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Leslie Alsheimer Photography

Photography & Change in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Humanitarian Documentary Workshops
Also available: Balloon Fiesta Photography Workshops

EXCLUSIVE: Small Group Workshops
Documentary Storytelling Workshops, Working with Non-Profits, across cultures and beyond.
Students will work with the instructor to develop a documentary narrative by working directly with local humanitarian aid organizations, or with local native projects to the area to create narrative photo essays and imagery that portrays the issues facing everyday people in the cross cultural communities of northern New Mexico. The images created will be used to help promote the efforts these organizations have implemented with their outreach efforts and the challenges they face in their daily endeavors, and/ or for personal development.

Can photography have the power to help create social change and inspire people to act? — We believe the answer is YES! This workshop explores the process of creating meaningful images and the ways they can be used to communicate issues of contemporary social significance.

Throughout the week, each student will photograph a local story, either partnered with one of our local non-profit partners, or a special interest subject. Image critiques will incorporate discussions engaging our methodology and approaches. Together we will explore the pieces that work together towards building long term personal projects or photo essays. Students will be presented with examples of projects from contemporary photographers and explore the roots of the visual storytelling tradition and the photo essay. Students also look at the importance of collaborating with Non-profits and how these partnerships can enhance the breadth of a specific project.

Although it is not required, and many places are within walking distance, having your own transportation is still encouraged for this workshop.

This program is for experienced and emerging photographers who want to document developmental, environmental, health and relief projects in Santa Fe, while learning how to connect with, cover and contribute to the work of non profit organizations and advocacy groups in rural and urban areas.

Students will learn to tell stories with images, as well as life studies in rural and urban areas. This is not only an intensive hands-on workshop in photography, but an opportunity to complete a personal body of work for a portfolio, learn how to work with and for Non profits and learn respectful techniques for photographing people --while potentially contributing to the aid and relief efforts with your stories.

Assignment Santa Fe, is an exclusive, small group, customized photography workshop, designed to connect you with the people and culture of New Mexico while broadening your photographic skills and vision. This is a photography workshop for photographers. While we will cover some digital photography techniques, this workshop is mostly about making images in the field and gaining a greater awareness of effective story telling in a cross cultural environment.

This exciting workshop will provide a unique photography workshop experience, allowing each participant to experience and learn ethnographic photography, receive one-on one feedback and critique, and learn to connect to people as photographic subjects in a different way. Participants will explore a wide variety of techniques that allow each picture to tell a story, learn to bring out the emotion and unique-ness of a place and its people through the use of the camera. Participants will also explore their own, individual place within an image as the creator and photographer.

This intensive workshop is a dynamic and exciting blend of lectures, discussions, and outdoor assignments in which participants tackle the challenges of photographing in the field. We discuss ways to approach and photograph people, cross-cultural considerations, tips on equipment and digital concerns in different travel and outdoor environments. This workshop includes group and individual critiques, personal assignments, and one-on-one mentoring meetings with the instructor.

The emphasis is on expanding your creative vision in the realm of documentary and travel photography.

  • Daily one-on-one editing with the instructor to develop a logistical and photographic plan to document a working Non profit in an area of need.
  • Gain rare access to programs and associations while developing and forging relationships to last into the future.
  • Benefit Non Profits in their need to publicize and promote their activities to new audiences.
  • Explore, discuss, and examine the different types of outreach and aid programs in a given region.
  • Work one-on-one with a photographic mentor to relate the experience to your own personal mission and develop a new approaches for your work.
  • Students will enhance their ability to craft a rich and moving visual narrative about a socially relevant and important topic.

If you want to do more with your own photography, have ever thought about working either alongside or in the employ of an Non profit to assist in their mission, or are already working as a professional or citizen journalist and want to take that work to the next level, in a region and country out of your comfort zone-- then ASSIGNMENT: SANTA FE will be your ideal workshop!

Participants will work directly with one of our Non profit partner's in a real world, extended documentary environment. Workshop attendees will be assisted in connecting with an Non profit that has a mission complementary to the photographer’s own goals for their work. Each student then covers the daily activities of the organization. Your visual product will be provided to the organization as a thank you for allowing access to their programs and will be used to further the cause of Non profits.

