PNDP.2.003: Level 2 Program for Narrative and Documentary Practice

From: February 12, 2024
To: May 6, 2024
Application deadline
Sunday 21st January 2024 23:59PM EST
12 weeks
Class size
Scholarship eligibility
VII Academy Alumni who have completed Level 1 with a passing grade or evaluation and who can speak and write in English may apply for this program.
Additional info

This program will be conducted in English.

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Anny Motyl, one of the first residents to stand up against air pollution in the district where she lives. May 19, 2023, Gdansk, Poland. ©Bartosz Banka for VII Academy


Over a period of 12 weeks, this Level 2 Seminar online will advance the skills developed in VII Academy’s Level 1 course on Photojournalism and Documentary Storytelling. During the seminar, you’ll explore themes relating to ethics and good business practice, as well as how to research and shoot a long-term photography essay.

Level 2 is much more writing intensive; expect to improve your writing skills for pitches, statements, and captions.

Weekly photo assignments will help you to create a story using the building blocks of good visual journalism. All the concepts that you learned in Level 1 will be extended and explored more in-depth.

You will use the skills and knowledge gained in the introductory module to develop the ability to work on longer term stories that might take weeks or months to complete. Aided by your tutors in the program, you will research, plan and execute a longer-term photo essay, with an accompanying 800 to 1,000 words text, on a subject of your choice. 


The format of this Level 2 Course will follow a similar approach as Level 1. Each week will begin with a lecture on a relevant concept in photojournalism and documentary practice. After this lecture, the tutor will brief you on your weekly assignment using case studies and examples. The assignments will represent key subjects and approaches in narrative photojournalism and documentary photography.

During the week, you will take the time to research and shoot the assignments to present to your tutors and classmates.

Group tutorials with the course team will support you in developing your story idea, carrying out the research, undertaking the actual shooting and then editing and preparing the story for final presentation at the end of the course.


  1. Respond professionally and creatively to photojournalistic briefs;
  2. Shoot photojournalistic and documentary picture stories or series;
  3. Edit your work for extended photo essays;
  4. Work to a deadline;
  5. Professionally present yourself and your work to an editor or client;
  6. Understand the visual potential of ideas / situations you are researching.
  7. Develop proposals for picture stories and then research and undertake them


Chosen participants will be invited by email to register about two weeks before the class begins. Applicants who are not selected to attend will be notified once the class is full; this may be only a week before the class begins.

The start date for this course is the beginning of the week when the class well be held. The day and time of the class will be confirmed closer to the start date.

Tutors will hold the class at times according to their own schedule, and will accommodate participants’ schedules when possible. If you have a set work schedule, we invite you to let us know as early as possible.


Only applicants who have completed Level 1 and who can read and write well in English (B1 level or better) should apply for this course. The application asks for much of the same information as the Level 1 application; this repetition is necessary as a selection committee unfamiliar with you and your work may be reviewing the information.

If you are NOT selected this time, you may of course apply to another Level 2 course. Additionally, if you do not feel you have mastered the concepts of Level 1 – whether this means that you are unsure if your photographs are strong enough or that you aren’t confident in practical skills like adding IPTC information or shooting to certain briefs – you are welcome to apply to another Level 1 course for your region when available.

Eligible applicants who wish to be considered for acceptance to this tuition-free program should complete the application form linked below.

Application deadline: January 21. 2024 at 2359EST

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