Art Institutes

Online DigitalPhotography Degree Programs

I want to harness the power of images.

One day, you picked up a camera. And you’ve never put it down. You were captured by the magic of telling stories with pictures. There’s a market for people who constantly find innovative ways to fill the world with their ideas, impressions, and insights. And an online Digital Photography degree can help you make a positive impression when you’re ready to match your talents against the competition. From the very start, we’ll guide your development, both creatively and technically. You’ll work with technology similar to what professionals use—it’s a step-by-step process that’s all about preparing you for a future when you can do what you love. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty* who are focused on your success.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty & instructors.

Degrees Offered

Associate of Science in Digital Photography

Quarter Credit Hours:
92
Timeframe:
8 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes & Requirements
X

Associate of Science in Digital Photography

Outcomes & Requirements

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/4500 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Professional Presentation: Graduates will produce a basic portfolio of original work demonstrating industry standards.
  • Visual Communication: Graduates will use problem-solving processes to produce visually compelling imagery reflective of their personal styles and visions.
  • Business Skills: Graduates will demonstrate the ability to conceptualize, plan and implement marketing strategies and a business model reflective of entry-level standards, while demonstrating personal motivation and ethical practices.

Requirements

View Academic Catalog

Associate of Applied Science in Digital Photography (MN Residents Only)

Quarter Credit Hours:
92
Timeframe:
8 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes & Requirements
X

Associate of Applied Science in Digital Photography (MN Residents Only)

Outcomes & Requirements

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/5392 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Professional Presentation: Graduates will produce a basic portfolio of original work demonstrating industry standards.
  • Visual Communication: Graduates will use problem-solving processes to produce visually compelling imagery reflective of their personal styles and visions.
  • Business Skills: Graduates will demonstrate the ability to conceptualize, plan and implement marketing strategies and a business model reflective of entry-level standards, while demonstrating personal motivation and ethical practices.

Requirements

View Academic Catalog

Bachelor of Science in Digital Photography

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
15 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes & Requirements
X

Bachelor of Science in Digital Photography

Outcomes & Requirements

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/4501 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Professional Presentation: Graduates will be able to produce a portfolio of original work for current media and multiple platforms, demonstrating industry standards, personal interest and career specialization.
  • Critical Thinking: Graduates will be able to articulate how they place themselves and their work within a historical and cultural context.
  • Visual Communication: Graduates will be able to use problem-solving processes to produce visually compelling imagery reflective of their personal styles and visions.
  • Business Skills: Graduates will demonstrate the ability to conceptualize, plan and implement marketing strategies and a business model reflective of industry standards, while demonstrating personal motivation and ethical practices.
  • Knowledge: Graduates will demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the theory of applied photography and demonstrate practical technical excellence gained in their various areas of photographic studies.
  • Digital Skills: Graduates demonstrate the ability to use photographic equipment and software correctly, including proper usage of image manipulation and digital illustration.

Requirements

View Academic Catalog

Certificate in Digital Workflow

Quarter Credit Hours:
39
Timeframe:
5 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes & Requirements:
X

Certificate in Digital Workflow

Outcomes & Requirements:

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/3468 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Meet industry standards for exposing, processing, and outputting a high quality digital image based on client needs.
  • Provide assistance to an established photographer by managing and executing the digital processing needed by the studio.
  • Present a competitive portfolio that meets market standards for entry-level employment in the digital imaging and processing photography sector.

Requirements

View Academic Catalog

Certificate in Portrait Photography

Quarter Credit Hours:
42
Timeframe:
5 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes & Requirements
X

Certificate in Portrait Photography

Outcomes & Requirements

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/3469 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Meet industry standards for creating professional portraits using appropriate lighting solutions based on client needs.
  • Assist in managing the complex tasks of a commercial portrait photography studio.
  • Present a competitive portfolio that meets market standards for entry-level employment in the portrait photography sector.

Requirements

View Academic Catalog

Certificate in Studio Photography

Quarter Credit Hours:
42
Timeframe:
5 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes & Requirements
X

Certificate in Studio Photography

Outcomes & Requirements

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/3470 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Meet industry standards for creating studio photographs using appropriate lighting solutions on client demand.
  • Assist in managing the complex tasks of a commercial photography studio.
  • Present a competitive portfolio that meets market standards for entry-level employment.

Requirements

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

I get the picture. And I'm up for the challenge.

Glamour, excitement and travel? Maybe. But our online photography school is designed for students who find a certain thrill in putting in long hours, overcoming tough competition, and meeting tight deadlines—all in the pursuit of their passion. To help prepare you for the real world of photography, we’ll start you out with basics like composition, lighting, darkroom techniques, color and design, and the fundamentals of digital photography. We’ll help you apply what you learn both in studios and on location, in natural and artificial light, and in digital formats. You’ll work with tools including digital cameras, slide and transparency scanners, and image manipulation software. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the online photography program that interests you.

Meet Our Alumni

  • Nicole_Simila

    Nicole Simila

    Digital Photography , 2016

    "[My education] helped me to learn ways to use my camera that I had never thought of, or couldn't seem to teach myself."

