Monday October 1st


Lecture: Word + Image in Contemporary Photography and Design part 1

Homework due Wednesday October 3rd: Intro Presentation

Prepare a 3 minute presentation of your work. Since this is such a short amount of time, don’t feel the need to cover everything you’ve ever done. Instead, focus on showing us a few projects and telling us what you are interested in. You can show work of any medium. What are the themes or common threads in your own work? What questions does your work ask? What are your approaches and aesthetics? Use this assignment to practice crafting your own narrative and presenting yourself as an artist/maker/designer. Make your presentation with google slides and drop your presentation in this google drive folder.  

Reading Response*: In Plato’s Cave (from the book On Photography, published 1977) by Susan Sontag

*Respond to the following prompt in about 200 words, and place your response in this google drive folder. Write about one point of agreement, one point of contention, and one point of confusion from your interpretation of the essay.

If you have your own camera, prep it and bring it to class on Wednesday for an some in class exercises.

Wednesday October 3rd

Student Intro Presentations

Photography exercise: break into groups and take photos in response to the following prompt (work together but make sure that each person in the group takes a few of their own photos): Take a picture for a friend. Look for something they would find beautiful, tell them a joke, or remake an existing photo that has significance to them with whatever objects are situations are at hand. Try it again or move onto taking a photo with another specific person in mind. Send those photos to these friends later, if you so desire. (This prompt was adapted from Lucas Blalock’s prompt in The Photographer’s Playbook)

Homework due Monday October 8th (two assignments):

Artist Research Presentation

Prepare a 5 minute research presentation on an artist who works with word+image. Research the artist to learn about their work, their process, and any relevant biographical information. To prevent duplicates of the same artist, first claim your artist by listing them in this google doc. Make your presentation with google slides and drop your presentation in this google drive folder.

PHASE 0: Brainstorming*

To begin thinking about your project for this class, respond to this prompt by Adam Frelin from The Photographer’s Playbook. Think on it for a bit and then write in response to the prompt. After you do this, get out of your head and take photos (shooting in manual mode on a mirrorless camera or DSLR, not with your phone) in response to this additional prompt adapted from Gary Winograd.

  1. Photograph someone doing something to someone else
  2. Make a photograph with more than three people in the frame
  3. Approach and photograph a complete stranger

*Don’t forget to place your notes and photos in the cloud in a folder with your name a subfolder titled phase 0.


Monday October 8th

Artist Presentations

Lecture: Word + Image in Contemporary Photography and Design part 2

Homework due Wednesday October 10th: PHASE 1: Concept and Mood board

Your mood board must include text and images and clearly demonstrate your project concept, aesthetic, and design approach. This is also the first opportunity to work on your design layout, which you will keep consistent throughout the phases (with any adjustments and improvements along the way as needed). Use InDesign and export as a pdf and place it in the class cloud. 

Wednesday October 10th

Artists Presentations continued

Brainstorming Activity: Cig Harvey prompt from The Photographer’s Playbook

Working time and phase 1 reviews

Homework due Monday October 15th (two parts):

PHASE 2: Concept deconstruction through text
a) Refine your concept and articulate it by writing a 250-word summary.
b) Select 5 key sentences from those 250 words that best capture the content of your text.
c) Select 20 key words from those 5 key sentences that capture the essence of the text, from those, select 10, then 5 then, one.
Here is an example of the assignment from a previous quarter.

Phase 2 Photo and Community Exercise:

Take at least 30 images in response to this prompt by Greta Pratt from The Photographer’s Playbook. Select 5 and place them in the cloud. This can be related to your project concept or not, either way, it’s a great way to get yourself photographing from a new perspective.


Monday October 15th

Lecture: Images in Archives and Networks

In-class exercise: Fred Ritchin archives prompt from The Photographer’s Playbook

Homework due Wednesday October 17th: PHASE 3: Concept expansion
The five keywords you selected in phase 2 (edit and adjust them if needed, based on feedback and further development of concept) will be expanded upon based on the following criteria. Your presentation will consist of 20 pages (4 pages per word).
a) Semantic meanings: denotative & connotative. 1 letter-size sheet per word. (etymology, associative meanings, definitions, etc.)
b) Photographic expression. 1 letter-size sheet per word (make a grid of multiple images or have one image per page) these must be your own images, not references images. This is the perfect time to create test images/ rough draft photos. However, they must still be shot in manual mode with a mirrorless camera or a DSLR, not on your phone.
c) Graphic/typographic/diagrammatic expression. 1 letter-size sheet per word.
d) Material expression. 1 letter-size sheet per word (you also can bring in objects as appropriate).

Here are two examples of the assignment, one that is an especially good example of parts a and b, and another that is a particularly good example of parts c and d.

