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New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Bachelor of Fine Arts
BFA photography program includes an HDSLR camera and one-week trip
Photo By NYFA Photography Chair Brian Dilg Photo By NYFA Photography Grad Scott Brownlee Photo By NYFA Photography Grad Kohichi Ogasahara Photo By NYFA Grad Alexandra Wolf

Overview of our BFA in Photography


Our three-year Bachelor's degree in photography is for highly motivated students who would like to enter an intensive hands-on professional course of study. By completing the Bachelor's degree in three-years, students:
  • Save one year of expenses.
  • Enter the field of their choice a year early.
The Academy makes this accelerated schedule possible by creating an extended academic year, allowing students to complete three full-length semesters in each calendar year. Students may also choose to complete the program in a traditional four-year time frame.

New York Film Academy BFA degree programs are offered at our Los Angeles and South Beach Campuses.

Qualified students have the option of completing course work at the New York Film Academy in New York City in a one-year non-degree program and then applying their course work to be accepted for advanced standing in the BFA Photography degree program.

The New York Film Academy Bachelor of Fine Arts Photography program provides candidates with a thorough grounding in the fields of commercial, fine art, and documentary photography.

Undergraduates in the photography degree program are immersed in all aspects of photographic study. Throughout their eight semesters enrolled at the school, students will take a series of academically rigorous classes that seek to challenge students creatively while giving them the skills they need to succeed in a competitive industry.

Students' creativity is carefully and constantly nurtured as they are encouraged to find and develop their own unique visual language and vocabulary through a process of investigation, critique, creative conceptualizing, self-reflection, and practice.

By the end of this course, students will be thoroughly equipped not only with the creative and technical skills to succeed in the industry — but also with the business skills necessary for a highly competitive marketplace. The advantage of the New York Film Academy’s commitment to a rounded education is that our photography BFA students will graduate with a broad knowledge base that will help them succeed in photography and complementary fields, giving them a wide choice of professional paths to pursue.

The BFA in Photography program integrates photography, general education and art and design history curricula to offer a well-rounded education. NYFA's instruction in photography represents a two-pronged system: teaching the creative side and business side of professional photography. As with our MFA and one-year photography programs, our photography school’s BFA program blends a curriculum designed for the student seeking to explore both sides of the photography discipline. Our photographers will be prepared to function in the professional workplace, whether in a creative photography environment or in a complementary photography field.

PHOTOGRAPHY BFA: LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of available and artificial light, and apply this to their images.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of Lightroom as an organizational tool and Photoshop as a non-destructive editing tool.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of lighting tools and digital and analog camera systems.
  • Students will demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of digital output systems.
  • Students will demonstrate an applied understanding of the visual language of photography and the ability to incorporate technical, formal, and conceptual competencies in their creative work.
  • Students will demonstrate working knowledge of industry standard business practices in commercial, fine art, and documentary disciplines.
  • Students will demonstrate professional skills and practices appropriate to their area of interest.
  • Students will demonstrate their knowledge of and relate their work to the technological, artistic, social, and cultural currents within the history of photography and contemporary photographic practice.
  • Students will identify their area of personal interest and then conceptualize and complete self-directed projects that culminate in a cohesive body of work for printed, online, or exhibition presentations.
  • Students will demonstrate their ability to produce photographic work that is consistent with high professional standards.
  • Students will articulate in verbal and written form the key technical, formal, and conceptual issues in their creative work and the work of others.

PHOTOGRAPHY BFA: SEMESTER ONE OBJECTIVES

In the first semester, students are introduced to core photography skills both in digital capture and lighting. As students learn to shoot and edit, they are exposed to the history and theories of photography. As they begin to analyze and critique images, students develop essential skills to conceptualize, compose, and develop their own visual language. Students are encouraged to think beyond convention and apply what they have learned to their creative work.

LEARNING GOALS
Throughout their time pursuing a photography bachelor’s of fine arts degree students will:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics of available light and make creative use of light modifiers, continuous lighting tools, camera positions, grip equipment, and portable electronic flash.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how available light translates to the captured image.
  • Demonstrate an applied understanding of the visual language of photography and the ability to incorporate technical, formal, and conceptual competencies in their creative work.
  • Evaluate the components of exposure by comparing and contrasting aperture ranges, shutter speeds, lenses, lighting tools, and filtration options on a wide variety of subjects.
  • Demonstrate the ability to pre-visualize an image and realize it through lighting and photographic techniques.
  • Investigate the role photographic materials, processes, and techniques play in the pursuit of photography as a creative medium.
  • Apply working knowledge of Lightroom as a file management, workflow processing, and resolution tool.
  • Thoroughly test the limits of over- and underexposure and RAW processing and their effects on the look of an image.
  • Apply working knowledge of Lightroom for basic output to inkjet printers.
  • Apply theories of aesthetics, semiotics, design, composition, and color to their images.
  • Explore key periods in the history of photography from the 19th century to 1960.
  • Examine master photographers' techniques, aesthetics, and approaches, and apply these to class assignments.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of technological, artistic, social, and cultural currents from the history of photography perspective from the 19th century to 1960.
  • Discuss the work of seminal visual artists from the 19th century to 1960.

