Photography Intensive

Course Fee: $500 + tuition for Columbia Students or Visiting Students
S4105D - Session I: May 28–July 5 - 6 points
10:00am - 6:00pm
mon tue wed thu fri
Visual Arts
Summer 2019
Kai McBride, Emile Askey, Yola Monakhov Stockton

This course has been canceled for Summer, 2019, but may be available next summer. Please check back.

The Photography Intensive engages students in all elements of photographic practice and the development of a portfolio. The experienced faculty are responsive to the specific needs of each photographer and the course is appropriate for students at any level. The curriculum is designed for students to quickly accelerate their understanding of the language of photography and to realize the creative possibilities in their own work. A combination of technical tutorials, individual meetings with internationally renowned artists and art professionals, as well as a series of seminars and group critiques, provide students with the tools they need to advance professionally and further develop the core elements of their practice. The Photography Intensive provides an exceptional workshop environment where students have 24-hour access to traditional and digital facilities, coupled with daily hands-on assistance from experienced faculty and staff, culminating in a group exhibition at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery. Students are expected to produce work independently throughout the six-week term and fully dedicate their time and efforts to the course.


The course is designed for several distinct types of students: exceptional undergraduates passionate about photography, college graduates preparing to apply for MFA programs, experienced photographers looking to gain knowledge of the photographic tradition and its advanced techniques, and seasoned artists and teachers wishing to rigorously develop their practice through a critical dialogue with faculty and other students.



This was an amazing program. I feel more prepared than ever to leave the classroom environment and create my own work!

Student, Advanced Photography Intensive, 2013

Features of the Course


  • Shared workspace on 115th Street and Broadway, New York City

  • Group Critique

  • Individual meetings with faculty and visiting artists

  • Lectures by internationally renowned photographers

  • Critical History of Photography Seminar

  • Visits to Museums, Galleries, and Artist Studios in New York City

  • Guided photographic trips

  • Technical tutorials covering traditional darkroom printing and contemporary digital practice

  • Portfolio editing and writing workshops

  • Career development and professional practice workshops


Facilities and Equipment Access


  • Full, 24-hour, access to the School of the Arts Photography Facilities

  • Studio Classroom with lockers for storage of equipment and supplies

  • Digital Lab

    • Imacon and Epson Scanners

    • Epson 9000 Series Inkjet Printer (all inks provided)

  • Black and White Darkrooms

    • 35mm, Medium Format and 4x5 Enlargers

    • Film and Print Processing Areas



Course Elements




At the beginning of the course, each student share a slide presentation of their work with students and faculty



Individual Meetings


Students are scheduled to meet with each member of the faculty every week. For additional perspective, students also meet with artists and other professionals who visit the course during weekly visits.



Visiting Artist Lectures


Beginning in the second week, a prominent photographer lectures about their work. Lectures are followed with a meeting with each student in the course. Previous visiting artists include Eileen Quinlan, Vince Aletti, Jeffrey Henson Scales, Elinor Carucci, and Andrea Modica. 2019 Visiting Artists coming soon.



Technical Tutorials


The first five weeks feature technical tutorials on advanced black and white darkroom production, lighting, and color-managed digital workflow from high-resolution scan to exhibition quality inkjet print.



Group Critique


Each student presents their work to faculty and other students during a day-long series of group critiques.  Faculty lead the discussions and the critiques take place in the first three weeks of the term.



Critical History of Photography Seminar


Students read and discuss key issues in contemporary photography and the history of the medium. New readings are provided each week.



New York City, Art, and Photography


Staff lead visits to museums, galleries and studios around New York. In addition, trips are arranged to facilitate photographing in the city.  Often, these visits and trips tie in directly to topics discussed in the Critical History of Photography Seminar.



Final Review and Exhibition


The course concludes with an exhibition at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University. The faculty conduct a final analysis of work completed in the course and have a discussion with the students in the gallery.


Visiting Artists 2019

Vince Aletti

Vince Aletti reviews photography exhibitions for The New Yorker’s 'Goings on About Town' section and photo books for Photograph magazine. Formerly the photography critic and art editor at the Village Voice, he received ICP’s Infinity Award in writing in 2005.


Elinor Carucci

Born 1971 in Jerusalem, Israel, Elinor Carucci graduated in 1995 from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design with a degree in photography, and moved to New York that same year. In a relatively short amount of time, her work has been included in an impressive amount of solo and group exhibitions worldwide.


Jeffrey Henson Scales

Jeffrey Henson Scales spent more than 40 years as a freelance documentary and commercial photographer—those documentary photographs have been exhibited at museums throughout the United States and Europe. Since 1998, he has been a photography editor at The New York Times.


Andrea Modica was born in New York City and lives in Philadelphia, where she works as a photographer and teaches at Drexel University. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar, and the recipient of a Knight Award.


Eileen Quinlan

Eileen Quinlan is an internationally known artist exploring the material boundaries of the photographic process and its personal and conceptual implications. Quinlan received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1996 and her MFA from Columbia University in 2005.