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Use Technical Expertise, Creativity, and Composition Skills to Produce and Preserve Images

The Professional Photography program at Pickens Technical College is a comprehensive, two-semester program designed to prepare students for entry into the photography career field. These courses will take you from the basics of Exposure Theory, 35mm SLRs, and B&W Photography through Studio Lighting, Digital Imaging, and a Professional Portfolio. Upon successful graduation, you will be prepared to freelance, serve as a photographer’s assistant or continue on with your photography education by transferring to one of Colorado’s community colleges.

Program Flyer Steps for Enrollment Pickens Lookbook See the Classroom

What Our Students Learn

  • Lighting, portraiture, and commercial photography
  • Digital and film photography
  • Darkroom skills & lab management
  • DSLR camera operations
  • Exposure theory
  • Professional Inkjet Printing
  • Film & print scanning

Career Outlook

  • Entry level salaries start at $25,000 and up
  • Median salary is $46,000
  • 10% of workers earn $75,000 or more

Program Experience

  • Students spend 50% of their time learning concepts in a classroom, and 50% of their time with hands-on practical work
  • Students gain experience in a simulated studio environment with industry-grade equipment
  • Enrollment options are available for both high school students and post-secondary students
  • 1 year of classes

Erik Schubert

Instructor, Professional Photography
303-344-4910 ext. 27918

Erik has been teaching since 2010, and has been in the industry for over 16 years. Prior to taking over the helm at Pickens Technical College, Erik has taught photography at MassArt, Greenfield Community College, UCCS, and CU Denver. Erik’s a published & exhibited fine art photographer, freelance retail/editorial photographer, and commercial photography assistant.

Industry Certifications & Degrees:

  • MFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art & Design
  • BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago

Accredited Certificate Courses (30 credits)

All credits earned at Pickens technical college are recognized by the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), and are eligible for transfer to other colleges within the state of Colorado.

Introduces black and white photography as a fine art medium and develops skills necessary for basic camera and lab operations.

Introduces lab safety and proper equipment operation. Purpose is to insure that students spend the necessary time to complete shooting, digital, and darkroom assignments. Includes outside shooting and study time as needed to pass the co-requisite courses.

Emphasizes the fundamental operations of a DSLR camera. The general operation of the camera, proper camera handling and maintenance, exposure control, depth of field, lenses and the visual characteristics of lenses, and an understanding of how digital capture works are emphasized. Additional topics include: f-stops, shutter speeds, metering modes, use of the histogram, auto focus, auto bracketing, and exposure compensation.

This course is a continuation of Digital Capture Processing I and focuses on digital image processing and printing. Topics include: visual understanding of print quality, basic RAW processing, various digital workflows, further development of vocabulary of digital darkroom terminology, creating and utilizing actions in Photoshop, and further advancement of Photoshop technique.

Explores the creative uses of studio lighting from the perspective of fine art photography with an emphasis on portraiture, three dimensional object photography, and two dimensional collage photography.

Teaches computer-aided photography and darkroom techniques. The emphasis of this course is image-editing software, which can be used to color correct, retouch, and composite photographic images. Other topics include image acquisition, storage, file management, special effects, and hard copy output.

Teaches the technical and aesthetic aspects of studio and location portrait photography. This course explores the personal style of portraiture, history of the field, and portraiture as a visual language and creative expression. This topic also includes lighting, composition, posing, and equipment selection.

Explores aesthetic development of personal style and vision as they relate to historic and contemporary practices and trends in various photographic genres. Students will create a portfolio of images that are unified by their stylistic qualities and within a chosen genre, such as photojournalism, editorial, commercial, and portraiture. Class will include discussions on professional practices, organizations, workflows, and ethical standards based in various genres.

The course is the terminal/capstone course for the Professional Photography program. Completion of all classes or concurrent enrollment in the remaining classes of the program is a requirement. In this class, students will create a computer-based portfolio and a printed presentation portfolio. Different techniques necessary for the production of the portfolios and styles of portfolios are covered. Resumes, cover letters, promotional pieces, presentation techniques, and skills related to the pursuit of careers and furthering education are covered in this class.

Meets the individual needs of students. Students engage in intensive study or research under the direction of a qualified instructor.

A demonstrated culmination of learning within a given program of study.

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