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international center for photography photojournalism course

Hello there, I am starting the photojournalism programme at ICP this october- 2007, it would be great if anyone has any tips about the course, the college and being a student in New York.

by barbara yendell at 2007-08-16 12:00:33 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) saltydog , Hong Kong | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Pay attention. Try not to distract yourself with anything else, such as paid work, if at all possible. I had to work to eat while attending in ’99 and it was a distraction I would have liked to have avoided.

Work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life. Keep an open mind and you will flourish. Push the envelope. Push it hard. You’ll be made to. Allow it to turn the entire world, as you knew it, completely on its head.

Tell your family not to expect to hear from you for a year. Immerse yourself entirely.

Most importantly, shoot first, focus second.

Then say hello to everyone from me. Perhaps I’ll bump into you sometime.

by Paul Treacy | 16 Aug 2007 12:08 | East Greenwich, United States | | Report spam→
And the very best of luck to you. If you work hard you’ll have an extraordinary experience. It might take you six months or a year afterwards to fully grasp the experience you had. Try to extend your stay in New York after your year of study to let it all settle in. That shouldn’t be difficult to do.

Give of yourself completely and you’ll most likely have an amazing time. Remember that you are as likely to learn from your student colleagues than from the tutors. The tutors, though extraordinary photojournalists in their own right, they are merely facilitators for open discussion and criticism. You’ll all be candidates from around the world and each of your cultural experiences will inform the others. This is part of the magic of ICP and what it’ll teach you. It’s the bringing together of diverse views and practices, that will surprise you, that informs the ICP experience. Pay absolute attention. Exhaust yourself.

by Paul Treacy | 16 Aug 2007 12:08 | East Greenwich, United States | | Report spam→
And please keep me posted as to your progress. I’ll be back at work by then and will be available to you if you ever need advice or encouragement. I’m only up the street after all. In fact, this year I will be preparing a workshop course myself as per several requests to do so. Perhaps for ICP, perhaps elsewhere. Depends on a lot of things.
Be well. I envy you this experience.

by Paul Treacy | 16 Aug 2007 12:08 | East Greenwich, United States | | Report spam→
I’m hopefully applying for this to start the 2008 program – any tips for getting on the course, while we’re here, would be good.

by Phil Brown | 16 Aug 2007 12:08 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
It may well clear your mind as to what you thought you wanted. I was completely taken by surprise by my experience there. I was robbed shortly before attending and lost an entire professional kit, two bodies, four lenses, two speedlites, Quantum charger and my favorite prime portrait lens. I was inadequately insured and it put me out of work. However, three weeks later I was accepted onto the PJ course. I’d had an old Nikon 801 under the bed and and battered 28mm and 50mm lens. That’s all I had left. I managed somehow to get an old silver Hexar which I taped up in mat black and that was it. I had been a wire service shooter using zooms so my starting at ICP was quite disconcerting given that I was using short fixed lenses when I was used to big zooms. It was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. As a hardend hack, however, it took me some time to settle in and change my ways but I eventually learned that it wasn’t just historical events that warranted photographing but life’s most ordinary moments as well. And the fixed lenses meant that I needed to get close and connect and without fill flash. It was at ICP that my sense of visual humor became apparent and therefore the ideas I had as regards my future direction and motivation shifted completely. I still struggle with this today.

by Paul Treacy | 16 Aug 2007 12:08 | East Greenwich, United States | | Report spam→
Phil, show only what is completely yours.

I applied twice. First I showed images of Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela, European club football, international golf and test cricket, breaking news, features, the works. All outstanding work in anyones view, including theirs. But it had nothing of me. Nothing they hadn’t seen before in some form or other.

Later I re-applied having self assigned a project back home in Ireland. I photographed the preparations for Wexford Festival Opera in black and white with the old Nikon and prime lenses including two borrowed from my amateur dad. It was all very low light and I processed everything in my parents bathroom with taped up windows and a borrowed enlarger to make test prints.

I moved back to New York and crashed with my aunt and used her basement in Queens to make some 11×14 prints with my own enlarger whose timer didn’t work because of voltage difference and I was broke so couldn’t buy a new one.

Turns out there were a few gems in there and they were technically spot on.

I showed them to the good folks at ICP in a home made folder, again covered in mat black tape and looking a little tattered. But they loved the quirkiness and so I was greenlit.

by Paul Treacy | 16 Aug 2007 13:08 | East Greenwich, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks Paul. That’s good to know – it’s all about authorship then. I really hope I can get to go. It looks like a great course.

by Phil Brown | 16 Aug 2007 13:08 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hello, and thanks for the tips, yes I am getting prepared for a full on year. What about living in NY, how do you find apartments, I guess the areas around the college are very pricey, is it better to be in walking distance of the college?

by barbara yendell | 16 Aug 2007 13:08 | Sai Kung, Hong Kong | | Report spam→
Thanks Michal. I only wish I’d had similar advise when I started. I was so nervous given that I was in huge debt and needed to feed myself all the while. I crashed on a friends sofa for three months to get through it because it was impossible to shoot for pay and course work at the same time. That was the most intense year of my life. I had just gotten married and left my wife in London to attend. We had just finished our honeymoon in Cuba three weeks before starting ICP. We survived by setting up a flight fund rather than a gift list. We had seven return flights that year. It was really tough. However, the emotional intensity of it all made me a better photographer, strangely enough.

by Paul Treacy | 16 Aug 2007 13:08 | East Greenwich, United States | | Report spam→
No. Let me snoop around a little to get the lay of the land. Some apartments have been handed down through the years between generations of ICP students. Being a direct train away is helpful. ICP is directly on the subway system.

by Paul Treacy | 16 Aug 2007 13:08 (ed. Aug 16 2007) | East Greenwich, United States | | Report spam→
Hey, I’m not in Eat Greenwich. What’s going on?

by Paul Treacy | 16 Aug 2007 13:08 | East Greenwich, United States | | Report spam→
When I was considering applying last year I had the same dilema… what to include in the portfolio- you are restrcited to 20 images. The advice I recieved from a friend working for AP was to show them an example of what a photojournalist would be required to do, so I made a photo essay and using photo shop managed to arrange the images so that they could be professionally printed onto 4 sheets of A3 sized paper. There was a paragraph introducing the story and then each image was captioned and the finished product looked like a spread in a magazine such as Time. For this I used 13 out of my 20 image quota ! The other images were varied. I made the portfolio look as slick and professional as possible, I personally think this is very important, especially as this is their only contact with you, there being no interview process.
Good luck with your application !

by barbara yendell | 16 Aug 2007 13:08 | Sai Kung, Hong Kong | | Report spam→
It’s all about the pictures. How you speak the language of photography at this stage of your career. The presentation just needs to be tidy. It’s all about the pictures. What your pictures say about you. How you see the world. Show them what YOU see. What they may not have seen. Or at least not seen the way you did.

by Paul Treacy | 16 Aug 2007 13:08 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Are you angry? Are you soulful? Show it. Show a little love if you must. Show them what you’re about. What’s at your core. If you can. Perhaps you don’t yet know what you’re about and that’s why you’re hoping to attend ICP. In that case, perhaps you’re not ready as I was not on my first attempt. If that’s the case, wait a while. Or perhaps in investigating what you’re about you’ll find some answers or at least produce compelling work. Go find out.

by Paul Treacy | 16 Aug 2007 13:08 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→

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barbara yendell, Photographer barbara yendell
New York , United States
Paul  Treacy, Photographer Paul Treacy
London , United Kingdom ( LGW )
Phil Brown, Phil Brown
[undisclosed location].


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