The Photojournalism Lab is run by NYU Gallatin Professor Lauren Walsh, who specializes in work that crosses between academic study and the industry of journalism. She has written and edited numerous books on photojournalistic and documentary work, including her most recent title, Through the Lens: The Pandemic and Black Lives Matter (2022), and has taught workshops globally with top photographers and practitioners of visual storytelling.
Run each year by Walsh and a guest co-teacher who is a renowned photographer, this hands-on lab is intended for students considering professional work in photojournalism and documentary photography and related fields.
The Lab runs for two weeks, with participants meeting daily to photograph and discuss their work. Students enjoy a mixture of lectures, portfolio reviews, critiques, photographing in the field, and critical discussion.
Participants are taught how to create powerful visual journalism—from conception of a photo project idea, through execution of the final product, to how to professionally pitch for distribution. Throughout the Lab, students develop a better eye for taking pictures, create a personal project that has social resonance, and learn how to think like an editor and edit down to the essential photos. All the while, students gain insight into crucial industry tips and techniques, as well as business practices, to help them move into the professional sphere. Importantly, the Lab includes critical discussion of what constitutes responsible, ethical documentary practice.
Previous Lab participants now work for global agencies like the Associated Press and have won photography awards.
Each year, the Lab is organized around a central theme. Prior Photojournalism Labs have covered the following topics:
Democracy in NYC
The City and the Outsider
The Ties that Bind
New York State of Mind
Fire and Ice
The 2022 focus is on Old Traditions & New Beginnings and will be co-taught by Walsh and National Geographic photographer Katie Orlinsky.