Online Workshop – Research Techniques, 18th April 2020


2 in stock

What is it?
Investigative journalism is a well-established and respected field, but by contrast ‘investigative photography’ or ‘investigative photojournalism’ is an idea which is only slowly gaining recognition. This workshop shows how investigative approaches might be usefully applied to photographic projects, drawing on my own use of these techniques in projects such as Shadows of the State and Metropole.

What does it cover?
This workshop will introduce participants to key ideas, techniques and tools useful for development of an investigative project, from idea generation, to research and planning, to identifying methods of visualising a potentially abstract story. It primarily draws on the field of open source research, an investigative methodology which emphasises using public data sources. It combines this with methods developed for planning investigative stories, and an overview of some of the risks involved and how to mitigate them. Please see below for a detailed outline of the day’s schedule.

Who should do it?
Anyone interested in starting to undertaken projects with an investigative angle, or who simply wants to broaden and develop their open source research skills.

How is it delivered?
The workshop is broken into four elements delivered online over the course of a day, with short breaks in between for participants to have a breather work independently on small activities on the topics covered in the previous element. The workshop is taught using a browser based video conferencing platform called Jitsi. You’ll be sent a link to join and will also have access to a recording of the workshop afterwards. I have extensive experience of online teaching and I am currently the acting course leader of the London College of Communications online MA in Documentary Photography.

What will I need?
You’ll need a computer or tablet with an internet connection and a microphone.  You’ll also need to come with an idea for a topic you would like to apply an investigative approach to.


  • 8.30 – Participants gather ready for a 9.00am start
  • 9.00 to 10.30 – Formulating and planning an investigative project
  • 10.30 to 11 – Break for first independent activity
  • 11.00 to 12.30 – Finding things online, search engines and social media
  • 12.30 to 13.30 – Break for second independent activity and lunch
  • 13.30 to 15.00 – Image analysis, mapping platforms and geolocation
  • 15.00 to 15.30 – Break for third independent activity
  • 15.30 to 17.00 Freedom of information, legal issues, discussion and conclusion
  • 17.00 – Workshop ends.

Testimonials from past participants:

‘It was a really informative day.  The form doesn’t give me enough space to say how helpful the experience was. … On top of all the great teaching, the day was friendly and fun. The food was excellent, which is very important to me.  Your room works exceptionally well and it is easy to see how much thought you have given to the layout of the space, with clever hidden gems like the magnetic walls.’
– Nicola, Visual Storytelling participant

‘There really wasn’t any weak point during the day. As a busy working photographer predominantly delivering picture stories to clients, I found exploring the ‘science’ (for lack of a better word) behind much of what I instinctively do was absolutely fascinating.’
– Marcus, Visual Storytelling participant

‘I found the visual storytelling techniques followed by practical exercises with pictures very useful. I also really appreciated the studio set up, your non-hierarchical relation with us and the down to earth environment of your house. ‘
– Visual Storytelling participant

The fine print:
I believe workshops should be small and intimate, and for that reason numbers are capped at 10 participants per workshop. However this small number also means I need at least 6 participants in order for them to run. In the unlikely event of a workshop having to be cancelled participants will have their full fee returned to them. Participants needing to cancel up to one week before the workshop will have their fee returned less a 20% charge. Cancellations made less than one week before the day of the workshop are non-refundable.

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