femLENS works as a platform that provides documentary photography workshops to women in different parts of the world. Through these workshops, women are given the opportunity to express their feelings and experiences through photography, while also learning new skills and techniques. The workshops are designed to create a safe space where women can learn, experiment, and support each other.

The workshops cover an introduction to documentary photography using a mobile phone camera, photo techniques, ethics, storytelling, the structure of a story, research, planning stories, and photo editing. Participants are also introduced to new technologies and Internet services to expand their essential tech skillset.

The participants are given the freedom to choose themes that guide their photo-taking, and they are encouraged to work with their communities rather than against them. The workshops explore important themes and issues, highlighting achievements and celebrations.

At the end of the workshops, the participants share and explain their selected photos and subjects through group presentations. They then finalise their projects, prepare a package for publication, exhibition, and further story development.

jitsi online zoom call women learning femlens

The history of documentary photography dates back to the late 19th century, when photographers began using the camera to capture and document real-life events and situations. Documentary photography has since evolved into an important tool for social change, as photographers use their images to highlight important issues and create awareness. While documentary photography can be a powerful tool for social change, it is important for photographers to approach their work with a strong sense of ethics and responsibility. femLENS has strong ethical values and incorporates these values into its documentary photography workshops. You can read our Statement of Ethics here.

Since 2015, femLENS has conducted documentary photography workshops in different parts of the world, including Ireland, Poland, Lebanon, Spain, Ukraine, Germany, Estonia and Palestine. In 2020 and 2021, femLENS held online documentary photography workshops for women in Cameroon, Ireland, Mexico, Palestine, England and DRC.

You can see the photographic stories created by our workshops participants on the femLENS Stories page.

For more information, see our documentary photography workshops brochure.

Halima Al Haj Ali presenting her photograph at the photography competition