Documentary Storytelling with José Sarmento Matos

Join professional photographer, José Sarmento Matos, for a one and a half day Leica Akademie workshop at the Leica Store City in London.

Learn how to tell a visual documentary story in 15 images while gaining an understanding of the key elements: researching, pitching, shooting and editing.

Throughout the workshop José will work closely with attendees on their reportage photography skills, while encouraging and guiding you towards producing a coherent body of work with a fluent documentary narrative. You will also learn different methods of researching, approaching your subjects, pitching, and how to edit your work, culminating in a final photo story. Participants will also learn techniques with regards to controlling available light while working on assignment, framing and composition.

Dates: Sat 10th February (10.30-18.00) & Thurs 15th February (18.30-20.30)

Venue: Leica Store City, 18 Royal Exchange, London, EC3V 3LP

Price: £195

Lunch included on day one

(please advise of any dietary requirements on making a booking)

Saturday 10th February (10.30-18.00)

Half an hour briefing on how to make a coherent reportage story with 15 images (discussion will include generating ideas for stories, researching, how to approach your subjects, the basics of photojournalism, how to edit your work, and how to control the available light in one location). 

José will share his wealth of experience using two of his most recent documentaries projects. You will also be introduced to key photographers from the history of photojournalism.  

- Half an hour discussing the attendees’ work and approach

- Attendees are asked to bring the following:

  • Past photo story that has been edited to 10 images
  • Two ideas for a photo story for the purpose of this workshop
  • List of 5 things you find challenging in your photography

- Leica M discussion (getting started / insider tips). Participants are encouraged to use a Leica M or a Leica Q camera subject to availability.

- 12:00 - Lunch

- 12:30 - Each attendee starts working on their projects (4 hours shooting time).

- 16:30 - Return to base at the Leica Store City. 30 min to make a 20-image edit (please bring your laptop with installed editing software) followed by group discussion on challenges encountered while shooting. José will offer feedback and further guidance in order to improve each participant’s story.

- Participants are expected to continue shooting the assignment before the final meet up.

 Thursday 15th February (18.30-20.30)

- Meet back at the Leica Store City for a review of participant’s projects (Attendees are requested to bring a 30 image edit).

- Following a critique by José, the projects will be edited down to a consistent story. This process and discussion will be made as a group.

Participant Notes

If borrowing Leica equipment, you will need to bring the following:

  • Two forms of ID (The first form of ID should be a passport or UK driving license, and the second form, a utility bill showing your home address)
  • SD memory card

José Sarmento Matos is a Portuguese documentary photographer based in Lisbon and London. In December 2014 he completed a MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the LCC, Univerisity of the Arts.

José is interested in covering stories about the current social uncertainty in Europe and other parts of the world. As well as analysing relevant contemporary world issues by focusing on people’s personal stories, he also focuses his work on street photography, documenting his day-to- day life. 

In 2015 José was named one of the winners of “30 under 30” Magnum award for ‘Young Documentary Photographers’ with his project ‘Turning The Page’. Developed in Portugal, the project focuses on the change in individuals who have been traumatised as a result of violent crimes. 

José´s work has been exhibited in cities such as London, Oslo, Berlin, Lisbon, Porto, and Paris, and he’s a member of Project Sea Change; a documentary collective about today’s young Europeans and how they are dealing with the social and financial crisis in Europe. The Sea Change photo book was published in January 2015.

Among other projects, José is currently working on a photo documentary about the lives of call center workers in several countries around the world. One of the first chapters focuses on the Philippines, the world “capital” of this industry, and was recently published in Newsweek Europe magazine.