John Fleetwood

Director of Photo

Co-Head of Photography at the Royal Academy of Arts (KABK, The Hague)

Previous Director of the Market Photo Workshop

Michelle Loukidis is one of the most experienced photography educators that I know. She has transformed the lives and careers of many photographers. Her ability to engage with, listen to and guide photographers is extra-ordinary. She has a strong intuition and leadership and through her years of interaction has developed a clear skill set to get photographers to deliver work that are true to their ideas, yet she has the grace and sensitivity to understand the holistic role that educators play in coaching life paths. 

Lebohang Kganye

Tierney Fellowship award 2012.

 Jury Prize at the Bamako Encounters Biennale of African Photography in 2015.

 CAP Prize Winner 2016 

Rise Art Global Artist of the Year. 

 Sasol New Signatures Competition 2017

solo show at the Pretoria Museum in August 2018.

I have known Michelle since 2009, first as her student at the Market Photo Workshop and since then as a friend. In the two years as a student, she opened us up to larger cultural and photographic discourses by providing serious engagement with her students and one on one technical support. She provided a spring board for me to establish my own visual language by encouraging a new direction in photography under her tutelage. Michelle is utterly dedicated to her students and career, she is professional in all she does. While she is an outstanding artist, as a trainer she promises so much more.

Musa N. Nxumalo

Photographer/ Studio Nxumalo



Michelle Loukidis is a forthright trainer, mentor and a friend to me and many other alumni from Market Photo Workshop and abroad. She is highly critical, but also applies her heart in her mentoring process, important qualities that I value personally and have adopted and apply to this day in my practice as an artist and curator.

Phumzile Khanyile

Gisele Wulfsohn Mentorship 2015 

2018 CAP Prize Winner

De Pietri Artphilein Foundation Photobook award

Michelle Loukidis was one of the people who believed in me as a person first and then as a photographer before anyone else did, she pushed me to go further with photography and to trust my natural instincts, without her persistence and care I probably wouldn't have made it to where I am today.

I still have her at the back of my mind as my career progresses and it has helped to keep me grounded and focused at all times.

Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo

Cap Prize Winner 2019

I had heard about Michelle Loukidis from Phumzile Khanyile (mind you I am a fan of hers; her work) , and in my going to Market Photo Workshop I could not wait to have her part of my photographic journey, to learn from her. So whenever I think of the crucial developments of the body of work Slaghuis, it cannot be separated from “I think you are too comfortable”, Michelle’s words that had me stop photographing for a week or two just in ponder of what she meant. And again the ‘touch the sky kind of inputs’ (exciting times) that she simply gave.I think the best teacher/mentor is one that pushes you straight into your fears and discomforts… have you create a dance with them perhaps.

There has always been this free space that I always wanted to be in when it came to photography, with great assistance from Michelle Loukidis I was allowed to step into it. 

Lekgetho Makola

Chief Executive Officer Janet Art Centre at the University of Pretoria

Previous Head of Market Photo Workshop

This letter serves as a referral and an acknowledgement of dedication of a highly recognized photography education facilitator, photography mentor, trainer, coach and practitioner, Michelle Loukidis. She has to date been a central figure in the learning and teaching programs of the Market Photo Workshop, a leading photography school in the continent of Africa, for over 17 years. 

She has in her time contributed towards success stories and international achievements of most photographers of the Market Photo Workshop that have had international recognition in the past 8 to 10 years. Many,  if not all of them, remain in touch and continue to seek advise from Michelle.

She has in recent years been actively involved with other photography learning and teaching hubs across the Continent to teach in photography.

Matt Kay

Tierney Fellowship Recipient 2014

I have known Michelle for 7 years, first as a trainer, and then as a colleague. In my experience she has always been able to push her students to grow and challenge themselves to consistently improve and evaluate their work.  She has played a vital role in the forming of many of south Africa’s up and coming photographers. I would not hesitate to recommend her to any institution or student. 