PHOTOGRAPHY BFA: SEMESTER TWO OBJECTIVES

In the second semester, students will continue to challenge their photographic abilities, both artistically and technically. Students are instructed in the intricacies of available and artificial lighting while expanding their repertoire of techniques, as they work with professional strobe lighting and grip hardware. In post-production, students extend their knowledge of basic color and tone corrections to make accurate color prints with modern inkjet printers. Students are introduced to theories of aesthetics, semiotics design and color, which will enhance their visual vocabulary. Students explore contemporary movements in photography and visual arts and discuss the work of seminal artists, applying this knowledge to their assignments.

LEARNING GOALS
Throughout their time pursuing a photography bachelor’s of fine arts degree students will:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics of studio lighting (continuous and strobe) and mixed light sources, and make creative use of light modifiers, camera positions, and grip equipment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how artificial and mixed lighting translates to the captured image.
  • Apply the key skills needed to effectively control and manipulate artificial light and mixed light in a variety of situations.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the components of exposure and color temperature.
  • Compare and contrast a wide variety of lenses on a range of subjects.
  • Demonstrate the ability to pre-visualize an image and realize it through lighting and photographic techniques.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of global adjustments in Lightroom.
  • Apply working knowledge of basic color management to their images and output accurate prints to modern inkjet printers.
  • Apply complex theories of aesthetics, semiotics, design, composition, and color to their images.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of Lightroom as an organizational tool.
  • Examine master photographers' techniques, aesthetics, and approaches from 1960 to the present and apply these to class assignments.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of technological, artistic, social, and cultural currents from the history of photography.
  • Examine and discuss the work of seminal visual artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and be able to discuss the effect visual media has had on the way contemporary society reads images.
  • Articulate in verbal and written form the key technical, formal, and conceptual issues in their creative work and the work of others.

PHOTOGRAPHY BFA: SEMESTER THREE OBJECTIVES

In semester three, students will refine their pre-visualization skills with more complex shooting assignments. They delve into applying their knowledge of the characteristics of artificial and mixed lighting, effectively controlling their results. This semester, they are introduced to Photoshop, the predominant digital darkroom tool. Working with color management and adjustment layers, students produce accurate inkjet prints. Students interact with working professionals in a hands-on course, creating valuable networks and seeing first-hand the myriad professional paths jobs available to them on completion of the program.

LEARNING GOALS
Throughout their time pursuing a photography bachelor’s of fine arts degree students will:
  • Apply knowledge of the characteristics of studio lighting (continuous and strobe) and mixed light sources as well as make creative use of light modifiers, camera positions, and grip equipment on location.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how artificial light and mixed light translates to the captured image on location.
  • Apply the key skills needed to effectively control and manipulate artificial and mixed light sources in a variety of situations.
  • Demonstrate working knowledge of the components of exposure and color temperature.
  • Demonstrate the ability to pre-visualize an image and realize it through lighting and photographic techniques.
  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the visual language of photography and the ability to incorporate technical, formal, and conceptual competencies in their creative work.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of digital backs for medium and large format camera systems.
  • Demonstrate working knowledge of Photoshop as a digital darkroom tool.
  • Apply knowledge of color management in Photoshop to their images, and output accurate prints to inkjet printers.
  • Apply advanced theories of aesthetics, semiotics, design, composition, and color to their images.
  • Examine and interact with working professionals in the photography industry to create networks and gain information.
  • Examine master photographers' techniques, aesthetics, and approaches and apply these to original images.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of technological, artistic, social, and cultural currents from the history of photography.
  • Examine current trends in various facets of the industry as well as photographic printing methods.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and be able to analyze the effect visual media has on the way contemporary society reads images.
  • Identify key technical, formal, and conceptual issues in their creative work and the work of others, and articulate these in verbal and written form.

PHOTOGRAPHY BFA: SEMESTER FOUR OBJECTIVES

In semester four, students will advance their knowledge of camera systems by working almost exclusively with medium and large format photography. Students will be introduced to film, working with the Zone System to reinforce their knowledge of exposure and lighting. They will consolidate their proficiency by scanning and processing their images using Photoshop, and then output to large format black and white inkjet prints. During this semester, photography BFA students are introduced to the video capabilities of DSLR, where they will become cinematographers, directors, producers, and editors on three film projects. They also further their analytical skills during class discussions and research assignments by looking at key histories and theories underpinning the cultural, historical, and social contexts in which photographs are produced and distributed.

