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Art Of Snapshot Photography

Art Of Snapshot Photography

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Karl Grupe


If you are looking to begin an interpretative and/or discursive relationship with your photography, you will find this course an illuminating experience! By using mediums such as freeform drawing, paper sculpture, story-cubing and writing, it will give you valuable tools for photographic ideation. You can think of each project as a kind of photographic alchemy  where we encourage experiment, failure, accident and play as valid contributors to important discoveries along the creative process.

Topics covered

  • There will be lectures, guided gallery tour and a library visit followed by photographing projects ‘in the field’ of London.
  • You will investigate contemporary trends while focusing on your current and developing voice in photography.
  • Mixing theory with practice, we will explore how the snapshot has a substantial currency in photography, and how its aesthetic is approachable and allows for a democratic platform through which practitioners can ’access’ and communicate to their audience.
  • Images and projects will undergo a process of self and group analysis involving learning photo-editing skills, theme development and concept statement generation for stylistic and topic continuity.
  • All projects will be presented for an instructor-led class observation, evaluation and discussion.

Former students have reported how this course shifted the way they photograph and look at photography, how it boosted their creativity and gave them tools to feel more at ‘play’ and take risks in their practice.

Entry requirements: None, but please bring ten (10) unbound examples of past photographs in print form (mistakes encouraged) for discussion and critique during the first class.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Karl Grupe is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, Canada  and completed his masters at Goldsmiths College, London.

Karl’s curiosity to test the manner in which we think is what drives him. Obsessed by the narrative which forms from disrupting patterns, he acts as a facilitator in the move away from the visual ‘safe zones’ we form and adhere to. His workshops involve an alchemy of improvisation, risk, reflection and narrative passing through the portal of photography.

His own work can be described as the result of operating at the intersection of the academic, practical, creative and business of photography. Commercially, his stock imagery is represented by Getty and has been published by Life magazine, The New York Times, Microsoft, Sony, Nissan, Ikea, and the Royal Mail.

Under his mentorship CSM students have been published by the British Journal of Photography, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Evening Standard, and Vice Magazine; exhibited internationally; produced portfolios to win Bachelors and Masters placements; and made career transitions to full-time professional photographers.  His Photographers’ London course at Central Saint Martins appeared as a nine-page editorial feature in Afisha-Mir, a Russian travel and lifestyle magazine.

An alumnus of Goldsmiths College, he graduated summa cum laude for his Masters examination of the “accidental” economics formed through photo social networking site Instagram and how this is challenging traditional commercial photography. It led to a meta-photo agency, testing applications disruptive to traditional models of photographer-client-audience conversation which is now part of his PhD examination. This ongoing research feeds into workshops he delivers and includes clients such as Leeds Castle, the London Transport Museum, University Arts London, Royal Photographic Society and photography and design festivals including Urban Photo Fest 2013, Snap Photography Festival,  London Design Festival, Design Futures and the Prospects of Design Festival.

You can find out more about Karl by visiting his website.


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • Any type of camera
  • Ten unbound examples of past photographs in print form (mistakes encouraged) for discussion and critique.

Available dates

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