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In our photography program, you will work in some of the best darkrooms, studios, and labs in the country.  Film or digital, fine art or commercial, our goal is to prepare you for the real world of earning a living with your camera... or just enjoy a really great hobby. 

We offer courses in black and white, digital imaging, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, studio lighting, portraiture, website creation, and much, much more.

The Certificate of Achievement and the Associate of Arts degree are designed for students seeking employment in the photography field.  We also offer Certificates in Freelance Photography, Commercial Photography, Black & White Darkroom Photography, Digital Imaging, Studio Photography, and Fine Art Photography.

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Course Catalog Description

Click here for course description from Catalog

Career Options

While this list is not all-inclusive, here are some careers that require education beyond the associate degree:

  • Advertising photographer
  • Commercial photographer
  • Fashion photographer
  • Food photographer
  • Editorial photographer/journalist
  • Industrial photographer
  • Portrait/wedding photographer
  • Photo researcher
  • Photographic artist
  • Photographic printer
  • Photography instructor
  • Photo laboratory technician
  • Stock photographer

Photography Transfer Information

Common university majors related to the field of Photography include:

  • Art
  • Art and Design
  • Art Photography
  • Communication
  • Film and Electronic Arts
  • Photography
  • Visual and Public Arts

Course Requirements for Transfer Students

Students who plan to transfer to a four year college or university and earn a bachelor's degree in this discipline should consult with a counselor or visit the Transfer/Career Center to determine the appropriate major preparation courses for their specific transfer institution and major.  Transfer students may also earn an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences with an emphasis.  This degree may be individually tailored to each student's specific transfer requirements in order to provide the most efficient path to transfer.  More information on transfer programs and procedures is available in the Transfer Programs section of the catalog.

Caity Fares, Professor

Assistant Professor, Photography 
Instagram: @caityfares 

Beginning and Intermediate B&W, Portraiture, Lighting, Infrared, Toy Camera, Composition, and more. 

Caity Fares (she/they) obtained her BA in Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and completed her Masters of Fine Art in Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. She has extensive experience teaching photography at numerous schools around the state of California, including UC Santa Cruz, the San Francisco Art Institute, the Art Institute of California, San Diego, and UCSD Extension.  

In her personal practice, Caity often uses handmade cameras, alternative photographic processes, and digital hybrid practices to make experimental landscape images. She has exhibited work in the states and abroad, including at The California Museum of Photography, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, the Szkéné Theatre in Budapest, the San Francisco Arts Commission, SOMArts, and the San Diego Art Institute: Museum of the Living Artist. Her photos have been published in over 30 online and print venues, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Shots Magazine, and Creative Quarterly. She has served as a panelist and judge in multiple conferences and contests across the state, including the UCSD Ethnography and Design Conference and the Adobe Creative Photography Jam. Caity was a resident artist at Fljotstunga Travel Farm in Iceland, The Makers Circle in Asheville, and Space4Art in San Diego, and is the current administrator of the online group “Queer Community San Diego." She also works with various non-profits as a SOGIE trainer (sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression). 

Caity is beyond excited to be teaching as an Assistant Professor in the Photography department after over five years as an adjunct with City College. Her background in social justice activism finds its way into the classroom on a daily basis, and she is proud to begin rewriting course curriculum to further engage diverse global voices. Caity is passionate about getting students to think about art-making as more than just a practice that happens inside of a classroom or a studio, but rather, as a way of interacting with the world. 

Courses: Beginning and Intermediate B&W, History of Photography, Alternative Processes, Introduction to Digital Photography, Portfolio I and II, and more! 
Amanda Dahlgren, Professor

Assistant Professor, Photography  

Amanda DahlgrenI am thrilled to join the incredible Photography Program at San Diego City College as an Assistant Professor. I bring more than 10 years of college teaching experience and a broad range of skills that includes curriculum development, leadership and collaboration, producing and curating, and, of course, image-making. Former positions I have held include the following: Director of the Athenaeum’s School of the Arts, Visual Technology Teacher at High Tech High, Gallery Educator at the Museum of Photographic Arts, Lead Producer for Open Show San Diego, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Grossmont College, Chairperson for the West Chapter of the Society for Photographic Education, and Contributing Writer for Lenscratch and the PhotoPlace Gallery.

Besides being a committed educator, I am a broadly trained photographic artist with an MFA in fine art photography and experience in both the analog and digital realms. I also have experience running a freelance photography business, including studio portrait, wedding, and product photography and the effective use of social media and web design tools for promotion.

My own photographic practice is not only informed by my bachelor’s degree in design—in terms of thoughtful attention to composition, color theory, and design principles—but by the desire of all artists: to make an authentic personal statement that resonates deeply with the receptive viewer. I have found success with my work in that arena, making connections and creating dialogue with curators, other artists, the general public, and the media, for example, when I was interviewed by Kai Ryssdal on American Public Media’s Marketplace about my Distressed series dealing with the housing crisis. As someone whose work aims to open conversations about the way we live as a society and what we choose to value, this discourse is vital to my practice.

I believe strongly that every student, no matter their age, background, or skill level, has something valuable to contribute through photography and that it is my job as an educator to challenge and inspire each student to find powerful and authentic ways to express it.

The above paragraph sums up my educational philosophy and the lens through which I view everything I do as an educator. I believe a great educator is more of a mentor and facilitator than an authoritarian. And although I am typically the subject matter expert in a class, I believe that students will be more intrinsically motivated to learn and will retain more of what they learn if they are invested in their own education.

One of the joys of working in community colleges is the diversity of the students. It is always wonderful to see how classes are enriched by students with a diversity of life experience, age, gender, socio-economic status, language, culture, and nationality. It is one of my jobs as an educator to create a climate of acceptance and celebration of individual expression, which is best informed by encouraging students to examine, and be honest about, who they are as diverse individuals.

Courses: Introduction to Digital Photography, Photo Editing: Lightroom, Advanced Digital Photography, Photographic Portfolio I and II, Photographic Composition and Design, History of Photography, and more!

  • Demonstrate competent use of reciprocal exposures utilizing shutter speeds and apertures.
  • Utilize compositional elements in the creation of original photographs in various formats.
  • Develop black and white film and make gelatin silver prints in a traditional darkroom.
  • Utilize Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop in digital color correction and image manipulation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history of photography and the role of photographs in today's society.
  • Illustrate abilities in various professional presentation techniques utilizing archival mounting and matting materials.
  • Apply theories and principles of photographic light and lighting control for both film and digital capture.
  • Create a marketing plan and business materials such as letterhead and business cards.
  • Produce professional quality, colorcorrected photographs utilizing archival pigment and chromogenic materials.
  • Produce professional portfolios suitable for sharing with potential clients or grad school entrance.