Commercial Photography Courses

This curriculum is under revision and will have major changes for fall 2017.
For more information or to be alerted when the application process begins, please contact us at 206-934-3830.

In addition to a professional quality portfolio, conceptual, technical and business skills are developed and combined to provide a complete educational experience. Instructors with industry experience guide students in the areas of digital capture pre-production, production and post-production. Course subject matter includes but is not limited to: still and video capture techniques, studio and location lighting, creative voice development, and professional business practices. Courses are sequential and a passing grade is required in all classes in order to continue into the succeeding quarter.

NME 110: New Media I
6 credits 
New Media is a coordinated studies program, which includes first-year students from the Commercial Photography and Graphic Design Programs at Seattle Central Community College. The purpose of this course is to prepare students for real-world working experience in their respective fields. Students work collaboratively in this project-based curriculum, exploring the role of communications in the context of New Media and our society. A vibrant coordinated studies program fosters retention of students, community building, and affords students the chance to see how disciplines are integrated. The primary objective of the course is for students to gain knowledge and skills in different forms of mass media, human relations, computation, communications and computers. This is done in an interdisciplinary setting. Additional objectives of New Media are to develop skills that form the basis for future career work in these disciplines—all of which relate to general media—and to begin to establish professional contacts with other individuals in related fields. This course is unique in that it continues for three quarters and is project-based. It is team-taught and offers students in the three interconnected disciplines an opportunity to network and share their skills and talents in a unique learning environment.


PHO 111: CAMERA TECHNIQUES I
4 credits
Learn the functions and operation of the dSLR camera, lenses and light meter. Study manual camera controls: shutter, aperture and depth of field. Learn file formats and digital image capture along with lens functions. Gain an understanding of light meter functions and techniques of determining optimum exposures.


PHO 121: LIGHTING TECHNIQUES I

4 credits
Covers laws, principles and practices of lighting of inanimate objects, including lighting ratios; tungsten light sources; positioning; contrast control; and composition. Analyze photos to understand lighting and demonstrate safety procedures with studio grip and light modification equipment.


PHO 131: DIGITAL DARKROOM TECHNIQUES I

3 credits
Intro to digital darkroom procedures and file processing, including tethered capture, white point, tone curves, hue, saturation and luminance. Create a file management system using Adobe Lightroom. Experiment with printing papers, finishing and presentation techniques. Learn folder hierarchy, metadata, copyright and database file management.


PHO 141: SURVEY OF PHOTOGRAPHY

3 credits
This course will examine the opportunities and challenges of professional photography as a career choice. The multiple career paths available in professional photography will be explored. Students will be will gain a basic understanding of the history of photography. Through a series of presentations on photographic masters from a variety of specialties, students will gain a broader understanding of photographic trends, movements, and career choices. Additional emphasis is placed upon entry-level issues such as working conditions, time management, organizational strategies and professional ethics.

NME 120: NEW MEDIA II
6 credits
This is the second part of a three quarter coordinated studies class, which includes first year students from the Commercial Photography and Graphic Design Programs at Seattle Central Community College. The purpose of this course is to prepare students for real-world working experience in their respective fields. Students work collaboratively in this project-based curriculum. See First Quarter NME 110.


PHO 112: CAMERA TECHNIQUES II

3 credits
Learn more about the dSLR camera, large format electronic flash and specialty light modifiers. Emphasis on studio product photography including food, apparel, liquids and catalog. Learn to assist a photographer and collaborate with a team.


PHO 122: LIGHTING TECHNIQUES II

4 credits
This studio course expands upon the concepts, skills and techniques gained in PHO121 Lighting Techniques I. Move from lighting inanimate objects to lighting people. Advanced tungsten lighting techniques and light controls will be explored. Gain a working knowledge of basic “subject lighting” setups such as Broad, Short, Butterfly, Low-Key and Hi-Key. Through a series of additional assignments demonstrate the ability to apply three-dimensional contrast in a traditional studio setting. Additionally plan and execute theme-based lighting and demonstrate set construction skill. Basic body positioning and posing techniques will be introduced.


PHO 132: DIGITAL DARKROOM TECHNIQUES II

3 credits
Further exploration of digital workflow utilizing industry standard software, Capture One, including white point, tone curves, hue, saturation and luminance. Experiment with advanced digital capture techniques and display methods for use on commercial shoots. Learn folder hierarchy, metadata, copyright and database filemanagement.


PHO 142: DIGITAL IMAGING

4 credits
This introductory course introduces students to basic imaging techniques using Photoshop, an industry standard graphics software and image editor. Students will work with tools, layers, adjustments, and layer masks to create graphics, enhance images, and composite. Students create projects using course information.

NME 130: NEW MEDIA III
6 credits
This is the third part of a three quarter coordinated studies class, which includes first-year students from the Graphic Design, Photography and Publishing Arts Programs at Seattle Central Community College. The purpose of this course is to prepare students for real-world working experience in their respective fields. Students work collaboratively in this project-based curriculum. See First Quarter NME 110.


PHO 113: CAMERA TECHNIQUES III

3 credits
Learn more about large format electronic flash, specialty light modifiers and strobe lighting systems in a studio environment. Emphasis on studio product photography including stop motion, hi key and fill flash. Further emphasis on the impact styling has in enhancing the commercial value of imagery. Learn presentation skills including web presence. Assist senior students.


PHO 123: LOCATION TECHNIQUES

3 credits
Learn logistical planning, technical and creative skills to successfully shoot on location, including strategies and equipment for set construction on location. Practice the skills of a location photographer, assistant, and location scout. Serve as an assistant to second-year students.


