Photography

Bachelor of Fine Arts
in Photography

Contemporary photography goes beyond the technical concerns of mastering the technique; it is about the nature, the power of the content and how it can be used, because the image is not only a tool of transmission but also an instrument of understanding.–

— Klaus Fruchtnis, Chair of Photography

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography degree is a direct-entry, four-year program that balances analog and digital technologies with an emphasis on developing a creative identity and gaining a solid understanding of the image-making process. The program focuses on new types of visual storytelling: still image, moving image, and multimedia, with a curriculum that emphasizes transdisciplinary skill sets, and understands photography as a hybrid and as a contemporary art form. The curriculum is distinguished by its commitment not only to the technical aspects of image-making and production but also examines how photographs are disseminated, presented, discussed, used, documented, or archived: in short, how they function in today’s image-driven society. The department equally addresses current concerns as ethics, engaging with the subject and the medium, questioning the position of the maker, and the market as well as the audience. Students leave PCA fully prepared for professional life, with a comprehensive knowledge of various production workflows associated with different commercial and artistic objectives. This includes the understanding of how to produce publications and exhibitions, from A-Z.

The program combines technical knowledge, principles of photography, and image-making research and theory. Studio classes and labs conducted by professionals emphasize the mastery of contemporary techniques and professional practices, while theory-based and seminar courses help students develop their personal creative visions. Students continue to broaden their knowledge and skills through supportive art & design courses and electives. In the second year, students can specialize in Documentary Photography, Fashion Photography, and/or the Constructed Image, and start working on long–term projects.

The four-year photography program includes a direct-entry option, allowing students to specialize in image-making from the first year. However, students who have enrolled in the more general Foundation year program can still declare their major in Photography after the end of the Foundation year and will need to do three more years to complete their photography degree requirements.

Faculty

Klaus Fruchtnis

Klaus Fruchtnis

Associate Dean of Graduate Studies
tara bogart

Tara Bogart

Adjunct Faculty and Photography Lab Technician
MAvignoneHeadshot

Matthew Avignone

Adjunct Faculty
ryan boatright

Ryan Boatright

Adjunct Faculty
Rodshir Daile

Rodshir Daile

Adjunct Faculty
Faure_Conorton

Julien Faure-Conorton

Adjunct Faculty
Emilia Genuardi

Emilia Genuardi

Adjunct Faculty
Laurent_Pernot

Laurent Pernot

Adjunct Faculty
Tamara Rosenblum

Tamara Rosenblum

Adjunct Faculty
Lisa Salamandra

Lisa Salamandra

Adjunct Faculty
SofijaSilvia

SofijaSilvia

Adjunct Faculty
STEINER Karel

Karel Steiner

Adjunct Faculty
Rachael Woodson

Rachael Woodson

Adjunct Faculty

Curriculum

Credits

Freshman Year

fall

Black & White Photography

Code
FHOT 0218
Description

The medium of photography is largely defined by its history of black and white pictures. The course will cover camera operation, principles of exposure and photographic composition concepts. The goal of this class is to provide a solid foundation of photographic black and white photography skills and techniques. It provides an overview of classic black and white photography while discussing camera techniques that apply to both traditional film and digital cameras. Students will learn how to effectively use their cameras in manual mode and make good quality negatives. The class includes camera and exposure meter instruction, technical lectures, effective scanning methods and instruction on film/digital crossover techniques.

Materials and Dimensions I

Code
FFND 0110
Description

This course is an introduction to dimensions in art and design (2D, 3D, and Photography) through material processes. Over the course of the semester students rotate for one month through three discipline areas. A common theme links the three courses and projects overlap and develop progressively. All first years take part in a joint critique of their work. Students are taught how to use practical tools and shown methods for handling materials that provide concrete starting points for creative practice. These include, but are not limited to: book-making, basic printmaking, black and white printing, sewing inductions, and the operation of woodwork machinery.

City as Studio

Code
FFND 0174
Description

Students explore their immediate neighbourhood and the city at large as a site of inspiration. The city and its spaces become an extended classroom. Students respond to a theme designed to encourage interaction and integration with their surroundings and new, unexpected ways of looking at their environment. Site visits, walks, lectures, readings, and practical exercises guide students through different approaches to the creative process with the aim that they develop their own methodologies and engage with the city as potential artists and/or designers.

