Program Overview

This hands-on summer program for high school students offers an overview of digital photography from capture to output, technique, and conceptual framework. We start with the technical basics of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, and then we build up from there. Once students have a solid understanding of how these settings work in conjunction with each other, we begin to explore composition, framing, and creative exposure.

Photography students at work in the classroom
Photography students at work in the classroom

In this class, we will be looking at photographic work, from its invention to current exhibitions, for inspiring ways to use photography. Beyond just using a camera to capture images, we will work with Photoshop, begin to integrate the workflow of file management, Camera RAW files, and digital inkjet printing. Our daily routine will be packed full of work and fun. Most days, we will start with a lecture or demonstration ranging from technical knowledge to conceptual discussions. After the discussion, we will venture out of the classroom for group exercises related to the morning lecture followed by a break for lunch. When we return from lunch we will spend time in the lab either processing or critiquing the images we shot throughout the day. By the end of this class you will have an expanded knowledge of photography, both in history and technique.

This course is offered through the Department of Transmedia in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

  My teacher and TA were extremely knowledgeable and made the class very engaging… In addition to teaching an extensive amount about photography, they also answered a lot of our questions on the Visual and Performing Arts School as well as the admission process. My TA was very helpful in discussing what their experience was in college as well as discussing other options for my interest in photography.  ~ Summer College Photography student, 2018

Program Objectives

  • Develop your photography portfolio
  • Understand various components of the camera
  • Look at the history of photography and its technique transformation throughout the years
  • Expanded knowledge of what Photography is and means
  • Learn a work-flow from capture to print

Art & Design Track

Interested in learning more about art and design? Summer College students can choose an additional art and design program in a consecutive session and receive 10% off both sessions. Choose two additional art and design programs and receive 15% off all three sessions (Scholarship and Financial Aid will apply to each program attended). Or build your own track and explore even more of what Syracuse University has to offer!

Session I: June 27 – July 10: Art & Activism, Art & Craft of Animation, Industrial Design

Session II: July 11 – July 24: Art Intensive: Sculpture & Time-Based Forms (ARI 200), Fashion and Accessories Design, Graphic Design, Photography

Session III: July 25 – August 7: Environmental & Interior Design

 View all programs by session date to build your own track!

Learn more about Photography:

Program Dates & Details Eligibility Requirements Program Cost Program Requirements Typical Day Faculty Bio

Program Dates & Details

Session II: July 11 – July 24, 2020
Duration: 2 weeks


Credit: Noncredit
Grading System: Pass/Fail

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be a minimum of 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date. No prior experience in photography is necessary. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

Apply Now!

Program Cost

Program Cost:

  • Residential: $3,560
  • Commuter: $2,746

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.  Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Requirements

Student Expectations

Progress will be based on growth than set benchmarks. Students are expected to be present and engaged at all times. They are expected to follow directions, and take advice and criticism of their work as a learning experience.

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students are typically in class from 9:00am – 4:30pm, Monday – Friday for the duration of two-weeks.

Photography Summer College student at the final end event with family
Photography Summer College student at the final end event with family

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College trips and activities. Check out our Campus Activities page for more information!

Final Academic Obligation

Students are permitted to depart upon the completion of their last class on Friday, July 24 at 4:30pm. If students have any questions regarding their final academic obligation, we encourage them to reach out to their instructor. Please refer to the Move-Out page for important information regarding the checkout process.

Faculty Bio

Coming soon!