Portraiture for the Gallery - with award winning photographer Laura Pannack

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Laura’s work focuses on social documentary and portraiture, exploring the complex relationship between subject and photographer.

This exclusive 2 day workshop will provide an intimate opportunity to explore how to approach making portraits in dynamic and challenging environments. Participants will be challenged to question and discuss how and why we make the pictures we do and how important the development of a relationship with a stranger is. As well as offering participants support to reflect on long-term personal projects.

The workshop will include a visit to the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, where the group with be encouraged to evaluate the work in the exhibition and to find inspiration for the practical tasks in the workshop.

Laura will set practical tasks, with support and discussion on personal development and practice. Participants are encouraged to bring examples of their work and to challenge themselves during this workshop. Analogue photography is encouraged but not essential. Participants have the option to borrow a Leica camera, with which they will have guidance and support using.

Workshop Dates: 23rd and 24th Nov

Time: 11am – 6 pm

Price: £450

Refreshments/Lunch included

Day 1: 

11am – Welcome and introductions. Each participant will be asked what they hope to gain from the workshop and present a small portfolio overview.

12.30pm – Visit Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition.

2pm – Regroup and discuss inspiration - What makes a portrait unique? Iconic? Striking? What did you like/not like and why? What aims they have for their shooting?

3pm – Guidance and support on using cameras from Leica team and Laura.

4pm – Test shooting with cameras within a perimeter, with tasks set in response to TWP exhibition inspiration. Participants have the option to walk with Laura, alone or in pairs. Laura will be available to meet anyone during this shoot time and offer mentorship and support.

Analogue users option to develop film at a local lab (info to be provided)

6pm - finish and edit photos ready for Day 2.

Day 2:

11am - Editing of images from the previous shoot day.

12pm - Reflections on shooting with cameras and how they hope to challenge themselves today. Camera problem solving and reviewing images.

1.30pm – Tasks will be set on photographing strangers. Participants have the option to walk with Laura, alone or in pairs. Laura will be available to meet anyone during this shoot time and offer mentorship and support.

4.30/5pm – Regroup and discuss the shoot day, challenges, experiences and curation of the images made.

6pm – Finish and personal development advice and further Leica camera support available.

Leica Store UK
27 Bruton Place

This workshop is open to all levels of photographers who are keen to grow their knowledge and skill set.

Participants are asked to bring 5-10 images for review; images can be printed or supplied on a USB stick in a jpeg format.

A limited number of loan cameras are available on request.  If you’d like to borrow a Leica camera please email akademie.uk@leica-camera.com to check availability.

If borrowing Leica equipment, you will need to bring two forms of ID to the session. The first form of ID should be a passport or UK driving license and the second form of ID a utility bill showing your home address.

Please bring your own laptop for editing and post production work.

The workshop will include outdoor shooting, so please bring appropriate clothing and suitable protection for your camera.

Laura Pannack is a London based Photographer. She was educated at the University of Brighton, Central Saint Martins College of Art and LCC.

Her work has been extensively exhibited and published both in the UK and internationally, including at The National Portrait Gallery, The Houses of Parliament, Somerset House, and the Royal Festival Hall in London.

In 2010 Laura received first prize in the Portrait Singles category of the World Press Photo awards. She has also won and been shortlisted for several other awards including The Sony World Photography Awards, The Magenta foundation and Lucies IPA.

She was awarded the Vic Odden by The Royal Photographic Society award for a notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer aged 35 or under. She was a judge for the 2015 World Press Photo awards and divides her time between teaching, completing assignments and working on her personal projects

Her art focuses on social documentary and portraiture, and seeks to explore the complex relationship between subject and photographer.

Laura is driven by research led self-initiated projects that combine her interest in psychology and photography. In her own words, she does all she can “to understand the lives of those captured, and to present them creatively”. She is a firm believer that “time, trust and understanding is the key to portraying subjects truthfully”, and as such, many of her projects develop over several years. Her particular approach allows a genuine connection to exist between sitter and photographer, which in turn elucidates the intimacy of these very human exchanges. Her images aim to suggest the shared ideas and experiences that are entwined in each frame that she shoots. Laura largely shoots with a film camera on her personal projects, allowing her process to be organic rather than being predefined by fixed ideas, thus removing additional pressure on the sitter.

‘Laura’s remarkable ability to build trust and respect with her subjects allows her to express a gritty vulnerability that is as sincere as it is elusive to capture.’

