Documentary Photography

May 12th, 2013 – May 27th, 2013


Come join us on a photographic adventure to Ireland. Immerse yourself in Irish culture in the heart of the Irish-speaking Dingle Peninsula of County Kerry. National Geographic once described this region as “the most beautiful place on Earth.”



Our base is in the heart and soul of the Peninsula, Dingle Town - a thriving Irish fishing port teeming with restaurants, shops and lively pubs. Both instrumental music and song have a long tradition in the area, and Dingle is renowned among music-lovers, in fact, a variety of music can be heard any night of the week. What develops is a profound understanding of Celtic culture, as well as a greater appreciation of diverse societies, ritual and celebration in the modern world, and the stirring connections between the ages.

This opportunity will enable students to explore the culture, place and people using digital photography. The course is designed to help students develop the skills, discipline and insights necessary to create documentary productions. Focus is placed on making strong visual images and developing photo essays. Emphasis will be placed on the ‘process’ of creating documentary work. This will encompass everything from preparation, gathering information, equipment, shooting the pictures, the importance of editing and learning to think on your feet. There will be daily assignments, in addition to individual projects determined by the student. At the end of every day there will be a critique & discussion about the day’s work. As a class, the collective goal will be to create a comprehensive portrait of areas we visit.


You do not need to be a student at Sacred Heart University in order to participate.

For more information, please visit:

or call: Office of Study Abroad – (203) 396-8028



COST INFORMATION for Ireland in May 2013

Sacred Heart University will bill students the regular Sacred Heart University part-time tuition rate which currently is $1545 (for 3 credits). Sacred Heart University will also bill students $1530 for the remaining program fees, $250 for the study abroad fee, and $95 for the registration fee for a total $3420 per session. This includes:

  • 3 tuition credits
  • Holiday accommodations
  • Overnight excursion
  • Day field trips and tours
  • Group & extracurricular activities
  • Dinner on class days (Welcome dinner also provided)
  • HTH international insurance plan
  • Orientation: Program Handbook &orientation held at SHU and in Dingle

  • Transportation to and from airport in Ireland for those on group flight

  • On-site support

Notes: Students are responsible for costs associated with airfare, books, all breakfasts/lunches (dinner provided on class days only), and personal expenses. A group flight will be arranged, pending sufficient participants.


Students studying in the SHU in Ireland program are housed in modern, spacious, two or three bedroom holiday cottages in Dingle, which are within a short walking distance to the classroom building. These shared and furnished cottages include a kitchen (and supplies), dining room, living room and 2 or 2 1/2 baths, washer/dryer, comfortable leather couches and a flat-screen TV. Dinner is provided to the group on class days only. Students are responsible for the remaining meals—prepare an Irish delicacy by cooking in the cottage or try out a reasonably priced meal at the local pub!



Students must shoot digitally. Students will be required to bring all of their own camera equipment & a laptop with the appropriate software.

While the student is immersed in a new environment, he or she will first determine what and where their focus of interest lies. They will then seek out and follow the story, shooting & editing the experience into a cohesive whole. Our ultimate goal will be to create photographs that affect others? As individuals, photography can give us a strong and important voice. It can serve as a means in which we generate awareness and chronicle our history.

In addition, discussions will examine the business aspects of working in the photo world. This segment will focus on publishing; working with magazines and other media outlets; syndicating the work for worldwide distribution and the sales of stock photographs. Students will also be encouraged to create a portfolio that will help them to work within the field.

Morning Meeting/ Breakfast   
  - talk over the day’s goals
  - prepare for the day’s assignment
  - makesure all logistics, equipment, and travel details are clear

Morning into early afternoon
  - shooting of the day’s assignment

Late afternoon
  - back to base
  - moving the day’s images into computers
  - downloading, filing & creating digital presentation for evening critique
  - those individuals who have an afternoon shoot stay in the field
  - those individuals who have an evening shoot prepare to go back out into the field

  - critique & evaluations of days work
  - creation of work station Story-Board on main computer
  - digital files transfer to main computer—
  - set up in a linear manner (the story-board stays up the entire length of our stay) to show development of the documentary.
  - go over the details of the next day’s shoot.


We will refer to this story-board daily to help us see, build, edit and complete the project. The panel will serve to show us where our story gaps lie; what needs to be re-shot or re-thought; give us new ideas & direction as to where we need to go and what we need to explore. It allows us to see and evaluate our story line and determine how we need to focus. Click for .pdf.


Instructor's Bio

Richard Falco, President of Vision Project/Photographer/Filmmaker. For the past thirty years he has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, and journalist. He has had assignments on four continents in over thirty-five countries and has worked for many major magazines, including: Time, Newsweek, Geo, Life Magazine, New York Times, US News & World Report, to name a few. He is the author of four books, To Bear Witness — September 11, Medics: A Documentation of Paramedics in the Harlem Community, Witchcraft: Ancient Traditions Alive in Salem, Hunger and Rice in Asia. He is the director of the films, Crossroads: Rural Health Care In America and Holding Back The Surge.

Mr. Falco also has twenty-five years of teaching experience. He has taught and lectured at a number of universities and institutions; notably, The New School for Social Research, the State University of New York at Purchase College, New York Film Academy, the School of Visual Arts. He is presently a professor at Sacred Heart University for the Communication and Media Studies Department & the Graduate Program in Communications. He is also the director of all of Vision Project’s educational programming.