Photography Degree Programs

Accepting Students for All Programs for Fall 2024
Taking applications for All Programs for Fall 2024!

“Nossi photo students are taught by working photographers in the best educational photo studios available in the Southeast. It’s two of the main reasons why our photo students enter the workplace with the confidence of a professional.”

Photography Degree Coordinator Tom Stanford

Tom Stanford

Career Outlook


Commercial Photographer

Event Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Sports Photographer

Photo Studio Owner

Food Photographer

Advertising Photographer

Fashion Photographer

Editorial Photography

Portrait Photographer

Freelance Photographer

Photo Retouching Specialist

Creative Director

Photography Editor

Photography Courses - AOS Degree

Focus on Our Two-Year Program

Associate’s Degree

Associate of Occupational Studies Commercial Digital Photography

75 curriculum hours

PH 210


Students will learn techniques for collaborating with advertising professionals as well as producing shots suitable for editorial and advertising photography. Subject matter will include a variety of contemporary advertiser needs, ranging from product shots to architectural work.

BU 270


The Business of Photography is a course designed to introduce the student to the concepts of running a professional photography business. During class each student will create a resume, cover letter, elevator pitch, mission statement, Linked IN profile, personal budget, business budget, CODB (cost of doing business), description of products and services, and competition worksheet. Those elements will create a business plan that could be used to approach an investor or bank for funding.

PS 142


This course teaches students the core principles of Adobe Photoshop, the industry-standard raster-based photo manipulation program. Similar to Adobe Illustrator in significance and industry dominance, the ability to manipulate raster images will be a persistent theme throughout any career path involving print or digital media. Among the fundamental concepts explored will be file type constraints, image optimization, compositing, image restoration, color correction, masking, typography, effects, layout, print management, elementary animation and video, and even elementary 3D principles among other topics. By the end of the course, students will have a broad enough understanding of Photoshop to competently utilize it in whatever their chosen course of study.

DP 104


This course is primarily a shooting course. Students are expected to shoot hundreds of images improving their techniques and skill as they progress through the course. Some of the images students produce may be of portfolio quality. Additional topics include digital imaging, analyzing digital images, image capture with digital cameras and scanners, output devices, resolutions and digital file formats.

BU 280


Students will be shown the connection between theoretical knowledge and actual application as it relates to their own business. This course will build upon the Business Plan created in BU 270 Business I. Each student will create a three-part Marketing Plan based on the type of photography business they have chosen to pursue. Topics covered:  Process Template, Fees and Charges Template, Invoicing, service fees, etc.

LL 110


A course in understanding the use of natural and artificial light, reflectors, strobes, tungsten and florescent lighting systems to light and photograph portraits, interiors, exteriors, large and small spaces, still life, streets and architecture for corporate and editorial assignments. Students will learn about color temperatures and ways to color- balance with the use of color correcting gels and filters. Techniques of controlling, shaping, moving and enhancing natural light will be learned.

PH 215


A comprehensive introduction to mass communication including a critical look at culture and a thorough discussion of how media technologies develop, operate and affect our society. The course focuses on key media issues confronting each sector of the media industry, encouraging students to think critically and analyze issues related to specific media.

PH 230


In this course, students will explore and learn how to approach different lighting conditions and situations including studio, outdoor and event locations. Students will learn how to use on-camera flash and how to use professional lighting equipment (including the use of location lighting that requires generator usage) at indoor and outdoor events. In addition, students will learn non-standard lighting schemes that will enable them to shoot in difficult or unusual situations.

MF 425


Color and B&W photographs will be used to showcase professional models. The use of studio lights and natural light with modifications such as reflectors and on camera flash will be combined to produce images for commercial applications. Head shots, ¾ length and full-length images will be produced.

PH 410


Students will learn techniques for collaborating with advertising professionals as well as producing shots suitable for editorial and advertising photography. Subject matter will include a variety of contemporary advertiser needs, ranging from product shots to architectural work. This is an advanced course and students are expected to produce professional quality work.

WE 405


Students will learn posing and lighting techniques for wedding photography. The student will become familiar with equipment, design and classic lighting set-ups. In addition, students will design and use business cards, contracts and formal business arrangements for wedding related photographic products such as albums, framed photographs and videos. Students will photograph simulated weddings at real churches, outdoor facilities and other wedding locations.



This course introduces students to the fast-paced world of sports photography. Camera techniques, lighting, subject material, query letters and publication rights will be covered.

PH 201


Students will learn posing and lighting techniques for commercial headshots and portrait photography. The student will become familiar with studio equipment, set design and classic lighting set-ups. Students will study the elements of portraiture: pose, gesture and composition and will learn how they work together to make the difference between a good photograph and great photograph.

