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Art Institutes

Photography

Pick your medium. Maximize your impact.

Put your ideas, your passion, even yourself out there to entertain, inform, or compel audiences. Whatever your form of expression, we’ll help you create a future.

Program Areas

Digital Photography Program

Digital Photography

Harlen Capen

Digital Photography , 2015

The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta

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Harness the power of images as you tell stories one frame at a time, filling the world with your ideas, and insights. And making your passion your career.

Meet Our Faculty

  • Traeton Garl

    Traeton Garl, MFA

    Digital Photography

    "Know what sets you apart from the crowd."

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    Traeton Garl, MFA
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I’ve always been drawn to the arts. A creative profession seemed the natural course for me.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?


    I share many of my real-word experiences in the classroom—both successes and failures. I want my students to learn by example, to understand how to deal with and overcome obstacles, and to see how the learning relates to the reality of the marketplace.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?


    I encourage each student to use the assignments to help them find their passion and discover their unique voice, so they can express it through their work.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    It’s all too easy to become stuck within a singular, narrow approach to a problem. Collaboration broadens the perspective, which can ultimately help deliver a more effective result.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Your education is an investment yourself.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?


    Know what sets you apart from the crowd. Everyone has a camera, and anyone can take a picture. So why would anyone consider hiring a photographer when they think they can do it themselves? The value comes from understanding what makes you unique—and how you convey and express this unique vision through your creativity.

    Anything else you’d like to share?


    I see my role as mentoring and sharing my wisdom and experience to inspire the next generation to become leaders. Read More...
  • Brianna M. Burnett

    Brianna M. Burnett

    Digital Photography

    "Keep learning. This education is just a start."

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    Brianna M. Burnett

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    When I started college (pre-law), I took an introduction to art course to fill my art credit. My professor said, “I’ll check back in a year and see what your major is.” I never looked back.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I offer professional experience—and more importantly, lessons I’ve learned. More often, I share stories about my peers and colleagues who are really working hard in the industry and having great success. I’ve learned so much from them, and I want my students to learn from them as well.

    How would you describe your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I ask students to observe professionals, and to go beyond what they consider a good photograph to be. In school, they have a chance to think outside the box—not just do what clients expect. I want students to have fun and be excited!

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Keep learning. This education is just a start. Stay in the loop, stay up-to-date, and make sure you continue to learn and grow.

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