Introduction to Digital Media I

Code
FFND 0170
Description

This course aims to equip all first year students with the necessary skills and confidence to be able to use digital tools. The curriculum is project-led and structured so that students can apply their growing skill-set to realize their ideas. All projects are contextualized with examples of work by contemporary artists and designers who are working with digital media. Students are introduced to the possibilities for digital tools as part of their creative work.

Critical Thinking & Writing I

Code
FLIB 1011
Description

This year-long course is designed to improve critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students learn to understand the inherent argument and logic of a text, to think more systematically and critically, and to write more effectively by developing skills in the structure, grammar, and mechanics of writing. Students also work toward the more focused goal of situating design and art practices within larger intellectual, historical and philosophical frameworks by exploring the indissoluble connection between ideas and the products of human culture. This is achieved by introducing students to texts representing and describing various methodologies applicable to art and design, which can then be used to critique and analyze visual and material artifacts.

Introduction to Art & Design

Code
FHCA 0103
Description

This course introduces students to themes and topics relevant to the production and reception of the art and design disciplines taught at PCA. Using art and design objects located in Parisian collections as the basis for visual, contextual and cultural analysis, students will develop ways of seeing, contextualizing and describing art and design, while tackling a common set of issues, including but not limited to: chronology, style, authorship, form, function, composition, originality, narrative, and the decorative. Students will be guided as to how to conduct research in local collections and libraries and will produce a short contextually-oriented research paper on an art or design object or an artist or designer based on first-hand access to the object, artist, designer and archives.

spring

Color Photography

Code
FHOT 0211
Description

Students are introduced to basic photography using color materials. Through a year-long study, they learn to master camera controls and film exposure in the format of their choice. Ambient and artificial lighting as well as their impact on various emulsions are examined with an eye towards producing high quality digital color prints, color C-prints and transparencies. Emphasis will be on developing a personal approach and vision using color materials. Exposure to historical antecedents, contemporary readings and criticism are integrated into the course.

Materials & Dimensions II

Code
FFND 0111 or FFND 0112
Description

Depending on the individual student’s interests they will enroll in either the 2D or 3D focus of Materials and Dimensions II:

Materials and Dimensions II: 2D

Building on the practical knowledge acquired in ‘Materials and Dimensions I’, students develop their ideas with more autonomy, through more personal projects, whilst being supported by the technical expertise of their instructors. The course is split equally between the Photography and Printmaking studio.

The course focuses on the relationship between design, process and final outcome in two dimensions through color. Students are taught to search for the most effective and pertinent way to communicate their ideas.

The continuous shift between photography, printmaking, traditional and digital techniques encourages students to investigate image-making as a multi-layered creative process which will enable them to transform and push their work forward in all areas of 2-dimensional image-making.

Materials and Dimensions II: 3D

Building on the practical knowledge acquired in ‘Materials and Dimensions I’, develop their ideas with more autonomy whilst being supported by the technical expertise of their instructors.

With a specific focus on ‘The Body’ students are introduced to the many ways that the human form is central to art and design practices, whether it is in the design of clothes, products, buildings, or furniture. Students gain an understanding of the different possibilities for 3D Design (architecture, fashion, product design, furniture, fine art sculpture).

Projects are based on investigations into how the physical structure, dimensions, and the functions of the human body inspire and direct the design of forms. The influence of context and environment on the generation and development of ideas will be essential to the work. Students experiment with the potential and limitations of materials and different material combinations through a study of color.

Introduction To Digital Media II

Code
FFND 0171
Description

Students develop projects with a growing complexity, employing the computer less as a tool and more as a medium to be manipulated with greater confidence and control. The aim of the course is to create an awareness of the potential for digital techniques to solve visual and communication problems. Advanced skills are taught during the Semester that support and encourage an ambitious approach to the digital field. Students integrate digital and non-digital practice and explore mixing different softwares and media. All projects are contextualized with examples of work by contemporary artists and designers who are working with digital media. By the end of the course all students are confident to use digital tools as part of their creative work.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Paris Yesterday and Tomorrow: history, art and urban culture

Code
FLIB 1105
Description

This course acquaints students with the neighborhoods, cultures, people, customs, institutions and organizations in Paris through a thematic approach based on three main modules: the city and its history; the literary and artistic representations of the city; the city, its citizens, and its future. Students will learn about key moments in French history, from the Romans on, via the Middle Ages, the Revolution, Haussmannization, and May 1968; they will be introduced to such themes as political migrations and colonialism, and will explore the city from a variety of points of views including literary and artistic exchanges, urban history, architecture, and ecology. Active exploration of the environment is strongly encouraged and learning is accomplished through a variety of means: site visits, the examination of texts and images, and first-hand encounters with museums, galleries, and libraries, as well as other art and design-related resources in the city.