LEARNING GOALS
Throughout their time pursuing a photography bachelor’s of fine arts degree students will:
  • Apply theories of lighting using medium and large format cameras and film.
  • Apply knowledge of the components of exposure to black and white film.
  • Demonstrate working knowledge of the Zone System for exposure.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of in-camera filtration.
  • Examine the limits of over and underexposure using black and white film.
  • Demonstrate the ability to pre-visualize an image and realize it through lighting and photographic techniques.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of film scanners for medium and large format black and white film and prints.
  • Apply advanced knowledge of Photoshop to process images for digital printing.
  • Apply knowledge of the Zone System to analyze and evaluate images.
  • Produce a portfolio of digital prints using inkjet printers.
  • Demonstrate working knowledge of the DSLR for video.
  • Produce one mise-en-scene film, one sync sound film, and one stop motion/time-lapse film project.
  • Apply knowledge of core skills in cinematography, continuous light sources, directing, screenwriting, location sound recording, and directing actors to their projects.
  • Demonstrate working knowledge of Adobe Premier Pro for non-linear editing.
  • Examine master photographers' techniques, aesthetics, and approaches, and apply these to their images.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and discuss key histories and theories underpinning the cultural, historical, and social contexts in how photographs are produced and distributed.
  • Examine current trends and key technical, formal, and conceptual issues in photography, and articulate these in verbal and written form.
  • Demonstrate the critical thinking skills necessary to interpret images.
  • Demonstrate discipline and methodology for submitting quality written material on deadline.

PHOTOGRAPHY BFA: SEMESTER FIVE OBJECTIVES

During semester five, BFA photography students refine the conceptual and practical skills they have developed and embark on a series of self-assigned projects. In digital imaging, they experiment with an array of blending modes and break their images down to components, allowing them even greater creative control. Students fine-tune their printing skills and are given the opportunity to use alternative digital printing processes. This semester introduces electives, enabling students to begin directing their studies in their chosen genre.

LEARNING GOALS
Throughout their time pursuing a photography bachelor’s of fine arts degree students will:
  • Demonstrate the critical thinking skills necessary to interpret images.
  • Demonstrate the ability to pre-visualize an image and realize it through lighting and photographic techniques.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the characteristics of available and artificial light and apply these to their images.
  • Conceptualize a series of shooting assignments in the genre of their choice and produce a body of work consistent with high professional standards.
  • Examine master photographers' techniques, aesthetics, and approaches, and apply these to original images.
  • Examine current trends in photography and apply this information to their concepts.
  • Demonstrate mastery of Lightroom as an organizational tool and Photoshop as a non-destructive editing tool.
  • Apply advanced Photoshop skills in recognizing and breaking down images into their individual elements.
  • Examine alternative digital processes for printing.
  • Produce a body of digitally printed work.
  • Apply complex theories of aesthetics, semiotics, design, composition, and color to their images.

PHOTOGRAPHY BFA: SEMESTER SIX OBJECTIVES

In this semester, BFA photography students apply their working knowledge of advanced lighting and digital imaging to their projects. Students are provided with a constructive forum in which they are encouraged to develop their professional objectives by taking stock of their current skill set. Within a mentored environment, students are encouraged to become more independent in their work methods. Students must complete two out of seven electives, which complement their core courses and broaden their perspectives.

LEARNING GOALS
Throughout their time pursuing a photography bachelor’s of fine art degree students will:
  • Apply working knowledge of advanced lighting and digital imaging to their projects.
  • Examine master photographers' techniques, aesthetics and approaches and apply these to their images.
  • Demonstrate the critical thinking skills necessary to interpret images.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of Photoshop as a non-destructive editing tool.
  • Apply advanced Photoshop and Lightroom skills to their images.
  • Apply advanced theories of aesthetics, semiotics, design, composition, and color to their images.
  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the visual language of photography and the ability to incorporate technical, formal, and conceptual competencies in their creative work.

PHOTOGRAPHY BFA: SEMESTER SEVEN OBJECTIVES

In this semester, students begin to synthesize their course work to date and position their thesis efforts for the final two semesters of the photography BFA program. Students investigate the business of professional photography and examine self-promotion strategies and essential business practices. Additionally, students will work on branding their business identity and constructing a business plan. They are guided through the initial portfolio development process and examine current trends in portfolio presentations in all areas of the industry. Students will sharpen their critical thinking abilities as they explore the way images are read, both figuratively and literally. Electives this semester further consolidate students' direction.

LEARNING GOALS
Throughout their time pursuing a photography bachelor’s of fine art degree students will:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current business practices in the professional photography industry.
  • Apply knowledge of photography business practices to their assignments.
  • Construct a working business plan.
  • Develop a marketing strategy for self-promotion.
  • Identify and apply best business practices for their chosen genre.
  • Conceptualize and implement portfolio objectives for a body of work.
  • Examine current trends in photo bookmaking, online portfolio presentation, and traditional/fine art portfolio presentations, and apply these to final output.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the professional photography industry and an understanding of how to promote themselves within it.
  • Demonstrate advanced critical thinking skills necessary to interpret images.
  • Examine master photographers' techniques, aesthetics, and approaches, and apply these to original images.
  • Examine and discuss current trends in photography.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills in evaluating a diverse range of historical and contemporary artworks.
  • Demonstrate the ability to produce photographic work consistent with high professional standards.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of technological, artistic, social, and cultural currents from the history of photography and contemporary photographic practice, and be able to relate their work to this history and practice.
  • Identify an area of personal interest and pursue self-directed projects that culminate in a cohesive body of work.