Wednesday October 17th

Demo: Essential Photoshop and organizing your images in lightroom

Working time and phase 3 review

Homework due Monday October 22nd: PHASE 4: Images part  1

Carry out a photo shoot related to your concept and research thus far. Make selections from your images and prepare to present 5-10 new images to the class. You must print the images and hang them by 9 AM on Monday for crit. Option to include text alongside your images if you are ready to begin combining word+image. 


Monday October 22nd

In class critique of Phase 4 images

Homework due Wednesday October 24th:

Go outside and do nothing for 5-15 minutes. Really, nothing! It’s harder than it sounds. Then walk around for 15-30 more minutes and think about your project so far. Think about the feedback you got in critique. You might come up with some new ideas and you’ll at the very least have gone for a nice walk. Finish walking and write down some notes. Bonus points for doing this somewhere pretty and relaxing.

Wednesday October 24th

Lecture: Typographic inspiration

In-class exercises: Alec Soth prompt and Robin Kelsey prompt from The Photographer’s Playbook

Homework due Monday, October 29th: Phase 5: Write to your images

HW: Write (or edit from previous phases) copy for each of your ten images from phase 4. Begin to think about the spatial, conceptual, and aesthetic relationships between your images and text. One should not simply illustrate the other, but create a third meaning not possible with only words or only images. Arrange your text, considering typography, with your images into a document.


Monday October 29th

Lecture: Poetics, performance, and narrative

Phase 5 peer reviews

Reading response* due October 31st:

The Photograph as Contemporary Art by Charlotte Cotton: Chapter 2: Once Upon a Time

* After reading the chapter, select two images discussed and discuss how the way narrative/storytelling is being utilized in each. Write 200-250 words, and place your response in this google drive folder.

**Bring in a few objects of personal significance to you to create for a group still life exercise during our lighting demo on Wednesday

Wednesday October 31st

Demo: Lighting (shoot room and using natural light)

In class work time

Homework due Monday November 5th: PHASE 6: Images part 2

Reflect on your research and feedback so far, and carry out another photoshoot. You could use this to re-shoot images from phase 4 or to add on to phase 4 if you like those images. Improve your use of lighting, composition, and color. Select 20 images and arrange them into a document as appropriate for your concept.

P.S. Happy Halloween!


Monday November 5th

Working time and phase 6 reviews

Homework due Wednesday, November 7th:

Read this prompt by Darius Himes from the Photographers Playbook and bring two books to class on Wednesday so that you can do the printing, arranging, and sequences exercise during  working time.


The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurt: Historical Synopsis and Chapter 1: The Grand Design

Poke around the amazing website

Wednesday November 7th

Working time with image sequences and book scale exercise 

Peer review

Homework due Wednesday November 14th: Phase 7: Sequence your content + organize new photos into book layout in InDesign

Go through all of your selected images and text and arrange it in sequence. Get a sense of how long your project will be. Think about the pacing of your project and the way that the viewer/reader will move through your project. If you are working narratively, this is the time to clearly define that narrative and its beginning, middle, and end. You will present this work in print format to the class for feedback. Print your sequenced book design that includes word + image and incorporates your phase six images. Hang or arrange your work as appropriate for crit by 9 AM on Wednesday.

Reading Response* Due November 14th:

Post-Digital Print: The Mutation of Publishing since 1894 by Alessandro Ludovico, Chapter 1

This selection from Fully Booked: Ink on Paper : Design & Concepts for New Publications by Anna Sinofzik

*Read the two texts above and reflect, in 200-250 words, the following question: What does it mean to be making books today? Drop your response in this folder.


Monday November 12th


Wednesday November 14th

Phase 7 crit

Homework due Monday November 19th: PHASE 8: Edit your content

Go through your sequenced content from phase 7 and edit it. Proof and revise your text. Replace/reshoot any images that are not working. Cut things out, add things in! Begin your book design and layout in this process. Begin to gather your materials for your book: paper and binding supplies.


Monday November 19th

Lecture/Demo: The book as Artform

Working time with phase 8 reviews and peer editing

Homework Due Wednesday November 21st PHASE 9: Book design

Refine your book layout and typography. You should now have a page by page layout in inDesign with all of your content in place. Continue to edit and refine your text and images.  Begin to think about what kind of binding you would like to use. 

Wednesday November 21st

Working time with phase 9 reviews

Homework Due Monday November 26th: Phase 10: Final book design and print drafts

Work to finalize your book structure and layout. Print with final photographs and final text in draft paper. Photos must be edited (color, white balance, cropping, etc. is done) and text must be proofed and in its final layout and treatment. Present one signature in the final paper(s) selection. Your images must be finalized by now in order to allow time to make professional prints for the final presentation. Having all of this done will allow you to focus on your final prints and binding in Week 9.


Monday November 26th

Demo: Book Binding

Working time with phase 10 reviews

Homework Due Wednesday November 28th: PHASE 11: Final print

Finish printing your finalized book design on your final paper and bring to class to finish binding

Wednesday November 28th

Working time with book binding support


Monday December 3rd


Wednesday December 5th