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Studio: Photography

Deepen your personal studio practice while you explore best practices and practical strategies to incorporate photography in the art classroom.

Ansel Adams once said, “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” In this class, participants will take on both of these roles. As the photographer, participants will plan and execute imagery of their own. As the viewer, participants will reflect upon the work of peers as well as other artists. Together, course members will embark upon a mutually powerful learning experience that can influence not only their own personal studio practice but instructional decisions in the art classroom as well.

Participants will learn the basics of photography through the creation of visual stories and explore best practices and meaningful strategies for approaching photography with students. The culmination of the course will include developing a comprehensive portfolio of studio work alongside practical tools for the classroom.

See the course syllabus and Graduate Catalog for more details.

Required Materials

Photography Materials List

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition. ISBN 978-1-4338-3216-1

Additional Materials

  • Computer with basic audio and video output equipment
  • Access to photo-editing software.
  • Internet access (broadband recommended)
  • Basic computing skills (see AOEU’s Technology Requirements)
  • Access to AOEU’s online learning platform, Brightspace, to view course content, submit assignments, and engage in discussion (provided)
  • A Google Drive account (not provided by AOEU)
  • Word-processing platform (Microsoft Office, Pages, Google Docs)
Graduate Credits
All courses will now close at 11 PM Central time on the 27th of each month. Graduate Credits 3 Graduate Credits
Price Graduate Credit $1197.00
Mon 8 Sun
Feb 6 Weeks Apr 2
Upcoming Course Run Dates
Feb 6 Apr 2
May 1 Jun 25
Jun 5 Jul 30
Jul 3 Aug 27
AOEU Course Code
Morningside Course Code
EDUC500 AOE035

Course Objectives

  • Develop, enhance, and/or extend a comprehensive photography curriculum.
  • Utilize concept, process, instructional best practices, and photography techniques to create authentic artworks.
  • Investigate contemporary and historical perspectives related to photography.
  • Critique both artistic and instructional practice.
  • Analyze the interactive qualities of light, motion, and subject using traditional and alternative approaches to image-making.

Course Breakdown

Week 1
Darkrooms to Digital
  1. Introduce yourself to peers and share photography teaching experiences.
  2. Debate the benefits of digital vs. darkroom photography.
Week 2
Historical Perspectives and Camera Basics
  1. Analyze historical perspectives in photography.
  2. Experience camera basics with shutter speed and aperture study.
Week 3
Capturing and Editing Images
  1. Explore the basics of photo editing software and creative choices, create a process board, and reflect on successes and challenges.
Week 4
Composition, Perspective, and Storytelling
  1. Research the works of contemporary photographers and how storytelling and perspective are shared through photography.
  2. Communicate a story composed of photographs through planning, shooting, and editing, culminating in a digital storyboard.
Week 5
Alternative Approaches to Image Making
  1. Experiment with alternative processes to create new works from initially photographic images of your choosing. Share your work and process through the documentation of a process board.
Week 6
Instructional Strategies and Classroom Management
  1. Prepare for classroom implementation of photography techniques by analyzing safe and meaningful ways to introduce the media to students, and creating a detailed lesson plan.
  2. Consider supply and equipment management strategies and engaging resources to implement.
Week 7
Connecting Through Visual Voice
  1. Explore the power of personal voice in photography through research of artists and passion for an important cause.
  2. Establish the foundation of your photography showcase, focusing on a meaningful theme.
Week 8
Final Showcase and Portfolio
  1. Conclude work on your photography showcase and share it with peers.
  2. Reflect on your innovative thinking journey from the beginning to the end through the assembly of your course portfolio.

Alternative Process Series

A sample assignment from Week 5 of the class Studio: Photography.

1. Research

Explore ways to push beyond traditional photography and editing to create imagery. Review a variety of resources on alternative processes with photography to guide you toward making a decision about further experimentation.

2. Discussion

Investigate an alternative process to apply in your classroom. Include a mindmap or visual journal page that explores supplies, estimated cost, and classroom management factors.

3. Practical, Hands-on Application

Choose one alternative process method presented in this week’s resources, secure materials and capture at least three initial images to experiment with using this alternative method.
"The course is really well designed and was able to touch on a lot of different topics. I appreciate that we worked on our skills as photographers, editing, art history, alternative processes, and how to apply it to our art room!"
Megan R., OH

What do past course participants think?

Hundreds of art teachers have taken the course Studio: Photography. Here’s what they actually think — without cherry-picking.
(12-month rolling average from all post-course survey respondents – Updated 1/28/2021)


Course content was relevant and current.


Instructor was knowledgeable and provided value-added contributions.


I achieved the goals I set at the beginning of the course. 

Let's Get Started

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