This Intensive offers intermediate and advanced photographers a structured and supportive learning environment for acquiring the knowledge, techniques, and artistic background needed for creating and effectively publishing documentary essays. Socially and culturally conscious storytellers document the human experience aiming to inform or challenge our perceptions by creatively sharing their perspectives. Through lectures, assignments, critique sessions, and class discussions, students examine ethical, social, and visual aspects of the genre, learn methodologies practiced by leaders in the field, and develop their own personal long-term documentary projects. Photographers nearing the publication of their work can benefit from utilizing practical editing and sequencing techniques and adopting useful recommendations and practices.
The Visual Storytelling Intensive can be completed in its entirety online. Additional onsite courses included in the program are offered for students visiting or living in New York.
Topics of study include:
- Identifying and developing story ideas
- Research and investigation
- Gaining access and building contacts
- Ethical and responsible photography
- Storytelling strategies and tools
- Image selection and sequencing
- Textual components and approaches
- Documentary photography best practices and strategies
- Understand the social and ethical aspects of working with and photographing people
- Create meaningful personal documentary projects
- Acquire editorial and storytelling skills
- Adopt industry-leading methodologies and practices
- Develop your portfolio and personal style
- Prepare your work for publication
- Official ICP digital certificate (see requirements below)
- $150 total savings after completing all courses
- Exclusive early registration period before each term
- Personal consultation by ICP staff (upon request)
- ICP One Year Certificate Programs pre-application portfolio evaluation (upon request)
- ICP One Year Certificates Programs application fees waived
- ICP One Year Certificates Programs early acceptance notice
- The opportunity of having your work highlighted by ICP (website, social media, etc.)
Framework & Courses
This Intensive includes three stages. Stage I courses offer an introduction to the genre of documentary photography and the nuances of this field. Stage II courses, the heart of this certificate program, allow students to learn and experience important practices while developing their own personal projects. Finally, Stage III offers a selection of electives enabling further development or finalizing personal projects depending on students’ interests and needs.
Stage I - Introduction Courses
(successfully complete one of the following courses):
- The Poetics of Documentary Photography (online)
- Documentary Practice: Visual Strategies (online)
- Ethics in Documentary Photography (online)
- What is the Story? (online)
- Diving Into Documentary Photography (onsite or online)
Stage II - Main Courses
(successfully complete at least one of the following courses):
- The Photo Essay: Strategies for Visual Storytelling (online)
- People and Place: The Documentary Portrait (onsite)
- Storytelling: Expressing the Visual Narrative (online)
- Developing Documentary Projects (online)
Stage III - Elective courses
(successfully complete at least one of the following courses):
- Discovering a Personal Voice in Long-Form Documentary Projects (online)
- The Tempos and Tones of Editing and Sequencing: A Primer for Intermediate and Advanced Students (online)
- Editing & Sequencing: How to Highlight Your Best Pictures (online)
- Advancing Your Personal Project (online)
- STORYTELLING: Selecting, Sorting and Sequencing Your Pictures for a Book (online)
Most courses range between 5–10 meetings. Click on ‘Register for Upcoming Courses’ for a list of next available classes including dates, course descriptions, faculty, and tuition (fees are presented before discount).
- All courses need to be completed within a period of 1-year from the date of registration (excluding approved past courses).
- A selection of classes will be available for registration at each stage of the program, but ICP may choose not to run all courses each term.
- Courses should be taken in order according to the program’s structure. Only Stage II and Stage III courses may be taken in parallel.
- Advanced students can choose to skip Stage I, but need to complete an additional course in Stage II or III.
- Completion of more than one course in Stage I does not credit other stages.
- Retroactive registration to this certificate program is allowed also after completing one of the courses in Stage I or Stage II.
The Visual Storytelling Intensive is an intermediate-advanced program: You are comfortable using your camera, whether film or digital, and with your photographic practice. You have experience using Adobe applications such as Lightroom or Photoshop. You may want to understand how to utilize your camera in a more thoughtful and articulate way, practice creative methodologies, or learn how to utilize theoretical concepts in relation to your portfolio of work. Students must meet the prerequisites of each course they register for as part of the program.
Enrollment to the Visual Storytelling Intensive is open throughout the year. Once enrolled, students may select their preferred courses (see ‘Register for Upcoming Courses’ above). Use the ‘Enroll in Intensive’ button below to submit your online application form (no preparations are needed).
Depending on students’ course selection, the total tuition can range between $1325–$2285 and includes:
• A non-refundable registration fee of $450
• The discounted fees of the selected and studied courses. Courses’ fees range between $365–$830 and enrolled students receive $200 discounts on each of their courses (total discount of $600).
As a limited promotion, ICP may approve and credit courses previously taken at ICP towards completion of the Intensive, and adjust the registration fee and remaining discounts accordingly (see Special Promotion).
Students must pass all required courses before receiving ICP certification. All courses must be completed within a period of 1-year from the date of registration (excluding approved past courses). Additionally, to receive their certificate, students need to present an edited and sequenced selection of 10-20 pictures from their personal project. Once a student completes the requirements, a request for the certificate should be submitted using the button below.