PHO 133: RETAIL PHOTOGRAPHY

3 credits
Learn advanced retail portrait and wedding photography techniques: seeing and using available light; using on-camera strobe units; choosing pleasing poses and flattering lighting; sequencing photos to tell a wedding story; and adding words and music to increase emotional and saleable impact. Includes retail sales materials, presentations and pricing strategies.


PHO 143: DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION

4 credits
Learn multimedia storytelling, narrative forms and techniques. Develop a better understanding of using images and audio to advocate, communicate or address a specific subject or issue.


PHO 197: WORK EXPERIENCE

1 credit
Work Experience: Photography Earn work experience credit in the photography field. Contact the Photography program for details

PHO 214: CATALOG PRODUCTION
3 credits
Create professional quality images for a multiple-page catalog layout, by producing a mini-catalog using traditional and digital photographic techniques. Explore personal photographic style. Collaborate on advertising assignments.

 

PHO 224: COMMUNICATION PRODUCTION
4 credits
This course allows advanced student to explore specific styles, techniques, or production practices in a chosen area of imaging through work on a major self-initiated photography or video project. Emphasis is on research and creative problem solving to achieve a successful solution in support of the student’s portfolio.

 

PHO 234: PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS PRACTICES I
3 credits
Professional Business Practices I Intro to small business development and management for the professional photographer. Learn to write a business plan for commercial or, retail markets. Covers retirement planning, insurance, taxes, budgeting, accounting, estimating, pricing and negotiating. Follow an assignment from first phone call to invoice. Acquire business licenses and join professional organization(s).

 

PHO 244: VISUAL NARRATIVE
3 credits
Students will build upon existing knowledge of the three stages of video production (pre-production, production, post-production. Students will work individually and in small groups to fulfill skill building exercises as well as a portfolio quality final project. We will cover workflow best practices for shooting and editing DSLR video using Adobe Premiere. In an effort to create a dynamic learning environment this course will include: in-class demos, hands-on learning, student critiques, guest speakers and a final screening.

 

PHO 254: PORTFOLIO I
3 credits
Introduces the processes for creating a professional-level portfolio as a marketing and business development tool. Includes various presentation methods, including electronic portfolios. Create marketing materials: business card, stationery and self-promotion pieces. Students will produce portfolio quality imagery on a weekly basis to support their presentation methods.

PHO 215: ADVERTISING PRODUCTION
4 credits
This course is a vehicle for students to develop a more effective contextual framework through the integration of imagery and audio. Initial assignments include environmental aesthetics; establishing a point of view, capturing “the decisive moment” and location audio recording. Developing and shooting a multi-media photo essay is the major project for the quarter. Topics include research methods; storyboarding; simplified audio editing; scene direction and image sequencing for flow and continuity. Students will discuss and refine their story ideas and resultant imagery in class and through meetings with the instructor.


PHO 225: CONCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT

3 credits
Second of three courses in an instructor supervised course that allows an advanced student to explore specific styles, techniques, or production practices in a chosen area of imaging through work on a major self-initiated photography or video project. Emphasis is on research and creative problem solving to achieve a successful solution in support of the student’s portfolio.


PHO 245: NEW MEDIA I

3 credits
Prepares students for real world commercial photography situations. Students will have the opportunity to play the different key roles that comprise a small scale, commercial photography project and work together as a crew to deliver successful, portfolio quality imagery to a client. They will also have the opportunity to collaboratively develop creative concepts, negotiate budget, coordinate crew-members, create preproduction plans, define a personal code of conduct, and experience shooting under the pressure of more specific guidelines and shorter timelines than they have previously experienced. All imagery for this class will be captured during class hours. Students will be graded by their peers on how well they perform by their own code of conduct and their level and quality of participation determined by the instructor.


PHO 235: PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS PRACTICES II

3 credits
The focus of this second business course is on marketing practices for the professional photographer. Write a marketing plan for the commercial and/or consumer markets. Develop a strategy for implementation of the marketing plan-getting goals vs. setting goals. Create self-promotion material for direct mail and for the web. Learn the difference between marketing and selling, how to write a press release; how to develop a social media presence and in person presentation skills. Individual marketing plans are presented orally to a panel of industry professionals for critique.


PHO 255: PORTFOLIO II

3 credits
Continuation of PHO 254. Produce portfolio quality images and computer generated portfolio pages. Investigate traditional and electronic alternatives for portfolios. Create a résumé and an information page for a website. Meet with industry professionals to discuss tools needed after graduation.

PHO 256: PORTFOLIO III
3 credits
Assemble a final portfolio of images that represents the student’s creative voice and professional direction, for presentation to multiple clients, representatives and agencies. Work with faculty to edit and select the best images to present in a graduating portfolio. Meet with industry professional in a series of one-on-one interviews and portfolio reviews.


PHO 266: NEW MEDIA II

3 credits
Third of three courses in an instructor supervised course that allows an advanced student to explore specific styles, techniques, or production practices in a chosen area of imaging through work on a major self-initiated photography or video project. Emphasis is on research and creative problem solving to achieve a successful solution in support of the student’s portfolio.


PHO 276: PORTFOLIO SHOW

3 credits
Edit, sequence and prepare images for the website project from the previous quarter. Each student will finalize their individual websites and promotional materials. Complete a printed photographic portfolio through individual and class assignments. Create a shot list and shot plan for the week long Pt. Townsend Portfolio Shoot Out.


PHO 286: SPECIAL PROJECTS

3 credits
Focus on career opportunities by studying various projects such as employment strategies, technological innovations and global marketplace opportunities. Receive critical feedback from industry professionals and expand professional relationships that could lead to work.