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Vancouver Photo Workshops proudly presents this intensive two day workshop,"The Photographic Project" with internationally renowned photographer and workshop leader Phil Borges.

Over the years, Phil Borges has used environmental portraits combined with short biographies to raise awareness about various social and environmental issues.  

Phil likes exploring an issue through the personal stories of the individuals involved.  

In this workshop all aspects of building a personal photographic project will be explored, from initial conception to production and distribution.

Phil will go into detail on how he has built partnerships with non-profit organizations like Amnesty International, CARE and the UN.  He will explain how these partnerships not only allow him to bring attention to the social issues he cares about, but most importantly to focus on solutions to those issues.

Topics to be covered include developing your initial project concept, and finding and creatively building partnership opportunities to help get your work distributed as articles, blogs, exhibits, books and multimedia for the Web.

We will divide our time between lectures, demonstrations and oberving Phil making portraits. Phil will demonstrate his portraiture techniques---approaching and working with a subject and both pre and post production lighting techniques.

Please note: To ensure maximum learning opportunities within the short timeframe of this 2 day weekend workshop, students will observe Phil working with model(s), but students will not be photographing themselves. You are welcome to bring your camera and take behind-the-scenes pictures of Phil at work, his setups, etc

Evening Presentation: As part of his stay in Vancouver, Phil Borges wil be speaking at the H.R. MacMillan Space Center Planetarium. Click here for more information and to register online for this exclusive evening lecture.

For over twenty years Phil Borges has documented indigenous and tribal cultures around the world.  Through his work, he strives to create a heightened understanding of the issues faced by people in the developing world and inspire support for individuals and organizations that address these social and environmental challenges.

His book Tibetan Portrait: The Power of Compassion, introduces individuals from a deeply spiritual culture who have been marginalized and displaced by the occupation of their homeland.  In 1998 he joined Amnesty International to present Enduring Spirit, an exhibit and book celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  His most recent book Tibet: Culture on the Edge focuses on the effects of rapid development and climate change on the Tibetan Plateau and the Tibetan people.

Central to Phil’s current project, Stirring the Fireis a that is a resource for intern, volunteer, and study abroad opportunities to promote gender equality worldwide.  An accompanying book and exhibition introduces some of the extraordinary women worldwide who are breaking through gender barriers and conventions in order to enhance the well being of their communities. 
Phil has hosted three television documentaries for Discovery and National Geographic as a part of a series that investigates indigenous cultures that still maintain a spiritual dialogue with the natural world. 

In 2000 Phil founded Bridges to Understanding, an on-line classroom program that connects youth worldwide through digital storytelling in order to enhance cross-cultural understanding and help build a sense of global citizenship in youth. He also co-founded  Blue Earth Alliance, a 501c3 that sponsors photographic projects focusing on endangered cultures and threatened environments. 

Phil’s photographs are collected and exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide and his award-winning books have been published in four languages.  In 2003 Phil was honored with the Lucie Humanitarian Award at the 1st Annual International Photography Awards.  In 2007 he was named by American Photo magazine as one of “10 photographers that inspire us.”    

Phil graduated from University of California as a Regents Scholar in 1969 and was honored with their prestigious University of California Medal in 2004.  He lives with his wife and partner Julee Geier in Seattle.

Visit Phil's Website to see his incredible portfolio!



Intermediate to Advanced


Maximum 15 participants.

What to Bring

Equipment Needed:

Bring your camera (not required)
Pen and paper to take notes

We Provide:

Workshop content as detailed above.


Early-Bird Discount:

Most of our courses and workshops offer a 10% discount is applied automatically if you register before the Early-Bird Discount deadline date listed in the registration table below.

Some courses and workshops offer a discount if you're among the first 3 people who register. This discount will replace the 'standard' Early Bird Discount mentioned above, and will be applied automatically during the online registration process (as long as it is available). Check the course/workshop listing page for more details.

Group Discount:

A 5% discount will be appplied if 3 or more people register at the same time for the same workshop. (All 3 tuitions must be paid for by one credit card to be considered a group registration.) Please follow the instructions on the online registration page.


