We are proud to create spaces for high school students to develop their skills as visual storytellers.

Since 2001, ICP’s Teen Academy program has supported thousands of New York City high school students in using cameras as tools to tell their own stories, build community, and contribute to social change.

Housed in ICP’s state-of-the art facilities in the Lower East Side, Teen Academy creates spaces for students to locate themselves in the traditions and teachings of analogue imagemaking. The program is designed to cultivate visual literacy, personal vision, and leadership skills through classes focused on the techniques and history of photography and visual culture.

The program includes seasonal classes in black-and-white and color darkroom, digital and new media, and a yearlong advanced program called Imagemakers.


Seasonal Classes

Teen Academy offers quarterly classes for every level. Photo I in Black-and-White is geared for beginner-level students seeking an introduction to making exposures with a 35mm camera, film development, and darkroom techniques. After learning the foundations, students can further their visual storytelling skills in a Photo II in Black-and-White or Color I course. Photo II in Black-and-White ranges in theme and provides an opportunity for students to refine their technical and aesthetic skills. In Photography I in Color, students expand the scope of their photo practice through an exploration of color film and printing on ICP’s computerized Kreonite print processor.

All curricula is youth-centered and includes: photographic and writing assignments, darkroom time, visual presentations, discussions, critiques, a field trip, a guest artist visit, and a culminating presentation for family and friends celebrating the students’ achievements.


Teen Academy Imagemakers enables motivated high school juniors and seniors to advance their photography, writing, and public speaking skills while developing an awareness of the creative and professional possibilities in the field. This weekly after-school program provides more advanced teen photographers with guidance from some of New York’s best teaching artists and extensive access to ICP’s facilities. By the end of the year, students will create a comprehensive portfolio, including an artist’s statement and résumé. Their best work is featured in a culminating gallery exhibition.

Applications for the 2020-2021 program are now closed. Please check back in June 2021 for application details for the 2021–2022 school year.


Teen Academy is committed to making photography education accessible to all young people, regardless of their economic resources. Need-based scholarships are available to teens before the start of each term.

If you would like to be considered for a scholarship in an upcoming class, please complete an application. Scholarship applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis. Upon submission, please allow two to three weeks to hear back regarding your application status.


Special Thanks

Teen Academy and Imagemakers are made possible with generous support from the Chervenak-Nunnalle Foundation, Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, The Alesio Family Fund, Joy of Giving Something, Inc., and Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation.

These programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.



TOP IMAGE: © Curtis Willocks

Alumni Work

Noah Zimny, Student
Nicole Zeigler, Student
Violet Willams, Student