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Pickens Technical College’s Professional Photography pathway is the place where students can learn and practice the skills they need to be either a freelance photographer or to work for companies that need talented photographers. Instructor Erik Schubert instructs Pickens students on the finer points of Exposure Theory, digital imaging, and how to develop a professional portfolio. If you enroll in this course, you’ll get excellent instruction on how to begin a successful career as a professional photographer. 

 It’s a competitive market for photographers, in part because amateurs believe that they’re just as good as trained professionals. Everyone can take a picture, right? But there is so much more involved not only in the art of photography itself but in getting ahead in this industry where competition is so high. 

Providing an example of how to build your career the right way is Carina Bañuelos-Harrison, who was recently recognized by Westword in its Colorado Creatives series, which highlights artists in the state helping their community and creating excellent work. 

The Rise of Carina Bañuelos-Harrison

Bañuelos-Harrison has been a professional photographer for years, but in addition to her rewarding career, she’s attempted to advocate for other artists who tend to be underrepresented. As the administrator and curator of the City of Aurora, she has supported and collaborated with artists of color on political art projects and works in her community for social justice causes. 

Bañuelos-Harrison is also one of two staff members of the City of Aurora’s Art in Public Spaces organization, which commissions and helps artists produce more public art pieces in the area. She’s been very successful in working with many different local and national artists in creating more public art pieces. One of her favorite projects in recent years was working with Las Vegas artist Justin Favela to produce an installation for the Breckenridge Creative Arts organization in 2019. 

There are still challenges in the local art scene, says Bañuelos-Harrison. In spite of her efforts and the efforts of many other creatives, she says that “we continue to see a lack of representation by artists who are part of marginalized communities within platforms like galleries, museums, and public art.”

Plans for the Future

Bañuelos-Harrison plans to stay in Colorado and raise her children here. One of the benefits for photographers living in this state, she says, is the high amount of natural sunlight year-round. As the founder, curator, and primary photographer for Art and Color, she will continue to be dedicated to being an advocate for communities of color and other marginalized communities in the photography and larger art scenes. 

Colorado has many exciting opportunities for all kinds of artists, and with a rich artistic community full of leaders like Bañuelos-Harrison, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in your community with your art once you get the skills to take good pictures. The best place to start to acquire those abilities is right here at Pickens Technical College.