- Terry O’ Neill – photographer 


Samsung | Dove | Vodaphone | Barclays | Nike | 180 Amsterdam | SIRE | Accenture | Central Office of Information – Childrens Workforce Development Council | The Arts Council | TIME | GQ | Stella | Grazia | The Telegraph Weekend | The Guardian Weekend | The Sunday Times | The Independent Review | ES Weekend | Seven | The FT Weekend | Dazed & Confused | The Wall Street Journal | The New Statesman | NYT Little NRC NZZ | Time Out | Le Monde M | The Photographer’s Gallery London | Straight Talking | YOTA | Telecommunications | Fairbbridge | Moshi Moshi Records | D&AD | OXFAM International | Save The Children | The Mental Health Foundation

Leica workshops are intended for adults 18 years or older. Individuals under 18 years of age wishing to attend must be accompanied by a guardian. The guardian must make the booking on behalf of the attendee, and must notify the Leica Akademie when making the booking.

Leica reserves the right to change any prices, services or other particulars contained in its website or printed materials at any time before entering into a booking. If there is any change, the Leica Akademie will notify the attendee before entering into such a booking.

If the workshop includes lunch, attendees are asked to e-mail the Leica Akademie (akademie.uk@leica-camera.com) regarding any special dietary requirements when making the booking.

Please refer to all information provided regarding individual workshop details and requirements. Confirmation of your booking will constitute your agreement to the terms and conditions outlined.

Payment and cancellation procedures

 Where charges apply, Leica workshops must be paid for in advance by bank transfer or credit/debit card. Refunds for cancellation on the part of the attendee will be given as follows:

◦    Cancellation made up to 14 days before the workshop date – full refund

◦    Cancellation made between 8 -13 days before the workshop date – 50% refund

◦    Cancellation made up to 7 days before the workshop date – no refund

 If payment for the workshop is not received in advance, we regret that the participant will not be able to attend.

The Leica Akademie reserves the right to cancel or alter any workshop. All workshop dates and times are subject to change, but Leica will endeavour to ensure workshops are held on the committed dates/times, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as the tutor being unable to attend due to illness, or other unforeseen circumstances. Leica will inform the participants with as much notice as possible on these occasions.

 Should a cancellation become necessary by the Leica Akademie, the attendee will have the choice of attending an alternative workshop (and where this is of a lower price, Leica will refund the difference), or withdrawing from the workshop and, where applicable, accepting a refund of all monies paid for that specific workshop to Leica Camera Ltd.

In the event that the specific tutor is unable to attend due to illness or other circumstances beyond Leica’s control, then the workshop will be cancelled, if no suitable replacement tutor can be arranged.

For complimentary workshops, the workshop will be rearranged to another date and the attendee offered a place on that alternative date.

No cancellation penalties (including travel expenses to and from the workshop, or accommodation costs) will be paid out in the event of workshop cancellations by Leica Akademie. Please check your hotel and travel cancellation policy as this may be affected in the event of a cancellation or alteration to a workshop.


Attendees are responsible for the security and safety of all items brought to a Leica Akademie workshop, and are also responsible for both their own insurance and the insurance of their own equipment. At no time should any items brought to the workshop be left unattended. Leica Camera Ltd does not accept liability for any loss, injury or accident that may occur during a workshop.

Use of Leica Akademie equipment

Please act responsibly when using any Leica Akademie equipment. We recommend, for instance, that refreshments are kept at a safe distance from all electrical appliances.


For workshops where Leica equipment is to be taken off the premises, attendees will be asked for two forms of I.D. on arrival and their full name and address, which will be kept for the duration of the workshop only. This information is required for security and insurance purposes, and will not be passed to any third parties. If two forms of I.D. are not provided, we regret that the participant will not be able to attend.

Suitable forms of I.D. are:

◦    First I.D. – a passport or UK driver’s licence

◦    Second I.D. – a utility bill or landline telephone bill showing the attendee’s home address

Outdoor workshops

If you are attending one of our workshops that involves an outside activity, please ensure you bring appropriate outdoor clothing and suitable protection for your camera.

Health & Safety and Security

In attending any workshop, you must comply with the provisions of the health and safety policy applying to the Leica Akademie, and with all conditions and regulations made in respect of the Leica Akademie by the relevant fire authority. Copies of these policies are available to view on request.

You must comply with all guidelines and policies issued to you in connection with your use of the Akademie and the equipment therein. If, in our opinion, we consider that at any time up to and during the Akademie workshop you may cause damage to people or property, we reserve the right to terminate the workshop forthwith and you shall not be entitled to any refund of your fees.

Arrival/departure times

The Leica Akademie facilities are to be found on the first and second floor of 27 Bruton Place, Mayfair W1J 6NQ. We request that you arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before the start of the workshop, due to store opening hours and prior appointments. Due to other workshops, events and activities scheduled to take place at the Leica Akademie, Leica requests that attendees leave the Akademie training room promptly at the end of each workshop.


Please note that Leica Akademie group workshops usually take place in our studio training facility, which is located at the top of 33 stairs (2nd floor) at 27 Bruton Place, as well as out on location. If you have any accessibility needs or any other special requirements to attend a workshop, please contact the Leica Akademie to let us know and we will happily discuss any reasonable adjustments with you, for example, we may be able to run the Akademie from Café Optik on the ground floor.