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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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B.Des. in Professional Photography

Focus on your future as a photographer!
Do you see the world through your camera? With a B.Des. in Professional Photography from Penn State, you can share your view of the world with others and prepare you for a professional career. Build and apply career-oriented competencies, acquire practical skills, and learn creative techniques relevant to professional photographic image-making. Our faculty pride themselves on technical, traditional, and experimental forms of learning that will help you establish a strong reputation in the field.

Get your camera ready!

We prepare students to explore, critically appraise, and further push the boundaries of how emerging technologies are used in creative contexts within a field of changing visual technologies.

The Professional Photography degree is designed to provide in-depth, formal education that orients students for careers in client-based professional photography or related fields. The degree focuses on building and synthesizing competencies and capabilities essential to photographers’ professional, intellectual, and cultural lives.

  • Photography students infuse their talent and creativity into a world of changing visual technologies.
  • Grow as a photographer through intensive studio time.
  • Gain real world photography experience

Is the B.Des. in Professional Photography right for you?

You are inspired by the power of photography to reach into our lives. Your personal interests and professional aspirations rely on photography to capture the diversity and complexity of the world around you. With this professional degree, you will be prepared to use photography to communicate in visually stimulating ways. Students who earn this degree take up careers in commercial, documentary, fashion, and sports photography.

If you find working with people and going out on assignments as interesting as you do the technical aspects of photography, combine your skillsets to become a professional photographer.

You will learn in small studio settings and spend undivided time with faculty members who specialize in documentary photography, photojournalism, portraiture, and cultural activism. These professors are enthusiastic about the technical aspects of the medium as well as sharing their knowledge and extensive experience with you.

Photography students experimenting with different lighting techniques.

Considering the B.Des. in Professional Photography? Consider this.

Our alumni have established prominent photography businesses around the world.

  • Our faculty publish their photographs and exhibit in international exhibitions.

  • Our students hold photography internships and freelance while earning their degrees.

  • The College of Arts and Architecture provides diverse photography opportunities.

  • In the increasingly visual world, a nuanced sense of image builds sophistication in communication.

Alumni Spotlight

Brian Kappel

Alumni Spotlight

Brian Kappel

B.A. in Art 1998

Brian is a Portland, Oregon-based artist, graphic designer and a self-described “tinkerer.” After a more than 15-year career with Nike, he founded Space Monkey Designs, a firm that is responsible for numerous high-profile designs including VIP event space for ESPN, set design for the Dew Tour and the College Football Playoff suites.

Illustration of robot in the jaws of a monster, by Brian Kappel
Man looking at futuristic robotic insect. Work by Brian Kappel.
Faceted illustration of woman and flowers by Brian Kappel.

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