We Are 17 Photography Club

The photography club We Are 17 with photographer Melissa Ivana takes place in February-May 2024 and consists of weekly meetings with 20 students from The Fine Arts High School în Timișoara.

The workshops utilize the We are 17 methodology, developed in collaboration with the international project partners A bao a Qu (Barcelona) and Meno Avilys (Vilnius). The methodology aims to convey photography as art, culture, and creation; promote the discovery of photographic heritage and contemporary photography, and proposes creative practices in portrait photography.

Participants are guided by professionals in portrait photography, they will learn about the narrative potential of photography, and they will develop artistic expression through photography. They will photograph people of the same age and people who are part of Van der Keuken's generation (born in the 1930s-1940s). The photographs will be accompanied by the personal stories of the participants and will be exhibited in a joint exhibition.

The following topics are addressed in the workshops:

Introduction to the works of Van der Keuken:

  • Presentation of the We Are 17 series and exploration of the historical and cultural context in which it was created.
  • Analysis of key elements of portrait photography in Van der Keuken's style, such as composition, light, and expressiveness of subjects.
  • Visual interpretation exercises
  • Presentation of reference portrait photographers

Exploration of photographic techniques:

  • Training in basic photography techniques, such as composition, focusing, light management, and depth of field usage.
  • Practical sessions (individual and group) in different locations
  • Individual counseling and feedback during practical sessions to develop participants' technical and artistic skills.
  • Image processing, programs, and tips and tricks

Critical analysis and feedback:

  • Analysis sessions of photographs taken in individual and group projects.
  • Constructive feedback to guide participants in developing their own style in portrait photography.


  • March 7, 15:30 - 17:30 Session 1: We are 17 by Johan Van der Keuken. Visual interpretation exercises
  • March 11, 15:30 - 17:30 Session 2: Light-portrait exercise, references from the history of photography
  • March 21, 15:30 - 18:00 Session 3: Photography sessions (individual and group). Feedback session
  • March 29, 15:30 - 18:00 Session 4: Photography sessions (individual and group). Feedback session
  • April 1, 13:00 - 15:30 Session 5: Visit Timișoara Pensioners' Club
  • April 8, 14:00 - 16:00 Session 6: Basic Photography Techniques: Composition, Focus, Light Management and Using Depth of Field.
  • April 15, 14:00 - 16:00 Visual storytelling with Claudia Tănăsescu
  • April 22, 13:00 - 16:00 Session 7: Photo session with seniors from the Pensioners' Club at various locations
  • April 27, 13:00 - 15:30 Portraiture in art with Dana Sarmeș (together with the We are 17 Spring School)
  • April 29, 11:00-15:00 Portraiture in art with Dana Sarmeș (together with the We are 17 Spring School)
  • May 13, 13:00 - 17:00 Session 8 & 9: Exhibition photo selection, image processing
  • May 18, 16:00 - 20:00 Session 9: The portrait in film with Andrea Reisz and Simona Constantin (together with the We are 17 Spring School)
  • May 20-25 Session 10: Exhibition paneling

Joint exhibition We are 17: May 26 – June 16

This project is part of the national cultural programme "Timișoara European Capital of Culture in the year 2023" and is financed by the Power Station+ program | Creative schools, run by the Center for Projects Timișoara, with amounts allocated from the state budget, through the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

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We Are 17

We Are 17