Pacific Digital Storytellers

Date

November 1 2021-January 31, 2022

Application deadline October 21
Duration
12 weeks
Class size
8
Scholarship eligibility
Pacific creatives from Aotearoa are invited to submit an expression of interest (see bottom of the page for details)
Tampa, Florida, USA, Oct. 31, 2005. ©Christopher Morris / VII

DESCRIPTION

VII Academy has partnered with Creative New Zealand to provide a program for eight Pasifika creatives from Aotearoa. Over a period of 12 weeks, this interdisciplinary Level 1 seminar will be led by VII photographer Christopher Morris, who will be supported by Pacific photographer Raymond Sagapolutele. Lectures will be complemented with a series of presentations by leading industry professionals.

During the seminar, you’ll explore how to develop a lasting career in visual story telling, including conceiving, researching and planning story ideas. You’ll be exposed to confronting ethical challenges as you navigate the moral maze of documenting the lives of others.

Problem-solving photo assignments will help you to unlock ways to work intuitively, intellectually and emotionally, so that your photography becomes more instinctive, powerful and subtle.

Expect a transformative experience, where your current way of working will be challenged and refined through a series of online group sessions and live webinar lectures.

SEQUENCE

Each week will commence with a lecture on a relevant concept in photojournalism and documentary practice. This lecture will be given by the tutor who has a high-level of experience in the topic being discussed.

After this lecture, the tutor will brief you on the weekly assignment that you will have to work on. The assignments will represent key subjects and approaches in narrative photojournalism and documentary photography.

During the week, you’ll work individually to produce photographs within weekly deadlines.

At the end of the week, during the weekly feedback tutorials, you will present your work for discussion with tutors and other students. Each group member will learn from the feedback for each student’s body of work. Everyone is expected to contribute to the discussion. You will also be encouraged to work in pairs or small groups outside of the feedback tutorials to edit and critique each other’s work.

The first weeks are tightly structured with regular assignments and feedback on your work. In the second half of the program, you will begin to shoot short photo essays of a few images, building up to a longer essay and then a final extended project to be photographed and submitted at the end of the program.

You will need to identify and research ideas for these short and longer projects that should be local to you and allow for repeated access through the program. Find subjects that really fascinate you and make sure that you can get access to. The more engrossing you find the subjects you photograph, the better your pictures will be.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

This seminar will develop your ability to work on short photo essays in an editorial context. It will help you to:

  • Respond professionally and creatively to photojournalistic briefs;
  • Shoot single documentary pictures and picture stories or series;
  • Edit your work;
  • Work to a deadline;
  • Professionally present yourself and your work to an editor;
  • Develop the social skills needed to get access to people at work and leisure and get permission to photograph them;
  • Understand the visual potential of ideas / situations you are researching.

ADAPTATIONS TO COVID-19

The tutor will adapt the program to the various COVID-19 lockdown situations that the participants are going through in their respective communities.

We have thought of various assignments and essays that can be developed in full confinement as well as in less rigid lockdown situations. Whatever the briefs, they will enable you to finish the seminar with the methodological and practical tools that we’ve promised to bring you.

Apply Now!

Pacific creatives are invited to submit an expression of interest by 5pm New Zealand Standard Time, Thursday, 21 October 2021 to Raymond Sagapolutele.

Educators

Christopher Morris

Raymond Sagapolutele

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