Digital Photography Certificate Program

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

All students who finish this program will receive a signed certificate of completion verifying their participation in the program.

This five-day Certificate Program will introduce students to the art, science and business of photography to help prepare them to be a professional photographer. We will cover many disciplines of photography, learning both universal concepts and specific techniques. From the creative power of exposure and composition to the nuance of identifying and modifying both natural and artificial lighting from understanding how to enhance photos in Lightroom to building an effective digital workflow and finally an introduction to the business concepts that will separate you from the rest.

Program Description

This five-day certificate program will prepare you with a wide range of essential and practical skills as you begin your path to being a professional photographer. Starting at the beginning you learn practical technical skills that will allow you to use and master a professional digital camera. You will learn hands-on to use professional lighting equipment. You will shoot photos in a studio and then edit those photos in Lightroom to produce high-quality finished images. You will learn the basics of running a photography business covering retail, commercial and fine-art business concepts. Many different disciplines will be covered, including portrait, wedding, editorial, product, advertising, landscape and more.

Read more about what makes our Certificate Programs unique.

Goals

  • You will have the ability to set proper exposure in both automatic and manual shooting modes.
  • You will understand how to light your subject in a variety of shooting situations.
  • You will understand how to edit your images in Lightroom and prepare them for printing or delivery.
  • You will learn the fundamentals of running a photography business.
  • You will begin building a portfolio of images in a variety of photographic disciplines.

Prerequisites

Students should have some very basic experience shooting photographs, as well as basic, fundamental computer skills. You may contact us if you are unsure.

Resources/Equipment

You should bring your own camera and its user manual. A prosumer or professional camera is required and if you do not own one the instructor can help you make arrangements to rent one to use during the course. If you own them, it is recommended you bring your flash, tripod, any lenses you own, and any other accessories you might have.

BDA will provide an iMac workstation when necessary. However, we invite you to bring your own computer if you prefer. If you do, it must have the current version of Adobe Lightroom installed (trial versions are available on Adobe.com) and the ability to move photos from your camera to your computer (SD card reader, etc.). You will only need your computer on Thursday for the workflow section . For field sessions, bring clothing appropriate for any kind of weather - it is Colorado after all! Field sessions and studio work often involves long periods of standing around, so be prepared to dress twice as warmly as you think you might have to.

After You Register

BDA is committed to making learning process as enjoyable as possible and making sure that you can focus on your learning. After you register you will be contacted by our staff who answer questions you might have and assist you with any logistical and travel concerns.

Schedule

Day 1 - Classroom

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Fundamentals of Exposure and the Camera Introduction to the Digital SLR Camera

We begin with a thorough examination of the fundamental concept of all photography - the exposure. We will explore how to make an image and the creative options that understanding exposure affords you. Immediately following we will explore the functions of the camera and how to achieve creative exposure.

We will also explore the different types of cameras how they function. From mirrorless to SLR, from micro-four thirds to large format, we will talk gear. We will also discuss the important concepts of sensor size and megapixels.

All throughout the section, we will try everything as we learn.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Fundamentals of Composition

In this section we will look at the decisions being made from a standpoint of the composition of the image. We will review guidelines on how to make good compositional choices based on established rules so that you can then either follow or break those rules when it makes sense for your image. We go well beyond the rule of thirds and talk about the pillars of visual arts - the foundation elements of aesthetics.

3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Image Analysis Exercise

In this section we will discuss analyzing your existing photos to understand your natural shooting tendencies, so feel free to bring your laptop or tablet loaded with your photos.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Hands-on Q& A / Self-Directed Assignments

With our remaining time for the day we will answer questions with equipment at hand. This time will be allotted for you to experiment shooting and be able to ask questions as you experiment.

Day 2 - Production Studio

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.: Introduction to Lighting

Whether you shoot with natural light, speedlights or strobes - all light has some common principles that a photographer must master. In this section we will examine the qualities of light such as size, direction, color and more and see them in action in the studio.

