Hi! I’m Leah, the creator of Madrid No Frills.

I’m a qualified climate scientist, trained teacher with 14 years’ experience and, for the last three years, I’ve worked as a freelance journalist and photographer too. Under my own name, I’m published in The Guardian, Al Jazeera, El País and more, and regularly cover stories on housing, poverty, migration and racism. I have no training in journalism. I acquired all of my storytelling skills through telling stories for Madrid No Frills, which goes to show that anyone can do this if they want to.

I’m a mixed-race woman of colour and have a working-class background. I mention this because I am the exact profile of the person who is systematically excluded from the industry but, despite this, I’m doing my best to make my voice louder and I want others to feel they can do the same. In order to do this, I currently offer three courses and I hope you’ll be interested in enrolling in one, or all of them!

Bloggers of the Future (virtual)

This course is a series of four live, online workshops designed to equip you with the wide range of skills needed for socially conscious blogging: in-depth investigating, interviewing, engaging writing, striking photography & editing, powerful social media, a strong code of ethics, an introduction to media law and preparation for the impact this will all have on both you and your audience.

Also included in the course is one-to-one mentorship, an invitation into the MNF Alumni Facebook group and an opportunity for your work to be featured on MNF!

First launched in the summer of 2020, Bloggers of the Future has been run three times and seen 110 students successfully complete the course!

Read more about Bloggers of the Future course over on its very own course page.

Ethical Storytelling (virtual)

The world’s largest media outlets run stories time and time again that not only exacerbate the stigmatisation of vulnerable communities, but create it. People routinely targeted by unethical storytelling in Europe and the US, the geographic areas this course focuses on, include undocumented migrants, sex workers, youth, Roma people, women, evictees and the poor. But, unethical storytelling can target anyone, including people in power.

Unethical storytelling undermines the very communities it’s raising awareness of, but ethical storytelling has the power to improve lives. In this course, I will teach you how to tell stories that challenge stigmas rather than perpetuate them.

Read more about my Ethical Storytelling course over on its very own course page.

Photography (in-person)

Learn how to tell a story in a way that breaks away from traditional reportage photography and that creatively demonstrates something that hasn’t been seen before. Use photography to examine the ordinary and the familiar but in a way that enchants and excites, while also critically examining the status quo and challenging the potential of an overlooked space or environment.

Some examples of where I have used conceptual photography to do this is with my 100 Bars collection, Urban Sky Frames and Ghost Buildings.

If you have a camera, bring it along! If you don’t, your phone is all you need!

Join me in real life as we stroll through the beautiful streets of Madrid exploring the most inspiring corners of this city while learning how to tell a story nobody has ever told before through the medium of photography!

Course page coming soon!