Online Workshop: Research Techniques, 23rd April 2022


An intensive day long workshop on formulating and conducting effective research.

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What is it?
Research led approaches have become increasingly popular in photography, facilating everything from intensive research into photographer’s family histories, to investigative projects seeking to reveal wrongdoing. This workshop covers approaches for organising research, and looks in detail at some of the most useful of the many possible sources of information.

What does it cover?
The workshop is divided into four teaching blocks. The first looks at how to plan and organise your research to make the process as a efficient as possible. The second looks at online research using search engines and social media. The third block focuses on images and maps as a research source. The final block covers using archives, documents and freedom of information requests. Please see below for a detailed outline of the schedule.

Who should do it?
Photographers interested in developing new research skills, both in terms of overall research planning and organisation, and working with specific tools and techniques.

How is it delivered?
The workshop is broken into four elements delivered online over the course of a day, with short breaks in between for participants to have a breather and to work independently on small activities on the topics covered in the previous element. The workshop is taught using a browser based video conferencing platform called Jitsi. You’ll be sent a link to join, there is no need to create an account or download anything. At the end will also have access to a recording of the workshop.

Who is leading it?
My name is Lewis Bush, I’m a photographer, researcher and writer. Over the ten years I’ve been working as a photographer I’ve made a series of long term, research intensive projects looking at such topics as spy communications networks, offshore financial services, multi-national property development, and most recently the role of former Nazis in the US space program. I have extensive experience of online teaching and I am currently the course leader of the London College of Communications MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (online). You can read my full bio here.

What will I need?
You’ll need a computer or tablet with an internet connection and a microphone.  It would also be useful to come with a project or topic that you are interested in applying a research based approach to, which you can use as an example in the exercises.


  • 8.45 – Participants gather ready for a 9.00am start
  • 9.00 to 10.30 – Planning your research, setting goals and hypothesise.
  • 10.30 to 11 – Break for first independent activity
  • 11.00 to 12.30 – Advance online research using search engines and social media
  • 12.30 to 13.30 – Break for second independent activity and lunch
  • 13.30 to 15.00 – Using images and maps as information sources.
  • 15.00 to 15.30 – Break for third independent activity
  • 15.30 to 17.00 – Using archives, documents and freedom of information requests.
  • 17.00 – Workshop ends.

Testimonials from past participants:

‘It was a really informative day.  The form doesn’t give me enough space to say how helpful the experience was. … On top of all the great teaching, the day was friendly and fun. The food was excellent, which is very important to me.  Your room works exceptionally well and it is easy to see how much thought you have given to the layout of the space, with clever hidden gems like the magnetic walls.’
– Nicola, Visual Storytelling participant

‘The switch and balance between the necessary technical details and the broader context of the photographic medium was really well executed and made for a genuinely useful and productive set of mini workshops … your style and approach made it both interesting and enjoyable! I don’t think I’ve ever been on a workshop or training course where every word and image was relevant! There was literally no ‘padding’ from where I was sitting!’
– Allan, Photobook Concepts (online) participant

‘There really wasn’t any weak point during the day. As a busy working photographer predominantly delivering picture stories to clients, I found exploring the ‘science’ (for lack of a better word) behind much of what I instinctively do was absolutely fascinating.’
– Marcus, Visual Storytelling participant

‘I found the visual storytelling techniques followed by practical exercises with pictures very useful. I also really appreciated the studio set up, your non-hierarchical relation with us and the down to earth environment of your house. ‘
– Visual Storytelling participant

The fine print:
I believe workshops should be small and intimate, and for that reason numbers are capped at 10 participants per workshop. However this small number also means I need at least 6 participants in order for them to run. In the unlikely event of a workshop having to be cancelled participants will have their full fee returned to them. Participants needing to cancel up to one week before the workshop will have their fee returned less a 20% charge. Cancellations made less than one week before the day of the workshop are non-refundable.

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