Photography FAQ's

  • How difficult is it to enroll?

    It is competitive. However, we seek students with potential, not practicing professionals.

  • What can I do to better prepare myself for the program?

    Familiarize yourself with your camera. Take a 2-D color and design class. Look at the work of professional photographers in all fields. Subscribe to Photo District News. Use on-line image resources to collect and look at imagery; Pintrest, Tumblr, or Flickr, are great places to start to get a sense of your tastes and styles. Start your own blog, get comfortable with sharing your work and sharing it publicly. Start reading professional photography blogs. Find a good time management system/tool.

  • What kind of equipment do I need to enter the program?

    You must purchase equipment and materials to enter the program. A full frame HDSLR professional camera and lens are at the top of the list. The list is updated every year after receiving feedback from current students, graduates and working professionals

  • Do you have any survival tips for perspective students?

    Consider saying goodbye to your social life for two years. Come to school prepared to completely dedicate the next two years of your life to transforming yourself into a professional photographer.

  • What type of expenses should I plan on?

    Materials and supplies vary from quarter to quarter, estimate approximately, $500/quarter. This includes things like printing supplies, props, model fees, and extra equipment. Consider paying for extras like tutorials, a laptop, software, a printer, etc.

  • What are the school resources like?

    - 2 state of the art studios with 16 shooting bays
    - Macintosh workstations for each student w/ fiber optic Internet access
    - Commercial digital printing, color laser printing, large format ink-jet printing
    - Checkout room contains: a large selection of Canon lenses, video and lighting equipment, & more.

  • When are the photography studios / labs open?

    During the academic year the SCCA fifth floor studios and labs are generally open Monday-Thursday 8am-10pm, Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday 8am-6pm. SCC campus is not open on Sundays.

  • How much photographic experience must I have?

    It is not necessary to enter the program with above a beginner’s knowledge of photography. However coming into the program with an understanding of the basics will help boost you into the intermediate information, and quickly get you into advanced techniques. Once you are accepted into the program, and before classes begin it is recommended that you start using your camera as much as possible and learn basic exposure.

  • Can I have a job during school? If so, how many hours can I plan to work?

    Working while in the Program is not recommended. However we realize that some students must so consider limiting outside work to between 10-20 hours weekly.

  • What types of scholarships are available?

    Seattle Central Foundation Scholarships

  • Are work-study jobs available?

    Yes, there are a variety of work-study positions available with in the Creative Academy for students who financially qualify. Check with the financial aid office to see if you qualify. Financial Aid

  • How important are professional business practices in the program?

    Extremely, as a self-employed photographer you can expect to spend 80-90% of your time on managing your business and 10-20% on photography. In the second year of the Program several courses are dedicated to business practices. However exposure to business practices are integral part of all courses.

  • What are the hours I will be in class?

    First year:
    Mon - Thur. 9:00am – 1:00pm and Fri 9:00am – 3:00pm

    Second year:
    Mon - Fri 9:00am – 2:00pm

  • Is there an internship requirement?

    Yes, each student is required to have 55 internship hours completed by graduation. This is an opportunity to learn how the work-place functions and for you to gain experience outside of school. It is highly suggested that the internship occurs during the summer. While you are responsible for securing your own internship, faculty will try and assist you in this effort.

  • How well should I know the Creative Suite?

    A basic understanding of what each program does is helpful. Join for tutorials, or, visit, also many more tutorials can be found for free by searching the internet.

  • Are there positions for photographers in the Seattle area?

    Yes, our students have found fulltime and 9 month contract work in studios for such companies as Amazon, Nordstrom, Zulilly, REI, Iridio, Totokaelo and Boeing.

  • Can you share tips about transportation? What is the parking like for students?

    Parking is very limited at Seattle Central, due to our urban location. There are two types of parking permits available to students: daytime (all–day) and evening (afternoon) permit which are sold on a first–come, first–served basis.

  • What if I have a disability?

    Students that have been admitted to the Commercial Photography Program may request reasonable academic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. To request accommodations, students should self-identify to the Student Disability Services Coordinator, Al Souma, by phone (206-335-9937) or by email: Accommodation is provided individually based upon request of the student, supporting documentation showing evidence of current impact, and policies for reasonable accommodations in the post-secondary environment.

  • Do students come from different backgrounds?

    Backgrounds vary dramatically. There is a wide range of ages and levels of previous work experience for students entering our program.