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.
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

Benefits & Outcomes:

  • 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

Program Structure

Framework & Courses

Important Notes


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. The non-refundable registration fee is $450. Registered students receive special discounted rates for each of the courses required to complete their Intensive ($600 accumulated discount), resulting in total savings of $150. 

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.

Image by ICP faculty member Tom Griggs
Image by ICP faculty member Stephen Ferry
Image by ICP faculty member Karen Marshall