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SNHU Graduate Caitlyn Carey. With the text Caitlyn Carey '15

Online Photography Degree Bachelor's in Digital Photography

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Register By: October 23 Classes Start: October 25

Earn a Photography Degree Online

  • $320/credit (120 credits)
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • 100% online instruction
  • Work with professional photographers
  • Learn essential business skills
  • No application fee or SAT/ACT scores required

Online Photography Degree Program Overview

Kick-start your career in the arts or blaze a new professional trail with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Digital Photography from Southern New Hampshire University. The online bachelor's program provides a strong footing in the technical skills of digital camera operation, lighting and post-production image editing while refining your visual literacy and providing you with a foundation in the humanities – all at a fraction of the cost of comparable programs.

"Earning your online degree at SNHU will afford you the opportunity to lay the foundation of being an expert in your craft, and have a deeper understanding of professional photography," said Colleen Vandenberg, photography faculty at SNHU.

In addition to a solid grounding in the liberal arts, this unique online photography degree also delves into the business, social media and brand-building aspects of the profession to help you differentiate yourself in a competitive marketplace. Throughout the program, you'll also develop a professional portfolio for both career advancement and personal fulfillment.

In SNHU's online BA in Digital Photography program, you'll learn how to:

  • Market and advertise services to attract clients
  • Analyze and plan the composition of photographs
  • Use various photographic techniques and lighting equipment
  • Capture subjects in commercial-quality photographs
  • Enhance the subject's appearance with natural or artificial light
  • Employ the latest photo-enhancing software
  • Maintain a digital portfolio to showcase your work

Set Your Sights on a Career in Digital Photography

Have you dreamed of assisting major photographers on a fashion editorial – or even photographing it yourself someday? Or maybe you see a future photographing the covers of leading food magazines or becoming a renowned wedding photographer in your area. Whatever your goals are, the bachelor's in digital photography can help prepare you for a variety of professional opportunities.

Once you complete the online bachelor's in digital photography program, you'll have a skill set directly applicable to a number of fields, including:

  • Portrait photography: Let a person's or group's personality shine through. These shots are usually posed to capture subjects at their best for special occasions, business reasons or just keepsakes.
  • Commercial and industrial photography: Help clients present their products to customers with photography for marketing campaigns. Small businesses and large corporations alike rely on high-quality, professional photographs to drive sales.
  • Aerial photography: Give your shots some altitude. Using a plane or drone, you can get great shots of landscapes, buildings and events. From real estate to weddings, aerial photography is popular.
  • Scientific photography: Using specialized equipment, you’ll present scientific information through photographs. If you’re interested in biology, chemistry, engineering or medicine and enjoy the technical side of photography, this field could be a good choice.
  • News photography: Tell stories for news outlets (including newspapers, journals, magazines and television) as a photojournalist.
  • University photography: From employee portraits to events to publicity photos, academic institutions need photos. Larger universities might have an in-house photographer while others rely on freelance photographers.

While earning your online photography degree already gives you a competitive advantage in the job market, the best candidates have multiple talents and related skills such as picture editing and capturing digital video. For specialties like photojournalism and industrial and scientific photography, a bachelor's degree is often a must.

At SNHU, we trust your artistry can take you far, but we also know your creative skills as a photographer are just the tip of the iceberg. Many career photographers are self-employed – freelancing or even owning their own businesses – which comes with additional responsibilities.

Sloan Kelly with the text Sloan Kelly"Photographers today often are hired on a contract basis and it is essential that they are educated in the successful creation, marketing and running of a photography business," said Sloan Kelly, associate dean of fine and applied arts at SNHU.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics even reports that the demand for self-employed photographers is projected to grow.1 That's why our digital photography curriculum goes beyond the technical side of photography to include courses that teach you the vital business and communication skills you'll need to work with clients. Learning about the legal, marketing and entrepreneurial aspects of photography, you'll graduate from the program knowing how to manage self-employment and market yourself professionally.