PHOTOGRAPHY BFA: SEMESTER EIGHT OBJECTIVES

During the final semester, photography BFA students focus primarily on their thesis projects in the genre of their choice, beginning with a clearly stated objective. Consolidating their work from previous semesters, students will demonstrate advanced technical skills, creative vision, and personal aesthetic in the production of their final portfolio and body of work for the thesis exhibition. Peer and instructor critiques help guide them through these steps. Final electives this semester enable comprehensive and solid culmination of each students' chosen field.

The BFA photography program culminates in a final portfolio presentation and group exhibition which invited peers and industry professionals attend. This event is an opportunity for students to exhibit their best work and to develop their professional network.

LEARNING GOALS
Throughout their time pursuing a photography bachelor’s of fine art degree students will:
  • Apply advanced conceptual skills to produce a professionally executed body of work.
  • Examine current trends in photo bookmaking, online portfolio presentation, and traditional/fine art portfolio presentations, and apply these to final output.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the professional photography industry and an understanding of how to market themselves within it.
  • Demonstrate advanced critical thinking skills necessary to interpret images.
  • Demonstrate advanced technical skills, creative vision, and personal aesthetic in their final portfolio.
  • Demonstrate advanced technical controls in digital output.
  • Apply advanced knowledge of Photoshop and Lightroom for image processing, file organization, and digital output.
  • Apply complex theories of aesthetics, semiotics, design, composition, and color to their images.
  • Analyze and discuss the ideology behind their work.
  • Conceptualize and produce a body of work of high professional standard for printed, online, or exhibition presentations.
  • Write a clearly stated thesis objective.
  • Demonstrate their knowledge of contemporary exhibition protocols through the planning and designing of their final thesis exhibition, including the sequencing of images and mounting, framing, and hanging techniques.


Course Description (*Electives)

  • Introduction to Lighting During this course, students will develop and apply the key skills needed to effectively control and manipulate available light in a variety of situations.

    Consolidating these skills further, students have the opportunity to demonstrate how their understanding of available light translates to the captured image. This course also includes a hands-on component introducing students to the basics of continuous lighting, grip equipment and portable electronic flash.
  • Photo Foundations I From the tools, techniques and aesthetics of digital photography to using Lightroom as an organizational tool, this course lays the critical thinking skills and practical foundations which enable students to explore photography as a visual language.

    Across a series of lectures, workshops and assignments, students will investigate the role photographic materials, processes and techniques all play in the pursuit of photography as a creative medium. This course includes an introduction to the basics of digital capture and digital imaging exposure, along with the core principles, language and tools of electronic media. Lightroom essentials include file management, workflow processing and resolution.
  • History & Aesthetics of Photography I Students study, analyze and critique the work of master photographers from the birth of photography in the 19th century right up until 1960.

    In class, students will investigate the ways in which seminal photographers of this era held a mirror up to society, allowing us to see the technological, artistic, social and cultural currents of life through the lens. Examining master photographers' techniques, aesthetics and approaches segues into students' individual shooting and research projects.
  • Intermediate Lighting A hands-on course which aims to extend the core skills students have developed during ‘Introduction to Lighting' in Semester I.

    Focusing on studio lighting, this course allows students plenty of hands-on class time to master the basics of the medium. To consolidate their knowledge, students will be encouraged to further explore and experiment with increasingly more sophisticated lighting techniques including mixing light sources to achieve different moods and effects.
  • Photo Foundations II During this course students have the opportunity to extend their skills in Lightroom, including making global adjustments to their images whilst experimenting with digital printing techniques.

    Students will explore the breadth of digital color concepts technologies and methodologies including: color perception, color models, color gamut, digital color correction and color management as well as gain a working knowledge of digital printing techniques.
  • History & Aesthetics of Photography II This course resumes the history of photography from 1960 onwards, investigating cultural, historical and ideological aspects of this era's most enduring and penetrating images.

    During class, students will trace the development of analog and digital photography throughout the rise and dominance of the electronic media. Discussions will focus on how these media permeate every aspect of mainstream consciousness and in turn, influence the way contemporary society reads images.
  • Advanced Lighting Having mastered the basics of digital capture and mixed source lighting in Semesters 1 and 2, students will experiment with location lighting and practice troubleshooting strategies to solve a range of specific lighting challenges.

    This course is designed to develop an understanding of and ability to control various qualities of light in any environment. Students study a range of location-lighting situations to understand limitations, advantages and disadvantages of different lighting environments and methods.
  • Capture to Print I Investigating the current practices and concepts from camera to print is an essential component of this course.

    Using Photoshop as their predominant digital darkroom tool, students will begin to experiment with non-destructive image processing as well as workflow platforms, applications, hardware and general practices employed to control and manage digital image files. Class will provide many opportunities to practice working with adjustment layers, manipulating the basic density, contrast and color of a digital image as well as learn the basics of digital printing using Photoshop.

  • Concepts in Photography A practical course which exposes students to all the permutations of professional photography.

