2015 Joop Swart Masterclass


The Joop Swart Masterclass has for the last 21 years brought together 12 young, promising photographers with six of the most experienced individuals in photojournalism in order to share and pass on knowledge and experience.

The participating photographers, under guidance of six prominent experts, discussed technical and visual aspects of their work, as well as their role as photographers. Click here to see the Next#05 publication website, produced by the masterclass participants and click here to watch video interviews with the masters and participants.

The following 12 photographers—9 men and 3 women of 10 different nationalities—joined the 2015 Joop Swart Masterclass, which was held at the beginning of November in Amsterdam:

Photographer Édouard Elias was selected to participate in the 2013 masterclass, but was taken hostage in Syria that same year. World Press Photo invited him upon his liberation to join the next possible edition, and is pleased Édouard could join this year’s class.

Acceptance to the prestigious masterclass is based on a system of nomination and selection. World Press Photo’s 136 international nominators selected 164 candidates from 53 countries, who were invited to submit their portfolios.

The masters for the 22nd Joop Swart Masterclass are:

Selection committee

© Bas de Meijer / Hollandse Hoogte

An independent selection committee in Amsterdam made the final selection of the participants on Wednesday 23 April. The selection committee this year consisted of:

Darcy Padilla and Paul Moakley reflected on the candidate portfolios: “We saw a lot of portfolios this year that focused on urgent stories, investigative journalism and breaking news—work that followed a classic approach in the tradition of great news photography.”

Rebecca McClelland commented: “The selection of work that went to the finals included not only the strongest stories but also the bravest stories; stories very well told, but remarkably courageous as well. Also, we distinguished a lot of localized work, people shooting in their own environment and communities.”

Jim Casper said: “We went from seeing traditional visual storytelling on the one hand, with pictures influenced by a very classic narrative to work by people who were really pushing the boundaries. I think that it will be fascinating to see how these 12 participants will interact and stimulate each other over the course of the masterclass.”

Theme: ‘Invisible’

In preparation for the masterclass meeting in November, the participants prepared a themed photo essay, this year revolving around the theme of “Invisible”. The essays were discussed with the masters and edited for an online publication made possible by Viewbook.

The Joop Swart Masterclass is supported by Ammodo Foundation and Viewbook.com. Our worldwide partner Canon also provides each participant with a grant.