COVID-19 Policies for Non-Music Class Students
  • Please note: no refunds will be given for cancellations made after 5 business days prior to the start of class.
  • Class may be moved to virtual if required.
  • No refunds will be given if class format changes to either virtual or in-person.
  • $20 credit card processing fee for all cancellations

Professional photographers offer courses from basic photography to advanced techniques.  Learn to navigate your camera to take professional photos and enhance the quality of your photographs.  Take a step beyond the camera and learn Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Basics, printing, and studio lighting.  Instructors also offer themed classes in subject matter from weddings, crime scene photography for police professionals, shooting exotic animals or landscapes.  Some classes require pre-requisites and we also offer a photography certificate program.

Photography Certificate Program

If you do not see a class that you were expecting to be available check back soon as classes are added as they become available, or reach out to us by email.

Adobe Lightroom
Thursdays, 6-8 p.m., March 11-April 29 *No class on March 25
Virtual
Cost: $215
Adobe designed ‘Lightroom' specifically for photographers who want to organize and edit digital images quickly and safely. This course is designed to teach photographers how to edit images and to learn a complete start to finish workflow. Adobe Lightroom is the preferred software for creating beautiful images and it integrates with other postprocessing software programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Lightroom is safe and nondestructive to your original images making it perfect for photographers that are new to editing. Ages 18+ Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively quiet area to participate in virtual classes.
Instructor: Mike Nelson
Prerequisites: Basic computer skills

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Adobe Photoshop Basics
Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m., March 31-May 12
Cost: $215
This course is a complete introduction to Adobe Photoshop designed to help you unwrap this immense software and explains in detail all the tools, panels, and menus. Learn tips and tricks for developing your digital images, setting up your personal workspace, and how to navigate around the program. Hands-on lessons teach you how to develop, manipulate, and print photographs in the digital darkroom. Ages 18+.
Instructor: Bo Doss
Prerequisites: Basic computer skills
Additional Requirements: DSLR camera, camera cable or card reader; USB storage device (2GB minimum); laptop (PC or Mac) with Adobe Photoshop CC installed; collection of personal photographs.

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Capstone Course
Tuesday, 6-8 p.m., January 26: Attendance of first class meeting on January 26 is mandatory. Other meetings will be scheduled by appointment.
Cost: $300
This is the capstone course for those seeking the photography certificate and have completed all the core and elective courses. The course will be run as an independent study.
Instructor: Mike Nelson

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Essential Color Printing Classes
Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m., February 9-March 2 (4 classes/8 hours)
See description for locations
Cost: $200
Learn about preparing your photo files for printing and the prosumer equipment needed to do so. During the course you will select a photo(s) for printing, do touch up with Adobe Lightroom or other software, select appropriate paper and create the final print. Have your 10 best photos files for the first class. Class meetings 1 and 3 are virtual. Class meetings 2 and 4 are in person at the Academy of the Arts building. Mask required for in-person classes. Ages 18+
Instructor: Cliff Brane
Prerequisites: Photography I, Adobe Lightroom
Additional Requirements: Computer with LR/PS, thumb drive or online file sharing

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Essential Color Printing Workshop
Saturday, TBD
Cost: $165
This class is designed to help the photographer and artist create a good print and learn the qualities of a good print. Participants will learn about the art of presenting the print which will include paper choice, matting, and framing. Focus will be on simplifying the interpretation of each device as the original image is processed from the camera to the paper and will include a discussion on monitor calibration and printer profiles. Ages 18+. Mask required for this workshop.
Instructor: Chris Bisset
Flash Photography
Mondays, 6-8 p.m., April 5-May 17
Cost: $215
Electronic flash photography may seem confusing, inconsistent and frustrating, but mastery of even the basics can open a whole new world of photographic possibilities. Flash photography unquestionably improves the quality of images taken in a number of common shooting situations and is just plain fun! The opportunities are virtually unlimited. This course is designed to first to assure that each student understands how to operate and use their electronic flash equipment and will then explore a number of creative applications. Techniques for fill flash, off-camera flash, rear-curtain flash, multiple flash, and painting with light will each be explored. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 concerns, guidelines and recommendations from the State of Alabama, CDC and Samford University, this course will primarily meet on location and outdoors. Location class meetings will be supplemented through online WebEx conferencing. Ages 18+ Students must wear a mask for in-person classes. SPECIAL NOTE: Because of the current COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC and Samford University, this course will primarily meet on location and outdoors. Location class meetings will be supplemented through online web conferencing. Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively "quiet" area to take part in the course. Please have your camera ready for the class. If the class is disrupted due to internet connectivity, please wait for the instructor to start the class back up again, or if your internet has problems, please try to rejoin the class and/or email instructor when possible to get any missed information.
Instructor: Ken Boyd
Prerequisites: A basic understanding of camera operation, composition, lighting and other basic aspects of good photography.
Additional Requirements: Digital camera with hot shoe, electronic flash unit compatible with camera, tripod; computer or smartphone with internet connection for web conferencing. Optional: Second electronic flash unit, light stands and light modifiers are optional but not required for this course.

