Online Certificate Programs in Photography

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: None.
  • Professional Prerequisites: None.
  • Average Program Length: Varies. At least six courses.

Photography is the act of capturing still images of people, places, and objects that are used in a wide variety of mediums such as in advertisements, print and on-line news media, and more. To be successful, photographers must have a high level of creativity, technical skill, and knowledge of the functions of a camera and photo editing software. An online photograph certificate program offers instruction in these skills and it allows students to build up a professional portfolio before they graduate. It's well-suited for people who want to work as photographers, artists, or designers, as well as for enthusiasts who want to improve their skills. The online format is especially convenient for working adults who don't have the time to travel to and from a campus to attend class. Instead, they can take their photos and complete their assignments on their own time without setting aside other obligations they may have.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Photography

Online photography certificate programs feature courses that are designed to teach students the basic, intermediate, and advanced skills in digital and black and white photography. These skills may include technical photographic principles, such as lighting for still images and portraits, the retouching and color correction done in digital photography, and the aesthetics and processes of photography. The objective of the program is to encourage students to develop their own creative vision that may distinguish them from their peers. The curriculum of an online certificate program in photography may include courses such as digital photography, photographic lighting, photographic illustration, and photographic techniques and practical considerations.

A photographic techniques and practical considerations course covers the use of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, how to correct for color and tone, image construction with layers, and retouching. The course may also encourage students to develop creative skills through the use of their camera as well as provide instruction in exposure and development, design, and editing. Course work is typically practical in nature, which means students are assigned photography projects that will help them build their portfolio. Students may also be required to complete reading assignments and they may be graded on their performance on exams or discussions.

What Your Online Certificate in Photography Can Do for You

A graduate of an accredited online photography certificate program may be qualified to work as a photographer of a wide range of organizations, such as photographic services, newspapers, television broadcasters, retail businesses, and colleges and universities. Essentially, photographers use their skills and creativity to capture images of people, places, and events that tell a visual story. In addition to composing the images, photographers are responsible for editing images to ensure the color balance and exposure is correct. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the minimum educational requirement for photographers is typically a high school diploma. However, many people enroll in collegiate photography programs so they can learn their craft and build their skills. In this case, an online certification program may be a better option than completing a full bachelor's degree program because it teaches the essential skills photographers need without adding additional and unrelated classes into the curriculum.

Photographers earned a median hourly wage of $14, with the top 10% earning at least $30.48, according to the BLS. Employment of photographers is anticipated to grow 13% from 2010 to 2020, which is about as fast as average for all occupations. Growth will be limited by the decreasing cost of digital cameras which enables individuals and businesses to produce high-quality images on their own, according to the BLS. Employment of self-employed photographers is expected to increase 15% from 2010 to 2020 because of a continued demand for wedding and portrait photographers. However, these projections are no guarantee of salary or employment opportunity, which is determined by location, employer, and condition of the economy.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.