Critical Thinking & Writing II

Code
FLIB 1012
Description

This year-long course is designed to improve critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students learn to understand the inherent argument and logic of a text, to think more systematically and critically, and to write more effectively by developing skills in the structure, grammar, and mechanics of writing. Students also work toward the more focused goal of situating design and art practices within larger intellectual, historical and philosophical frameworks by exploring the indissoluble connection between ideas and the products of human culture. This is achieved by introducing students to texts representing and describing various methodologies applicable to art and design, which can then be used to critique and analyze visual and material artifacts.

Sophomore Year

fall

Sophomore Seminar I

Code
FHOT 0230
Description

This is a year-long course building on the Freshman year, the course addresses the creative process as well as technique and critique. Through select readings, field trips to galleries and museum exhibitions, screenings of film clips and viewing of historical and contemporary artists’ work, students will have the opportunity to develop their artistic reference points as they delve into the production of their own personal projects. Students will be expected to engage in class discussions and group critiques, keep a journal and will be encouraged to experiment outside their comfort zones as they begin to think along conceptual as well aesthetic and formal frameworks, examining problems and trying different approaches to find a solution. Throughout the semester students will work in the studio and/or field in order to create a personal project (12-16 final images in total) that is both formally and conceptually coherent. Possible subjects may fall under themes of environmental portraiture, photographic appropriation or collage, and Fine Art photography inspired by history or geography. The student can also create her/his own personal theme that is not listed here as long as it is agreed upon in class. Finally, students will begin developing their artist statements as they clarify their vision.

Moving Image

Code
FHOT
Description

The video course is organized as a creative workshop, where students are encouraged to engage quickly in a personal research. A strong involvement is necessary to achieve any 4D project including in-class tutorials and independent work.

The first semester will be devoted to technical familiarization with the different filming tools, recording sound, and linear editing, in order to acquire spontaneity. The goal for this first term is to develop all the technical skills and create automatisms to best serve the video practice. Students will be encouraged to use their personal filming tools (smartphones, regular consumer cameras, etc.), as basic as they could seem, to allow a common and natural usage. The collected imagery and sound will serve students all year to build their personal research and artistic proposals.

We will see how different artists create images from three constitutive elements: light, space, and time. We will learn that an image cannot be simply reduced to the broadcast visual element, but includes the contextual presentation. We will discuss the importance of the distribution of light and colors in the development of this overall picture, which will introduce the space, set design and the role of the spectator. We will approach the various possible temporal modalities of the image broadcast: real-time, delayed linear continuity, disruptive continuity (interactivity, random images, etc.), and their influence on the space and the spectator.

Prerequisite: Foundation Core studios

Lighting Techniques I

Code
FHOT 0232
Description

This is the first part of a yearlong course of learning and mastering the fundamental techniques of studio lighting. The students become familiar with how to create traditional, practical lighting scenarios in a studio environment. Electronic flashes and tungsten lights will be used to achieve control of color, contrast, and reflection. Lighting techniques are demonstrated and applied in class to various assignments of tabletop still lifes and portraiture. Emphasis is placed on understanding light and of mastering the technical aspects of the lighting equipment. Assignments will be theme based: headshots, full portraits, and several still lifes.

Prerequisite: Black & White Photography or Introduction to Digital Photography or equivalent.

Digital Photography Lab I

Code
FHOT 0257
Description

This year-long course introduces students to the creative and technical possibilities of digital photography. Through demonstrations and hands-on sessions, students learn the fundamentals of Adobe Photoshop to produce effective digital photographs. Students are taken through all the basic processes encountered in digital workflow, from basic scanning and retouching, image enhancement, and printing fundamentals, to RAW file processing and photographic post-production methods.

Prerequisite(s): Black & White Photography, Introduction to Digital Photography, Digital Skills & Composition or equivalent.

