Photojournalism and documentary photography have evolved with the tools and the technologies currently used by professionals: digital cameras, laptops, wireless communications, high-speed networks, and all the possibilities offered by the web.
The course work in photojournalism at Spéos aims to embrace these new dynamics as practiced by photojournalists covering stories for photo agencies and media clients – newspapers, magazines, and online content users.
Assignments include events, places and subjects allowing students to visually report on topical issues within the field of photojournalism: they cover social, political, and cultural events, sports, features, as well as portraits via a clearly defined process.
Researching and collecting information from various sources: radio, newspapers, magazines and the web. Recognition of subject matters that could be of interest to various media – general newspapers, specialized magazines, either local or international. Making contact with editors to explore possible collaborations. Obtain accreditations with organizers or authorities to gain access to ensure proper coverage of the event in question.
Camera Work: How to approach the subject matter with an eye to illustrate the story for a given media: notions of framing, point of view, choice of lens, sensitivity to the subject matter, camera controls of speed and aperture. How to relay information (a photojournalist combines photography with journalism) in a well-constructed, readable image that transmits information and emotion. How to combine in one single image the action, the important players, the context, and the importance of the event.
Image choice: Learn how to properly edit your stock in order to construct a coherent story by selecting the most pertinent images.
Image treatment: How to correctly describe or caption your images following the international IPTC standard used by news agencies.
Image management: How to develop your own method of file management and storage, so as to organize your personal archives.
To complement the photojournalistic approach, students explore the notions of documentary photography and its in-depth approach at covering topics of contemporary society over time.
Photographic stories: By observing one’s subject matter, including notions of context(s) and exploring various points of view, fully-fledged multi-layered photographic stories are developed.
The historical context: The rich heritage of documentary photography will be presented and discussed via projections of canonical work, past to present.
Students are encouraged to develop a distinct photographic signature during their weekly class presentations and critiques of their work in progress, in a dynamic exchange between the instructor and the group as a whole.