Joop Swart Masterclass

Encouraging new and diverse approaches to photojournalism, documentary photography and visual storytelling

The Joop Swart Masterclass is World Press Photo’s best-known educational program for emerging photographers in the field of documentary photography, photojournalism, and visual storytelling.

Launched in 1994, the Joop Swart Masterclass invites 12 photographers from all around the world to develop a project, and develop the tools to make a viable career in photography. Four dedicated mentors guide the participants throughout the process, in addition to a line up of industry professionals providing insight into their practice. By engaging in dialogue with their mentors, as well as with their fellow participants, the program aims to build relationships that will help develop and sustain the participants’ careers in the future.

2024 Joop Swart Masterclass program

After a three-year hiatus, the Joop Swart Masterclass returns in 2024, with a focus on the MENA region, thanks to funding from the Porticus Foundation.

The Joop Swart Masterclass will come back in a renewed format. While holding on to the core objective to develop and guide photographers with 5-10 years experience in their practice, it will place special emphasis on building skills for long and sustainable careers in photojournalism, documentary photography and beyond.

The program will consist of three components:

  • Online mentorship from mid-June to mid-October. Participants will work on their projects, receive feedback from their mentors and participate in online thematic presentations.
  • Masterclass week from 27 October to 1 November. The group will come together in Amsterdam for an intensive week of workshops, talks, and presentations.
  • Post-masterclass presentations in the participants’ regions from November to December.

Participants will work towards a pitch to an audience of photo editors, curators, publishers, photography institutions, and other relevant audiences. Every participant can decide what the best output is for their story, whether it is a photo story, a dummy photo book, a pitch for a publication, or an exhibition concept. They will identify their own needs and World Press Photo will try to support them by connecting them to the industry.

2024 Joop Swart Masterclass nominees announced

Joop Swart Masterclass alumni

The Joop Swart masterclass has contributed to the development of generations of visual storytellers for almost three decades. Participants have later gone on to have their work published and exhibited in some of the most prestigious publications and institutions around the world. See the Joop Swart Masterclass alumni.