Digital Photography

Photographers capture our world as they see it ─ bringing us visuals of everything from the realities of war to beautiful pictures of products to be featured in advertisements. Learn how our Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science in Digital Photography programs can foster your creative talent while teaching you the technical, business, and marketing skills needed for a career in photography.

Enhance your Digital Photography skills

In this program, you can:

  • Learn how to combine your visual flair with fundamental composition and technical skills
  • Study digital camera techniques and applications; the principles of light, color, and design; creative visual expression; photography history; and a range of digital imaging practices
  • Develop the problem-solving, communication, and business skills needed to be competitive force in the industry
  • Receive one-on-one guidance from instructors with digital photography backgrounds

Career opportunities

As a graduate, you could pursue entry-level roles in photography studios, ad agencies, magazines, publishing houses, and elsewhere—including these positions:

  • Newspaper Photojournalist
  • Studio Manager
  • Commercial Photography
  • Editorial Photographer
  • Photographic Editor

Our Career Services team can support you in preparing for and finding the career opportunity that’s right for you.

Learn More Read Gainful Employment Information

The Art Institute student portfolios

Our students, alumni, and faculty are invited to join The Art Institute Portfolio Gallery — an exclusive network — to gain broader exposure for your work, connect with fellow students and alumni, and make it easier for potential clients, recruiters, and creative enthusiasts to find your work.

See More

Course listing

The courses in the Associate’s in Digital Photography are designed to prepare you to pursue a career in your chosen field. All of our courses are built to engage and challenge you through text, video, animation, chat, and more, while also helping you learn relevant industry knowledge and skills.

View course listing

Faculty overview

The faculty members at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division are devoted to empowering you for your future career. Their guidance and mentorship can help you to focus your creative energy and vision toward the skills that matter most in your field—and, as an online student, you’ll be in constant contact with your instructors via email, video, phone, and even chat.

Effi Karakaidos

Ms. Karakaidos received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Vermont College in Visual Art. Before accepting a full time teaching position with The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division, Ms. Karakaidos taught photography, foundations and image manipulation courses for The Art Institute of California – San Diego, a campus of Argosy University, where she was also the Gallery Committee Chair and the Photo Club adviser. She has had two solo museum exhibitions at the Museum of the Living Artist in San Diego, and has participated in and won prizes in numerous juried exhibitions including First Prize at the San Diego Museum of Art Artists’ Guild Juried Exhibition, awarded by Scott Atkinson, Head Curator of the San Diego Museum of Art, and Jurors’ Award at the Cannon Gallery Biennial Juried Exhibition in Carlsbad.

Brianna Burnett

Brianna Burnett currently lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Art from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and her Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Texas Tech University. Brianna has photographed internationally for publications and nonprofits, taught elementary art, and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in places such as Suchitoto, El Salvador and self-published “A Little Space – Growing Up Salvadorian”. Brianna is a founding member of Clamp Light Studios, a co-op of studios and an artist run gallery in San Antonio, Texas. Brianna’s current photographs are investigations into the ideas of storytelling and narrative. She works with alternative processes to create one-of-a-kind photographs and small edition series which reference experience, past connections, community and story.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any Web site linked to this Web site/newsletter. The links are provided for your information and convenience only. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online does not endorse, support or sponsor the content of any linked Web sites. If you access or use any third party Web sites linked to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online’s Web site, you do so at your own risk. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online makes no representation or warranty that any other Web site is free from viruses, worms or other software that may have a destructive nature.

Digital Photography degree requirements

The prospective student must be a high school graduate with a minimum, cumulative, final high school CGPA of 1.5 or higher, or hold a General Education Development (GED) Certificate, or associate's degree or higher as a prerequisite for admission.

Online orientation

Before you start your first course, you’re encouraged to complete an online orientation that introduces you to different features of the online classroom and prepares you for your role as an active learner in our online classes.

Classroom demo

See the online classroom in action.

Technical requirements

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division photography program is designed to allow students to build their equipment suite piece by piece. The first photography course in the Digital Workflow Certificate program, PHOA102 Introduction to Photography Applications, only requires Adobe production software and any device that can shoot an 8 megabyte photograph and upload to your computer. The first shooting course, PHOA101 Principles of Digital Photography is where a student makes their first major investment in a High Definition SLR Camera, lenses and other accessories. Later in the program an Ambient and Flash Meter is used in PHOA112 and a professional studio strobe kit is needed for PHOA113 Lighting. Additional smaller investments in a photo-quality printer, backgrounds, an on-camera flash, and color calibrator will be needed at other points in the program.

