Plastic Fantastic: Holga Photography Workshop
CHF 350.-

Starting 31 December 2022 Flexible schedule: weekday or weekend, book your date directly with Oliver

Holga Photography Workshop

The purest process

  • Learn to make images using a camera with no light meter, two aperture settings and one shutter speed
  • Discover medium format film, alternative styles and surrealism
  • Experiment with movement, multiple exposures, vignetting and light leaks

Schedule and pricing

  • Theory in the morning and practical photography in the afternoon
  • The workshop is one day 9h30-17h30 week or weekends
  • Book your date directly with Oliver: 078.765.39.23
  • Please note: you need to provide your own film and organise processing. We can lend you a Holga for the workshop.
  • Individual workshop CHF 350.-
  • Additional participants CHF 100.- / person


The Holga was intended to be an affordable and simple-to-use snapshot camera for the Chinese working-class masses, first made in the early nineteen eighties. It’s made of plastic and has a simple meniscus fixed-focus 60mm lens and single shutter speed (about 1/100) and aperture settings of f/11 and f/8, but these specs are questionable. Which is part of the point and appeal — the Holga is incredibly imprecise and its lens and body introduce vignetting, light leaks and distortions. Photographing with a Holga is a great experiment, you’ll experience photography without using of any technology.  Removing all controls for exposure and focus, forces the photographer to approach the image-making process differently – that’s how the magic happens. The low tech camera creates unique visual characteristics.

What you will learn

  • The Holga camera: lens, aperture, shutter and flash
  • How to use: loading film, focus, flash and bulb
  • Exposure and ISO: photographing without a light meter
  • Characteristics: vignetting, soft focus, movement, light leaks and distortion
  • Multiple exposures: classic double exposure and overlapping multiple exposures
  • Film types and push processing
  • The Holga aesthetic: surrealism, reportage and the snap-shot
  • Image-making: pre-visuliasation and adapting your shooting approach


  • 10h00-12h30: Theory presentations and slideshows
  • 13h00-14h00: Lunch in a local restaurant (not included in workshop price)
  • 14h30-17H30: 4 different shooting locations to cover specific ideas, with briefings and demonstrations
  • 17h30: Finish in Geneva city center
  • A feedback session is included on a weeknight after the workshop has taken place

Workshop Address

  • 4, Esplanade de Pont-Rouge, 1212 Grand Lancy (Geneva city: Etoile / Acacias area).
  • Public transport: tram 15 buses 21, 43, D stop P+R Etoile. Train station: Lancy Pont-Rouge.

Student photographs

Here are samples from introduction workshops and courses, including street photographs. You can also check out the intermediate and advanced with this link galleries.

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What are students saying?

I've participated in several of Oliver's photo walks, as well as a couple of his courses, and I recommend both very highly. Oliver is an excellent teacher, and he has a depth and diversity of experiences as a professional, from corporate photography to weddings and events to reportage, and he's able to draw from all of these experiences when giving you personalized advice. He's always able to explain or show you something that will resonate with what you're trying to achieve as a photographer, whether you're a complete novice or a semi-pro. Oliver's easygoing style, as well as his focus on developing your art, rather than just a set of prescribed technical settings to obtain an image, really makes his instruction top-notch.

Steve Antalics Photo Walks & Workshops 2013-2015

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Oliver O'Hanlon
Rue de la Croix-du-Levant 19
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