Eventually, your work experiences as a photographer could lead you down other creative paths. After cultivating professional connections, acquiring new skills and exploring your passions, you might pursue positions like:

  • Art director. Create a cohesive look and feel for magazines, photoshoots, products, campaigns and even movies. While you'll need 5+ years of related experience to find employment as an art director, the hard work could pay off. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual salary of $97,270 in 2020.1
  • Graphic designer. Communicate ideas that inspire action through visual concepts. You'll lay out photos and copy, create digital images and utilize color and typography. According to the BLS, graphic designers had a 2020 median pay of $53,380 per year.1
  • Video editor and camera operator. Shoot and edit videos for a variety of industries. While photography and videography have plenty of differences, your background in photography can give you a great start. The BLS reported a median annual salary of $61,900 for film and video editors and camera operators in 2020.1

Learn more about how to become a professional photographer.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Digital Photography Degree

Courses & Curriculum

Susana Ellis with the text Susana EllisTaught by industry-leading faculty, the bachelor's in photography is a great program for anyone looking to develop a strong grasp of the theory, practice and history of photography. With 36 free electives, the bachelor's in digital photography is also a transfer-friendly program, allowing students to pursue other academic interests alongside photography. This could be an opportunity to dive further into areas like marketing, communication or graphic design.

"The courses challenged me to be creative," said Susana Ellis '20. "Each class was fun and engaging with great insight from teachers."

Our online photography program was designed to give you the advanced technical knowledge you need to succeed as an artist. You'll learn about:

  • Digital camera operation. Studying the ins and outs of your camera body and lenses, you'll learn how to move on from auto mode to take truly individual and creative photos.
  • Lighting. See how the manipulation of light can affect the aesthetic of a photo, illuminating a subject while communicating emotion.
  • Post-production editing. Explore the art of image editing in software such as Photoshop and Lightroom while gaining knowledge about key topics like color, resolution and formatting.

Colleen Vandenberg with the text Colleen Vandenberg"By learning how to manually control their camera, and harness the power of aperture and shutter speed, students can create images with intention," said Colleen Vandenberg, photography faculty at SNHU. "With a strong foundation of technical skills, the student will become free to push creative boundaries."

On top of technical photography skills, our bachelor's in digital photography teaches you the vital business knowledge needed to establish and run a successful photography business. Focusing on the legal, marketing and entrepreneurial aspects of photography, you'll learn how to:

  • Build a personal brand
  • Copyright your work
  • Develop contracts and release forms
  • Set pricing structures and manage overhead costs
  • Work with clients

But when it comes to running a successful photography business, you'll need more than core business knowledge. In this digital photography program, you'll also strengthen general skills and attributes that are considered necessary when working with clients. These include:

  • Accountability and professionalism
  • Creative intelligence and problem-solving
  • Flexibility, timeliness and time management
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Written and verbal communication

Throughout the program, you'll be accumulating works through various assignments. While learning the technical aspects of photography, you'll enjoy a robust feedback process to enrich your learning experience. Engaging in peer and professional critiques of photographic work, you'll be preparing yourself for formal employment and contract interviews. SNHU now has one of the largest online photography programs in the country, so you'll be able to benefit from studying with and learning from a diverse group of students from all over.

Saryn Christina with the text Saryn ChristinaThese critiques will be invaluable as you develop and curate your professional photography portfolio. In fact, the digital photography program culminates with a course dedicated to polishing your portfolio, providing you the opportunity to showcase your professional work. With the creation of both digital and print portfolios, you'll establish a branded identity as a working professional and artist.

"The classes have pushed my boundaries and allowed me to grow my skill set," said Saryn Christina '21. "I have gained a lot of self-confidence and knowledge," which she adds will lead to many new opportunities in the future.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

  • General education courses: All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
  • Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
  • Earn math credits for what you already know: Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Show your knowledge of the materials in your program's math courses, and you could earn up to 12 math credits – at less than $50 for each course assessment.

Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation—and haven't raised our costs in a decade.

We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits 
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)* $675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

References