For those of you who have never attended the festival before, the Palm Springs Photo Festival is perhaps the only event of its kind in the world, a photography festival primarily conceived for professional and serious advanced amateur commercial and fine art photographers. Our mantra, since the first festival in 2006, has been Inspiration, Education & Technology.  

We feature world-famous photographers in our workshop program, valuable opportunities to meet with and present your work to important influencers (those that can hire you, publish or exhibit your work, or consultants who can help you improve your presentation and focus your directions); seminars conducted by the very people who wrote the books on their subjects, both technical, business and inspirational; our daily symposium (round table discussions on important issues for photographers) as well as incredible evening presentations in the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theater where our instructors and others present their work.

First I’d like to tell you about our celebrated workshop program for this year. All of our instructors have mined their own personal experience and influences to synthesize a known, recognizable style of expression, the goal of all photographers. This 2019 workshop roster is quite literally an embarrassment of riches!

Nadav Kander is known throughout the world as a top editorial, advertising and fine art photographer. His work has been acknowledged by major museums, galleries and the fashion and advertising community. He has photographed major society and royals such as HRH The Prince of Wales, Barak Obama, French president Emanuel Macron,Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and even President Donald Trump. His work with actors include Keira Knightly, Brad Pitt and Jody Foster. His rare, engaging master class, Kander will discuss his process and how he stays on the top of the game making both distinctive commercial and fine art photographs.

Deanne Fitzmaurice & Kurt Rogers, husband and wife team, both worked at the vaunted San Francisco Chronicle for many years as staff photographersDeanne won the Pulitzer Prize for her documentary photography work while a staff photographer at the Chronicle. Their workshop on motion-video storytelling represents a fantastic opportunity to learn from two of our most published practitioners of the genre. They will show how to approach subjects and how to disarm hem to create the trust necessary to make important personal documentary work that help the viewer enter the real lives of those they photograph.

Todd HidoNight light, weather phenomena, and differing temperatures of electric illumination lend an eerie quality to Todd Hido’s unique landscape photographs. The course will cover the experiences, strategies, and influences that form and shape his work. A world-famous fine art photographer, Hido has forged an identity for himself and his work that has resonated with curators, publishers and gallery directors throughout the world. Work along side Todd looking for the unique lighting / landscape opportunities in nighttime Palm Springs and the areas surrounding to come away with a new body of work.

Barbara Davidson is a three-time Pulitzer Prize and Emmy award winning photojournalist best known for her work on victims of gang violence in Los Angeles. Barbara mastered her story-telling approach through multiple assignments over two decades and across 52 countries covering war, humanitarian crises and the human condition for the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News and the Washington Times. Her class this year at PSPF is on making motion-video using DSLR cameras. Learn how to create motion for your personal or professional applications from this dynamo of enthusiasm and knowledge.

Stephen Wilkes has two careers, both highly successful; A leading commercial photographer working in editorial and advertising, he is also prominent as a fine art photographer whose work is widely exhibited and most importantly, – collected.  In his workshop, he will talk about how his subtextual use of narrative helps him to “find his picture.” Photographing large scenes as he does requires a very unique skill-set. Wonder why large landscape scenes can look breathtaking in reality but so very boring in photographs? Wilkes brings his concentration on narrative to bear on solving the problem of how to capture “the Big Pictures” that he’s famous for.

Tim Griffiths work comes not from magazines, but internationally famous architects themselves. Known for his deep understanding of their practice and principles, his work focusses on the unique elements the architects have infused into their buildings. The workshop will have access to a number of locations in Palm Springs, both residential and commercial in scale. During the practical sessions, discussion and demonstration of specific technical issues associated with both large and small format digital capture will be undertaken. On one morning the class will be taught by Scott Frances (see below) who is also teaching an architecture master class.

Scott Frances is one of our preeminent photographers of architecture. “The focus of my subject matter has always been rooted in architecture and the decorative arts… the atmosphere of the spaces I shoot & certainly their volume and the quality of the available light….the mood.” Palm Springs contains world-famous architecture and Scott will be photographing in both private and public spaces for his class. On one morning the class will be taught by Tim Griffith (see above) who is also teaching an architecture master class. 

Sandro Miller’s lighting workshop last year was a highlight of the festival workshop program. Miller is one of the preeminent advertising photographers of today with accounts such as American Express, Anheuser-Busch, BMW, Dove, Coca-Cola, Honda, Pepsi, Microsoft, Miller / Coors, Motorola, Nike, Adidas and others. There’s nothing Sandro can’t light, and light perfectly. He loves to teach and his class members walk away with very valuable insights into his lighting methods.


Art Streiber is known as the hardest working editorial photographer today, with regular clients such as Vanity Fair, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Wired, Fortune, Time, ESPN and Rolling Stone. His covers are on every newsstand. In this one-day class, he answers dozens of questions about breaking into the editorial market including valuable details about contracts, reps, renting or owning your own gear, how syndication works, what to include on your websites, how to promote your work, how to create and present budgets and much more.

Dirk Dallas teaches photographers how to pilot and photograph using drones. This is perhaps the fastest-growing new segment for photographers working today. Dirk will bring the gear and show attendees how drones work, what camera systems work best, which drones to use and discuss the restrictions and laws concerning the use of drones for photography and motion video.

Michelle Dunn Marsh will offer a two-day class in making the artist’s book. Michelle is the founder of Minor Matters Books and serves as the Executive Director of the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle. Before founding Minor Matters, she was at Chronicle Books and prior to that, the Associate Publisher of Aperture magazine and one of the Aperture Foundations important book designers.

David Fahey is the co-founder and Director of the prestigious Fahey Klein Gallery in Hollywood. He has been instrumental in bringing over 60 photography monographs into the world through his vast network of publishers. His highly anticipated class will help attendees maximize the benefits of presenting their work in portfolio reviews and to galleries. As his gallery enters its 40th year in business, no one is better placed to offer these valuable insights.

Of course, the festival is much more than just our workshop program. Our portfolio review program brings magazine editors, advertising agency creatives, book publishers, reps, gallery and museum directors and other influencers to meet with you and see your work. Networking is a great reason to come; mingle with our faculty, your heroes, your colleagues and our many sponsors at PSPF.

Everyone lives, breathes and sleeps photography for the festival week and you’ll walk away with new friends and lots of inspiration and passion. Keep busy with our great seminar program, attend our symposium each day, dine with friends and enjoy great lectures each night. This is your community.