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    Nicole Simila

    Self-employed Business Owner and Photographer at EvelynJo Photography

    Nicole Simila is a self-employed business owner and photographer at EvelynJo Photography. She runs her business on nights and weekends, after she completes her full time job. This determination, and her passion for photography, keeps her motivated. “There are going to be times where you feel like you may have failed but keep your head high and you will succeed.”

    She discusses a time when she was shooting weddings—only to realize that it wasn’t what she wanted to be doing. “The stress and worrying that came a long with it wasn't worth the time and effort. I figured out through [my education] that I wanted to mainly focus on working with children.” Today, she says that her studio work with children provides smiles and creates joy for the children’s parents, friends, and family.

    Nicole adds that since she’s completed her education, her photography workload has increased. She attributes this to the confidence she’s gained as a photographer.

    “My hard work and determination throughout school helped me to succeed and learn so much more than I had known before.” She says that she always has room to grow and seeks out tips and tricks to add to her repertoire.

    Nicole, who in 2016 earned an Associate of Science in Photography from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, says that her education helped her to learn about studio lighting and camera operations. “It helped me to learn ways to use my camera that I had never thought of, or couldn't seem to teach myself.”

    See aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • William_Douglas

    William Douglas

    Digital Photography , 2015

    "I try to encourage others to express their creativity and think outside the box."

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    William Douglas

    Spent 10 years in the United States Army as an 11B/4 sniper

    William Douglas spent 10 years in United States Army as an 11B/4 sniper. “I served during Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Operation Just Cause and was honorably discharged as Staff Sargent,” he says. Today, he is the owner of Liam Photography in Atlanta, Georgia. He takes professional, editorial, portrait, and drone photos. And recently he was honored to have one of his photos selected by National Geographic to be on the cover of its newest book on “Big Cats.”

    William says that one of the biggest challenges he faced as a photographer was giving models instructions for poses. “I was able to overcome this by shooting friends and family members and working with some of the members of my photography club. I learned to be more of a leader when directing shoots. I try to encourage others to express their creativity and think outside the box.”

    He recommends that current students build their professional connections and experience through networking and reading photography blogs and articles. “I spend a lot of time on sites like SLR Lounge reading articles and blog posts,” he adds.

    William, who in 2015 earned an Associate of Science in Photography from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, says that his education provided a strong foundation for his career. But he adds that being a photographer requires constant learning. “You cannot just graduate and think you will immediately make money as a photographer. It takes, time, patience, and networking—a lot.”

    See http://aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • VisualDesign

    Jeffrey Siereveld

    Web Design & Interactive Media , 2014

    "My education taught me the basic fundamentals of web design and interactive media, [including] the ability to read and manipulate it to get the results I am looking for."

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    Jeffrey Siereveld

    Freelance Website Designer

    Jeffrey Siereveld is a freelance designer specializing in WordPress websites. He says that a typical day involves building sites or adjusting the layout of an already-existing website. “I spend a lot of time researching the industry. Whether that is testing WordPress themes or researching a niche for my next big idea, there's always something to do.”

    Before becoming a freelancer, Jeffrey was a web design intern for Blizzard Internet Marketing, creating sites for the vacation rental, travel, and tourism industry. He understands the competitive nature of his industry and recommends that students find ways to break up their days increase productivity. “It will help you to keep moving forward when the going gets tough.”

    Jeffrey says that the biggest professional challenge he’s encountered is making the decision to become a professional freelancer. “The agency I worked for told me it was going to

    He adds that he finds clients via word of mouth—saying they are better to work with and often pay more than those found on freelancer websites. Jeffrey says that designers need to understand that everyone must pay their dues as they make their way up the ladder. “There’s a good chance that you will have to take jobs that pay less than you expect. But until your professional portfolio is built out enough to attract or persuade people that don't know anything about you, it will be really hard to charge $100 per hour or more than $1,000 for a simple website. Eventually you will get there.”

    He cites a quote by Eric Thomas as being motivational: ”When you want to succeed, as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” And he keeps creativity flowing by maintaining a clean and organized workspace. “It's so easy for me to work late into the night and have empty cans or water bottles on or around my desk before I step over to my bed and fall asleep. So keeping my work area clean and organized definitely impacts my creativity.”

    Jeffrey states that his roommate is also a mentor. “My roommate is an search engine optimization (SEO) expert who has been working in this industry for about four years longer than I have. He’s created his own company that has been growing every day and he doesn't have any employees. Just seeing what he is doing, and learning about SEO from him, has given me the desire to create a company of my own and not give up on it.”

    He believes that his biggest challenge is the continually changing industry. He keeps growing and learning to keep ahead of trends. Jeffrey, who in 2014 earned an Associate of Science in Web Design & Interactive Media from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, says that his education provided the fundamentals he needed to move into a web design career. “The knowledge of HTML and CSS, and the ability to read an manipulate it to get the results I am looking for, have been a huge help.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/202 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • FilmProd

    Pocco Roberts

    Digital Photography , 2014

    "Without [gaining educational experience] in camera settings, understanding light, networking, the use of Photoshop/Lightroom, and how to run a photography business, I would never have been able to live my dream of being an artist."

