Saturday, October 9, 2010


As the school busses came around the bend, a resonating yell was hollered, “Bus..!” People ran into position alongside the gravel road. Greeters clapped and yelled welcome with music blaring, building anticipation for the students and in the air you could feel the excitement.

The students of the 23rd Barnstorm, having traveled from all parts of the globe are here to attend the Eddie Adams Workshop, located in the picturesque countryside of the Catskills, and village of Jeffersonville, NY., were all treated to a rock stars welcome by faculty and guests of the genuinely prestigious, highly intense and most respected photojournalism workshop program in the world.

100 of the world’s most aspiring students of photography were in awe of what they never anticipated, striding up the hill into the sun, staring into the silhouetted crowd of cheering people, this family of professionals had been there waiting for them, and now welcomed them as they had never been welcomed before.

Walking around the grounds of the farm, Louisa Marie Summer, a photographer from Munich, Germany living in New York had this to say about her first experience with the workshop. “I screamed first and I’m very happy. I don’t have any expectations and I’ll take whatever I can. I like photojournalism and portraiture and long-term projects. I really want to work with people and maybe do something for the human rights issue. If I’m lucky I’ll meet some of the right people who will support me and believe in my work. Asked of her expectations in what she’ll learn she said, “I would like to get a little bit more self confident that I can do it. You can also learn from the photographers who are here from Black Team or are here just helping. They have a lifetime of experience.”

Another student with glazed eyes had this to say about her welcome experience, “I felt a little bit overwhelmed but it was okay,” said Adrienne Grunwald from New York, a young woman in transition and heading to Brazil after the workshop to pursue a long-term project on professional female soccer players. Asked about what she expects to get out of the next few days she said, “a bigger community than what I already have, some advice and hopefully some contacts along the way and some good photos. I want to be able to live off of my photography.

The students broke off into their respective teams to meet with their leaders who’ll be eyeing them throughout the process with guidance, tough love and mentorship as they grow and learn in a very short period of time.

Freelance photographer Frederic Dupoux of Haiti was doing some post-production processing when he found out that he was accepted into the program. “I was way over excited and I called my parents, my friends and everybody to tell them that I got in. It was incredible. It still is, to be here right now.”

The rest of their first day was spent on getting to know one another, their team and their leader’s expectations. Later they feasted on a great porch dinner by Al’s kitchen staff and served by Black Team members. The evening was capped by introductions from some of the nations most prestigious photographers, editors and educators, leading the students to what promises to be an extended weekend of learning that they’ll never forget.

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