Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism

One-Year Certificate Program
Apply now for fall 2019.
Deadline extended! Applications due March 15, 2019.

ICP's One-Year Certificate programs provide advanced students with an intensive yearlong course of study to strengthen personal vision, refine skills and technique, and explore the many disciplines informing media and art today.

About the Program

The Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism program focuses specifically on the investigative skills and technical knowledge necessary for students to advance in the complex and constantly changing world of visual storytelling. ICP’s long-standing commitment to documentary practice ensures that this program engages faculty who are some of the foremost practitioners in the field today. Visiting photographers discuss best practices, methodologies, and innovative media, as well as political, ethical, and social concerns.

The student-centered curriculum emphasizes class discussions and critiques in a supportive learning atmosphere. Participants explore the history of visual journalism; develop new and challenging technical skills in still photography, multimedia, and video; learn strategies for publication; and create long-term documentary projects that examine the human experience.

TOP IMAGE: © Gareth Smit, DOC 2015

Additional Info

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The Curriculum

The Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism 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, 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 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 Practice and Visual Journalism Seminar, three terms of technical instruction in digital workflow, one term of Visual Journalism, and one term of the history of visual storytelling. 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 and provide them with the tools to work in the world as effective visual storytellers.

Alumni Work

Magali Druscovich, DOC 2018
Magali Druscovich, DOC 2018
Xinran Gu, DOC 2016
Xinran Gu, DOC 2016
Liz Sanders, DOC 2017
Liz Sanders, DOC 2017
The Chair
Karen Marshall, chair of the Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism program, is a documentary photographer whose work examines the psychological lives of her subjects within the social landscape. Her photographs have appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times Magazine, the London Sunday Times, The Atlantic, New York Magazine, GUP Magazine, and PDN. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in many venues throughout the United States as well as in Germany, Austria, Canada, Israel, the Philippines, China, and Colombia. Marshall is the recipient of artist fellowships and sponsorships through the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as grants and support from private foundations. Nominated for the Prix Pictet in 2011, her work is part of several collections, including the Feminist Artbase at the Brooklyn Museum. Marshall has been faculty at ICP for over two decades, an associate professor (adjunct) at New York University, guest faculty in the MFA program at the Maine Media College, and has taught numerous workshops internationally that focus on visual storytelling.