• Photography Certificate

    Photography Certificate Program Requirements

    The Samford Academy of the Arts Photography Certificate program offers a certificate of achievement to students who have completed all required course work and successfully presented a portfolio for review. The certificate recognizes that the student has a broad background in photography and should be able to function at a high level as a photographer. Upon completion of the program, it is expected that students should be able to:

    • Understand and operate the camera and peripheral equipment quickly and efficiently;
    • Demonstrate a high degree of technical and artistic skills;
    • Download or develop and manipulate the images to achieve the look, the size and the format desired; and
    • Deliver high-quality output either as a printed image or a digital file.

    General Course Requirements:

    1. Completion of a core curriculum of seven (7) courses in the following areas:

    • Understanding Your Nikon or Canon DSLR
    • Photography I
    • Photography II
    • Flash Photography
    • Studio Lighting
    • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
    • Essential Digital Printing

    2. Completion of two (2) additional Samford Academy of the Arts 7-week photography courses numbered 100 or above (excluding workshops) and taught by Samford Academy of the Arts instructors.
    3. Completion of AR875 Preparing and Presenting your Portfolio - Capstone Course
    4. Successfully pass the portfolio review. A successful portfolio must receive an average score of 70% or higher from the judges. The student’s advisor may not serve as a judge on the portfolio review.

    AR875 Preparing and Presenting your Portfolio – Capstone Course

    This is the capstone course for those seeking the photography certificate and have completed all the core and elective courses. A student will be required to enroll one time in this course, even though the work may not be completed in one 7-week session. The course will be run as an independent study with no formal class meeting times. Each student will meet one-on-one with his/her advisor to review and critique his/her body of work, discuss what should be included in a portfolio, suggest additional post processing and additional images to complete the portfolio, and advise on the selection and preparation of images for the judging of his/her portfolio. The mentor will guide the student in writing the artist's statement.
    A successful portfolio must receive an average score of 70% or higher from the judges.

    Portfolio Requirements:

    • The student will present a portfolio of exactly twenty images. Five of the images will be in a series. The remaining fifteen will demonstrate mastery in a variety of subject areas; especially those in which the student has taken courses.
    • Ten images will be included in a well-presented digital portfolio.
    • Ten of the images will be matted, archival quality prints. Mats should be hinged, 11"x 14", with prints 8" x 10" and opening centered 7-1/2" x 9-1/2".
    • The ten printed images should not include any of the same images used as part of the digital portfolio.
    • The five images in a series must be among the ten printed images.
    • The printed images should be submitted to the Samford Academy of the Arts- ARTS Director in an archival portfolio presentation box.
    • The student will present an artist statement that is:
    • Well written and original
    • Attractively displayed and framed


    The candidate must select an advisor from among the photography instructors at the Academy of the Arts and notify the Samford Academy of Arts ART Director of that selection. The requirements in place at the time of notification shall govern the requirement for the certificate. It is recommended that an advisor be selected when a student is close to finishing the other course requirements so that the advisor has ample opportunity to counsel and direct the student in the finishing stages of the process.
    The advisor may not serve as a judge on the portfolio review for any student he/she advised

    To successfully complete a class:

    Students must attend a minimum of 80% of the class sessions.
    (Note: Leaving at the break is considered a half class.)

    Guidelines and Governing Covenants:

    The guidelines for the Certificate of Achievement in Photography will change from time to time. The candidate for the certificate will be governed by the guidelines which are in effect on the date the student advises the Academy of the Arts Director of his/her choice of advisor.