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Studio: Photography

Build a comprehensive portfolio of studio work while exploring best practices for approaching photography with your students.

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

Additional Materials

  • Computer with basic audio and video output equipment
  • 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
Sep 5 Weeks Oct 30
Upcoming Course Run Dates
Sep 5 Oct 30
Nov 7 Jan 1
AOEU Course Code
Morningside Course Code
EDUC500 AOE035

Course Objectives

  • Correctly use the various features of a camera to creatively control imagery.
  • Analyze the basic qualities of light used in a series of photographic challenges.
  • Use appropriate tools for editing images post-shoot.
  • Create original photographic work involving a combination of concepts, media, and composition.
  • Identify best practices including basic and advanced processes for incorporating photography in the classroom setting.
  • Develop or extend photography curriculum.
  • Collaborate with classmates to critique the work of one another as well as exemplars from the field.

Course Breakdown

Week 1
Celebrating the Media
  1. Explore historical and contemporary artists in the field as you start to define a personal style of your own.
  2. Utilize the work of others to help you establish achievable, but also artistically challenging, goals for this course.
Week 2
Getting to Know Your Camera
  1. Become familiar with your camera.
  2. Experiment with the functions and settings to capture a variety of photographic challenges.
Week 3
Setting Up Your Digital Workflow
  1. Explore a variety of photo editing options.
  2. Edit images to varying degrees using programs of your choosing.
Week 4
Composition and Storytelling
  1. Shift gears from technique to message as you define your photographic work further.
  2. Explore different compositional approaches as you find the storyteller within.
Week 5
Alternative Approaches
  1. Explore alternative processes for creating images.
  2. Experiment with various approaches as you consider the evolution of the field at large.
Week 6
Instructional Strategies and Management
  1. Explore ways to bring fine art photography into the classroom setting.
  2. Create instructional materials and plan for unique management scenarios.
Week 7
Teacher Showcase Series
  1. Explore the methods, techniques, and applied learning from this course in the creation of an original series.
  2. Participate in a midpoint critique as you benefit from the advice of your instructor and peers.
Week 8
Final Showcase and Portfolio
  1. Compile your final portfolio showcasing your work and learning from this course.
  2. Develop the next steps to continue your learning.

A sample assignment from Week 2 of the class Studio: Photography

1. Research

Explore the buttons and functions of your unique camera. Learn how different functions can control the final output of your imagery.

2. Discussion

Describe your experience getting to know your camera. Share your successes and failures. Ask informed questions in order to strengthen your understanding of photographic concepts.

3. Creation

Begin experimenting with different shooting options by embarking upon a series of photography challenges.
"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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