By the time a student graduates they will have invested in the equipment they need to set-up his/her own photography business - a practical investment in their future. Each graduate is ready to set up his/her own studio or work in a studio, because by the time he/she completes the program he/she will own and have worked with a professional camera, 3 – strobe lighting kit, printer, flash, color calibrator, and other studio accessories.

List of materials and equipment required for the Photography program

While the total cost will differ for each person, incoming Photography students can expect to invest at approximately $2,000 to $5,000 throughout the duration of this program. These costs are associated with each student acquiring the professional equipment necessary to engage in the primary activities as a professional in the industry; the range is due to the various levels of quality from the minimum required to a higher level.

Equipment list

  • View the Digital Workflow Materials & Equipment Overview
  • HDSLR (High Definition Single Lens Reflex) with interchangeable lens, 10 MB or high sensor resolution, video recording capability of at least 720p at 24fps
  • Memory Card(s)
  • Backup Batteries
  • 18-55mm lens
  • 55-200mm lens
  • Camera Bag (Optional)
  • Medium Sized Tripod - Must be able to firmly secure a SLR Camera + Flash
  • Monopod (Optional)
  • On-camera flash
  • 3 Monolights (Studio Strobes) with radio slaves
  • Ambient & Flash Meter
  • Light Modifiers (umbrellas, softboxes)
  • Light Stands
  • Reflector(s)
  • Diffuser(s)
  • Gray Card
  • Lavalier Microphone
  • External Digital Recorder
  • Neutral Density Filters
  • LED HOT-Shoe Mount Light
  • Adobe CS6 or Creative Cloud, including Lightroom, Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, and Premier
  • Adobe Flash Player (Version 10.0 or higher)
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional (Version CS6 or higher)
  • Apple Quicktime (Version 7 or higher)
  • Norton Antivirus (Version 10.2 or higher)
  • Adobe Lightroom 
  • Microsoft Office Professional (Version 2010 or higher) or Microsoft Office University 365
  • Snagit (optional)
  • Techsmith.Jing
  • Skype Free
  • Windows Media Player (Version 12 or higher)

Minimum technology requirements

  • PC: Users should have systems with the following specifications: Intel® Core™2 Duo or AMD Phenom® II processor; 64-bit support required, Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1, 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended), 20 GB available hard disk space recommended, 1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit color, 7200 RPM or faster hard drive (multiple fast disk drives, preferably RAID 0 configured, recommended); Sound card compatible with ASIO protocol or Microsoft Windows Driver Model 1 GB VRAM,and OpenGL 2.0–capable system.
  • Mac: Users should have systems with the following specifications: Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support, *Mac OS X v. 10.7 or higher, v10.8, or v10.9, 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended), 30 GB available hard disk space recommended, 1280x800 display (1280x1024 recommended) with 16-bit color, 7200 RPM hard drive (multiple fast disk drives, preferably RAID 0 configured, recommended), QuickTime 7.6.6 software required for QuickTime features; 1 GB VRAM, and OpenGL 2.0–capable system.
    *Mac users must have a minimum of OS 10.7 in order to run Adobe Creative Cloud.

Additional required hardware

  • Photo Printer - capable of handling 8.5 x 11 Photo Paper, and minimum of 6+ separate ink cartridges to ensure sufficient range of color representation in printing
  • Color Management System (Xrite ColorMunki Photo)
  • Mouse

Internet requirements

A connection allowing download speed of of 2 Mbps and an upload speed of 1 Mbps is required.

Web browser requirements

Windows Users: The two latest releases of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome are supported.

Mac Users: The two latest releases of Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome are supported.

Visit Journey Ed, America's leading seller of hardware and software to students. Select from a wide variety of software programs and purchase all of your required software online - at a student discount.

Purchase hardware and software

Visit Journey Ed, America's leading seller of hardware and software to students. Select from a wide variety of software programs and purchase all of your required software online - at a student discount.


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