In order to provide the best learning environment possible VPW keeps class and tour sizes limited to 10-15 people (depending on the workshop). This is but one reason that we count on you to attend your chosen class or tour, once you have registered for it.

If you must withdraw for any reason please be aware of our refund policy as follows:

For our Local Lectures, Seminars, and Workshops valued at or under $100, VPW is unable to provide a cash refund. Transfers are limited to one transfer to either the same event at a later date, or a different event of equal value. VPW requires 48 hours written notice in order to make such a transfer (email notice is acceptable). The event you are transferring to must occur within 6 months of the original event you registered for. A $15 fee will be applied to all transfers.

For our Local Workshops, 1 to 5 days in length and our Local 4 to 10 Week Courses, VPW requires 30 days written notice (before the event start date) of your withdrawal in order to provide a refund. (Email notice is acceptable.)

For our Master Photographer Series workshops, 1 to 5 days in length, VPW requires 60 days written notice (before the workshop start date) of your withdrawal in order to provide a refund. VPW may retain 15% of fees paid or $150 minimum in processing your refund. If the tuition is less than $500 the minimum fee drops to $75.

Within 45 days of the Master Photographer Series workshop date all fees paid are non-refundable.

For our Photo Tours (national and international), the following charges will apply:

  • If you cancel up to 3 months before the tour start date and we can fill your space, your reservation (or deposit) fee will be refunded
  • There is no additional cancellation fee up to 8 weeks before the start of your tour
  • From 8 weeks to 4 weeks before the tour: 25% of your balance
  • From 4 weeks to 1 week before the tour: 50% of your balance
  • From 1 week to 72 hours before the tour: 75% of your balance
  • If you cancel within 72 hours of the start of the trip, no refund can be paid
  • Transaction charges incurred on accepting and refunding payments will be deducted from the refund amount
  • In the (unlikely) event that we cancel the Photo Tour, all monies paid will be refunded in full

We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance to guard yourself against monies lost due to unavoidable cancellation by either party.

Transfers (for all events over $100): If you wish to transfer to a different workshop date, VPW requires a minimum of 30 days written (email) notice. All transfers are based on availaibility, and subject to approval by VPW staff. For courses/workshops with tuition above $101, the transfer fee is $35.

Transfer Fees as based on event pricing:
Tuition of $100 and below, the transfer fee is $15
Tuition of $101 and above, the transfer fee is $35

VPW can give no refunds:

If you registered for any event valued at or under $100
If you do not show up for your registered course.
If you register for a course beyond or below your skill or ability level.

Refunds for all events valued at $101 and above (excluding Master Series Workshops):
If a student wishes to cancel their registration for any of VPW's events, and has provided written notice within the appropriate timeframe, a refund less a $50 administration fee will be provided.

Course Cancellation:

Occasionally, we may have to cancel a course due to low enrollment. In this case, we will issue a full refund of all monies paid to VPW up to that time.

Instructor Replacement:

In the event that a listed instructor is unable to participate because of a change in his or her professional schedule, we will replace the instructor with someone of equal or similar credentials. If we cannot find a replacement in due time before the course is about to start, a particular class may have to be rescheduled.


In the event that we cancel your course, for any reason, the extent of VPW's liability is limited to the return of all monies paid. We will do everything we can to register you in another equivalent course. VPW will not be responsible for reimbursement of travel expenses of any kind.

Please note: An administration charge of $50 applies to all refunds

Read complete refund and liability policy

"You guys at VPW are doing great stuff. I have been a loyal student ever since your Joe McNally Location Lighting Workshop in 2007. Having been to many workshops elsewhere I can only applaud you on your genuine efforts. Your attention to detail, high quality locations and lighting equipment is what keeps me coming back."

"I have taken many photography classes over the years at different institutions throughout the City and abroad, and your school has set a new standard when it comes to photography instruction - I will be back for more!"

Read more testimonials......

This workshop is taught by the following instructor:

Phil Borges
Visit Phil's Website to see his Portfolio!


Class Start Date Time Early Registration Discount: Location Instructor Registration
Saturday and Sunday April 28th +29th, 2012 9am - 6pm First 5 students registered receive $55 off regular tuition VPW Studios Phil Borges Click Here to Register