Gain a valuable skill-set that is needed across the world with our Photography program. Companies across a variety of industries need images for marketing, social media, newsletters, web design and more. Develop the technical experience and photography skills right here to become an asset to any employer.

Master the art of creating, setting up, composing, lighting and producing photographs to professional standards. Learn the basics of black-and-white film photography as well as developing and printing photographs. Become familiar with Photoshop, Lightroom and other photography software to develop your own artistic touch on our images.

Through classroom activities and hands-on experience in our photography studio, you’ll develop confidence in your ability to effectively create images. In just one year, you’ll be ready for an entry-level position in digital media, photojournalism or portrait photography. Whether you choose to work for a company or pursue your own photography business, the Photography program will equip you with the foundational skills you need to excel as a photographer.

Faculty Contact

David Petrick
Photography Program
712-362-7954 | dpetrick@iowalakes.educreate new email

Program Details


DEGREE: Diploma (35 credits)

CAMPUS: Estherville


Did You Know?

Starting Salary: $35,102

Average Salary: $42,818

Projected Employment Growth: 0.9%


Term 1

Credits: 3

Emphasis on expository and argumentative writings including a review of usage and mechanics.

Prerequisites: Satisfactory score on the ACT, Accuplacer, ASSET,COMPASS as determined by Iowa Lakes policy

Credits: 3

Basic digital theory, how the digital camera works. Includes digital capture of both still and video; input into the computer; digital manipulation; basic Photoshop and photography; saving digital images for future use and long term archiving. How to prepare digital images for print social media, web and other uses and how to send digital images after formatting for upload.

Credits: 3

This course will develop skills needed for adjusting and enhancing photographic images after image capture and before going to a final output. The emphasis will be on images used in the photog­raphy professions of Portrait, Photojournalism Commercial, and Forensic. All image manipulations and adjustments will be done with computer imaging software, such as Photoshop.

Prerequisite: JOU 173 – Digital Photography

Credits: 3

The fundamentals course develops the basic skills involved in a variety of communication situations, including oral presentations and interpersonal speaking.  Emphasis is placed on organization, audience analysis, vocal and physical delivery, listening, nonverbal communication, critical thinking, and methods of dealing with communication apprehension through class discussion and activities.

Term 2

Credits: 3

Introduction to the art of portrait photography.

Prerequisites: JOU 173 – Digital Photography

Credits: 3

Students are given the opportunity to apply human relations concepts and evaluate experience and observations. Social skills required in various occupational settings will be developed, emphasizing how appropriate personal attitudes lead to social and business success.

Credits: 3

This course advances the ideas and techniques taught in Digital Imaging I with an emphasis on advanced techniques. Focus will be put on the understanding of tool setting, curves, levels, blend­ing modes, layer styles, special effects, as well as painting and drawing tools. Students will be challenged as a designer working with real-world projects.

Prerequisites: GRA 140 – Digital Imaging

Credits: 3

This course will teach the basic photographic skills needed to create publishable news photographs as well as basic photographic skills needed tocreate photographs for advertising use.

Prerequisite: JOU 173 – Digital Photography

Credits: 2-5

Practical work experience related to journalism.

Credits: 3

Practical approach to the study of establishing and operating a small business. Emphasis will be placed on discussion of case situations and on arriving at viable solutions to day-to-day opera­tional problems.

Credits: 3

Principles of Management provides the student with a conceptual framework for understanding the basic theories of management. Emphasis is placed on the internal and external environment, ethics, planning, goal setting, decision making, organizational structure, motivation and group dynamics, and effective control mechanisms for establishing and accomplishing business objectives.

Credits: 3

Fundamentals and principles of advertising as they pertain to the marketing process. Understanding consumer motivation, iden­tifying the target market, types of media and creation of ads are included.

Credits: 3

Studies the concepts of selling. Includes an understanding of the customer; realizing the importance of product knowledge; secur­ing and conducting sales presentations, analyzing and handling different types of customers; steps in selling; and the importance of maintaining good will.Personality development and principles of selling are stressed.

Choose MGT 110 or MGT 101
Chose MKT 150 or MKT 140

† indicates a course that fulfills the diversity requirement. This course may also fulfill another general AA requirement.