    During this course, students will interact with working professional photographers, art directors and photo editors from a diverse range of industries and backgrounds. Through this exposure, students are better informed about the options open to them at graduation. Modules include online multimedia, books / self-publishing, magazines, periodicals, science-based photography, advertising and art venues. Course includes guest lecturers and field trips.
  • Applied Photography Practices I An immersive introduction to medium and large format black and white film techniques allowing students to apply acquired theories of light in a controlled studio environment.

    During a series of in-class sessions, students will begin experimenting with medium and large format camera techniques, using black and white film. This will provide many opportunities for students to practice and perfect the lighting skills they have learnt in the first three semesters.
  • Capture to Print II In this course, students further develop their digital imaging skills. However, this semester, there is a stronger focus on scanning film and using Photoshop to process the images.

    In conjunction with Applied Photography Practices I, students will fine-tune their printing abilities as they go about scanning the film they shoot and explore their output options.
  • The Moving Image I A practical course introducing students to the craft of the moving image.

    Today's photographers are expected to be equally as skilled at using video as they are the moving image. This course offers students a solid introduction to time-based media, allowing them to practice core skills in cinematography, using continuous light sources, directing, screenwriting, location sound recording, directing actors, producing, and non-linear editing. Working with the extensive video capabilities of their cameras: the Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800E, students will be invited to create two film projects each encompassing all aspects of the production process.
  • Processes & Cultures of Photography When students think analytically about the images they make, they add depth and context to their work.

    This semester, students will be introduced to the key histories and theories underpinning the cultural, historical and social contexts in which photographs are produced and distributed. Using these theories as a starting point, students will have the opportunity to develop and sharpen their analytical thinking abilities during a series of in-depth class discussions and research assignments.
  • Applied Photography Practices II Refining the conceptual and practical skills they have acquired throughout the past four semesters, students will embark on a series of shooting assignments in studio and/or on location.

    An integral part of this class is the conceptualizing process where students receive valuable direction and feedback via a series of in-class critiquing sessions. This is followed by guided shooting sessions, where students have the opportunity to shoot in the style and genre that interests them most.
  • Capture to Print III In this digital output course, students extend their existing Photoshop skills and begin to recognize the individual elements that comprise an image. Breaking the image down into its component parts and experimenting with an array of blending modes, allows students greater creative control over their work. Using the concept-driven projects they are working on in Applied Photography Practices II, this class provides students with the opportunity to experiment with alternative digital processes and fine-tune their printing skills along the way.
  • Intermediate Imaging I In this digital output course, students extend their existing Photoshop skills and begin to recognize the individual elements that comprise an image.

    Breaking the image down into its component parts and experimenting with an array of blending modes, allows students greater creative control over their work. Using the concept-driven projects they are working on in Applied Photography Practices II, this class provides students with the opportunity to experiment with alternative digital processes and fine-tune their printing skills along the way.
  • Applied Photography Practices III A core class for Semester 6, Applied Photography Practices III provides students with a constructive forum in which they are encouraged to take stock of their current skill set and further develop their professional objectives. These objectives can be met in a number of ways.

    This class will involve deep self-reflection, consultation and feedback with lecturers, peer feedback and the opportunity to shoot individual projects and fine-tune technical skills where necessary. The goal of this class is for students to become more independent in their learning within a mentored, supportive environment, giving them greater ownership over their own projects and future careers.
  • Intermediate Imaging II Students refine their Photoshop and Lightroom skills further through mentored instruction. As they gain proficiency in digital inkjet printing, they have the opportunity to complete printed work for other classes this semester.
  • Business Practices for Photographers This course prepares students for entering the business of Professional Photography.

    Portfolio development, self-promotion strategies and essential business practices are emphasized in students' fields of interest. Students will work on branding their own business identity and constructing a business plan.
  • Portfolio Development I This course guides students through the initial portfolio development process, outlining principles for targeting a market-ready portfolio to their chosen area of the photographic industry.

    Using the appropriate terminology, students will clearly state their portfolio objectives. The course also covers current trends in photo bookmaking, online folio presentation, traditional / fine art portfolio presentation and contemporary printing practices.
  • Theory & Criticism: Contemporary Photography Evaluating a diverse range of historical and contemporary artworks and their accompanying critiques, students will begin to examine the ways in which we read images, both literally and figuratively.

    During in-depth class discussions, students will sharpen their critical thinking abilities as the class explores how and why certain images are capable of eliciting strong reactions or even altering viewer perceptions. The analysis extends to the study of photography as a whole.
  • Portfolio Development II A student's portfolio consolidates the use of the photographic image as a means of expression and communication, demonstrating technical ability, creative vision and personal aesthetic brought together in a cohesive body of work.

    Through a process of self-reflection, peer review and lecturer feedback, students will fine-tune their portfolios to the point where they are ready for presentation to the professional sector in their chosen area of the industry.
  • Final Project In conjunction with Senior Thesis, students will produce a body of creative work for their graduate group exhibition.

    Students prepare their work for exhibition in the genre of their choice. Work is reviewed via critical analysis, peer feedback and lecturer/student consultation.

