Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2024
Units: 0
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Advisory: Completion of one or more of the following courses: PHOT 4A or 404A, 5 or 405, 72 or 472, 74A or 474A.
Degree & Credit Status: Non-Degree-Applicable Non-Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: None
Grade Type: Non-Credit Course (Receives no Grade)
Repeatability: Unlimited Repeatability

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will master at least one studio technique and demonstrate its creative application within the content of the portfolio
  • Students will choose a theme and create a portfolio that is comprised of 8-10 images which reflect a focus on a specific area of studio photography, i.e., portraiture, still-life, product, editorial, wedding, etc.


This course follows PHOT 474A and is intended to teach intermediate level skills in studio photography. Proper and creative use of digital small and medium format cameras, and lighting in a studio environment. Emphasis on developing the specific photographic skills, techniques, and business practices necessary for success in a photography career path that is chosen by the student in consultation with the instructor, e.g., wedding, product, portrait, editorial, still-life, or illustration, etc.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Operate a professional-level camera and related accessories with technical and artistic skill
  2. Operate studio lighting and related accessories with technical and artistic skill
  3. Employ artistic and technical skills that effectively communicate the photographic job's requirements
  4. Demonstrate the ability to follow visual layouts and art direction
  5. Operate an incident/reflected/flash light meter and determine appropriate exposures
  6. Assimilate and utilize visual ideas drawn from diverse cultures and backgrounds
  7. Develop a small portfolio of images that reflect growing mastery in a specific career path

Course Content

  1. Proper operation of professional cameras and studio flash units
    1. Lens selections
    2. Light modifiers and reflectors
      1. Expressive qualities of light
      2. Color temperature
      3. Multiple light set-ups
      4. Lighting ratios
    3. Photography of two- and three-dimensional objects
      1. Painting or artwork
      2. Product or artwork
      3. Model (portraiture)
  2. Safe handling and care of equipment
    1. Electrical safety (fuses and amperage ratings)
    2. View camera handling and care
  3. Exposure techniques
    1. Exposure and development
  4. Working with props and models
    1. Selection of appropriate props and models
    2. Model releases and property releases
    3. Representations of models from different cultures
  5. General operation of a commercial photo studio
    1. Freelance photography
    2. Assistant to photographer
    3. Working with clients
      1. Establishing and meeting deadlines
      2. Invoices, transmittals, and estimates
    4. Professional expectations
  6. Approaches to studio photography as practices in industry
    1. Commercial
    2. Fine art
    3. Still-life and portraiture
    4. Trends in advertising, including representations of and by diverse cultures
  7. Presentation of photographs
    1. Portfolio concepts
    2. Display, including books, boxes, and mounting
  8. Compositional considerations
    1. Black and white vs. color
    2. Working to fulfill demands of visual layout
  9. Guest speakers or studio visits
    1. Professional photographers
    2. Related and supporting occupations
      1. Art directors
      2. Magazine or print editors
      3. Hair, make-up stylists
      4. Prop stylists

Lab Content

  1. Preparing and arranging set lighting and related equipment in the studio

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. An open-beamed space with high ceiling and room to accommodate lighting equipment, backdrop material, and models. Room should be equipped with many well-placed electrical outlets capable of relatively high amperage draw. Studio should have secure storage areas or easy access to it for props and related studio equipment.
2. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software, media plug-ins, and relevant computer graphics applications and email software; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A photographic portfolio whose content demonstrates control of light placement, the achievement of the appropriate exposure, and a sensitivity to the way the image(s) will be interpreted based on the subject's arrangement and composition
Quiz or exam that reflects the student's knowledge of and the proper application of studio lighting equipment
A studio notebook/journal that shows the student has taken class notes and is aware of the appropriate use and application of various studio equipment via sketches, diagrams, photograph attachments, written notes, and/or composited electronic files

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Students attend weekly lectures for instruction and critique
Hands-on instruction with equipment and lighting techniques are demonstrated
Students follow lead of instructor, set up work stations, and complete the assignments

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Hunter, Fil, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua, and Robin Reid. Light—Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting, 6th ed. (ISBN-13: 978-0367860264). 2021.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Maintain a written studio and lighting notebook/journal that describes necessary tools, exposures, and lighting arrangements, as well as personal reflective notations addressing the efficacy of various studio set-ups
  2. Written responses to other students' work