The Kalish

The Kalish Workshop is an inspirational and intense five-day experience in editing visual storytelling. It is designed to benefit anyone who touches photography and video with a narrative storyline for online and print. It is a hands-on, collaborative learning environment with daily in-depth discussions and exercises about the best practices to edit, produce and publish successful multimedia and interactive stories. Most faculty attend every session and are accessible to participants (AKA Kalish Kampers) the entire week, making the workshop unique and rewarding in a casual environment. Faculty includes Emmy and Pulitzer Prize winning editors: Brian Storm, Sue Morrow, Kenny Irby, Randall Greenwell and Danny Gawlowski. Additional leaders in visual storytelling also join us during the week.

We kick it old school in the world of new media. The Kalish embraces multimedia storytelling across platforms while staying grounded in the foundations of picture editing and photojournalism. Participants discuss and problem-solve tough ethical issues, how to select the best pictures, how to effectively sequence and help solve riddles for successful user generated content.

Priorities of the week. Our focus is how to establish narrative, select media mix (stills and/or video), post-production techniques and interactive storytelling in non-linear editing. A mix of lectures, hands-on exercises, critiques and group discussions create a stimulating learning experience. Participants will decide how to edit and present a story for various online platforms as well as how to present a complex story in print.

All sessions embrace smart, visual editing: what is visually compelling, when to use stills may work, when to use video, and how to use presentation to feature the strengths of each medium.

The end goal: The workshop engages participants to develop an exceptional eye for excellence in visual editing, its value, the process and its purpose in the workplaces of the participants. We help visual thinkers bring their knowledge to the next level and give them the leadership skills needed to change their newsrooms and our industry for the better.

Who should apply

Coming from all corners of the world with diverse backgrounds, Kalish participants have varied experience: newsroom leaders, staff photojournalists, video producers, independent photographers, radio journalsts, non-profit marketing specialists, designers, and editors who work directly with image sequencing, audio and video storytelling. Graduate students and educators also benefit.

This is not a workshop about the tools; this is a workshop about storytelling where content is Queen. All content is provided for the exercises.

It is advantageous for chosen participants to have working knowledge (the ability to do basic functions) in Adobe Premiere and InDesign, but a working knowledge of design and video editing is acceptable. Working knowledge of the tools will deepen the experience of the workshop. Participants who don't know the basics are strongly encouraged to do online training before attending.

MediaStorm will offer attending participants a discount online training, which can be found here:

The Facility

Rochester Institute of Technology, located in the Rochester suburb of South Henrietta – hosts the workshop in state-of-the-art computer labs in School of Photographic Arts' Gannett Hall. Free WiFi is available throughout the campus.

NOTE: Bring a raincoat as Rochester can be rainy in June.


On campus: Dorm rooms at the Global Village residential comples are arranged in five-person suites with individual bedrooms, shared living areas and shared bathrooms. Rates are around $50 per night, with a $20 charge for linens and towels. The suites are air-conditioned with free wi-fi access, kitchens, meeting areas and laundry facilities. You can find more information and photos on the Global Village site.

Off campus: Located just outside the RIT campus, the Radisson Rocester Airport Inn offers rooms for about $110/night. The hotel offers a shuttle to the airport, but expect a long, long walk to the workshop facilities. A rental car is recommended for anyone staying off campus.


There are diverse dining options across the RIT campus. Check out this dining facility map for more details.



RIT is located within 7 miles of the Rochester International Airport. If you are arriving by plane, you can take a taxi from the airport to the campus. The taxi fare is approximately $20. If you are arriving by bus or train, you should choose the destination of Rochester, New York and take a taxi from the train station or bus terminal to the campus. The ride will be about 20-30 minutes and the taxi fare will vary. There are rental cars available at both the airport and train station if you would rather rent a car.

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The History of the Kalish

Stan was a daring, innovative picture editor at the Milwaukee Journal from 1937 to 1950, when few papers had picture editors and it took guts and vision to achieve recognition. With the University of Missouri's Professor Clifton Edom, Stan wrote a book on picture editing that became the Bible of the picture editing community and was the only guide until recent years. Stan died in 1985 and his widow, Betty Kalish, chose to honor his memory with a contribution to the National Press Photographers Foundation, making this workshop financially possible.

John served as The Kalish director for the first eight years of the workshop. Lois oversaw operational details, both putting in countless hours. Through their insight and energy, The Kalish grew to become the premiere picture editing workshop in the country. John and Lois did it all without monetary compensation.

In 1997, the Ahlhausers felt it was time to turn over the management of the workshop by forming an advisory board. Its function is to develop curriculum that is current, innovative and relevant to the visual storyteller. This group provides direction, oversight and labor to assure the success of the Kalish from year-to-year. They are: Danny Gawlowski, Randy Greenwell, Kevin Martin, Geri Migielicz, Sue Morrow, John Rumbach, Brian Storm and Scott Sines.

All are passionate visual journalists who are widely recognized and serve without compensation. Past directors have been John Rumbach, Mary Jo Moss, J. Bruce Baumann, Scott Sines and Sue Morrow. Danny Gawlowski is the current director.

The workshop was held at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for 14 years and at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana for ten years. In 2015,The Kalish moved to state-of-the-art facilites at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Here, the workshop continues its excellence in visual storytelling, leadership and inspiration.





2019 workshop dates

JUNE 24 - 29

Scholarships available

Several scholarships for the 2019 workshop are available. Applicants who indicate a financial need in their application form will be considered.

Contact us

The hands-on education at the Kalish provided me with a ton of real-world tools I use every day to inform my visual editing decision-making. But more importantly, it taught me how to more effectively collaborate and communicate during the editing process, which has helped me be a better leader in the newsroom.


Multimedia Producer, Minnesota Public Radio

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