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The photography curriculum at SMFA spans the range of photographic practices of the 21st century, questioning and reframing the evolution of photographic and post-photographic approaches.

You will gain a solid grounding in the history of photography and explore the pluralities of contemporary, photo-related practice using a range of professional tools. You will learn to make exhibition quality prints and photo objects with digital or analog technologies, seamlessly integrating the two. Faculty encourage critical thinking around a range of issues such as visual literacy in a photo-saturated society, engagement with contemporary international subjects, site specificity, abstraction, reenactment, and performativity. Students learn to develop a unique relationship to their work from an array of instructional formats such as readings, lectures, technical demos, critiques, visiting artists, participation in colloquia, and local art events. Experimentation and risk-taking are encouraged to cultivate individual interests and working methods.

Sample Courses

PHT 0111 - Introduction to Digital Photography
This class introduces students to digital cameras and flatbed scanners for image capture, computer programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop for image flow and processing, and archival digital printers for print output. 

PHT 0113 - Black, White, Grey: Analog Photography
This class introduces the fundamental skills necessary for operating manually-controlled 35mm cameras, precision film exposure and development, and principles of making prints in the darkroom.

PHT 0127 - Historic Photo-Printing Methods
In this course students will create artwork using four processes: cyanotype, Vandyke brown printing, platinum & palladium printing, and brush-on black and white emulsion (Liquid Light) for modern tintypes and other surfaces as well as enlarged digital negatives. 

PHT 0198 - Basic Lighting
This is a hands-on, beginning level course which explores basic lighting techniques, including use of sunlight, flashes, continuous studio lights, strobes, and mixed lighting sources.

PHT 0191 - Image, Narrative, and Psychoanalysis
This intermediate to advance level course, open to students of any discipline, will explore the relationship of image making to storytelling and our unconscious mind.

Todd Hiddo

Alumni Q&A: Todd Hido, BFA '91

SMFA helped me for the career that I have today. I do not even think of what I do as a job since I am doing exactly what I want to do every single day.

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