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    Pocco Roberts
    Owner and Lead Photographer at PSR Images

    Pocco Roberts is the owner and lead photographer at PSR Images in Turner, Maine. He says that a typical day involves setting up photo shoots, working on current photos, and selling artwork through my website. He’s also a United States Army veteran who earned the rank of Sergeant.

    Pocco says that he enjoys a career where he’s able to create. And he recommends that current students be patient during classwork that may appear to be repetitive. ”I remember taking several classes that seemed to have little to do with the genre of photography that I was interested in. However, if you give it your very best, you will walk away with something that makes your photography better.”

    He is often challenged in his work and says that patience, determination, and asking for help when it’s needed has helped him to overcome obstacles. “Be smart, research, learn, and move to a new location if you must. But if your dream is to be an artist, and it is your passion, then nothing will get in your way.” He’s always striving to evolve and believes that “if your art is the best it can be, then it is time for a new career.”

    Pocco enjoys challenging himself and uses his art to take on social issues. He also marks the passage of time through visual statements. “Remember, art doesn't need approval, it just needs inspiration.” Today, he experiences the benefits of his hard would through networking and making new friends, a steady paycheck, and a positive reputation among his friends.

    Pocco, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Science in Photography from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, says that his education taught him proper camera settings, lighting techniques, networking, use of Photoshop/Lightroom, and how to run a photography business. [Without that foundation], I would never have been able to live my dream of being an artist.”

    See aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...

What Will I Study?

Study Section

Show me how to tell stories. One frame at a time.

Photography isn’t a hobby. It’s a craft pursued by hard-working, talented professionals who share not just a curiosity about the world, but a commitment to constantly adapting and improving. Our online Digital Photography courses will sharpen your creative edge and technical skills as you study:

  • Digital Photography
  • Color Management
  • Studio Photography
  • Location Photography
  • Portraiture
  • Digital Darkroom
  • Natural & Artificial Light
  • Digital Image Management
  • Editorial Photography
  • Documentary Photography
  • Business of Photography
  • Studio Techniques


I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Our online Digital Photography courses are built on that creative foundation. They’re also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. It’s a daily struggle to champion your ideas and earn your place among the best in your profession. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we’ll support you along every step of your journey. We provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field, as well as internship possibilities. You’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty & instructors.

 

Meet Our Faculty

  • Stephen John Phillips

    Stephen John Phillips

    Digital Photography

    "Celebrate yourself and your art."

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    Stephen John Phillips

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

    Whether it was the first time I saw an Andy Warhol original at a museum, or the first Ad Council campaign that really spoke to me, I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a visual communicator.

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

    I think it’s very important that I share my professional life with students. I use everything from project proposals I’ve made to DC Comics to my gallery contacts, and make them all a part of the professional process. I’m a firm believer in keeping students current with trends by showing them visual examples on a regular basis.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    One of my favorites revolves around creating a photograph that illustrates a cliché, a topical subject, or opposites.

    In what way do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    I push them to look within and draw from their personal life experiences to find something truly unique.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    Collaboration is key—I constantly stress the fact that students will be working with others throughout their career, and that they should be the kind of person that others enjoy working with.

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

    Celebrate yourself and your art. If you do, others will follow. Make your work unique and something only you can do.

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

    Meet deadlines, accept criticism, be willing to make changes, and constantly learn and grow as an artist.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I’ve grown to appreciate the one-on one online experience, and I find myself spending more time with individual students by way of phone, Skype, etc. then I ever did in a brick-and-mortar classroom.

    Read More...
  • Jill Mott

    Jill P. Mott

    Digital Photography

    "Trust yourself. Don't set up roadblocks for yourself."

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    Jill P. Mott

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

    Many of my relatives have been in the creative arts—sculptors, interior designers, art quilters, musicians, you name it. I’m grateful to have inherited some of that talent. I don’t think there was ever a question about being involved in the arts. It really was just a matter of deciding which medium. When I found photography, I knew that was the one for me.

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

    I primarily teach classes based in my area of specialty, editorial photography, I can share stories and experiences that relate to class assignments. I can point out potential obstacles and challenges when students present their ideas for shoots, and offer practical advice to steer them in the right direction. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my career, and I’m not shy about sharing them—many are worth a good laugh. I think students appreciate knowing their instructors learned things the hard way too.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring—and how do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    My favorite class is Editorial Photography. The practical, real-world assignments often lead to unexpected opportunities for students. After taking the class, many get published in print and digital magazines, get paid to shoot events for organizations, and receive photography internships. This class forces students out of their comfort zones to contact people they don’t know—community leaders, businesses owners, and artists. They surprise themselves with how they’re able to push through what they’d thought were tough obstacles.

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

    Trust yourself. Don’t set up roadblocks for yourself.

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

    Assuming how other people might think or feel can keep you from taking on the challenges that’ll help you become a better photographer and artist.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I’m driven by the need to share the stories that shape lives, the moments bursting with joy as well as those filled with despair.

    Read More...
The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta alumni Harlen Capen Photography is an extremely fast-paced career when it comes to new technology. Harlen Capen
Digital Photography, The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, 2015