New York Film Academy
New York Film Academy Photography
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Eight-Week Photography Workshop

$ 5,800 (USD) *
Photos by Alexandra Wolf NYFA Photography Grad NYFA photographer guest speaker Lauren Greenfield Photos by Micah Foote NYFA Photography Grad


For students interested in immersing themselves in the fundamentals of photography, our eight-week full-time workshop provides aspiring photographers with the technical and aesthetic know-how to begin to master the discipline. Offered at the Academy’s New York City and Los Angeles campuses, students should expect to fully commit themselves to the craft in order to take singular, potent still images while learning to polish them using professional digital imaging software.

Students actively study the essential technical elements of exposure, digital image editing and organization techniques, studio and location lighting, and the aesthetics of composition. Students learn these aspects of photography as they shoot fine art, commercial, documentary, and fashion projects using their own digital cameras. The program concludes with each student completing a personal project that reflects the genre of photography in which they have the greatest interest.

Central to this workshop alongside the other programs offered by NYFA is the philosophy of learning by doing, through which students learn the craft of photography through hands-on instruction and continuous practical exercises. Every day of the workshop, students can expect to be actively shooting, editing, and assessing the images they take. The program is constructed to deliver a great deal of content in half a semester, and is a singular chance to completely immerse students in photography for eight weeks.

Students considering enrolling in the eight-week workshop do not need to possess any prior experience with photography. The workshop starts by covering the essentials of photography in order to ensure that each student is ultimately on the same level in terms of experience and knowledge, filling in the inevitable knowledge gaps for those with some prior experience.

Students can expect to learn the following skills upon successfully completing this workshop:

  • Being comfortable and adept at using digital SLR cameras, lenses and accessories with self-assured handling regarding the many facets of focus, exposure, and composition
  • Experience with professional-level studio and portable strobe lighting experience for commercial fashion, beauty, and portraiture assignments; fine art; and documentary styles
  • Investigative, shooting, and editing skills for documentary projects
  • A working knowledge of conceptual fine art photography
  • Working knowledge of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to process and refine digital RAW files, export, and organize a large image library through flagging, keywording, the use of filters and collections, retouching, color correction, and giclée (inkjet) printing
  • Understand iconic images culled from the history of photography by re-staging, reshooting and analying them
  • Understanding of the significance of cultural and historical context for the photographic image
  • Understanding of the numerous theories regarding the aesthetics of photography, and practical skills applying them to original projects

Course Description

  • Photo I Photo I is the central component of the curriculum, including lecture, demonstration, shooting assignments on location and in the studio, and critique. Students learn the mechanics of cameras, lenses and the components of exposure, even as proven principles of composition are taught and practiced. Students are taught to be aware of the unique characteristics that light can take: direct, diffused, reflected, tempered by atmosphere. They lay the foundation for mastery of the modern digital SLR, and enjoy the pleasures of digital capture (instant gratification!) while acquiring techniques to avoid its surprising pitfalls (shooting without pre-visualizing, expecting technology to automatically make images “good,” etc.). Every technique is practiced through individual assignments, which are critiqued by faculty and peers.
  • Imaging I This course is a thorough introduction to Adobe Lightroom as a RAW editor and indispensable library management tool, and a foundation in the use of Adobe Photoshop to create more complex images involving precise color and tonal correction, compositing, printing, and more. Bypassing the flashy effects that wow amateurs looking for one-click solutions, students learn professional digital darkroom techniques that give unprecedented color and tonal control over their images. Students build their digital workflow from RAW processing through non-destructive editing and final output for print and electronic distribution. This course includes lecture, demonstration and lab time for students to edit their own images with the assistance of expert faculty.
  • Vision & Style I Vision & Style is the class in which students put the skills acquired in other classes to use developing a personal body of work, as they become deeply familiar with what it means to conceive of and complete a photographic project. Students acquire critical thinking skills within the visual language of photography, and explore their personal interests as they conceptualize, execute, refine, and critique four projects: concept-driven fine art, documentary, commercial, and personal projects. As much about conceptual approach and intention as technique, students will begin to develop a personal, iconic visual style and specific area of interest, studying master bodies of work across all three genres as examples.

    Students will become familiar with principles of graphic design, composition, color, editing, sequencing, and presentation as they refine their bodies of work. Through writing, journaling, drawing, research, presentation, and photographic assignments, students will gain a level of self-awareness necessary to understand the most salient origins for their ideas, and start to conceive how their work might fit into the context of current practices and attitudes.
  • Ways of Seeing I Ways of Seeing brings the history of photography to life by immersing students in the intensive study, analysis, and re-creation of some of the most iconic images of master photographers in the history of the medium. Re-shooting world-class images firsthand using their techniques, aesthetics, and approaches equips students with a first-person knowledge of how iconic images were created, and why their impact has endured. Beyond tools and techniques, students are guided to analyze the cultural and societal impact of photography, the essential role of historical and societal context, and the evolution of the assumed veracity of photographs as “truth,” given the use of modern photographic manipulation with tools such as Photoshop. Students thus expand their own repertoire of methods to realize their own projects. Additionally, students are immersed in a particular photographer’s body of work through written projects and oral presentations.

    Discussions include composition, traditional and non-conventional framing, color theory, design, semiotics (signs and symbols), the effect of technological changes on photography, the use and limitations of photography as a documentary and personal record, and the surprisingly long history of using viewer assumptions to distort the truth.
  • Shooting Lab A unique, hands-on course in which students develop real-time photography skills by shooting on exciting locations with live feedback from a master photographer. Covering a wide range of genres along with specific aesthetic, logistical and technical challenges, students will practice the techniques they have learned from Photo I across a range of assignments of increasing complexity.
  • Gallery/Museum Tour Students are taken on a weekly guided tour of current gallery and museum exhibitions of photo-based work in some of the most thriving artistic hotspots in the world. They become familiar with current curatorial standards and practices, browse exhibition catalogues, and become acquainted with print prices and editioning as a key factor. They are also given essential opportunities to interact directly with exhibition curators and artists, and see firsthand the true finished product of the medium - the print - using a diverse array of substrates, sequencing and presentation ideologies, and mounting and framing techniques. Instructors and curators lecture and lead guided discussions about artistic practices and bodies of work both contemporary and throughout the history of the medium.

Dates & Tuition


Tuition: $5,800 (USD) +
Equipment + Lab Fee: $500(USD)

Student will incur additional, this varies depending how much of their work they choose to print, and the scale of their projects.

Location & Available Dates

For New York City:
Sep 8, 2014 - Nov 9, 2014
Jan 5, 2015 - Mar 7, 2015
Apr 6, 2015 - May 30, 2015
Jul 6, 2015 - Sep 6, 2015
Sep 1, 2015 - Nov 8, 2015

For Los Angeles:
Sep 8, 2014 - Nov 9, 2014
Jan 5, 2015 - Mar 7, 2015
Apr 6, 2015 - May 30, 2015
Jul 6, 2015 - Sep 6, 2015
Sep 1, 2015 - Nov 8, 2015

Please note:
All students are required to bring with them to the workshop a digital camera with manual exposure control.
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* All MFA, BFA, BA, MA, and AFA degree programs are offered only at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles campus.