Sipho Gongxeka

Tierney Fellowship

Recipient 2013 

If there’s any one who can turn a nobody into a good photographer its Michelle. In my world she’s a fairy godmother. As teacher and mentor she had the patient to work with me from teaching me what a shutter is, to helping me develop a body of work that later on won me an award as the sixth Recipient of the Tierney Fellowship at The Market Photo Workshop.

Ala Kheir

Head of the Sudanese Photographers Group

We at Sudanese Photographers Group  have worked with Michelle Loukidis for almost five years as she was a trainer in different photography workshops and masterclasses in which she was very successful. With  her perfect combination of diverse training methods, vast knowledge and experience, Michelle was able to quickly understand the complex needs of photographers here in Sudan who had no access to formal photography education, and managed within a short time to inject critical thinking and visual literacy to their photographic practice. We are very pleased to work with Michelle before and we will continue  this successful collaboration. 

Nkosinathi Khumalo


I was a young arrogant (so-called) self-taught photographer in 2013 when I first encountered Michelle Loukidis as my Foundation Course trainer at The Market Photo Workshop. Being a “know-it-all”, I made the mistake of not submitting an important assignment and naturally she failed me. That failure was the biggest life lesson in the beginning of my young photographic career. She always gave the sense that my photography always had great potential and she taught me never to give up. Fast forward to 2015 in the begin of my Advanced Programme, after her training absolutely changed my perspective on photography. She encouraged me to be bold in photography, and not be afraid. Michelle Loukidis is probably the best photography trainer the South African Photography industry has ever seen, I owe my career to her. 

Jacques Nelles

Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Award Rising Star 2018

Michelle Loukidis is undoubtedly a walking library of knowledge and insight into the world of photography. She has, with her abilities of making blind photographers see, probably influenced most current and relevant photographers working in the industry today.

Diogo Bento


Catchupa Factory Residency Organizer

"Following two very successful editions of the Catchupa Factory initiative, we invited Michelle Loukidis to be leading educator in 2018. She was responsible for developing the conceptual framework as well as the educational programme. During the 2-week residency in Cabo Verde she was always a very dedicated and generous trainer, providing the participants with very rich theoretical and pratical content. Her tutoring experience was key to guiding the 11 young and emerging participant photographers to completely revamp their perspective on their own artistic practice and their approach to photography."

Akona Kenqu

Tierney Recipient 2018 

Michelle is a hands-on mentor, one that makes sure that you put your best foot forward. She’s very passionate, her expertise as photographer and teacher comes at a great advantage because it allowed me a very broad scale of ideas on how to work on a project and how to think about photography. She’s amazing to work with!!!

Chris Stamatiou 

Documentary photographer

As gifted as she is behind the lens, she also greatly excels at identifying upcoming talent, and is an enthusiastic mentor to those who are in need of her wisdom. Anyone who has studied photography will know that the allocated time is short, and the content insurmountable. I was blessed to have been mentored by Michelle during the Advanced Program in Photography at Market Photo Workshop, and again when I was selected as part of the Incubator Program in 2016. She was the ‘calm in the storm’, and helped me to grow as a photographer, and today I count her as a friend.

Remofiloe Sebobe


CAP Prize winner 2022

Michelle is a wonderful teacher, leader, and friend. She is everything one could look for in a good mentor. You groomed me to be sound professional and made working with you an interesting and memorable experience. I will always be grateful to you for your support and kindness.

Paula Nascimento

Angolan architect and curator

I met Michelle first through her application to be a tutor to Catchupa Factory – the photography residency held in Mindelo, Cabo Verde and then personally at the same event.  She not only had a wonderful curriculum but also demonstrated to be a knowledgeable tutor, not only in the technical aspects but also in the more conceptual one, getting the best out of the participants. With such a diverse and young group of potential professionals, her experience in teaching but also in dealing with transversal age group, being able to really engage the students and help them raise their standards and develop good projects. She was a very generous and fun colleague to work with.

All images ©Jabulani Dhlamini includes cover image

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