2015: TPW turns 22! And it seems like yesterday….
When, in the summer of 1992, I went to Arles for a workshop (as a student), I never imagined the kind of impact it would have on my future life…
I had just finished shooting a campaign, a month holed up in the studio (there wasn’t any photoshop back then and we had to take a Polaroid, shoot, wait for the prints from the lab, see the clients, have the ok, and then move forward…) and I had decided to reward myself with a workshop.
I had never attended one and I liked the idea…. and then, in Arles, during the festival…. there could be nothing better!
I had not considered how powerful one week at a workshop could be, not only for what you learn, but for the contact with other people, the ideas exchanged, and the evenings together.
(Basically, the same thing my students have been saying to me every Saturday morning for the last 20 years…!)
Naturally, when I returned home, nothing was like it had been before I left…my thoughts always went back to the workshop, that week, new friends, the curiosity of learning something new.
From there to start dreaming about organizing something similar was an easy step…
….and so TPW was born.
From then on, a lot of things happened: the idea to give 100 percent of myself to the project, the first workshops in Sicily with Paolo Pellegrin, …the series “Street life of…” all around Italy, an unforgettable winter workshop in Venice with Michael Ackerman in 2003, another unforgettable one in Genoa in 2004 with Alex Majoli… the first workshops in India, then in Transylvania, then in Mississippi, Prague, Bangkok….
The projects and collaborations that emerged contemporaneously: workshops with FNAC, Focus on Monferrato, TPW Light, Canon Academy, in.between, Passion & Profession, Wine Photo…
…And every year new people join the family – it is a facebook made of real faces – creating an international community of aficionados, people passionate about photography, coming with their own families sometimes: some have met their soul mate at TPW, others have made a life out of photography and gone on to have careers, many others impatiently wait for a new season of workshops to begin…
One of the students from last summer, during the Sunday afternoon welcome drink, said ” I know almost everybody!” …and it was only her third time at TPW!
TPW: a lot of photography, many words, intimacy, friends, loves, looking at the stars while lying in a field (who does that anymore???), to stay up all night, to live to the fullest, to fall straight to sleep, to wake at sun-up, to get into conversations, try new foods, to create, to cry, to laugh…
In my experience these have been years of discovery: get to know photographers from all over the world, visit festivals and exhibitions, make contacts, meet new people each year and reunite with friends from years past…did you know that every year at least 30% of our participants are former students…?
So without planning it, only doing what I believed in, I put a club together – it’s the most original term I can think of to define us. (I would also have liked society, but it sounds a little redundant…)
And also because from this point forward we are just TPW…
From Spring 2013 we applied our format to guitar workshop, and it was the same energy and success….in 2014 we continued with the same idea and started A Taste of Sicily: not only photography but also art, food & wine, exploring the territory…and who knows what will came next?!?
In this way I managed to put together the things I love more in life: photography, music, and sharing good food with good people!
We want to expand beyond photography, to carry the spirit of TPW to other fields…. and if someone asks us what it means – easy: (almost) Totally Perfect World!
Are you always with us?
Carlo Roberti - TPW founder and director