Introduction To Visual Culture

Code
FHCA 0340
Description

This interdisciplinary course explores the rise of visual media, communication and information, within the context of a broad cultural shift away from the verbal and textual toward the visual, which has taken place since the advent of photography and cinema in the late 19th century, through the birth of television, to the present proliferation of digital media worldwide. We will consider the critical practices of looking, historicizing and interpreting that have accompanied this ‘visual turn’. Our readings will primarily address the theoretical foundations of the study of visual culture, which is understood to incorporate a variety of visual media and visual technologies: painting and sculpture, scientific imagery, material culture, the internet. If everything can be visual culture, what remains of traditional notions of medium specificity? What critical tools must be invented to analyze visual events from a visual cultural perspective? The relationship between the visual arts and visual media, especially with respect to the ‘global’ contemporary visual landscape, will be a focus of this course.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies department page for more information.

spring

Sophomore Seminar II

Code
FHOT 0231
Description

This is a year-long course building on the Freshman year, the course addresses the creative process as well as technique and critique. Through select readings, field trips to galleries and museum exhibitions, screenings of film clips and viewing of historical and contemporary artists’ work, students will have the opportunity to develop their artistic reference points as they delve into the production of their own personal projects. Students will be expected to engage in class discussions and group critiques, keep a journal and will be encouraged to experiment outside their comfort zones as they begin to think along conceptual as well aesthetic and formal frameworks, examining problems and trying different approaches to find a solution. Throughout the semester students will work in the studio and/or field in order to create a personal project (12-16 final images in total) that is both formally and conceptually coherent. Possible subjects may fall under themes of environmental portraiture, photographic appropriation or collage, and Fine Art photography inspired by history or geography. The student can also create her/his own personal theme that is not listed here as long as it is agreed upon in class. Finally, students will begin developing their artist statements as they clarify their vision.

Prerequisites: Semester 1 or equivalent are prerequisites for semester 2.

Lighting Techniques II

Code
FHOT 0233
Description

This is the second part of a yearlong course of learning and mastering the fundamental techniques of studio lighting. The students become familiar with how to create traditional, practical lighting scenarios in a studio and also in an outdoor environment using multiple light sources while mixing studio electronic flash with outdoor light. Electronic flashes and tungsten lights will be used to achieve control of color, contrast and reflection. Emphasis is placed on understanding light and of mastering the technical aspects of the lighting equipment. Lighting techniques are demonstrated and applied in class to various assignments. The class is project based. The students will choose their projects from several themes: headshot/ portraits, nudes, outdoor flash portraits, and in-class still life.

Prerequisite: Lighting Techniques 1

Digital Photography Lab II

Code
FHOT 0258
Description

This year-long course introduces students to the creative and technical possibilities of digital photography. Through demonstrations and hands-on sessions, students learn the fundamentals of Adobe Photoshop to produce effective digital photographs. Students are taken through all the basic processes encountered in digital workflow, from basic scanning and retouching, image enhancement, and printing fundamentals, to RAW file processing and photographic post-production methods.

Prerequisite(s): Black & White Photography, Introduction to Digital Photography, Digital Skills & Composition or equivalent.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Photography Before 1960

Code
FHCA 0302
Description

Conceived as an introduction to the history of photography, this course will focus on the first half of the 20th century. The main movements and aesthetics characterizing that period will be examined through the work of various international photographers. Arranged thematically while following a chronological progression, it will approach each theme in connection with a major photographer whose singularity will help understand the particularities and issues of the subject and put them into perspective. As a product of light and chemistry, photography has always been determined by technical parameters. We will address these parameters and see how they shaped the history of the medium and what we can learn from them today.

Since its invention, photography has had an ambivalent status, regarded by some only as a way of recording or copying things, while others considered it as an actual means of artistic creation. This constant dichotomy between document and art will constitute the common thread of this course. We will look at it with a critical eye, examining photographs through all the stages of their life, from the moment they were taken to the moment they were printed, published, exhibited or discovered by others. In doing so, we will be able to examine how the status of these photographs often changed during the various stages of their history, going from mere document to renowned work of art.

Based mostly on the observation and comment of photographic images, this course aims to start a discussion and foster debate on photography, its specificities and the way they were developed and used in the first half of the 20th century.

