Enhance your Portrait Photography skills
In this program, you can:
- Develop skills and familiarity with industry-standard equipment, techniques, and business practices that can help you create images that will be treasured for generations
- Study image manipulation, principles of photography, digital image management, lighting, color management and printing, marketing for photographers, and more
- Build a portfolio of photographic portraits to share with potential employers
- Learn from instructors with professional photography experience
The courses in the Certificate in Portrait 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
As a graduate, you’ll be prepared to:
- Start a one-person freelance portrait photography business
- Become an assistant to an established portrait photographer
Our Career Services team can support you in preparing for and finding the career opportunity that’s right for you.
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.
See the online classroom in action.
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.
Portrait Photography degree requirements
The prospective student must be a high school graduate with a minimum, final high school GPA of 1.5 or higher, or hold a General Education Development (GED) Certificate, or associate's degree or higher as a prerequisite for admission.
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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 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.
- 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
- Gray Card
- Lavalier Microphone
- External Digital Recorder
- Neutral Density Filters
- LED HOT-Shoe Mount Light
- Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription (Contains Adobe Acrobat Professional, After Effects, Audition, Bridge, Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro)
- Microsoft Office Professional (Version 2010 or higher) or Microsoft Office University 365
- Norton Antivirus (Latest Version)
- Techsmith Snagit
Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Apple Quicktime 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)
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.
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