Professional Photography Courses and Classes Overview

Professional photography courses are available through degree programs, but they are also available for students seeking personal enrichment. Students in these courses learn how to use standard photography equipment and digitally edit photos.

Essential Information

Courses in professional photography offer instruction in lighting and shooting techniques, as well as specialized equipment, digital cameras, and computer programs. These courses may be a part of undergraduate or graduate degree programs. Certificate programs are also readily available. Some schools offer classes for hobbyists or for photographers seeking to expand their skills and gain experience with new technologies or techniques.

Major topics addressed within professional photography courses may include the following:

  • Portfolio creation
  • Lighting and design
  • Digital and analog cameras
  • Photoshop
  • Photography marketing

List of Courses

Introduction to Photography Course

In this course, students familiarize themselves with basic camera and lighting techniques. Students learn about film and digital cameras, the history of photography, and the basic principles of photography. Lighting, software, equipment, camera functions, and conceptualizing an image are also covered.

Digital Imaging Course

In this course, students learn to capture images with digital cameras, including an overview of digital camera application options, file formats, and file storage devices. Students then practice manipulating those images with industry-standard software. During this course, students may also learn to use digital darkrooms.

Portraiture Course

This professional photography course covers techniques for working in studios, posing subjects, and using different forms of lighting to take portraits of individuals or groups. Field trips may be required, allowing students to see professional portraiture photographers in action. Students may also receive an overview of career options and business basics.

Photojournalism Course

In photojournalism courses, students learn to find newsworthy images, to communicate stories through photos, and to understand the ethics behind publishing photos in print. Instructors will emphasize location choices, use of the critical lens, color usage, design, and lighting set up. Students may also discuss ethics and contemporary issues surrounding photojournalism.

Photography Business and Portfolio Course

In this course, students narrow down their goals and learn the basics of business surrounding photography. This class also covers professional photography career options, such as running a studio, working with museums, and freelancing. Students put together portfolios to use as résumés and learn how to approach potential employers. Participants of this course also learn how to conduct business tasks, such as copyrighting, negotiating fees and contracts, self-promotion, and accounting.

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