SDN education

Welcome to SDN Education, an initiative of the Social Documentary Network offering classes taught by outstanding instructors for photographers and people interested in advancing their knowledge and skills in the field of documentary photography and photojournalism. In addition to studio classes on the theory and practice of creating documentary projects, we are now offering lecture classes in photo history, discussion groups, and more. 

Fall 2023 Courses 

Photographers' Tool Kit
Real World Tools for Documentary and Editorial Photographers

Instructor: Amber Bracken
6:30–9:00 pm Eastern via Zoom
Eight Thursdays beginning October 5
Course type: Crit, shooting, lecture, discussion

Course fee: $675
Scholarships: No more scholarships available for this class.

Level: Open to all levels

Photo by Amber BrackenIn this eight-week hands-on course, we will revisit the fundamental building blocks of documentary and editorial storytelling. Our sessions will include lecture, readings, and critique. Each week, students will be given specific real world assignments designed to equip photographers with sharper skills and important visual tools. Assignments can be executed either as part of an ongoing project or as stand-alone exercises, but students must budget at least a few hours each week outside class time for this work. In either case, students can expect to be challenged creatively, technically and theoretically. Strengthen your skills for photographic relationships, storytelling and execution for your next big adventure.  

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Expanding Your Vision
Refining Your Documentary Work and Personal Projects


Instructor: Ed Kashi
6:00 – 8:30 pm Eastern via Zoom
Six Tuesdays beginning October 3, 2023
     Class does not meet October 24
Course type: Crit, shooting, lecture, discussion

Course fee: $800
Scholarships: We are no longer accepting scholarship applications for this class
Prerequisite: Students must be intermediate to professional level

Photo by Ed KashiThe importance of creating your own personal projects is critical to your artistic and professional development. It is also what leads to the creation of your legacy work.  This workshop is designed for working photographers who have projects already in progress, ideas that are in germination stage, or finished projects that are in need of final preparations for dissemination. The focus of the class is to help you clarify what you care about, learn how to commit to your project, clarify your visual approach, and determine the intended outcomes. We will also discuss who your audience is, writing funding proposals, and how to disseminate the work once completed. 

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Decoding the Message
Learning to Read Photographs

Instructor: Michelle Bogre
7:30–9:00 pm Eastern via Zoom
Eight Wednesdays beginning October 4
Course type: Lecture and discussion
Course fee: $475
Scholarships: One scholarship position available. To apply.

Photo by Dorothea LangeIn 1936,  Lászlo Moholy Nagy wrote: "The illiterate of the future will be the person ignorant of the use of the camera as well as the pen." He was right, but being literate today entails more than camera skills; it requires knowing how to decode photographs. Photography has become the pulse of our culture and the most universal and versatile language of the 21st century. It also may be the most complex and varied visual discipline ever and because of that, it is the discipline most in need of explanation. Through lectures, curated readings about key photographic theory, and photographs, this discussion-based class will teach you how to decode the internal narrative of a photograph, and how it functions in culture to expand your understanding of images beyond the superficial. 

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