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Digital Workflow

The advent of digital photography has changed the photography industry forever ─ and altered the skills expected of professional photographers. Learn how our Digital Workflow Certificate program can prepare you to enter the field of photography, enhance your skills, or help you make a career transition.

Enhance your Digital Workflow skills

In this program, you can:

  • Study basic exposure, composition, and camera operations before moving on to photographic design, digital processing, color management, printing, and applied business practices
  • Get the information you need to consider starting a one-person retouching or printing business, or to pursue a position as an assistant to an established photographer
  • Develop industry-standard skills and in-depth technical knowledge of digital imaging and processing, from exposure to final presentation
  • Learn how to build a competitive portfolio of your photographic work
  • Receive guidance from instructors with extensive photography knowledge and experience

Course listing

The courses in the Certificate in Digital Workflow 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

Career opportunities

As a graduate, you’ll be prepared to seek these entry-level positions in the photography industry:

  • Digital Imaging Specialist
  • Photo Processor

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.

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Online orientation

Each student who enrolls at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division is encouraged to complete an online student orientation prior to the start date of the student's first course. The online orientation helps the student become familiar with different features of the online classroom environment and prepares the student for his or her role as an active learner in the online classroom.

Classroom demo

See the online classroom in action.

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.

Joseph Lavine

Mr. Lavine received a Bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University and a Master’s degree in Digital Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has owned a commercial photography studio for the past twenty years in Colorado, where his clients include General Mills, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Coors, and Kraft. Joseph has taught photography for twelve years at The Art Institute of Colorado, and currently teaches full time with The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division. Besides working as a photographer and educator, Mr. Lavine is a frequent beta tester and lecturer for Leaf America, Adobe, X-Rite, and Mamiya America Corporation. He has been a contributing author for numerous books including the recent release of The Elements of Photography. Lavine Photography Inc.

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.

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.

Damon Sauer

Damon Sauer is an artist and educator based in Phoenix, Arizona. His fine art work includes an ongoing collaborative practice with Julie Anand. Their work investigates notions of boundaries, language and perspective through diverse photographic media and technologies; it has been exhibited nationally at venues including RayKo Gallery in San Francisco, the LA Center for Digital Art and the El Paso Museum of Art.

Sauer's personal Fine Art work involves photographic investigations of residue and mediation.

He has also worked on editorial projects for the Virginia G. Piper Charitable trust and other commercial photographic projects.

Damon Sauer currently serves as a full-time faculty member at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division, and has previously taught at Phoenix area community colleges and universities, as well as serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. Sauer will be co-teaching a course at Penland School of Crafts in the Summer of 2011. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in 2005.

Digital Workflow 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.

Technical requirements

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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 megapixel 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 equipment list for the Photography Programs

  • HDSLR (High-definition Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera) with interchangeable lenses, 10 megapixel or higher sensor resolution, capable of recording HD video (Many cameras that are labeled DSLR cameras also meet the concept of an "HDSLR." The distinction is based on whether a camera shoots HD video or not. This can be 1920 by 1080 or it can be 1280 by 720 -- either format will be fine. The camera must be able to record video and sound.)
  • Memory Card(s)
  • Backup Batteries
  • Camera lenses with 18-200mm focal length range
  • Camera Bag (Optional)
  • Medium Sized Tripod - Must be able to firmly secure a SLR Camera + Flash
  • Monopod (Optional)
  • On-camera flash (Hot Shoe Flash)
  • 1 Monolight (Studio Strobe) with radio slave
  • Ambient/Flash Meter
  • Light Modifiers (umbrellas, softboxes)
  • Light Stands
  • Reflector(s)
  • Diffuser(s)
  • Gray Card
  • Lavalier Microphone
  • External Digital Recorder
  • Neutral Density Filters
  • LED with Hot-Shoe Mount
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription (Contains Adobe Acrobat Professional, After Effects, Animate, Audition, Bridge, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro)
  • Microsoft Office Professional (Version 2010 or higher) or Microsoft Office University 365
  • Antivirus Software (Latest Version)
  • Skype (Recommended)
  • Techsmith SnagIt, Jing, or other screen capture software

Recommended plugins:

Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Windows Media Player, and Java

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, 1366 x 768 minimum display resolution (1920x1080 recommended), 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, 1366 x 768 minimum display resolution (1920x1080 recommended), 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

An internet connection speed of 256K is required, 1 Mbps or greater is recommended.

Web browser requirements

Windows Users: The two latest releases of Microsofft 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.