10:00 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.: Introduction to Flash and Strobe

In this section we will introduce the use of flash and strobe lighting. We will review the basics of flash photography and the impact they have on your exposure. We will discuss all the different types of lighting available including flash, strobes, hot lights, reflectors and more. We will cover the fundamental controls that all lights have. We will discuss the different types of flash and strobe and why you might choose them. We will discuss the different ways that flashes & strobes can be triggered and the implications of those choices.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Lighting the Portrait and Lighting the Product

In this section we will learn how to light a portrait using flash and strobe. You will work hands on with the lighting, the modifiers and work with a model to achieve images you not only created, but designed by yourself. You'll learn how to light a studio portrait using speedlights/strobes as well as reflectors and other modifiers. We will expand upon the use of light modifiers and their role in getting very specific lighting results.

We will explore the different types of lighting setups that can be created using natural light, portable flash, studio strobes, a variety of modifiers and reflectors. This very hands-on section will include work with live models applying the information you have learned and generating your own portraits.

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: One light set-ups

You don't need a truckload of lighting equipment to create great portraits. In this section, we will look at creating beautiful portraits using one light source. We will focus specifically on speedlights, though we will also use a studio strobe to show how either can work. You will see how you can create stunning lighting with just a few items that can all fit in a backpack.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Hands-on Q& A / Self-Directed Assignments

With our remaining time for the day we will answer questions with equipment at hand. This time will be allotted for you to experiment shooting and be able to ask questions as you experiment.

Day 3 - Classroom

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.: Head Shots and Corporate Portraits

This section will have you take your newly acquired portrait photography skills and apply them in the commercial world. Head shots often bring money in to the business between major commercial projects. Mastering a good head shot can put food on your table during slow times. Expanding on the head shot is the corporate portrait. In this section you will learn how to shoot a portrait in context to a business. We will learn the concepts of environmental portraits and enhancing a simple portrait with additional meaning.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Commercial / Advertising Photography and Stock Photography

In the business world photography is used to communicate a concept or an emotion. Whether it's to communicate trust on a website, emotion in a brochure, or even to help push an immediate donation in a Kickstarter campaign - corporate photography is used to do much more than show a person or capture a moment. In this section, we will review the additional planning and execution required to deliver images to achieve a specific goal. Asking the right questions weeks in advance is often the difference between success and failure of an entire project.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Event Photography

In this section, we will discuss what is required to cover an event as a photographer, how to prepare yourself for successfully shooting a live event. Then you will each shoot your own event in the classroom.

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Wedding / Photojounalism / Documentary

In this section, we will review how the skill sets we have been learning mix together to help you in these photographic disciplines. We will cover discipline specific skills that make these areas of photography different.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Hands-on Q& A / Self-Directed Assignments

With our remaining time for the day we will answer questions with equipment at hand. This time will be allotted for you to experiment shooting and be able to ask questions as you experiment.

Day 4 - Classroom/iMac Lab

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Introduction to Lightroom / Specialized post-processing software

This is an introduction to the powerful image library and editing package from Adobe. You can use a BDA iMac computer, bring your own computer or follow along on the big screen as we go step by step at a high level how the software works. You can work on the same files you created on Tuesday and Wednesday as we go through the different sections of Lightroom and how it works. Various topics of the technical aspects of digital editing will be covered. If you don't own Lightroom, and wish to use your own computer, you can download a free 30-day trial.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Starting and running a photography business - Part 1

In this in-depth section, we will help you understand where to begin, what choices you have to make, and what pitfalls to watch out for. We will help you understand the fundamentals of the photography business, how to understand your true costs, how to price your work, how to select and evaluate products, how to find clients and market your business.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Hands-on Q& A / Self-Directed Assignments

With our remaining time for the day we will answer questions with equipment at hand. This time will be allotted for you to experiment shooting and be able to ask questions as you experiment.

