Digital Photography

A good photographer can capture our essence and document our human journey through their work. See how our Bachelor of Science in Digital Photography program can help you channel your creativity and vision toward establishing yourself in the photography field.

Enhance your Digital Photography skills

In this program, you can:

  • Learn the composition, lighting, camera and technical skills needed to create compelling imagery
  • Study image manipulation, photojournalism, photographic design, the business of photography, and more
  • Gain familiarity working with a range of professional camera and lighting equipment
  • Receive guidance from instructors with industry-relevant experiences and 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 Bachelor’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.

Stephen Phillips

With over two decades of professional work in higher education, commercial photography, illustration, and fine arts, Stephen has taught photography at The Art Institute of Philadelphia, Maryland Institute College of Art, Pennsylvania School of the Arts, and for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division (“Ai Pittsburgh – Online Division”) since early 2011. His clients have included The Baltimore Sun; Concert Artists of Baltimore; among many others. His focus at Ai Pittsburgh – Online Division includes studio lighting, advertising, and portfolio courses. He has a blog for Ai Pittsburgh – Online Division students at http://professorphillips.blogspot.com/.

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.

Ted Fisher

Ted Fisher is a photographer, filmmaker, curator and educator. As a photographer, solo exhibitions include “In Heaven,” Brandstater Gallery, La Sierra University, Riverside, CA, and “One Hundred Thousand Portraits,” East Gallery & Peggy Phelps Gallery. As a filmmaker, screenings include “All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival,” “Arizona State University Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival,” “Artsfest Film Festival,” “Big Sky Documentary Film Festival,” “Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival,” “Detroit Docs International Film Festival,” “Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival,” “Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival,” “Melbourne Underground Film Festival,” and “Picture This Film Festival.” His work in visual journalism includes producing and editing the "Frugal Traveler: American Road Trip" series for The New York Times, which won the 2008 Webby Award in the Travel Category for Online Film & Video, as well as the "Frugal Traveler: The Grand Tour" series, winner of the Webby award in 2009.

His filmography is at IMDB and TedFisher.com is his main website.

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.

Mary H. Yates

Mary Yates has been a practicing fine and commercial artist who works in photographic imagery in historic process, digital images, installation and video. Specializing in the both high and low tech processes, Mary has distinguished herself as an innovator and has won numerous awards and grants for her photography and imaging work including recognition for her editorial work from the Association of Alternative News Weeklies and grant awards from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Kentucky Arts Council and the Artist Bill Fischer Working Artist Fund. Mary holds a Master of Arts in Photography and Digital Media from the Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville and received her Bachelors from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL.

Mary’s work has appeared in a variety of publications including the LEO Weekly, Boom Magazine, The New York Times, Juxtapoze Magazine, and is featured in a book on the Australian Treeline Project. Commercially Mary’s work has appeared in promotions for the band My Morning Jacket, The American Poster Institute and other music industry publications. Though her passion for the medium of photography, Mary shares her knowledge of the field as well as techniques and processes through her teaching at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division. She also has also taught in arts outreach programs through the Louisville Visual Art Association focusing on teaching youth drawing and photography skills.

Digital Photography degree requirements

As a prerequisite for admission to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division, students must be a high school graduate with a minimum, cumulative, final high school CGPA of 2.0 or higher, or hold a General Education Development GED Certificate, or associate's degree or higher.

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 Digital Photography program is designed to allow students to build their equipment suite piece by piece. The first photography course in the Bachelor of Science degree 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; an additional studio strobe is needed in PHOA202 Studio Photography, and then a third strobe is used in PHOA223 Advanced 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 Digital Photography program

While the total cost will differ for each person, incoming Digital Photography students can expect to invest at approximately $3,100 to $13,000 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 Bachelor of Science in Photography 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

Software Requirements

  • 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, 1 GB VRAM, and OpenGL 2.0–capable system.
  • 7200 RPM or faster hard drive (multiple fast disk drives, preferably RAID 0 configured, recommended. QuickTime 7.6.6 software required for QuickTime features.
  • Mac: Users should have systems with the following specifications: Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support, *Mac OS X v. 10.7 or higher, or v10.9, 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended), 30 GB available hard disk space recommended, 1280x800 display (1280x1024 recommended) with 16-bit color, 1 GB VRAM, and OpenGL 2.0–capable system.7200 RPM hard drive (multiple fast disk drives, preferably RAID 0 configured, recommended.
    *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 broadband connection allowing download speed 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.

Note: All Courses use the latest version of the software packages required.

While our students may use any resource to get the required equipment for the Digital Photography program, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division has selected B&H Photo & Video &trade as our recommended vendor for equipment purchasing.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division has done this to make the process easier, and provide our students with a single point of contact.

If students decide to use B&H Photo & Video to acquire their equipment, they should expect an B&H Photo & Video Educational Sales Representative to assist them in selection of the best equipment based on spec requirements and budget. Students may also access the B&H Photo & Video student portal and use the search functions to assist in product selection.

A student discount rate is available for those students who are currently enrolled in one video or photo program.

Students must select the "Become a Member" option and complete a simple verification form. Proof of enrollment is required. Once verified, students will be a member for one year and will be eligible for all student discount rates on purchases during that time period.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division will work directly with B&H Photo & Video during the student verification process to ensure a timely response.

Students should access the following B&H Photo & Video link to become a member: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/eduRootPage.jsp?edu

Customer Service: 800-221-7543 or 212-939-7765 Product Questions: 866-276-1435

* Not all equipment must be purchased at the beginning of the program. Contact your Academic Advisor, Admissions Representative or Faculty member (for those who are already enrolled) about when you will need each item.

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.

Visit journeyEd.com

Check out our latest posts

from our Community Blog

12 Tips for Travel Photography

Summer is almost here, and it’s time to enjoy sunshine, warm weather...

Read the article
How to Become an Expert at Online Learning

Preparing to start your very first online creative arts class? Or maybe...

Read the article
Simple Ways to Impress Your Freelance Clients

If you’re looking for a way to be your own boss and spend your days...

Read the article
5 Keys to Impactful Advertising Campaigns

Ready to grow your audience? Creating an advertising campaign is a great...

Read the article
Show more