DIY Storytelling Workshop
Laia Abril and Rob Hornstra
December 8-9, 2022, Utrecht, NL

Spots no longer available. This workshop is fully booked.

Are you a photographer/storyteller working on long-term projects with the ambition to publish or exhibit and thus reach an audience? Are you wondering how to generate attention for your photography project among all the other amazing projects? Do you struggle with funding your projects? Or you hardly find time to work on your own project because the majority of your energy goes to earning a living?


Join Laia Abril and Rob Hornstra for a two-day intensive workshop, focusing on sharing information and experience through presentations and conversations. The aim of the workshop is to sharpen your career path and prepare your work for publication or presentation with the potential to stand out from other projects. A larger objective is to help you in creating more independence and become liberated photographers/storytellers, ready to begin sharing their stories with the world.

Day 1 focuses on the production and editing process of visual stories and how to create the freedom to realise your self-chosen projects.

Examples of topics that may be covered include:

How can research be a game-changing tool for my methodology?
Do I need to collaborate with a writer/expert and where to find one?
How do I deal with historical and archival information in my project?
How do I plan self-initiated long-term projects and make others invest?
How do I find subjects and invite them to participate in the project?
What are the ethical questions to weigh when representing others?
When do I use text/images or not?
What visual language do I choose thinking on my target and my platform (book vs show)?
What strategies can I use to build my narrative when reconstructing stories?

Day 2 focuses on presenting visual stories and how to make a distinctive books, exhibition or alternative presentation.

Examples of topics that may be covered include:

Is a photo book an appropriate presentation for my work?
What are the pros and cons of working with a publisher?
How do I get my photo book noticed and generate sales?
Is crowdfunding a good way to finance my book?
How do I write a winning grant proposal?
What are alternative publishing strategies?
Who is my story’s target audience?
Where can I find collaboration partners?
Which exhibition venue suits my work?
What opportunities does online storytelling offer?
How can I use social media effectively?

This workshop is aimed at photographers / visual storytellers, both those working as professionals as those who have the ambition or desire to work on visual stories on a professional basis in the future. The maximum number of participants is 18.

Workshop fee

€275 excl . VAT


Coffee, tea and water during the day and entry to the FOTODOK Book Club in Tivoli Vredenburg on Thursday 8 December 2022 from 20:00 - 21:30.

How to apply

Registration can be done on this website by clicking ‘Sign Up’. After registration, you will receive an email with payment instructions. Laia and Rob would appreciate it if, after registration and payment, you would be willing to send a CV and/or Artist Statement and one self-initiated project that is not yet finished to The stage of the submitted project is not relevant. It can range from an A4 with just a few sentences to a finished dummy of a book.


Laia Abril is a multidisciplinary artist working with photography, text, video, and sound in research-based projects. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is held in private collections and museums, such as the Centre Pompidou, V&A, Musée de l’Elysée, Fotomuseum Winterthur, FRAC, MNAC, and FotoColectania. Her new long-term project A History of Misogyny has been granted the 2016 Arles-Prix de la photo Madame Figaro, 2018 Visionary Award, the 2019 Magnum Foundation, 2019 Royal Photographic Society’s Hood Medal, and 2020 FOAM Paul-Huf Award. Her book On Abortion (Dewi Lewis) won the 2018 Aperture-Paris Photo best book of the year and was a nominee for the Deutsche Börse Award. Abril just launched On Rape and Institutional Failure (Dewi Lewis, 2022) —a project produced with the support of the Visionary Award and the Magnum Foundation grant.

Rob Hornstra is a Dutch photographer of predominantly long-term projects, both at home and around the world. He has published numerous books, both self-published and with renowned international publishers. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide and he is seen as an epitome in organising alternative exhibitions that aim to reach new audiences. He is the founder and former artistic director of FOTODOK – Space for Documentary Photography and former head of the BA and MA Photography at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague. Currently he is working together with writer Arnold van Bruggen on The Europeans 2020 – 2030, a project on Europe in times of drastic change. Four times per year he runs a popular live talk show about photo books in his hometown Utrecht.

“How do you create freedom to follow your passion and be able to invest your time in doing what you love: Creating your own independent visual stories?”