Hellen van Meene - 2-day Masterclass 2012

Spend 20 hours in the company of photographer Hellen van Meene during an intensive weekend workshop / masterclass. For professional photographers and serious amateurs. Held in Bergen (NH), Netherlands.

  This is a past event! Go to the events overview page for all current and future events.

The intimate groups of ten individuals will be led through two intensive days of looking, discussing, shooting, reviewing, editing, and group critiques. Every participant's portfolio will be reviewed by Hellen.

The location is a hotel in the dunes in the village of Bergen near the coast. It is 43 minutes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS), and 53 minutes from the center of Amsterdam.

Who should attend?

The workshop is aimed at photographers who are dedicated to pushing their own personal photographic boundaries. Hellen van Meene will teach you how to get more out of a subject, or even to get started on a new subject. She does not want you to copy her work, but instead she will seek ways to make your work more personal, to develop your photographic identity.


Facilities for developing and printing analogue film will not be available. It is therefore advisable to bring a digital camera and a laptop to the workshop. This way you will be able to show your work made during the weekend.

Artist Talk

Hellen van Meene will talk about her photographs: how they are created, how she approaches her models, how she picks her subjects. She might also talk about dealing with galleries, curators, collectors, lawyers, magazine assignments, book publishers, and other media.

The workshop will focus on the artistic side of photography. Hellen is using analogue camera equipment (Rolleiflex/Hasselblad), working with available light. She might talk about this approach to her work, but technical aspects of photography in general are not going to be covered during the workshop.


English (except when all participants speak Dutch).

When you need an interpreter we might be able to work something out: Hellen has had experience with student-interpreters. Contact us to see if we can work something out!


The masterclass is not open to everyone: to ensure the high quality of the workshop your work will be reviewed by Hellen van Meene herself.

After completing your registration we will send you instructions on how to provide us with your portfolio of 6 to 12 photos plus optional notes or a statement.

About Hellen van Meene

Hellen van Meene is an experienced public speaker, loved for her improvisational skills (she never prepares texts for her talks), her extensive reservoir of anecdotes, her sense of humour, and her ability to go off exploring a side-path during her lecture, while still being able to come back to the main trail and tying up all the loose ends.

She was born in Alkmaar, The Netherlands in 1972, and lives and works in Heiloo, The Netherlands. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is held in the collections of major museums worldwide including the Stedelijk Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, MoCA Los Angeles, Museum of Photography, The Hague, Guggenheim Museum, New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Previous publications include Hellen van Meene: Portraits (Aperture, 2004) and Hellen van Meene: Japan Series (The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago and De Hallen, Haarlem, the Netherlands, 2002)

The dates

The masterclass is held on weekends, on Saturday and Sunday.

  • November 3 - November 4 2012


$ 1125 / € 895 (including VAT) for a 2-day / 20+ hour masterclass and one night in a hotel, including breakfast. It also includes coffee/tea/sodas, lunch on both days and one dinner. It does not include transportation.

The regular programme

Day One - Portfolio Reviews and Artist Talk
  • 09.30 - 10.30 - Registration, coffee & tea, meet & greet
  • 10.30 - 12.30 - Portfolio reviews
  • 12.30 - 13.30 - Lunch
  • 13.30 - 17.30 - Portfolio reviews
  • 17.30 - 19.00 - Dinner
  • 19.00 - 21.30 - Artist Talk by Hellen van Meene
Day Two - Workshop
  • 09.30 - 10.30 - Hellen van Meene shows & talks about the work of other photographers
  • 10.30 - 12.30 - Portrait workshop
  • 12.00 - 13.30 - Lunch
  • 13.30 - 16.00 - Portrait workshop
  • 16.00 - 17.30 - Critique of the results of the portrait workshops
  • 18.00 - 19.30 - After Party - let us toast to the end of a great weekend! (Subject to availability. Drinks not included in the fee.)

The programme for the "Museum Night" weekend (November 3th-4th)

Facade of Huis Marseille
(photo: Frank van Eykelen)

The first day of the workshop will be held at Huis Marseille, the second day at Blooming Hotel. Huis Marseille is a museum for photography located in a monumental mansion on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. The day programme will be held in a private meeting room, but the evening programma will be in public, as part of the annual Museum Night (website, Dutch only).

During the Museum Night you will pick your models from the museum's audience, and you will photograph them in the Grand Hall of the 17th century museum, under guidance of Hellen van Meene. Daylight lamps will be available.

The theme for this Museum Night is The Artist's Muse. Therefore there will be a dressing room offering costumes inspired by the women of Picasso. After each session the results will shown on a large screen. They will be critiqued by Hellen in front of the public, who will be invited to join the discussion. Hellen will also be talking about all facets of making a good portrait in general. The model will be offered the opportunity to have their portrait printed for a small fee.

Day One - Portfolio Reviews and Evening Workshop at Museum Huis Marseille
  • 09.30 - 10.30 - Registration, coffee & tea, meet & greet
  • 10.30 - 12.30 - Portfolio reviews
  • 12.30 - 13.30 - Lunch
  • 13.30 - 17.30 - Portfolio reviews
  • 17.30 - 20.00 - Dinner
  • 20.00 - 00.00 - Workshop Portrait Photography "The Artist's Muse"
Day Two - Workshop & Lecture
  • 09.30 - 10.30 - Artist Talk by Hellen van Meene
  • 10.30 - 12.30 - Hellen van Meene shows & talks about the work of other photographers
  • 12.00 - 13.30 - Lunch
  • 13.30 - 16.00 - Portrait workshop
  • 16.00 - 17.30 - Critique of the results of the portrait workshops
  • 18.00 - 19.30 - After Party - let us toast to the end of a great weekend!


The masterclass will go ahead when a minimum of 6 participants have registered. The maximum number of participants is 10. When the minimum of 6 participants has been reached you will be e-mailed with a request to pay your fee within 14 days. You will be able to pay with credit card, PayPal, or a EU bank transfer (IBAN).

You may cancel your registration for free if we can allocate your place to somebody else. If we can't, we will give you a 50% refund. Please let us know as soon as possible, when you might not be able to attend.

In the event of a cancellation, participants will be given at least 2 weeks advance notice. Photographers Live reserves the right to change or alter the programme advertised.

This is a past event, registration is no longer available.

What people say about Hellen van Meene

I want to thank you for your enthusiasm and inspiring activity with students. Everybody was charmed with you and your ideas. Workshop was really a success thanks to you. (..) Would love to collaborate again either in an exhibition or another workshop.
- Professor at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain.
The quality of your workshop and your contribution to our programme means that we would very much like you to continue your collaboration with the school and we would be delighted to count on you as a visiting lecturer in the coming school year.
- Head of Post-Diploma Training in Photography (FS), School of Photography, Vevey, Switzerland
I want to thank you so much for your two very intense and wonderful days with us. You were so open and passionate and engaged. For me it was both an inspiration and a pleasure. And I can't thank you enough, because I can imagine how uncertain and even frustrating it can be to teach. I can only thank you for the generosity of that effort, and for being so purely engaged.
Doug Lowell
- Hartford Art School MFA, Class of 2012
I wanted to thank you for all your efforts over the weekend....I think it was really fantastic for our students. (..) I had very nice feedback from many about your energy and observations.

- Director Hartford Art School MFA Photo