Documenting the Personal (Online)


Bryan Sleeper picks up a dead rabbit in the yard before leaving for work on Oct. 6, 2015.

In this four-day workshop we will discuss features that make a photograph intimate, or not, and then create new work with these ideas of intimacy as our guide. We’ll begin by looking at the work of particular photographers whose work debatably embodies or disputes intimacy, for instance, Larry Sultan, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Katy Grannan, and Doug DuBois. Students will identify and explore elements that engender or refute personal and intimate visual spaces. The first session of the workshop will include group critiques of existing student work. Following the critique, in an effort to create a deeper and more complex visual language, each student will be given a unique assignment designed to push the boundaries of his or her work. In the second session, students will share their new work with the class. All levels of experience are welcome. (8 hours/All Levels)

Please note: This course is offered in an online format and will not physically meet at CDS but will have regularly scheduled virtual sessions.

Sarah Stacke's personal work develops daily life stories about people living in under-resourced and narrowly represented communities created by intersections of history, culture, and geography. Interested in the effects of colonial-driven forced geographies, she often spends time with a community over the course of months or years. In 2012, Stacke received a master’s degree from Duke University tailored to analyze photographic representations of sub-Saharan Africa. She teaches at CDS and the International Center of Photography, and writes about photography for publications including National Geographic and Photo District News. Her work has taken her around the world, with an emphasis on South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and, within the U.S., North Carolina, New York, and Minnesota. She has worked with the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, STAT by Boston Globe Media, Al Jazeera, the Wall Street Journal, UN Women, Open Society Foundations, and International Rescue Committee. For more information, please visit

Additional Information:
The class will be conducted online. A late-model computer, fast internet connection, and built-in camera are recommended, though not required. Students with less than optimal hardware or internet connections are welcome to take the course, though it may be difficult to participate fully in virtual meetings.

Class will be held in four sessions: Monday and Tuesday, September 11–12, and Monday and Tuesday, September 25–26.


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