PH 103


In this course, students will be introduced to the Macintosh computer. Comparisons between the Macintosh and PC environments will be discussed in order to help those who are used to working with the PC become comfortable in the Mac environment. Students will learn how to work with the system, with an emphasis on organization and workflow. Through the use of the various programs included with the operating system and Adobe Lightroom, this learning process will take the students through various projects geared to introduce them to the software applications they will use the most. Students will be introduced to and begin to use Adobe Lightroom to organize their workflow and develop their photographs using camera raw files. Emphasis will be placed on acquiring a proficiency with camera raw processing for correct white balance, tonal range, noise reduction and sharpening.

SM 280


This course is designed to instruct students on all of the practical ways to use social media for their photo and/or video business. Students will create social media accounts, learn to write effective messages, and post to those accounts on a weekly basis. Students will generate a weekly content plan and be graded on the effectiveness of engagement of their posts. TikTok and Instagram Reels are video platforms emerging as powerful ways for creative artists. Students will learn to create content for that. NFTs are a new marketplace based on Cryptocurrencies that will be discussed. The students will also create a website to market their photography and video.

PH 240


This course is designed for students with advanced knowledge of computers and image editing software. It is designed to teach students how to fully develop digital images in Camera Raw; to post-process images in Photoshop using advanced techniques; to apply color management techniques to their workflow, including soft-proofing; and, to professionally manage their workflow from concept to final output. Topics include soft- proofing and color management; using speed lights and diffusers; noise reduction; controlling DOF; correcting lens distortion in post work; using Photoshop’s panoramic; Zoomify, displacement and vanishing point features; HDR imaging using Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw; and, focus stacking using Zerene Stacker.

PH 101


Introduction to photography will focus on learning and building the photography skills necessary to complete a variety of technical assignments revolving around nature and wildlife. Students will learn how to utilize the main functions of a digital camera in order to make accurate exposures. They will also learn the correct terminology and equipment associated with basic photography. This course is designed to build each student’s confidence when using their camera to complete challenging assignments. Introduction to photography will give students a solid foundation that will be used throughout their photography degree program. Shooting assignments for this course will primarily consist of nature photography concepts using available light. Use of tripods, meters and lenses will be taught on field trips with an emphasis on basic color control, composition and exposure.

SL 130


This course is a studio and lighting class covering the basic fundamentals of various types of lighting. It includes different lighting systems that will demonstrate studio techniques for portrait, tabletop and still life photography. This class will give the students an understanding of how to work in the studio to achieve hard light and soft light using different types of light modifiers including the use of reflectors, soft boxes, umbrellas, grids, snoots and various other lighting accessories.

EN 270


This English class will include intensive grammar review as well as writing assignments to complete a portfolio. Illustrations are encouraged to enhance the writing and the portfolio (these can add points to the grade). A resume and a cover letter are a separate part of the writing. A research paper is required and must have the correct documentation and analysis format. Professional presentation of final portfolio is required for completion of this course.

SS 104


Success Strategies is a course in goal setting, techniques of note and test taking, problem solving skills, time management and critical thinking skill development. The course is designed to help each student improve his learning skills. In addition, students will acquire skills necessary to succeed as commercial artists. Life enhancing principles are also a major aspect of this course.



Students are introduced to the principles of design using a variety of media as they complete projects that emphasize various aspects of composition. They will learn about balance, repetition of shape, positive and negative space, focal point, the illusion of depth and motion.


Accepting Students for All Programs for Fall 2024
Taking applications for All Programs for Fall 2024!

Who You’ll Be Learning From

Photography Degree Coordinator Tom Stanford | Nossi College of Art and Design in Nashville, TN

Tom Stanford

Photography Program Director

"Photography is a great tool for a student to interpret and capture their world. It’s an individual exercise where a creative decides where to go, what to shoot and when to press the...
"Photography is a great tool for a student to interpret and capture their world. It’s an individual exercise where a creative decides where to go, what to shoot and when to press the shutter. Tom Stanford is passionate about photography and enjoys helping others improve their skills through teaching, mentoring & coaching. Our instructors are professional photographers and they'll teach the techniques, but will take a lifetime to master the craft. Background:

· A bachelor’s degree in Photography from Texas A&M/Commerce. Worked for newspapers in TX, LA and TN.

· Photography Director at The Tennessean from 1996-2014. Experience in digital photography, videography and creating multimedia. Coordinated visual coverage for the historic 2010 flood in Nashville, the paper was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

· Experience covering the NFL, NHL, SEC, music festivals and the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

· Involved in several book projects including Nashville: Hills of Harmony, Flood 2010: Chronicled By The      Tennessean, Tennessee Titans: Celebrating the First and he photographed Historic Presbyterian Churches of Tennessee."

· Learn more about his travel photography interests by clicking here.


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Accepting Students for All Programs for Fall 2024

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