Optics & Science of Perception

Code
FLIB
Description

This course will present an overview of the theories of visual perception and a survey of ideas about how we come to see the world in the ways that we do. Two ideas, in particular, will be discussed: (1) perception is a construction and (2) we vastly underestimate this phenomenon, i.e. we have the wrong intuition that perception is merely an objective recording of external information. During the discussion we will always keep in mind the background question: can the psychology of perception inspire artistic creation and, if it can, in which way?

Junior Year

fall

Junior Seminar I

Code
FHOT 0300
Description

This is a yearlong course building on the Freshman and Sophomore Seminars, serving as a critical and technical exploration of the language and theory of photography. Students will further develop their individual photographic statements while placing their work within conceptual and historical contexts. This semester, we will be placing a particular emphasis on working with medium and large format cameras. Artists working in other mediums, such as video, sculpture, painting, and installation, will be examined as well. Students will work on two shorter assignments and one longer term, self-designed project throughout the first semester, culminating in a body of work that will be presented at the end-of-the-term show.

Photography and the Marketplace

Code
FHOT 0326
Description

This course will look at both the business and practical side of the photographic industry and the importance of understanding and work behind the scene. Students will have an introduction to all different aspects of the marketplace as the fine art world, press, advertising, and marketing, etc. We will look at their practical sides: producing images for a press editor, how to pitch to a client for an advertising campaign, how to create your own brand, legal agreements, copyright and reproduction rights. On the fine art side: we’ll look at dealing with galleries, physical and online, submissions, commissions, promotion, paperwork, framing and private views. This overview of the marketplaces should lead you to an easiest choice and understanding of your own positioning within a professional environment.

Photography Since 1960

Code
FHCA 0303
Description

This course will focus on the second half of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st. The work of various international authors representative of that time period will be examined. Arranged thematically, the course will approach each subject through a selection of photographs. The study of their meaning and singularity will help understand the particularities and issues of each theme and put them into perspective.

The notion of “creation” will constitute the common thread of this course. Each theme will interrogate the use of photography as a means of expression whether it be with a personal, political, artistic, commercial or social goal. Examining body of works developed from 1960 to today, we will see how photography has fostered tradition (commitment to a certain vision of the medium and to its history) as well as a stimulated novelty (invention of new ways of using the camera).

Based on the observation and comment of photographic images, this course aims to start a discussion and foster debate on the medium, its specificities and the way they have developed since 1960.

Liberal Studies Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies department page for more information.

spring

Junior Seminar II

Code
FHOT 0301
Description

This is a yearlong course building on the Freshman and Sophomore Seminars, serving as a critical and technical exploration of the language and theory of photography. Students will further develop their individual photographic statements while placing their work within conceptual and historical contexts. This semester, we will be placing a particular emphasis on working with medium and large format cameras. Artists working in other mediums, such as video, sculpture, painting, and installation, will be examined as well. Students will work on two shorter assignments and one longer term, self-designed project throughout the first semester, culminating in a body of work that will be presented at the end-of-the-term show.

Advanced Printing Techniques

Code
FHOT 0333
Description

In this course, students will learn about various digital printing techniques and their unique aesthetics and use for the production of contemporary works of art and fashion photography. They will develop an in-depth understanding of all aspects of making pigment inkjet prints for portfolios and exhibitions. The fundamentals of color management and color profiles will be taught and students will learn how to properly optimize and prepare their digital files for printing with a large format inkjet printer (e.g., resolution, margins, scaling, color balance, contrast, etc.). Scanning will also be covered. Through various tutorials and hands-on use, students will be given the necessary knowledge to solve common inkjet printing problems, including color reproduction issues.

The creative decisions that contemporary artists and photographers should address before printing, including print technology and paper choice, is at the heart of this class. Students will be asked to articulate their conceptual ideas and formulate the best or most interesting methods of its production. Although inkjet printing is the concentration of the course due to the machines at hand, students will gather practical information about other labs in Paris where other types of digital prints can be produced and will be encouraged to try other printing studios when warranted. Students will visit various labs in Paris and will see work in various galleries and institutions that pertain to the course’s scope. Preservation issues surrounding various types of digital prints will also be touched upon.

Large Format Camera Techniques

Code
FHOT 0330
Description

The Large Format Photography course is devoted to both the technical and creative use of the view camera. Throughout the semester students will work in the studio and field to develop a personal project and perfect technical skills. I will be inviting the students to discover how the view camera is key to contemporary photographic practice by exploring books and exhibitions. By semester’s end, an elegant and cohesive portfolio will have been produced. What is essential will be to improve technical skills and find new ways of seeing through large format photography.

