Photography Department



The Santa Monica College Photography Program is a hands-on, intensive program to prepare students for a broad range of careers in photography and image-related fields. The curriculum is taught by working professionals with industry experience to prepare the students for real-world expectations. Students in the SMC Photo program have an immersive experience using commercial photography studios and professional lighting equipment, printing in a B&W and color film darkroom, learn advanced computer image editing, video production, fine art quality ink jet printing, business practices of photography and exhibitions. Graduates enter fields that include commercial photography, editorial and fashion photography, retail photography, e-commerce, publishing, commercial retouching, digital technician, studio management, commercial and fine art printing, and advertising art producers. Students also use the SMC Photo Program to build a foundation to transfer to some of the country's top 4 year art schools, or simply to brush up on their skills.  

What the SMC Photography Program offers:

  • Introduction to Photography
  • Studio Photography Lighting Techniques for Product and Portrait Photography
  • Basic Photography Darkroom Lab Techniques
  • Beginning and Advanced Computer Techniques in Lightroom, Photoshop and Capture One
  • Advanced Black & White and Color Darkroom Printing
  • Video Production for Still Photographers
  • Portfolio Development
  • and more!

What You'll Learn

With our courses, you will learn skills to help you develop a portfolio for your next academic or professional endeavor!

Commercial Studio Photography

Our commercial photography degree and certificate programs are designed to help you develop command over the camera equipment and studio lighting as you work with the latest in camera, lighting, and software technology.

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People & Portrait Photography

Our People & Portraiture curriculum emphasizes the skills necessary for creating dynamic and compelling images of people. Whether you’re photographing professional models or everyday people, you’ll learn to communicate and narrate stories using the visual language of light and composition.

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Digital Retouching

Digital retouching in the field of photography applies to nearly every sector of the job market, with opportunities across entertainment, fashion and beauty, technology, digital marketing, advertising, graphic design, art, and more.

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Analog Photography

Our curriculum in analog and non-silver processes is some of the most comprehensive in the country. Our well-equipped traditional B&W and color darkrooms play host to learning B&W film processing/printing, color (RA-4) printing, Lithe printing, Platinum/Palladium printing, Cyanotype printing, large format photography, and more.

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More About Our Program

Student Success Stories

Photography students, alum, and industry professionals share their experience.


The Photography Department has 10 shooting bays or studios, black-and-white and color darkrooms, and a digital lab. 

Student Showcase

See photos from our students.

Contact the Photo Department

Contact Administrative Assistant David Mendoza (Preferred Contact Method)

  • Email:
  • Phone: 310-434-3547
  • Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Response Time: 48 hours

Department Chair Josh Sanseri

Photography Events

All Events
May 28
Jun 8
Annual SMC Student Photography Exhibit

Annual SMC Student Photography Exhibit

12 a.m. - 12 a.m. Drescher Hall
Jun 1
Photography Counseling Session

Photography Counseling Session

3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Main Campus

Title image by SMC student Olesia Stoliar