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Earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Professional Photography

Majors Overview April 10, 2014

Those who attend associate’s degree programs in Photography can obtain entry-level jobs in the photography business. This program also serves as preparation for bachelor’s degree programs. The basic concepts of photography, such as lighting, imaging technologies, technical concepts, and theory, will be taught to students.

Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree Programs in Professional Photography

Students enrolled in Associate of Science (A.S.) degree programs in Professional Photography are imparted foundational skills in photo technology, advertising, fine arts aesthetics and photo editing. Schools don’t usually offer programs titled as ‘Professional Photography’; however, interested students can pursue Associate of Science (A.S.) in Photographic Technology or AS in Photography degree programs; these can serve as a stepping stone to becoming a professional photographer, though these programs are usually devised to facilitate continued education by students.

Students learn about both color and black-and-white imaging, in addition to the concepts of digital photography. Coursework includes classes in oral communications, sociology, psychology and mathematics, whereby students are provided a well-rounded education. It typically takes two years to complete the program.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma, in addition to submitting official transcripts of any high school or postsecondary courses completed. Additional requirements are required to be met by international students who seek admission, including the submission of scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.


Apart from business applications and photography theory, students are taught about how to operate and care for all photography-related equipment. Computer-related programs employed to manipulate print and digital photography may also be taught. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Digital photography in the fine arts
•Location photography
•Studio portraiture
•Art appreciation
•Color and digital photography
•Darkroom techniques
•Commercial photography
•Color materials

Career Choices

Graduates of an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree program may seek entry-level jobs, including photography positions in the travel, advertising and fashion industries. They may choose from job titles such as:

•Production assistant
•Scientific photographer
•Digital re-toucher
•Photographer’s assistant
•Commercial photographer

Continuing Education Choices

Most of those who successfully complete an AS degree program pursue continued education by earning a bachelor’s degree to enhance their skills and improve their career prospects. At the bachelor’s degree level, students may be able to focus on concentrations in biomedical photography or creative photography. To improve their skills and increase job choices, students may enroll in master’s degree programs.

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