Documentary Photography Workshop in Maramures 9-13 August

July 27, 2010

Maramures: Reportage at its Limits

Join Davin and Aga Luczakowska in the Maramures region of northern Romania in summer 2010 for a week of enchantment in some of the most traditional villages left in Europe.

For decades Romania’s closed border policy under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu as well as a natural fortress of mountains kept Maramures isolated from the rest of Europe. Even after the fall of Communism change was slow to enter the region. But Romania joined the European Union in 2007 and Maramures is at last changing. Come savor this rural life before it vanishes forever!

We are offering a week-long documentary photography workshop based in the village of Valeni where Davin has photographed since 2002 and has extensive contacts and experience. Everyone will stay with a family and have great access to village life and enjoy traditional Romanian food. The pair will be working closely with workshop participants and providing daily critiques and group discussions. The goal of this workshop is to create one’s own personal photo essay on peasant life. We will shoot during the day and edit in the evenings. Over the course of the week participants will perfect their storytelling abilities and learn to edit — select and sequence your photographs — intuitively. It’s a workshop open to amateurs and professionals alike. Technical, theoretical and aesthetic issues will be discussed as attendees work towards honing their individual visions. The workshop will begin with individual portfolio reviews and Davin and Aga will show their own photography as well as the work of classic masters.

It will be an opportunity to witness the last peasants in Europe living life as they have for millennia albeit with a few aspects of modern life mixed in! It is an all digital workshop and students should come with their own laptop and editing software.

The workshop is limited to 12 students.

DATES: 9-13 August

WORKSHOP LOCATION: Valeni, Maramures, Romania.

WORKSHOP FEE: €400 and includes lodging and meals. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to Romania and up to Maramures. Many airline carriers fly to Bucharest.

ACCOMMODATION: Homestays with families which will include all meals.

REGISTRATION: The workshop is open to any professional or committed amateur who has knowledge of digital cameras and editing software.


Aga and Davin are freelance photographers based between Katowice, Poland and Bucharest, Romania.

Aga studied in the US with National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig and National Geographic photo editor David Griffin. Later, she studied with photographers Stanley Greene, Alex Majoli and Lorenco Castore at Masterclass Focus on Monferrato in Tuscany.

Davin worked at National Geographic photographer Steven McCurry’s studio in New York and studied with photographers Eugene Richards, Ken Light, Constantine Manos, George Tice and Paul Lowe. In 2006 he completed an MA in documentary photography at The London College of Communication.

Aga has worked for the Polish newspapers Polska The Times (Dziennik Zachodni) and Gazeta Wyborcza and her photographs have been published worldwide (Poland, Turkey, Germany, China, USA). She has won numerous awards including one from the Office for the City of Katowice, Poland, Newsweek Poland and National Geographic Magazine.

Davin has completed assignments for such publications as The International Herald Tribune, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Courrier Japon, Bloomberg News. His work has appeared in The New York Times and Der Spiegel and the book This Day of Change, among others. The recipient of the 2009 Portfolio Award at The Phodar Photography Biennial in Bulgaria, Davin has also won an honorable mention in Jen Bekman´s Hey! Hot Shot Contest in both 2008 and 2009. He has worked for various NGOs such as Leslie Hawke’s Ovidiu Rom in Bucharest and The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) whose Romanian staff he trains in photography.

Check out Davin’s archive on Maramures

Please contact us with any questions:



From the archive

July 10, 2010

Liviu and Ancuta, Breb, Maramures, Romania, 4 September 2006.

I will be heading up to Maramures in August to continue my long-term project on the transformation of rural life in the most traditional area of Europe. I wonder what I will find this time around. . .

Spread in Reader’s Digest Romania

April 9, 2010

Publication in Turkish Magazine Fotoritim

March 8, 2010

The Turkish magazine Fotoritim has done a nice spread of my Maramures project this month.

Representation by Karousel Gallery in Bucharest

February 27, 2010

I now have collector’s prints shot in Maramures available at Karousel Gallery, Romania’s only gallery exclusively devoted to photography.

Maramures: Europe’s Most Traditional Rural Life in Transition

January 30, 2010

My new collaborative project with Aga Luczakowska!

The Maramures region of northern Romania is home to the most traditional rural life in Europe. In the idyllic valleys along the Ukraine border, cone shaped haystacks made with wooden pitchforks dot rolling hills and houses are without running water. Nowhere else in Europe do folk costumes persist so strongly with elaborate traditions and Romanian Orthodox ceremonies dominating village life.

For decades, Romania’s closed border policy under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu as well as a natural fortress of mountains kept Maramures isolated from the rest of Europe. Even after the fall of Communism, change was slow to enter the region.

But Romania joined the European Union in 2007 and Maramures is at last changing. Youth from the villages now spend most of their time working in Western Europe and send back thousands of euros to their families. Modern cement villas with satellite television stand where wooden peasant homes did just last year and strict EU agricultural regulations are threatening the beautiful way of life.

We are working as a team to document life in the villages at this moment when the pace of change is rapidly increasing. Our intent is to return in each of the seasons over the coming year to photograph village youth upon their return from working abroad. We will photograph all that surprises us. Modernity is mixing with 18th century village life in unusual ways.

A second part of our project will be to collect historical photographs of traditional peasant life and rescue them from almost certain obscurity. We will digitize the collages of family photographs that are often framed over religious icons and displayed on the walls of homes. These found images will be combined with our reportage work of contemporary village life to form a comprehensive visual document of Europe’s peasantry at a critical point in its history. The project will be equally of an historical, ethnographic and documentary importance.

Romanian Newspaper Gandul’s spread on me

October 27, 2009


I previously linked to the online version of the interview that the Romanian newspaper ‘Gandul’ did with me back in September, but above is what it looked like in print.