14-Week Digital Photography Certificate Program

Summer Classes Start
May 11

“Our Photo Certificate Program is an enjoyable learning experience for any level photographer. Join us in studio and on location to improve your photography skills in a relaxed, creative environment.”

Russell Hilliard headshot

Russ Hilliard
Photo Studio & Equipment Manager

Career Outlook


Commercial Photographer

Event Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Photo Studio Owner

Food Photographer

Advertising Photographer

Fashion Photographer

Portrait Photographer

Photo Editor

Freelance Photographer

Photo Retouching Professional

Photography Courses

Learn photography in less than 4 months

Certificate Program

Digital Photography Certificate

14 weeks


Basic Camera Operation

In this week, students will learn multiple basic elements of their digital camera, the location of all these elements as well as proper care. This will include understanding how shutter speed, ISO and aperture relate; the use of the meter and understanding exposure. In addition to camera functions, learn about the importance of light in photography. We will begin with available lighting and how to optimize color and exposure and will move to the studio to learn basic setup and safety tips.

LIVE DEMO: Photographing a subject with strobes


Introduction to Camera Raw

This week we will show you the correct ways to use your lenses. We discuss shooting camera RAW versus JPEG and we will also go over depth of field, focal length, perspective, focusing manually and capturing motion. We will talk about the impact of wide-angle lenses versus telephoto lenses.

LIVE DEMO: Photographing Motion


Photographic Composition

A great photo comes down its composition. This week we will explore who to create the best possible photograph by highlighting the key elements of composition - taking your visual literacy to a new level.

ON-LOCATION SHOOT: Practice compositional techniques


Photographing Nature

Learn how to capture the perfect landscape scenes, sunsets, (moving) water, reflections and time lapses.

ON LOCATION SHOOT: Local State Park (Location TBD)


Light Direction & Quality

Learn about studio equipment including umbrellas, softboxes, beauty dishes and grid spots. We will also go over accessory lights for hair and background lighting.


Light Sources

This week, we will learn about your camera's flash. We will discuss different types of flash units, techniques for controlled lighting, painting with a portable flash as well as advantages and disadvantages for electronic flashes.

LIVE DEMO: Model shoot in Studio A


How to Cover and Event or Wedding

This week we will dive into events (and weddings) including how to prepare, your equipment needs and problem-solving skills. We will also discuss techniques for capturing that perfect moment and correct positioning to find that perfect moment.

LIVE DEMO: Bridal Studio Shoot


Black and White Photography

Learn techniques to comprehend the basics of black and white photography like metering your subject, finding the right tonal range and infrared photography.

ON LOCATION SHOOT: Downtown Nashville


Adobe Lightroom

Understanding the importance of Lightroom as a photographer's tool for organizing images. Learn basics including importing images, workflows, organizing images, renaming and converting images to preferred formats. You will also learn about Metadata and its importance for images in the digital era.

APPLICATION: Working on photos you already captured in this certificate program.


Developing Photos in Lightroom

This week, you will learn even more about Adobe Lightroom: white balance, Histogram, cropping photos, creative edits and even editing multiple photos at once. You will also learn about exporting and saving images as JPEGs.


Adobe Photoshop

This week we will explore Adobe Photoshop and set it up so you can begin editing your images. You will review your controls, set up your workspace, and review your preferences.


Advanced Photoshop

This week we will take what we learned last week and expand upon that information. From creating composite images, working with vector shapes and layer masks. We will discuss how to retouch damaged images as well as learning how to manipulate pixels and add text.


Photographing People

Learn to keys to successfully photograph people and get time in studio to practice. We will cover the following topics: faces, babies, couples and posing tips.

LIVE DEMO: Interacting with and posing models


Student Work Review

This will be a free day to work in studio and ask questions. Students are welcome to bring their own models, children, family members, etc. As you work in studio, students will have a one-on-one review time with instructors.


Summer Classes Start
May 11


Is Nossi’s Digital Photography Certificate Program a good fit for you?

The Digital Photography program is for:

  • Individuals interested in transitioning into fields of professional photography
  • Hobbyists looking to refine their skills
  • Business-minded individuals wanting to boost their start-up image
  • People wanting to start their side hustle in industries like event or wedding photography
  • Marketing and creative professionals adding skillsets to their resume
  • Artists wanting to dabble in new mediums
  • Any number of other careers under the photography umbrella.

Read some Frequently Asked Questions, here.


This 14-week certificate program teaches students basic knowledge of Photoshop (for toning) and Lightroom (a database), advanced camera instruction, studio lighting experience and access to Nossi’s photography facilities, including the largest instructional studio in the Southeast. Please note, this certificate program is not accredited by our accreditors, ACCSC.

Quick Look

Program Length:

  • 14-Week Certificate Program
  • 2019 Certificate Program starts Tuesday, September 10
  • Tuesday, September 10 through December 17 – skipping Thanksgiving Week
  • Evenings, 6 – 10 PM
  • Plus Open Studio Times

Tuition includes:

  • Use of Nossi’s expansive studios
  • Use of Nossi’s professional equipment
  • Training from our professional faculty
  • A nossi.edu email address
  • Access to Nossi events and guest speakers


  • $4,950
  • $100 non-refundable registration fee
  • Financing available through Pinnacle Financial Partners, download your application here.

Who You’ll Be Learning From

Russell Hilliard headshot

Russell Hilliard

Photography Studio Manager

Russell is a graduate of Nossi College of Art, earning an associate degree in Commercial Digital Photography. He specializes in professional headshots, portraits, senior portraits and fine art...
Russell is a graduate of Nossi College of Art, earning an associate degree in Commercial Digital Photography. He specializes in professional headshots, portraits, senior portraits and fine art photography. He is also part owner of Harris and Hilliard Photography, a wedding and event photography team serving Nashville, Murfreesboro and Middle Tennessee. Russell retired from Bridgestone, Firestone with 33 years of service, and loves his current job as Studio Manager at Nossi helping students and faculty to achieve their goals in the photo studio.  


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Fall Classes Start
September 9th

Save your spot and start the process now!

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