ASSIGNMENT SANTA FE will help train you to work with non profits on a professional level. Many participants will return home with work that will be published and of exhibition quality. In addition, attendees will have the benefit of logistical support, editing, instruction, and personal mentoring during this process of creation. Finally, photographers who come on this great adventure will have refined their own craft while benefiting organizations that need visual help. Images created during this workshop will be used to aid and document the work of Non profits in the region, and the people who work so hard to make a difference.

Upon arrival in Santa Fe, each student will meet with the instructor on a one-on-one basis to discuss their photography, their Non Profit partner, and develop a strategy based on the student’s goals for the workshop. This workshop will be tailored to each student on a personal level so that each person returns home with the best experience possible.

About Your Instructor

Leslie Alsheimer, a Masters level social worker, has received numerous awards for her deeper perspective documentary essays, and her Uganda portfolios. Her work was recently awarded and published in National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler and PDN Magazines, earned her a Spotlight Portfolio Award in Black & White Magazine as well as four Honorable Mention LUCIE Awards at the 2008 and 2009 International Photography Awards. Leslie Alsheimer's work can be viewed at:

Black and White Magazine SPOTLIGHT FEATURE
B&W Magazine, Issue 71, December 2009
Click image to read full article
Digital Photographer Magazine feature

Digital Photographer Magazine
In-Depth Feature Special:
Out of the Shadows Interview and Photo essay

"Leslie Alsheimer’s behind-the-camera photographic expertise and her in-front-of-the-computer mastery of all things Photoshop combined with her training and experience as a social worker and social documentarian make the workshop experience offered by Santa Fe Digital Darkroom unique among workshop offerings available today. I cannot say enough about the quality of my experience from both a photographic and a humanitarian perspective. After completing a recent workshop with Leslie in Uganda, I feel I am not only a better photographer but a better person as well. What more could one ask from a two-week workshop. " Stephen K. Hall

Leslie's award winning Santa Fe youth documentary project can be viewed at the following link: Reality From the Barrio

For More Information

Please email our offices for information about this workshop at, or call 707-SEE-FOTO.

We look forward to working with you on this life-changing workshop experience!

* * Important Note:
This workshop requires a working photographic knowledge base and skill level due to the nature of the close work with the partner non-profits. The conditions on this workshop can be difficult due to the nature of developing world accommodations.

This course is designed for people who have working knowledge of the photo mechanical process and working photo storytelling skills. The instructor will work with each photographer to find the right fit with documentary project. This will not be a Photoshop course.

Click here for A SPECIAL note about The Workshop, and our other Photographic Workshops, Tours and Mentoring programs.

Course Details

As each of our workshops is customized to accommodate the interests of each of the participants attending, the itinerary will be sent 30 days
prior to the workshop.

$1,268 Class size is limited. Small group Only.
$500 deposit required to secure your seat in this extremely popular workshop. Visit this link for cancellation policies.
Please visit this link for more information concerning this workshop.

To register for a workshop, contact us by phone 707.SEE.FOTO (707.733.3686) or by email us at

Work / Study Scholarship
We do understand that the cost for this workshop can be prohibitive for many. We offer one Work /Study position for each workshop to help students on a tighter budget. This position offers half price tuition in exchange for assistance with odd chores, errands and tasks. The Work / Study student will still be responsible for their own airfare and meals. The Deadline for applications is: MARCH 1, 2010. We do encourage Work/ Study to apply early, as these positions are highly coveted.

To Apply for Work / Study Scholarship
Please Send a CD by mail including
• Resume
• Letter of Recommendation
• Portfolio or Sample of Photography
• Short essay as describing why you would like participate in this workshop

Please DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS. Items will not be returned

Please do not e-mail submission. E-mail submissions will not be considered.

Mail to: Santa Fe Digital Darkroom
ATTN: SANTA FE Scholarship Committee
551 W. Cordova Rd. Suite 155
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505


Santa Fe Digital Darkroom Photography Workshops & Photo Tours
707.SEE.FOTO | 707.733.3686 | info@santafedigitaldarkroom.comJoin Mailing list l 410 Old Santa Fe Trail, Ste H Santa Fe, NM 87504
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