Art History Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies department page for more information.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies department page for more information.

Senior Year

fall

Senior Seminar I

Code
FHOT 0400
Description

This year-long seminar continues to build on the previous Junior Seminar. Part one of this course is dedicated to help the student identify a subject that will be developed into a senior thesis project, while continuing to challenge the students’ critical and technical exploration of the medium. Part two of the seminar is dedicated to producing a body of photographic work, a written thesis component contextualizing the images, and culminates in a gallery exhibit. The final thesis project/exhibition will be reviewed and evaluated by a jury consisting of faculty members and guest critics from the Parisian photographic community.

Senior Thesis

Code
FHOT 0402
Description

This seminar provides the theoretical and methodological foundation necessary for completing a senior thesis in the departments of Fine Arts, Photography, Communication Design, Interior Design and Design Management. Over the course of the semester, students will continue to conduct research and write their thesis for the Bachelor degree. The Senior Thesis course includes individual and group tutorials, peer assessments, and research and writing workshops. This course is intended to guide students through the final stages of the thesis (from finalizing the written submission to preparing the oral defence) and it seeks to make the thesis process and oral defence as painless (and, ideally, as enjoyable) as possible.

Professional Identity: Website

Code
FHOT 0405
Description

As students prepare to complete their undergraduate studies, this course focuses on electronic portfolio presentation, web identity, and viral media. Students will be asked to gather and edit their work – focusing on the work most relevant to their desired career path – and present it in an online portfolio which is linked to social media outlets, all of which serving as a means to gather future clients, gain employment, globally exhibit their work, and/or move forward in their studies toward an advanced degree.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies department page for more information.

spring

Senior Seminar II

Code
FHOT 0401
Description

This year-long seminar continues to build on the previous Junior Seminar. Part one of this course is dedicated to help the student identify a subject that will be developed into a senior thesis project, while continuing to challenge the students’ critical and technical exploration of the medium. Part two of the seminar is dedicated to producing a body of photographic work, a written thesis component contextualizing the images, and culminates in a gallery exhibit. The final thesis project/exhibition will be reviewed and evaluated by a jury consisting of faculty members and guest critics from the Parisian photographic community.

Senior Portfolio Development

Code
FHOT 0403
Description

The Portfolio Development class focuses on student’s research skills based upon the first semester written thesis paper to be combined with their final degree project. Its purpose is to improve each student’s capacity to express the relationship between their visual/text-based research and studio practice. Working on their personal identity and projects, the class will concentrate on the student’s portfolio, as well as consider issues of self-editing, display and public presentation. Areas covered will include portfolio content, presentation ideas and practical solutions, self-branding, biography, artist statements, business cards and portfolio leave-behind cards. It also includes preparation for graduate degree applications, grants, residencies and specific professional competitions.

This course seeks to provide in-depth information and hands-on practice in developing the visual, textual, and oral aspects of portfolio presentation. We will look at content, selection and presentation of artwork. Students will learn the basics of writing methodologies for artist statements, project proposals, curriculum vitae building, grant applications, and more. Students will be taught to conduct effective research on potential opportunities, and learn the importance of tailoring their presentation to meet the specific requirements of each endeavour. Weekly mandatory homework assignments will offer ample practice and necessary feedback for progress, fine-tuning, and perfection of the students’ presentation skills.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies department page for more information.

Overall Credits Total
120

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this program cutting edge in contrast to other BFA programs?

The cutting edge curriculum emphasizes practice-based learning and focuses on new types of visual storytelling and image-making: still image, moving image, and multimedia, with a curriculum that emphasizes new media and transdisciplinary skill sets, and understands photography as a hybrid and as a contemporary art form. The program explores digital-image-making as a force, and it is designed as a practice-based and process-oriented program. Based on the intersection of visual phenomena, new media, critical studies, and creative production, the program offers a unique blend of studio practice, and theoretical and art historical training. Students who pursue the program at Paris College of Art have the potential for connection building while they are still in the program.

In the second year, students can specialize in Documentary Photography, Fashion Photography, and/or the Constructed Image, and start working on long–term projects.

How do you know if the program is right for you?

