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.

About the Program

Upcoming Info Sessions & Deadlines

Find all upcoming Info Sessions by visiting ICP's Events page.

The deadline to apply for the 2023 Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism One-Year Certificate program is March 15. Financial aid is available for qualified candidates. 

General Information

The 2022-2023 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

The Curriculum


Required Classes

Core Documentary Seminar
Short Stories On Assignment
History of Visual Storytelling
Digital Seminar

Five-, Ten-, and Fifteen-Week Electives

A Study in Strobes
Lighting with Flash
Writing for the Photojournalist
*Black-and-White Darkroom
Image and Ideas
Principles of Color for the Photojournalist
Images and Ideas
Ruminations on Community
Old Media, New Media: Archives and the Documentarian
The Loom: Weaving Media
Ruminations on Community
Intro To Modern Documentary Video

Weekend Workshops

Learning Multimedia
Art of the Interview
Environmental Portraiture on the Street
What is a Story
Large-Format On the Street
Shooting Close: Seeing and Finding Meaning in the Immediate
Long-Term Project Development
DIY Film Scanning

January Workshops


Human Rights
Trauma Informed Practice
Necessary Fictions
Imagination, Improvisation, and Personal Process


Required Classes

Core Documentary Seminar
Digital Seminar
Short Stories On Assignment
Inside Editing

Five-, Ten-, and Fifteen-Week Electives

Digital Storytelling
Documentary Videography
Black-and-White Darkroom
Visual Writing
Study in Strobes
Finding Light and Shadow
Editorial Concepts
Digital Storytelling
Documentary Videography
Black-and-White Darkroom
Visual Writing
Editorial Concepts
Light and Shadow
Finding Light for Portraiture
Going Deeper

Weekend Workshops

Documenting Vulnerable Communities: Exploring Ethics and Partnerships
Photographing the Invisible
How to Survive as a Photojournalist
Cross-Media Storytelling 
Book Making 2.0
The Documentary Project
Photographing Human Rights in the Everyday
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 are offered exclusively to students enrolled in ICP’s on-site One-Year Certificate Programs.

Alumni Work

A person lying on the floor.
Liz Sanders (DOC '17)
A lady holding a photo of a woman.
Magali Druscovich (DOC '18)
A photo of a person sitting.
Ko Cheonbong (DOC '18)
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.