Field Techniques for Documentary Photographers

Learn to research, shoot, and edit a long-term documentary photography project.

Thatcher CookTake documentary photography to a new level with tips, tricks and experience from one of the top documentary photographers in the industry.

After an initial portfolio review and brief introduction on the use of documentary photography for non-governmental organizations, this workshop covers such topics as story selection; building a rapport with subjects; how to maximize the use of interpreters and fixers; editing techniques; and writing field notes. Additionally, students learn business aspects of documentary work, such as acquiring and maintaining relationships with clients.

Participants are not expected to shoot an essay during the workshop. Instead students photograph daily assignments consistent with the morning lectures, critiques, and reading assignments. The days are long and students are strongly encouraged to fully participate in all workshop activities, enabling a lasting support network among students long after the workshop has ended.

Students leave the workshop with a comprehensive knowledge of how to prepare for, research, shoot and edit a long-term documentary photography project.

Instructors

Thatcher Cook

Thatcher Hullerman Cook Photo By: Corbin Gurkin

Thatcher Hullerman Cook is a documentary photographer based in New Hampshire and South Carolina. His clients are primarily humanitarian aid and development organizations that work with refugees and other people affected by war, economic upheaval, and natural disasters. His clients include international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which have sent him on assignment to over sixty countries.

© Elizabeth MessinaWhat Thatcher's students have said:

"The teacher, Thatcher Cook, was an incredibly devoted, accepting, and challenging workshop leader who is a wonderful & inspiring human being!"
- Suki Hanfling, Watertown, MA

"Thatcher Cook is an extraordinary person, photographer, and teacher. His dedication to the art form and his spirit are truly inspiring."
- Timothy Briner, Brooklyn, NY

"Thatcher is a gem, his teaching is invaluable. He has a special eye, noticing special moments for a photo as well as what individual students need."