Southeast Europe: Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Seminar, Level 1


October 3-December 12, 2022

12 weeks
Class size
Scholarship eligibility
The VII Academy will accept 10 participants who are citizens and residents of the following countries: Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Moldova, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia - Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania.
Additional info

This program will be conducted in English

©Petra Slobodnjak


This Level 1 program, taught in English by Dr. Paul Lowe and Ziyah Gafic of VII Photo Agency, will be held online for 10 weeks and conclude with a 3-day in person meeting in December (exact dates TBD) at the VII Academy campus in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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 one-on-one sessions, group sessions, online live webinar lectures, and face-to-face workshop.


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

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 will work individually to produce photographs within weekly deadlines.

During the feedback tutorials, you will present your work for discussion with tutors and other students. Each group member will learn from the feedbacks for each student’s body of work. Everyone is expected to contribute to the discussion about each student’s work. 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 towards a longer essay 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.


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.


The final week will take place on the premises of VII Academy Sarajevo. Participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs for the face-to-face meeting in December, but VII Academy will recommend suitable shared accommodation.

Apply Now

Eligible applicants (see details at the top of the page) who wish to be considered for acceptance to this tuition-free program should complete the application form linked below. Please register for AwardForce, then select the name of this program.

Application deadline: September 4, 2022 at 2359 EST.


Dr. Paul Lowe

Ziyah Gafić