  • Senior Thesis Assisted by weekly writing workshops and critique sessions, students will develop, execute and complete their own thesis projects, culminating in a graduate group exhibition.

    Students begin with a clearly-stated thesis objective. Through peer and instructor feedback, weekly critiques, an artist's statement, editing sessions, planning and designing their exhibition, sequencing images, mounting / framing / hanging techniques and the installation itself, they will refine their body of creative work until it matches their objective.

  • Imaging Outputs Students explore the advanced technical controls of printing workflows for digital imaging with a view to outputting images for their final body of creative work.
  • View Camera* A hands-on introduction to traditional 4 x 5 view camera technology and aesthetics which also covers a number of image-making techniques, studio applications and printing.

    During this elective, students gain the necessary experience to employ and control the unique drawing capabilities provided by the view camera. Class time allows for practice using the view camera tilt, swing, shift, rise and fall movements to control focus, perspective and image shape. Students will also learn advanced exposure and traditional black and white printing techniques.
  • Photography as Fine Art I* An introduction to Photography as Fine Art. This course allows students a more in-depth exploration of the contemporary visual artists who influence them most and asks them to question how and why this work is influencing their burgeoning style.

    Through the modernist and post modernist lens, students explore photography as a conceptual, social and aesthetic tool. In doing so, students will expand their own awareness of contemporary art and apply this knowledge to their own work.
  • Advertising Photography* The focus of this course is photographic illustration for advertising. Students are invited to analyze, then through their own work, apply professional advertising studio practices.

    In response to a client ‘brief', students will create their own projects in an advertising studio context using advanced applications of medium and large format cameras, digital capture and analog film. The expectation is that students will meet (and exceed) their client's expectations. Typography and graphic design are also covered in this course.
  • Photojournalism/Documentary I* An introduction to the history, theory, political influences and trends of past and contemporary artists working in the Documentary Photography field. Students use their theoretical study as a basis and preparation for their own project.

    This elective includes weekly critiques of peer student documentary work including journals of self-reflection and process-analysis. The aim is to identify and more importantly, critique any ideological issues which arise so the next generation of Documentary Photographers and Photojournalists is armed with the skills to challenge and develop this unique narrative even further.
  • Alternative Process* In this course, students will explore alternative silver processes including lith printing, chromoskedasic and liquid light.

    Students are encouraged to explore the myriad creative uses of a variety of processing and printing techniques as a way to expand their photographic vocabulary and personal work.
  • The Moving Image II* This course gives students the opportunity to consolidate and master their filmmaking skills via two more complex multimedia projects.

    Moving beyond multimedia and montage, students will be required to conceptualize, write, direct, shoot and edit two major sync sound narrative or documentary projects.
  • Portraiture* Photographing people is as challenging as it is rewarding. During this course, students practice a range of portraiture techniques – from shooting the subject though to retouching and printing.

    Students will experiment with ways of posing, styling and using props in order to control and execute their desired effect. As projects increase in complexity, artistic and technical principles will be applied to a wider variety of subjects and situations. Class assignments may include classic, contemporary and pictorial styles for both studio and environmental portraiture.
  • Editorial* Across a series of realistic and challenging assignments, students become immersed in the world of editorial photography to gain experience of working for modern-day publications.

    Through the execution of simple portraits (in studio and on location) to elaborate conceptual stories, students will explore a wide range of historical and contemporary editorial work. Class discussions will focus on the key practical skills involved in making the images studied as well as how this work inspires students' own future projects. As they plan their own projects, students will consider their own artistic vision and style whilst being expected to approach their editorial assignment professionally. This involves: ensuring they have a clear brief from their client, establishing good relationships with photo editors, art directors and writers, developing concepts and devising a workable production schedule.
  • Advanced Imaging* A student-motivated class which supports the core learning for this semester. Students will use this class time to consolidate and where necessary, fine-tune their knowledge and skill sets via the creative work they are doing in their chosen electives this semester.
  • Advanced View Camera* This course is an expansion of View Camera I and gives students the opportunity to produce a cohesive body of work either in studio or on location.

    Students will look at current and past trends in large format photography and will solidify their knowledge of view camera techniques by working on a body of work in a chosen genre.
  • Multimedia Photo Essay* A project-based class which introduces students to the core techniques necessary for producing narrative picture stories for multimedia online presentations.

    After analyzing a range of standout photo essays and examining the techniques used to create them, students will research, plan, photograph and edit their own stories. In addition to incorporating audio, video and still images into their projects, they will be expected to incorporate a variety of classic photo essay elements including: opening pictures, transitions, point pictures, closers, expressive camera angles and lighting demonstrating their relevance in a modern multi-media project.
  • Commercial Photography* Students analyze and practice a variety of image-driven assignments with the objective of developing a strong body of commercial work suitable for the current marketplace.

    Practicing the technical skills they have gained in previous semesters, students will begin to apply this knowledge to the more specialized field of Commercial Photography. Class time is also devoted to current business practices in this field.
  • Photography as Fine Art II* Students conceptualize and make images with a strong social and aesthetic focus. The overall goal is to develop a cohesive Fine Art folio.

