever wonder what it takes to capture a great photograph? Look no further. In this workshop you will learn how to see and capture gesture and expression as you practice documentary photography in the same streets where the masters of the genre made their iconic images. Our workshop will be the perfect stage to fine tune your photographic story telling ability. Learn to see and frame details in which you can that make a place unique while thinking 'outside the postcard'.
Jamie Rose: Financing Personal Projects
Thursday, May 30, 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.mIn this in-depth seminar, you will learn the ins-and-outs for funding your dream project. Jamie Rose on behalf of Wildfire Media, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to documentary storytelling, explains the 3 types of funding (Public, Private, Personal) you can use to fund your next photo or multimedia project. This full-day seminar will to help you decide which projects are worthy of doing a fundraising campaign and the approaches needed to go after each type of funding. From writing a grant or sponsorship proposal to writing thank you notes when you’re done, this day should set you on the path to funding success. If you have a personal project in mind but need an extra boost of financing, this is the workshop for you. Laptops or paper for note taking are highly recommended. Workshop perks include coffee and donuts during the morning meet-n-greet, digital handouts, and a surprise guest speaker.
Meet up at the White House with Kirth Bobb
Thursday, May 30, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.Find the extraordinary in the ordinary. Join Washington DC photographer Kirth Bobb on a photowalk around the nation’s capital to explore a new way of seeing and experiencing the world around you. This is an opportunity to hone in on your skills as a photographer, share and learn new ideas and experience DC through your camera’s viewfinder. The walk will focus on the sights and scenes around the White House and neighboring Lafayette Square. With all that's happening in the world, you'd be surprised what you'll find right outside the most important residence in the world.
Early Morning Meetup at the Tidal Basin with Angela B. Pan
Saturday, June 1, 6:00 a.m. - 9 a.m.For those early risers, meet up with award-winning D.C. landscape photographer Angela B. Pan to photograph the tidal basin in the early morning, golden hour light. We'll email registrants with our meeting point the week before the meetup. (FYI, sunrise is at 5:44 a.m. -- feel free to get there early).
Brutalist Photowalk with Mark Alan Andre [Sold Out]
Saturday, June 1, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Brutalist Architecture has gained a reputation for being severe, stark, and boring. The growth of Washington, DC through the 1960s and 70s has lead to a dearth of examples of the style in the central core of the Capitol. The very same things that make Brutalism infamous make it a great subject for a photo walk around Washington, DC. We’ll look at examples of buildings from architectural icons Gordon Bunshaft, Harry Weese, and Marcel Breuer along with some beautiful examples of the style from less well known designers. We’ll spend some time at each stop exploring the buildings, sharing tips, and garnering a new appreciation for the often maligned slice of architectural history.
More portfolio reviewers will be added in the coming weeks.
Each session will last 25 minutes and will include a one-on-one review of your work. Please bring your work loaded on a laptop, computer notepad or in printed form.
We will contact you after you register to schedule your review.
Gulnara is a street and fine art photographer and the founder of @WomenStreetPhotographers Instagram feed. She has more than 30 years combined experience as a documentary photographer, artist, photojournalist and photo editor for the Associated Press.
André is an award-winning photojournalist and portrait photographer. His work appears frequently in the Washington Post. While at the Baltimore Sun, he was twice named the Times Mirror Journalist of the Year and he has also received the prestigious George Polk Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.
Lauren serves as photo editor at WIRED magazine in San Francisco, California. She previously worked as the assistant photo editor at Washingtonian magazine.
Kirsten is a documentary family photographer based in Denver, Colorado and founder of the Documentary Family Awards. It was teaching on Creative Live that really brought her approach to documentary family photography to the forefront as a desirable alternative to the traditional family portrait.
Gulnara Samoilova [Sold Out]
Gulnara is a street and fine art photographer and the founder of @WomenStreetPhotographers Instagram feed. She has more than 30 years combined experience as a documentary photographer, artist, photojournalist and photo editor for the Associated Press,
Svetlana is a long-time photojournalist and the publisher at FotoEvidence, a publishing house and activist organization that supports documentary photography focused on human rights and social justice.
Mallory Benedict [Sold Out]
Mallory is a photo editor for National Geographic where she works on original cross-platform storytelling on mobile, digital and print platforms. She is also the Managing Director of Women Photograph, an initiative designed to elevate the work of women and non-binary photographers.
Michael A. McCoy
Michael is a Washington, D.C.-based photojournalist and street photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, TIME magazine and Rolling Stone, among others.