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Open-Access Curriculum

To be available by early 2022.

With a structure designed to guide students through a program of study, this free curriculum will include text and video-based instruction, excerpts from recorded interviews, samples of documentary work, and exercises covering many of the topics below. Stay tuned for an announcement when the curriculum becomes available!


  • Introduction to using a DSLR camera for still photography and video. 

  • Creative and aesthetic concepts relating to framing, perspective, composition, light, and color.

  • Conceptual issues about the documentary process including looking at examples of exceptional work drawn from the SDN website, and exploring how this work has helped us to better understand the human condition and/or to make social change. 

  • Practical guidance on project development, and working with subjects in the real world. 

  • Exploring ways to tell a story through documentary form.

  • Focused exercises to develop visual literacy.

  • Post-production skills and concepts including editing and sequencing.

  • Survey of ways to distribute work including submissions, social media platforms, and personal websites.



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