    This course makes use of students' practical and analytical skills, whilst honing their aesthetic sensibilities, as they develop their body of Fine Art images through a process of weekly critique sessions, mentoring, peer feedback, self reflection and editing.
  • Photojournalism/Documentary II* Students conceptualize and execute their own documentary-style photographic essay and in doing so, create their own political or social narrative. The objective is to produce a cohesive Photojournalistic piece.

    Students will be expected to practice and challenge their technical skills as well as analyze and discuss the ideology behind their body of work. Weekly critiques and self-reflection are an integral part of the development process.

Dates & Tuition

Fees Per Semester

Tuition: $13,835 (USD) +
Equipment + Lab Fee: $543 (USD)


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


Location & Available Dates

For Los Angeles:
January 2017 - September 2019
September 2017 - May 2020
January 2018 - September 2020
September 2018 - May 2021

For South Beach Florida:
September 2017 - May 2020
January 2018 - September 2020
September 2018 - May 2021



Please note: Dates and Tuition are subject to change

Faculty

Michele Kirk Michele Kirk
Chair of Photography

Michele Kirk studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, earning a BFA in Illustration and a minor in Photography and Art History. She later earned an MFA in Advertising, with a minor in Design and Photography from the Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA. Michele enjoyed a very successful career in advertising, working with clients such as Macy’s, Intuit, Liquid Agency, J. Walter Thompson, Goodby, BC&A, and Whizbang.

Michele's success in advertising led to a gratifying career as an educator and administrator at several prestigious art colleges throughout California.

Kean O’Brien Kean O’Brien
Associate Chair of Photography
Theory & Criticism, Thesis Project, Ways of Seeing III, Historical and Critical Perspectives II


Kean O'Brien is an educator, artist, and community organizer living and working in Los Angeles. He teaches Photography and Media, holding an MFA degree from the California Institute of Arts and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. O’Brien has served on the College Art Association Media Panels, is published in ISSUES #1 and #2, the International Performance Almanac for 2013 and 2014, and Wild Gender in 2014. He has exhibited at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archive, Waterloo Arts in Cleveland, Barnsdall Art Center in Hollywood, REDCAT in Los Angeles, SRISA Gallery in Italy, and has been awarded curatorial grants from the City of West Hollywood Arts Council, Ronald Feldman Gallery NYC, and Cal Arts.

Johanna Breiding Johanna Breiding
Editorial, Advanced Film Photography, The Critical Eye

Johanna Breiding’s practice stems from photography, considering the medium’s history, its representational role, and limits. Expanding to video and installation, Breiding locates her work within the intersection of analog and digital technologies, the construction of gender and cultural identity, and a critique of heteronormative ideologies within the personal and social space. Recent projects address a range of topics, including the death of analog photography via a small town, Keeler in Owens Valley, CA; the art historical canon of Land Art through portraiture and landscape photography; and the notion of hyperobjects and the (Post¬) Anthropocene. Breiding holds an MFA from the California Institute of Arts in Photography and Media. She is based in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and originally from Switzerland.

Billie Jo Carvello Billie Jo Carvello
Intermediate Imaging, Imaging Essentials

Van Ditthavong Van Ditthavong
Capture to Print II, Imaging Output, Imaging III

Van Ditthavong is an award winning photographer and filmmaker. His short films have been screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, The Independent Filmmakers Showcase, The Atlanta Shortsfest and The Pasadena International Film Festival. His photography work has been featured in Guitar World, Men's Health, Psychology Today, American Way, Smart Money, AARP Bulletin, Spirit, Stern Magazine, Orange Coast and Texas Monthly.

Paul Emberger Paul Emberger
Photo Foundations I, Photo Foundations II

Paul Emberger is a travel and fine art photographer. He’s been freelancing since 1997 and has more than 1000 publishing credits to date. His fine art is collected publicly and privately in the US and abroad.

Andy Furnevel Andy Furnevel
Shooting Practicum, Advanced View Camera, Portfolio Development, Advanced Imaging

Freelance photographer - clients include: Virgin Entertainment, FIDM, Nikki Six, James Michael, Scott Kay, Alexander Lozov. Andy has worked as an art director, retoucher, digital artist, photo editor, web developer and Photoshop/Lightroom tutor.
David Jakle David Jakle
Applied Photography I, Photgraphy II, Advanced Lighting

David is a celebrity and fashion photographer who shoots for many editorial and advertising clients nationally. Published two celebrity portrait books that have raised over a half million dollars for the Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure."

Linda Lewis Linda Lewis
Photography I, Introduction to Lighting

BA Studio Art, Cal State, Fullerton. Faculty member at Chaffey Community College. Instructor, Julia Dean Workshops and commercial photographer for over 15 years.
Lilly McElroy Lilly McElroy
Alternative Processes, Capture to Print I, Historical & Critical Perspectives I

Lilly received her MFA in Studio Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006 and her BFA in Photography from the University of Arizona in 2004. She was a participant at Skowhegan, Maine in 2006 and a 2008/09 Winter Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cape Cod. Lilly’s work has been shown worldwide, including at TR1 in Finland, Southern Exposure Gallery in San Francisco, and Air Gallery in NYC.

