Online Schools with Fashion Photography Degrees: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online fashion photography school. To discover the specifics of the program options, hands-on requirements, and common topics offered for the field of study, continue reading.

Aspiring fashion photographers should consider the award level of an online program in the field, as well as if the program is offered fully online or in a hybrid format. Here students can learn about these different options and a few of the schools that have photography programs.

How to Select an Online Fashion Photography School

Although there are no distance learning programs dedicated specifically to fashion photography, general photography programs are available online at the certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree levels. Those interested in a Master of Fine Arts in Photography will need to take on-campus courses. Students should then weigh award level with the online versus hybrid program type.

Award Level

Students should first select their desired degree level when selecting an online photography school. Those interested in working right away may be able to find employment with an associate's degree. However, a bachelor's degree program often opens up more opportunities, especially if the student is able to produce an extensive portfolio. A certificate is useful for learning basic and advanced skills, for those who don't need any general education courses.

Online vs. Hybrid

The majority of online photography programs can be completed fully online. However, if an individual wishes to complete some courses on-campus, there are schools that offer hybrid curricula.

List of Common Online Photography Programs

Online Photography and Digital Imaging Certificate

A common online program that may interest aspiring fashion photographers is a Certificate in Photography and Digital Imaging. Through this program, students learn concepts of aesthetics and process, retouching, color correction, lighting, portraiture, commercial applications and building a portfolio. Specific classes can include:

  • Digital image management
  • Black and white photography
  • View camera theory
  • Fashion photography basics
  • Advanced lighting

Online Associate's Degree in Digital Photography

Individuals interested in fashion photography may also consider earning an Associate of Science in Digital Photography. This 2-year program gives students portfolio-building opportunities and the chance to learn skills that can be used in various fields of photography including commercial and advertising. Since many photography programs incorporate hands-on training, it is likely that students will have to take at least some courses in-person. Sample courses include:

  • Principles of photography
  • Digital pre-press
  • Marketing and business practices
  • Studio lighting
  • Photographic design

Online Bachelor's Degree in Photography

An online bachelor's degree in photography is a 4-year program that includes in-depth instruction that can be beneficial for those interested in a career in fashion photography. In addition to courses that cover color, design, camera techniques and digital imaging, this type of program also spends time covering business and marketing skills for careers such as a studio manager, editorial photographer or commercial photographer. During this type of program, students might take classes in:

  • Portfolio fundamentals
  • Advanced photographic post-production
  • Photo journalism
  • Photo criticism
  • Time-based media

Schools with Online Programs in Fashion Photography

Sessions College for Professional Design has an online undergraduate certificate program in digital photography. The program can be completed in eight months and consists of 24 credits. Students can be enrolled part-time. Course topics include Photoshop, color theory and photo retouching.

Southern New Hampshire University offers online Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts programs in digital photography. Students in both programs create an online portfolio and learn to work with the latest software in the field. These programs also boast access to academic and career advisors.

The Academy of Art University provides an online associate's and bachelor's degree program in photography, as well as two master's degree programs in the field. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program trains students in the fundamental skills of the field, and then allows them to specialize in fine art, art for commerce or documentary. Students also develop a professional portfolio.

There are plenty of online certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs in photography for aspiring fashion photographers to choose from. However, potential students should carefully consider the award level they wish to pursue and whether an online or hybrid program format would best suit them.


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