The department makes great efforts to attract students that are diverse in practice, background, and career goals. The proposed BFA program allows practitioners and theorists to research and develop the new boundaries of image-making made possible by technological change within the context of post-industrial culture. As a result, the department doesn’t favor any particular visual aesthetic. We are committed to supporting and nurturing each student’s creative trajectory. If you are interested in combining technical knowledge and principles of photography and image-making research, theory, and academia, this is the perfect program for you.

Are there other undergraduate students at PCA?

PCA offers several undergraduate programs, and all students share elective courses, so there is the opportunity for interaction across disciplines both inside and outside the classroom.

What are the advantages of studying in Paris?

Paris is an epicenter for emerging contemporary photography and image-making, between the great photo fairs and events like Paris Photo, Fotofever, Circulation(s), and photo venues like the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, LE BAL and the Jeu de Paume. Students will have direct access to Parisian networks, and the opportunities to visit these venues regularly, participate in calls for projects and exhibitions.

For many decades, Paris has been considered as the center of avant-garde art and, without a doubt, as the hub for the new photography in Europe since the 1920s. If the French capital became a forum for photographers from so many different countries and backgrounds, this was because it stood as a model of modernity and a beacon of economic hope in the aftermath of the First World War, but also because it was a haven of political and religious freedom for those forced into exile. Furthermore, the international dimension of both the city and Paris College of Art provides a unique platform for students who would aspire to experience an internship or work abroad.

What are the concrete projects students can expect to complete?

This program focuses on technical skills and cognitive needs that arise from the continuous development of the image industry. Students will be able to:

• Show an ability to include visual references and textual evidence within the body of a written thesis;
• Locate and propose a specific pathway within research and/or studio work;
• Produce quality artwork that is technically, aesthetically and conceptually at a professional level;
• Apply methods of work and thought, encompassing the research, production, and reflection in a framework of aesthetic, artistic, social and ethical issues, within a culture of change;
• Explore a variety of digital technologies for the explicit purpose of employing them to create various narrative forms;
• Manage grant process: identify private and public funding priorities and opportunities, develop a consistent and workable program plan, write clearly defined goals and objectives, prepare a complete program budget in a grant format, etc.;
• Prepare art residency and exhibition proposals for those who plan to pursue a fine arts path;
• Respond to professional and public art commissions.

What are the faculty’s credentials?

Their expertise lies in Contemporary Photography, Advanced Printing Techniques, Curatorial Studies, Art History, Intellectual Property, Professional Business Practices, Editorial, Concept and Storytelling, Art Direction, Marketing, and Teaching Methods.

What are the expected outcomes in terms of employability?

Students graduating from the BFA programs would be prepared to enter the international job market with specific knowledge and skills in photography and image-making, but also in a wide range of disciplines and fields, including fine art, commercial photography, video, and multimedia production, editing, college-level education, web design, curating, and museum & gallery management. Students will acquire a set of research skills if they wish to continue their education with an MA/MFA degree.

What types of projects and companies will alumni be prepared for?

PCA has jointly established links with industry and other partners through past industry sponsorship agreements with companies such as L’Oreal, Hermès, Shiseido, Galeries Lafayette, Les Compagnons du Devoir, Promod, Picto and more. Our career services office assists students with securing internships. New links are sought and explored, to provide photography and image-making students with a pertinent professional network.

If freelancing/entrepreneurship is not your cup of tea, alumni will be able to work in a whole slew of fields like photography (advertising/commercial, documentary/photojournalism), editing and postproduction (story structure for still image and moving image), new media (digital media and its impact on the processes of making and experiencing photography), story (concept, management, fiction, and non-fiction) or business practices/business skills (writing, social media, marketing). The BFA program will prepare students to become scholars who redefine the creative role of photography within the contemporary culture.

What will students have in terms of a portfolio by the end of the program? Is a portfolio even the right way to look at the end result?

Upon successful completion of the BFA Senior Portfolio and Thesis, students are expected to have achieved demonstrable skills in the image capturing and editing, an understanding of applied research methodologies, and increased teamwork and management skills. They will have practiced talking about their skills and competencies with professional employers and clients. Students will present their BFA degree project in a gallery in Paris.

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Open Call for Artists: Visual Art Open Prize

The competition is a celebration of artists working in one of more of the following categories: drawing, painting, photography, digital art and sculpture and young artists. There are some excellent prizes and finalists will be exhibited at Chester Arts Fair.
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