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The Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program provides intermediate to advanced students with an intensive yearlong course of study that strengthens personal vision, teaches professional practices, and explores the many disciplines that inform media and art today. During the first term, many assignments are given to help students move out of their comfort zones and quickly acquire new skills and perspectives; in the winter term, our approach shifts to encourage more self-directed, independent work; and in the spring term, as students’ main projects are solidified and completed, internships and assistance with presentation lead up to the year-end exhibition, a day of portfolio reviews with leading professionals, and graduation.
The academic year is divided into three terms, with an optional intersession in January. Each term, students register for four to five 10-week courses and three to four weekend workshops. Students should expect to spend 18–20 hours in the classroom weekly and to allow ample extra time for shooting, production, and the completion of assignments.
Course requirements for the academic year include three terms of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Seminar, three terms of technical instruction in digital workflow, and one term of photographic history. Lighting and some history of analogue printing are required and highly recommended to complete before entrance in the fall. Students select additional 10-week courses and weekend workshops each term. These creative and technical offerings allow students to shape a sequence of instruction that will strengthen their practice. The Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program also offers students the opportunity to participate in an internship with a photographer, agency, magazine, or newspaper.
A lasting legacy of ICP's founding mission is dedicated to collecting and preserving notable photographic images in the documentary tradition. In addition, many visiting artists join ICP each term to participate in ICP Lecture Series, as well as panel discussions, symposia, and site visits.
The program attracts prestigious faculty and visiting artists such as Shelby Lee Adams, Bill Armstrong, Jane Evelyn Atwood, Nelson Bakerman, Christoph Bangert, Nina Berman, Robert Blake, Giorgia Fiorio, Lori Grinker, Per Gylfe, Ron Haviv, Jeff Jacobson, Ed Kashi, Judith Levitt, Serge J.-F. Levy, Robert Lewis, Joan Liftin, Jay Manis, Karen Marshall, Suzanne Opton, Sylvia Plachy, Barron Rachman, Joseph Rodriguez, Marcel Saba, Bob Sacha, Robert Stevens and Brian Young.
Alison Morley has been Chair of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program since 2000. As a photo editor, she has been the photography director of The New York Times' Sophisticated Traveler, Audubon, Civilization, Esquire, Mirabella, Elle, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. She has received awards for photo editing from American Photography, The Society of Publication Design, and Communication Arts. She is the editor of several major photography publications, including The Ninth Floor by Jessica Dimmock; Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal and Afghanistan: The Road to Kabul by Ron Haviv; and I Am Rich Potosí: The Mountain That Eats Men by Stephen Ferry. In Los Angeles, Morley ran her own studio doing editorial portraiture for magazines, and her photographs have been published in several books, including Backstory: Screenwriters of the Golden Age, edited by Patrick McGilligan. Morley has written on photography for magazines and books, and has lectured and led workshops in the United States as well as Argentina, Bangladesh, Bosnia, China, Hungary, Peru, the Philippines, and Uganda. She serves on numerous committees, including the nominating committee for World Press Photos.