Documentary Storytelling Workshop

From Capturing Moments to Editing a Book

with Gail Fisher, Dotan Saguy & Mary Cooney

Unique Location: Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Festival

5 Full Days: June 17-21, 2020

All Meals & Drinks Included

Price: $2,775*

*No risk: In case of cancellation of the festival the workshop will be rescheduled and you will have the option to be refunded.

Limited to 14 participants only: Use the form at the bottom of this page to reserve your spot👇

3 Distinguished Instructors: 

Gail Fisher: Award winning Photojournalist, Senior Photo Editor National Geographic Magazine and Los Angeles Times. Department Chair, Film|Communications, Brooks Institute.

Dotan Saguy: Award winning documentary photographer. Acclaimed photobook author. Leica Akademie workshop instructor.

Mary Cooney: Director of Photography at the Los Angeles Times. Awarded "Photo Editor of the Year" by both the National Press Photographers Association and the Pictures of the Year International.

Learn how to tell a story with documentary photography while immersing yourself in Santa Barbara’s unique Solstice celebration. Presentations, contextual coaching in the field, daily group critiques, and coached editing sessions will guide you as you discover your own visual language. You’ll enjoy 5 days on Santa Barbara’s beautiful American Riviera, in a private residence (photo to the right) perched high in the hills with stunning panoramic views of the Pacific coast below. Your immersion workshop will be peppered with relaxing moments enjoying tasty dinners on the spacious deck, a glass of local wine in hand, while connecting with your fellow students and faculty. The workshop will culminate in the creation of your own edited, sequenced and designed photo book of the Summer Solstice Festival ready to hit the printing press.

Enjoy the sweeping views of the coast with a glass of wine in hand

Dine on the spacious deck while connecting with fellow participants

Find inspiration in the serenity of the terraces

5-Day Immersion Schedule*

  • Wednesday 2pm-9pm 
  • Thursday 8am-9pm 
  • Friday 8am-9pm
  • Saturday 8am-9pm
  • Sunday 8am-9pm

*Time frames include all activities: field shoots, presentations, critique sessions, editing sessions, happy hour, meals, etc.

What’s Included?

  • Comfortable accommodations with stunning views.
  • Daily continental breakfast Thursday-Sunday.
  • Daily happy hour w/ Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez & Paso Robles wines, local beers.
  • Nightly dinner with stunning views of Santa Barbara’s coast.
  • Sunday lunch.
  • Sunday night closing dinner event.

Not included

  • Lunch on Thursday, Friday, Saturday while shooting in the field.
  • Transportation to and from the workshop. Note that participants make their own travel arrangements to arrive in Santa Barbara in time for the first group meeting at 2pm Wednesday, June 21. 
  • Transportation from our headquarters to the daily shoots and back. Short drive. Carpools possible & ride sharing services available.

👇Use the form at the bottom of this page to reserve your spot👇

Who Should Attend?

The program is designed for intermediate/advanced amateurs to professional photographers. Photographers should have good working knowledge of their cameras. This is not a class to learn how to use your camera. You will need to bring a laptop and hard drive in order to facilitate downloading, editing and processing of images.

Price & Accommodations Options

$2,775.00 Includes workshop instruction by a faculty of three, backstage access to the festival preparations, all meals, wine, beer & snacks.

Accommodations for 5 nights are available from $950 to $1,500 at/near the workshop HQ for a more immersive experience. Please check this page with a description of all the rooms available and specify your lodging preference when submitting the form below.

Alternatively you can book accommodations on your own.


👇Use the form at the bottom of this page to reserve your spot👇

Gail Fisher

From the Los Angeles Times to National Geographic Magazine to Brooks Institute, Gail Fisher's main focus as a senior photo editor, photojournalist, digital journalist, producer and teacher has been in-depth storytelling for broadcast, internet and social media. After an illustrious career in journalism as a photojournalist and senior photo editor, Fisher joined Brooks Institute of Ventura as Department Chair of the School of Film and Communication in 2011. Fisher was a senior photo editor for National Geographic Magazine and senior photo editor of special projects for the Los Angeles Times. As a photojournalist for the Los Angeles Times, Fisher traveled extensively throughout Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, South and Central America covering social issues and documenting human conditions. Fisher’s editing skills and photographs have been recognized internationally with numerous awards, as well as invitations to judge contests, teach, lecture and edit books. A native of Akron, Ohio, Fisher earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University of Ohio, and she holds a Master of Arts in Visual Communication from Ohio University. She has two grown children and lives in Santa Barbara. GailFisherMedia.com



Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy was born in a small kibbutz near Israel’s Lebanese border. Dotan grew-up in a diverse working class Parisian suburb, lived in Lower Manhattan during 9/11 and moved to Los Angeles in 2003. In 2015 Dotan decided to focus on his lifelong passion for photography after a successful career as a high-tech entrepreneur. Since then Dotan attended the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop, Missouri Photo Workshop and studied photojournalism at Santa Monica College. Dotan's award winning photographs have been published by National Geographic, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times and many others. Dotan teaches street photography and documentary workshops for the Leica Akademie and Momenta Workshops. In 2018 Dotan's first monograph “Venice Beach, the Last Days of a Bohemian Paradise” was published by famed German publisher Kehrer Verlag and was awarded Bronze by the prestigious Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2018-19. Dotan's second book is scheduled to be released by Kehrer Verlag in the spring of 2020. This new body of work documents the everyday life of a family of vehicle dwellers with their three young children on the streets of Los Angeles. Dotan lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Mary Cooney*

Mary Cooney is the Director of Photography for the Los Angeles Times. Along with her day-to-day responsibilities she is in charge of the Times most ambitious visual projects. Cooney is focused on creating an environment where visual journalists can produce powerful social documentary work. Cooney has been a vital part of the visual department’s success since coming to the Los Angeles Times in 1997. During this period, Times photojournalists have been recognized with multiple Pulitzer Prizes and Robert F. Kennedy awards. The Pictures of the Year International competition has awarded The Times the Angus McDougall Award for the best photo-edited news organization six times. She was editor on the Pulitzer Prize and Emmy award-winning documentary project “Caught in the Crossfire.” Cooney has also been recognized as Photo Editor of the year by both the National Press Photographers Association and the Pictures of the Year International. She has also garnered individual editing recognition from the Society for News Design, the Sydney Hillman Awards, the Lucie awards, the APME the NPPA and POYi. Cooney started on the East Coast in Rockville Centre, N.Y., and then Connecticut before moving to California. She was Director of Photography at the Stamford Advocate before joining the Los Angeles Times.

* Present only on Saturday and Sunday.

Check out a couple of videos of past years' Solstice Celebrations in Santa Barbara

Reserve Now

Please submit your info. We will get back to you promptly and provide payment instructions.

Hurry, enrollment is limited to 14 participants!

Email us with any questions

For cancellation policy see Terms & Conditions

Photos by Gail Fisher GailFisherMedia.com

Using Format