Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism

One-Year Certificate Program
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.

Applications for the 2020–2021 One-Year Certificate Program in Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism are closed. Applications for the 2021–2022 academic year will be available soon.

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.

“Through nurturing guidance from ICP’s faculty and my fellow students, this experience has put me on a vector of growth as a storyteller. After graduating, I still feel part of a community that continues to support my journey as a photographer.” – Alexey Yurenev (DOC 2018)
TOP IMAGE: © Gareth Smit, DOC 2015

Additional Info

Full-Time Programs Open Houses and Info Sessions

Interested in learning more about our One-Year Certificate and ICP-Bard MFA programs? Join us for an Open House or Info Session.


One-Year Certificate Programs Catalog pdf Admission & Tuition International Students FAQs Academic Calendar Blog @icp_docit Vision and Practice Summer Intensive Program

The Curriculum


Required Classes

Core Documentary Seminar
Visual Journalism
History of Visual Storytelling
Digital Seminar

Five- and 10-Week Electives

Lighting for the Documentary Photographer
Writing for the Photojournalist
*Black-and-White Darkroom
Image and Ideas
Principles of Color for the Photojournalist

Weekend Workshops

Learning Multimedia
Art of the Interview
People and Place
Environmental Portraiture on the Street
Inside Story
Towards the Union of Photojournalism and Art
Old Media, New Media: Archives and the Documentarian

January Workshops

Required Classes

Long-Term Project Development


Where Do You Stand?
Trauma Informed Practice


Required Classes

Core Documentary Seminar
Digital Seminar

Five- and 10-Week Electives

Digital Storytelling
Documentary Videography
Black-and-White Darkroom
Writing for the Documentary Photographer
Old Media, New Media: Archives and the Documentarian
Lighting for the Documentary Photographer
Lighting for Portraiture

Approaches to Portraiture
Editorial Concepts
Human Rights
Going Deeper
Media Literacy and Tools for Social Change

Weekend Workshops

Photographer as Partner
Photographing the Familiar
Why I Photograph
Photographing the Invisible
About Editing and Finding the Narrative
How to Survive as a Photojournalist
Cross-Media Storytelling


Required Classes

Core Documentary Seminar
Digital Printing
Inside Editing

Five- and 10-Week Electives

Digital Storytelling
Documentary Videography
Black-and-White Darkroom
Visual Writing
Editorial Concepts
Light and Shadow
Finding Light for Portraiture
Document to Fiction and Back Again
Conversations: Guest Lecture Series

Weekend Workshops

Book Making 2.0
The Documentary Project
The Working as a Photographer
Visual Journalism Today and Tomorrow
The Editors Perspective
Where the Thread Leads

OYC End-of-Year Exhibition

Portfolio Review Day



*These courses will resume when ICP is able to reopen its building and classroom facilities.

Alumni Work

Giovana Schluter (DOC 2015)
Amit Elkayam (DOC 2018)
Alexey Yurnev
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.