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Outdoor and Landscape Photography
Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m., March 9-April 13
Cost: $215
There have been estimates that nearly 2 billion photos are uploaded to the internet every day. Printed photos are much more of a rarity, yet printing can really bring a photo to life and is a logical extension of your photographic hobby. These classes cover file preparation for printing and the prosumer equipment needed for printing. You will select a photo(s) for printing, do touch up with Adobe Lightroom or other software, choose appropriate paper and create the final print. One of the oldest fine art paper manufacturers, Hahnemuhle, will be providing our papers for this class. The instructor encourages contact, questions and requests for assistance between the regular class meeting times. Please make sure that you have a webcam and microphone, internet connection, and a relatively "quiet" area to participate in virtual classes. Have your 10 best photos files for the first class. Requirements: Internet connection. Desktop or laptop with webcam and microphone, LR or LR/PS, thumb drive or on-line file sharing. Students should have a previous understanding of their camera’s functions. Requirements: DSLR or Mirrorless camera, tripod For the first meeting of the class students are encouraged to submit up to 10 jpeg photo samples of any outdoor photos they have previously taken. No previous SAOA class requirements. Just a working knowledge of your camera’s basics and an interest in learning more about taking better pictures outdoors. SPECIAL NOTE: In the previous session the class completed course requirements meeting on-line and with field assignment options while observing government and Samford health safety requirements. This session will observe the same or future guidelines. A good internet connection is needed for successfully connecting on class night. We will assist in checking your connection if you request. The 6th and final class night will be at the AOA building in Homewood. Because of the current COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC and Samford University, this course is scheduled to begin virtually. Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively "quiet" area to participate.
Instructor: Cliff Brane

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Photographing Exotic and Domestic Creatures
Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m., March 17-April 28
Cost: $215
Learn tips and techniques to photographing domestic and exotic creatures, to include pet portraiture; field trips may include – horse show, farm, and the zoo. Age 18+. Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively "quiet" area to participate in virtual classes. Classes will be a mix of in-person and virtual. Mask required for in-person classes.
Instructor: Meg McKinney
Prerequisites: Photography I, Understanding your Canon/Nikon.
Additional Requirements: DSLR, lenses, tripod

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Photography I
Thursdays, 6-8 p.m., March 11-April 29 *No class on March 25
Class may move to virtual if needed.
Cost: $215
This course is designed to cover all aspects of beginning photography. You will learn proper exposure and appropriate use of shutter speed and aperture as well as lens choices and lighting options. You will learn many methods for creating strong compositions. This course will teach you how to create beautiful images - not just snap photos. Mask required for in-person classes.
Instructor: Chris Bisset
Prerequisites: Understanding Your Canon or Nikon DSLR
Additional Requirements: DSLR camera

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Studio Lighting
Mondays, 6-8 p.m., January 25-March 8
Cost: $215
Studio lighting can provide the consistent and predictable high-quality results many photographers require. From tabletop and product images to portraits, fashion and group photography, this course will examine the concepts, equipment and techniques for simple, effective and inspired lighting. Modern LEDs, ring lights and traditional strobes, lighting modifiers and backdrops will be used during workshop sessions throughout this course. Photographic planning, composition and design, as well as posing and props for subjects, will be discussed and demonstrated to achieve the best possible results for each image and subject. Ages 18+. Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively quiet area to participate in virtual classes. Classes will be a mix of in-person and virtual. Mask required for in-person classes.
Instructor: Ken Boyd
Prerequisites: Photography I, Photoshop, Lightroom or permission of the instructor.
Additional Requirements: Digital camera lens and tripod

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Understanding Your Canon DSLR
Session B: Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m., March 9-April 27 *No class on March 23
Cost: $215
Are you intimidated by your camera? Do not settle for photographs that are less than what your camera is capable of delivering and do not be left in the dark concerning the vast array of features that you can use to take professional quality images. Learn to navigate the menus, submenus, options, and settings of Canon digital SLRs to your best advantage. Beginning with the basic camera controls and progressing to the most advanced options, learn to unlock your camera's potential to suit your individual needs. Ages 18+. Class may move to virtual if needed. Mask required for in-person classes.
Instructor: Chris Bisset
Additional Requirements: Canon DSLR camera

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Instructors

Photo of Christopher Bisset
Christopher Bisset
Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Ken Boyd
Ken Boyd
Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Cliff Brane
Cliff Brane
Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Bo Doss
Bo Doss
Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Meg McKinney
Meg McKinney
Photography Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Mike Nelson
Mike Nelson
Instructor
Academy of the Arts