About the Photography Program
Our mission is to prepare you for a rewarding career as a creative professional in
the world of commercial photography. We teach you how to use professional photography
equipment, techniques for image control, creative direction, lighting techniques,
and image manipulation. You will learn how to capture images using both digital SLR
cameras, and traditional film cameras. Our curriculum integrates the current industry
standard software, including Photoshop, Lightroom, and Capture One. All of these learning
components are designed to help you work toward a Certificate of Achievement or Associate
in Arts degree in photography, and prepare you for a career behind the camera.
As you study and practice your photography skills, you will learn that professional
photographers often specialize in a particular subject matter or genres including
advertising, editorial, fashion, architecture, landscape, wildlife, food, events,
sports, portrait photography, photojournalism, and more. Apart from your independent
practice, you will also learn to work in teams and collaborate on exciting multimedia
projects to include in your digital photography portfolio.
Many colleges and universities offer baccalaureate degrees in this field. Students
planning to transfer to a four-year college or university need to know which courses
completed at Santa Monica College will be accepted at the specific college/university.
Please consult a Counselor. SMC has transfer articulation agreements with the many UC and CSU campuses, as well as many private and out-of-state institutions.
Degrees and Certificates
Associate Degree - Photography
40 Units + General Education
Certificate of Achievement - Photography
Students completing the program in Photography will demonstrate the ability to analyze
and assess photographic situations, solve technical problems, and overcome creative
challenges as they arise in photographic production. Students will further design
and construct photographic images that can communicate ideas or narratives effectively
for commercial, editorial or fine art purposes. Additionally, the student will have
the knowledge and skills pertinent to the operation of a freelance photography business
and sound business practices in the trade.
Potential Career Options
Need help planning for your major?
Our counselors are here to help you plan your academic classes, goals, and needs.
See an Academic Counselor
Learn more about becoming a photographer
Title image by SMC student Pat Simmons