Growing demand for visual storytelling skills has strengthened interest in photojournalism in the news industry and encouraged the School to train photojournalists for all media. Documentary photographer Ken Light directs the School's photojournalism program and curates the Reva and David Logan Gallery of Documentary Photography in North Gate Hall.
J210 News Photography and J213 Advanced Documentary Photography are taught every semester, along with a workshop-oriented class that gives students practical experience shooting and and composing photo essays. These courses are integrated with reporting and writing courses, allowing collaboration on reporting assignments and publications. In the advanced course, students gain experience working on an in-depth visual storytelling project, and focus on developing a personal style. The advanced class creates intensive in-depth documentary projects. Students also edit, design and publish the Center for Photography's annual student magazine, "realeyes."
"Studying photography at the J-School goes deeper than getting to know your way around a camera. We explored the role of documentary photography and its relevance in today's intensely competitive photo environment. We learned how to look after the business side too, including the costs of doing business, grants, copyright and most importantly, making contacts, which is critically important to a professional photographer. But making great photographs is also about passion. There is ample room at the J-School to exercise that creative drive—and not just in photo classes. Taking reporting classes as a photographer and learning to report and tell stories visually proved to be immensely valuable and fun."
—Mark Murrman, MJ 2004, freelance photojournalist
Students work in a digital Mac darkroom, where they can scan and print images and prepare their work for prepress, digital and online publications. The J-School also has an array of 35 mm camera lenses and medium format equipment.
Each year, students also have the opportunity to meet and work with master photographers. Sebastião Salgado, Don McCullin, Eugene Richards, Susan Meiselas, Paul Fusco, Catherine Leroy, Antonion Kratochvil and Marc Riboud have visited the J-School, conducted workshops and participated in public lectures and/or exhibited at our Center for Photography gallery.
The Center for Photography
The Center for Photography aims at highlighting the important role of journalistic photography in our culture. It has become a Bay Area destination for top photographers and aspiring photojournalists. Since it was created in 1996, the Center for Photography has offered hands-on photojournalism classes to train students in photojournalism and documentary photography; opened a first-class gallery to exhibit important photographic images by world-class photographers; hosted a series of public events that brought distinguished photojournalists such as Marc Riboud and Sebastião Salgado to Berkeley; and produced an annual publication to showcase the work of various photographers. The Susie Tompkins-Buell Foundation supports the center.