Day 5 - Classroom

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Starting and running a photography business - Part 2

A continuation of yesterday's business section.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Practical Shooting Assignment

During this time, you will have the chance to put everything you have learned together and work on a final assignment of your choice.

3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Practical Edit

Edit your final assignment in preparation for review.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Final Assignment Review / Course Wrap-Up

We will review everyone's final assignments as a group and then wrap-up the course.

Instructor

Matthew DaviesMatthew Davies an award winning photographer who has been teaching and mentoring for the past six years. He also holds a Photographic Craftsman degree from the Professional Photographers of America.

This degree is not merely a piece of paper. It means that he has met the standards of excellence set by PPA. He has been awarded the photographic craftsman degree in recognition of his service to the photographic profession as an orator, author and mentor.

He is an active member of Professional Photographers of America, American Society of Media Photographers, American Society of Photographers and American Photographic Artists.

Location

This Certificate Program will be held at the Boulder location, with one day at the Production Studio.

$1249
BDA Members
$1299
Non-Members

Registration:

BDA Members: $1,249.00

Non-Members: $1,299.00

Available Dates

February 4 - 18, 2017

Weekend Format Schedule

Register
Complete Schedule:
Saturday, February 4, 2017
9am - 5pm
Sunday, February 5, 2017
9am - 5pm
Saturday February 11, 2017
9am - 5pm
Sunday, February 12, 2017
9am - 5pm
Saturday, February 18, 2015
9am - 5pm

Location: Boulder Location (Details)

Boulder Location
1600 Range Street, Suite 100
Boulder, CO  80301

This is BDA's headquarters located at Arapahoe Avenue and Range Street in Boulder (approximately 52nd and Arapahoe) on the northeast corner of Range and Arapahoe. The building is .6 miles east of Foothills Parkway, and .25 miles west of 55th Street. Range is the street that is between the stoplights at Conestoga and Commerce. Parking is available all around the building.

Customer Comments

I just completed BDA's Digital Photography Certificate program and enjoyed my experience immensely. Over five days, I studied lighting, composition, editing, and business. I know we only scratched the surface but I feel like I got exactly what I signed up for. I hope BDA will offer an advanced course so I can further develop my new skills. Thank you!Rebecca
Read All Comments

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Comments For: Digital Photography Certificate Program

I just completed BDA's Digital Photography Certificate program and enjoyed my experience immensely. Over five days, I studied lighting, composition, editing, and business. I know we only scratched the surface but I feel like I got exactly what I signed up for. I hope BDA will offer an advanced course so I can further develop my new skills. Thank you!Rebecca on 10/24/2016
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Optional Payment Plan for Certificate Programs:

We want to make our training as accessible as possible so we offer a simple payment plan for our Certificate Programs. For classes that are $400 - $999, each of the two payments is simply 50% of the total cost of the Certificate Program or "bundle" with no finance charges or other costs. For classes that are $1,000+, each of the four payments is simply 25% of the total cost of the Certificate Program or "bundle" with no finance charges or other costs. BDA membership is required to obtain a payment plan. Click here to learn about membership. The first payment will be taken at the time of registration and the remaining payments are paid once a month for the following three months. Details the payment amounts for this particular program are listed in the table below.

It's easy to take advantage of this option and we encourage you to sign up early since these programs often fill up fast! If you're interested, don't register online. Instead, please contact BDA staff at 303-800-4647 or email us with the name and start date of the class you wish to attend (info@boulderdigitalarts.com) and we'll get you setup, take your first payment, and confirm your registration.

 

Payment Program Details

  Payment Amount
Payment 1
Paid at time of registration.
$312.25
Payment 2
Due one month after registration.
$312.25
Payment 3
Due two months after registration.
$312.25
Payment 4
Due three months after registration.
$312.25
Note: you must be a BDA member to take advantage of our payment plans. Registrants using the payment plan are not eligible for any early registration discounts and always pay the standard registration fee ($1,249.00).
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