Photobook as object med Jan Rosseel, foto: Laara Matsen
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— Norsk versjon her —

This intimate and intensive workshop focuses on understanding the process of storytelling with a personal vision; exploring ways to incorporate your individual voice into your work with the aim of making a photobook dummy or other publication. Led by Jan Rosseel, celebrated photographer and bookmaker, we will work on conceptualizing ideas, the editing process, and final presentation. Laara Matsen, photo editor and mentor, will also be on hand to assist with shaping the work.

​Over two long weekends, we will explore the process of generating ideas and refining concepts in the pursuit of a successful photographic series. Through individual and group discussions and critique of current work and interests, students will examine the strengths of their ideas and intentions, develop skills to better conceptualize satisfying and sustaining projects and realize the potential of their ideas and photography in book form (or other printed matter).

We will cover concept development, the editing process, design issues such as choice of size, paper, grid and typography, and details of the printing process as well as how to get your book published. Participants will leave this workshop with at least one book dummy, possibly multiple copies.

Participants arrive with one or more ideas they would like to develop in book form. These projects do not need to be finished but should contain enough material to begin to shape. Text, found objects, and ephemera can be included along with photographs.

We begin by examining and deconstructing these ideas, deciding their viability and discussing the unique possibilities of photography in book form. Each morning starts with review sessions and Q&A by the other participants. Feedback is crucial for the development of each project and therefore participants are encouraged to play an active role in discussions. Constructive criticism, honesty and fairness towards each other are key words to get the best out of each other. Over the first long weekend, we work in small groups to edit and lay out initial book dummies, continuing to explore the potential of each project.

During the weeks between the workshop sessions, participants are encouraged to continue to work on their projects, adding to the edits conceived during the first weekend. During the last workshop session, we finalize layout and work on physical production of the books. The workshop culminates with a group review of the finished dummies.

Expect intensive days, pushing your creative boundaries and exploring new ways of storytelling. Experimentation is encouraged!

More information and a day-to-day schedule is available upon request.


The workshop is aimed at photographers with a body of work they wish to develop in book form. Photography, found objects, documents, and letters can all be used. If you are using texts, please have them translated to English as well as in their original language. We highly recommended you bring your B and C image edits, including pictures you are curious about or unsure of. You will need a laptop with InDesign and Photoshop, as well as small prints (a6) of your project for editing. You will also need some basic supplies for dummy making. The workshop will be held in English, and is open for all nationalities.

About Jan

Jan Rosseel studied photography at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague and photojournalism at the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Århus, Denmark. Since graduating he has been nominated for the Prix Pictet, Steenbergen Stipendium, Dutch Doc Award, Photo Academy Award, and was selected as FOAM Magazine Talent 2014. Next to photography, Jan Rosseel also works together with other photographers creating concepts for photography books, exhibitions and ideas for new ways of visual storytelling. ​

About Laara

Transplanted from the US to Norway 11 years ago, Laara Matsen is the director of Bilder Nordic School of Photography and co-founder and editor of The Norwegian Journal of Photography. She began her career at Magnum Photos in New York, later working as a multi-faceted supporter and director of long-term documentary photo projects. She has edited and curated numerous international exhibitions and photo books and was photo editor of D2 Magazine for eight years. Laara is passionate about visual storytelling as a transformative medium.

Please send the following, well organized, to

  1. Short bio.
  2. Simple PDF with your book project idea. Summarize the details of the contents, project  description, photos, texts and other possible materials within a single PDF. Please do not send jpgs or word docs.

Deadline to apply: October 14th or when the class is filled. Applicants will be informed of acceptance within one week of application being received.

Photobook as object med Jan Rosseel, foto: Laara Matsen



First session:
Editing and shaping your story: November 8th ,9th,10th

Second session:
Physical book making: November 29th, 30th and December 1st

LOCATION: Bilder Nordic School of Photography,
Nedre Vollgate 8, 0158 Oslo, Norway



We strongly suggest early registration, as the class size is small and fills up quickly.

Contact us if you need advice on flights or lodging. We will try to help.

If you have any questions, please contact Laara Matsen at