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Magnum Intensive Documentary Photography

Magnum Documentary Photography

London College of Communication
Taught by
A respected industry expert


A unique collaboration from two photography masters. This 21 day course led by award-winning Magnum photographers and the College's expert staff, will teach you how to successfully develop a documentary photo project from start to finish.

Magnum Photos is an agency synonymous with integrity, curiosity and 'concerned' photography. For over sixty years, Magnum's international photographers have chronicled the world; helping to shape documentary photography as a modern form of artistic expression and as a tool of change. With over six decades of experience and with access to world-leading photographers and professionals, Magnum Photos is committed in the transfer of its accumulated knowledge to a new generation of visual storytellers.

London College of Communication is internationally renowned for photography and has a history of teaching many of the world's top photographers.

During this three-week course, you will become absorbed in the practice and history of documentary photography and Magnum's legacy and contemporary contribution to it. The course will support development and production of photographic objects from start to finish.

Together Magnum and LCC will equip you with the historical and contextual framework required to raise critical thinking about documentary photography, as well as providing technical guidance and tutorial support. Class time will be supported by evening lectures from LCC staff and selected Magnum photographers.You will be taught at Magnum’s offices and in the College's extensive,specialistfacilities. The dual location means you can experience the buzz of a working agency whilst making the most of academic space and guidance to concentrate on your practice.

Focusing on how to develop a personal project and an authentic voice, you will explore and define your individual approach to documentary photography and will consider all elements of successful project development; from research phases, to access and shooting, to the editing and creation of a public projection.

The experience of joining the Magnum Documentary Photography course will be a unique and positive experience, with a social dimension that will allow students to interact with other students and professionals, sharing ideas and expertise.

Led by Magnum photographers Stuart Franklin and Chris Steele-Perkins, and by Max Houghton, course leader of MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at LCC, with other Magnum Photographers, LCC tutors and industry experts as guest speakers. For tutor biographies please see below.

Course Aims
The aim of the course is for you to find new ways of disseminating your work. This could mean exhibiting in galleries or self-publishing books, rightthrough todeveloping a web presence. Very few photographers depend upon editorial work as a sole means of making a living anymore - so you will beencouraged to think laterally aboutyour work.

It is important for you to understand where your work sits in a wider context, so it’s important to learn about the history of both photography and art in general, as well as some contemporary photographic theory so you can engage in the debates with some confidence. These days, more than ever before, it’s important to be able to discuss your work and your ideas eloquently.

Topics covered:

  • Shooting on location – daily assignments and briefs in London
  • Magnum Print Room – you will spend time learning professional practice, the mechanics of the photography business, networking and career development
  • Museum visits - Learn about national photography collections, including the V&A Museum, through tours with curators
  • Lectures - led by Magnum photographers and LCC staff
  • Critique – individually and in groups, looking at technique, subject and personal voice
  • Editing and production - learning how editing, sequencing and design can reveal narrative
  • Learning how to pitch and present your work
  • Graduation party – celebrate and display work digitally to a public and industry audience

Course Outcomes
By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Create an industry standard and academically informed body of photographic work
  • Have unique insight into the history of documentary photography
  • Engage in critical debates on ethics, industry and technology in contemporary photographic practice
  • Continue developing essential skills in writing, editing and making work for different audiences

Blog Feeds 
Read student and tutor interviews during their time at Magnum Documentary Photography Short Course: 

Authentic voices from Magnum Documentary Photography students

Making zines with Magnum Photo Magnum

Documentary Photography students response to the city

Magnum Documentary Photography summer school: 5 student journeys

A look inside LCC's Magnum Documentary Photography short course

You will be required to study provided reading lists to familiarise yourself with the history and precedent of documentary photography and demonstrate the application of this understanding to your own practice.

You will have access to LCC’s library, including direction to relevant photo-books.

Image Galleries
Take a look at our Flickr image galleries to get a feel for the course;

Bieke Deeporter workshop

Book making workshop

End of course presentation

Entry Requirements
Academic: You should have some prior experience of photography and know how to operate a camera. If you have questions about your academic background, please email the short courses team.

English: You should be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and make presentations. As a guideline we would expect you to have an IELTS score of 6.0. The Language Centre at University of the Arts London offers English courses for overseas students.

Follow Up Courses
After you have completed this course you may want to continue your education with Documentary Filmmaking and Editing Tapeless or enhance your documentary story with Effective Writing for Journalists.

Tutor Description

This course will be taught by a respected industry expert.

Available dates