Lilly lives in Los Angeles where she makes work about her complex relationship with the American West and what it means to be an American in an era of diminished expectations.

Mark McKnight Mark McKnight
Photojournalism, Photography Practicum

Mark McKnight is an artist based in Los Angeles whose work has been exhibited and published throughout the United States and in Europe. In 2009 he traveled to Finland on a Fulbright Scholarship. He earned his BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2007, and his MFA at University of California, Riverside in 2015. His work was recently included in The Surface of Color, at The Pit, Glendale, California.

Kathleen Mclaughlin Kathleen Mclaughlin
Ways of Seeing II, III and IV, History and Aesthetics of Photography II

MFA, Virginia Commonwealth University. Recipient of the Fulbright Senior Scholarship, IREX IARO Grant (NEH), and a Houston Center for Photography Fellowship. Her images have appeared in PDN, LensWork, Rangefinder, B&W Magazine, and The Times Saturday Magazine (UK) and permanent collections at MOPA San Diego, Western Virginia Museum of Art, and the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest.

Sonya Naumann Sonya Naumann
Digital Printing Methodologies, Imaging II, Advanced imaging II

Sonya Naumann is a visual artist working in photography and video as a means of investigating the collective process of individual identity constructs using the qualitative research method of artistic autoethnography. She was the 2009 Bodine Fellow at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History where she received her MFA, Cum Laude, and went on to serve as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Photography Department and the Department of Teaching and Learning. Her work on The Thousand Dollar Dress Project and The Dunce Series have been exhibited and published in various spaces including The Center For Fine Art Photography, University of Nevada, New Orleans Photo Alliance, Fraction Magazine, Bust Magazine, Your Assignment: Photography, and The American Scholar Journal.

Jennifer Rosenstein Jennifer Rosenstein
Moving Image I, Film Photography

Jennifer Rosenstein, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, is a photographer who specializes in videography. Jen is a graduate from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA with a BFA in Photography and Imaging. For the past eight years she has shot music videos for Atlantic Records, EMI, Universal Music, Warner Bros. Music, and Island Records. Jen also photographs the Transgender Community, various ad campaigns, and musicians and their life on the road.

Lara Rossignol Lara Rossignol
Applied Photography Practices II, Navigating the Industry

Lara Rossignol has been a fashion and portrait photographer for over 25 years. She graduated with a BFA in Photography from Art Center College and has shot for Max Factor, Bloomingdale's, Pyrex, Dixie, and over 50 different magazines including Vogue, Interview, and Rolling Stone. She is currently working with Chronicle Books on her first photography book due out in 2017.

Amanda Rowan Amanda Rowan
Portfolio Development I, Applied Photography Practices I, Applied Photography I, Personal Vision I

Amanda Rowan graduated Cum Laude from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU with a degree in Photography and Filmmaking. She has worked in NYC and LA as a portrait photographer shooting for corporate clients, international artists and pop celebrities. In 2014, Rowan published, Born Backstage, a photography book that documents the creative children of folk and rock legends of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Kirk Saylin Kirk Saylin
Business Practices, Commercial Photography, Professional Lighting

Kirk Saylin is an advertising and commercial photographer based in Long Beach, California. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of LaVerne in Communications with an emphasis in video production.

Kirk has worked for global agencies, as well as small boutique agencies, but his favorite clients are the ones who invite him in to the creative process to visually illustrate the story that the brand needs to be told. He has photographed rock stars, cars, and pop culture models.

Zoee Sciarrotta Zoëe Sciarrotta
Ways of Seeing, Contemporary Issues in Photograph, Vision & Style

Zoëe received her MFA from California State University Los Angeles and her BA in psychology and BFA in art from the University of Iowa. Her work focuses on media theory, perception, and memory. She is focused on the art of photography and cultural studies. Her classes teach critical viewing skills and expand creativity while exploring the layers of psychology imbedded in photography.

Josh Southwick Josh Southwick
Advanced Imaging I

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Josh moved to California in 2002. He received his BFA from Cal State Long Beach in 2008. He has been a staff photographer for ACCESS Para-transit and Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority for over 8 years. Some of his freelance clients include. POM Wonderful, popchips, YMCA, Cuties, Wonderful Pistachios, ACI Boland Architects, and MetroLink. Josh was also featured in the 2009 Communication Arts Photo Annual.

Naomi White Naomi White
Professional Methods, Thesis Prep, Photography Essentials

Naomi White is an artist, photographer, and educator. Her work has been shown extensively, including at Tobey Fine Arts in New York, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in New York, GE World Headquarters in Connecticut, and The Center For Fine Art Photography in Colorado. Her work is held in both public and private collections such as the recent purchase by Saatchi Art for their permanent collection, and Creative Artists Agency in Century City. Educated in New York where she lived for many years, Naomi has recently returned to Los Angeles where she was born and raised. She is a creative portrait and fine art photographer drawing from a diverse background in art history and film, to create art photography with a focus on portraiture and narrative tableau.

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