Reasons to Study Photography Full-Time
Andrew Fleming graduated with honours from VanArts last year with a Professional Photography diploma, and is now enjoying an amazing head-shot photography career in Toronto.
We spoke with Andrew in a series of videos about his new life as a professional photographer.
See the first video here, and check out this link for the entire series >>.
Alumni Night Returns!
Our Professional Photography Department brought back a wonderful tradition from pre-Covid times: the return of Alumni Night. Past graduates were invited to our new purpose-built campus space to re-connect with faculty, classmates, and current students.
It was a fantastic evening, and we look forward to the next one!
Inside VanArts: Photography in the Studio
One of the best things about studying at VanArts is access to a professional studio space. Here is an exclusive look inside the photography studio during an Advanced Lighting Demo, with instructor Adam Blasberg.
The Professional Photography program begins by teaching you the fundamental principles of photography and photo imaging. It’s your foundation for the rest of the year, learning how to control your image quality, use your gear, understand digital workflow and image management, and develop your expertise. You will also train for the proper set-up and tear-down of our studio lighting equipment, and get your certification so you can book the studio independently for assignments.
Basic Digital Workflow Computer Literacy Form & Content History of Vision Introduction to Lighting Nude & Figure Photography Painting with Light Photo Fundamentals Photoshop Basics Portfolio Group Critique Posing with People Seminar
Moving into Term 2, your foundation expands and becomes more sophisticated, in everything from post-production to specific areas of specialization, interaction with clients and ethical considerations. Image processing extends to printing photo output on our professional printing equipment, and your coursework begins to reach beyond the computer lab and studio, out into the city and beautiful natural areas of Vancouver for shooting.
Family & Child Photography Industrial Photography Intermediate Lighting Photojournalism & Visual Storytelling 1 Photoshop 2 Portfolio Group Critique Product Photography Street Photography Visual Language Web Development - Basics Wedding Photography Video Production
In Term 3, your work in the lab, in the studio, and on location becomes even more advanced, in terms of lighting, equipment and practice. You also now begin pursuing assignments specific to your chosen area of specialization for your photography business. Discussions begin with our faculty about subject preparation, team building, estimating and project management.
Action & Sports Photography Advanced Lighting & Production Architectural Photography Fashion Photography Food & Beverage Photography Intro to Business Development Photoshop 3 Portfolio Group Critique Style Development Web Development - Build Video Production
You’ve arrived at the final Term 4, and now it’s all about your business. Intensive business training and preparation gets into marketing strategies, web presence, social media, and your final portfolio. Forming an extensive business plan under the guidance of working pro photographers will prepare you for work in a very competitive field. One final critique from a portfolio review panel of industry leaders will provide the right amount of feedback and encouragement to launch a successful career.
Actors' Headshots Applied Portfolio Business Development Graphic Design for Photographers Portfolio Development Portfolio Group Critique Portfolio Review Panel Stock Photography Web Development - Finish
Ian McGuffieHead of Professional Photography
Head of Professional Photography
Ian McGuffie is one of the leading members of the Vancouver photographic community, with over 40 years of professional experience. For the past nineteen years he has been director/curator of Exposure Gallery, Vancouver’s oldest photographic gallery. As an award-winning photographer his work has been exhibited in Europe, North America and Japan. He is also President of the Vancouver Association for Photographic Arts, a society for the promotion of photography as a medium of creative and artistic expression, and a board member for the successful Capture Festival, showcasing the best in photography from Vancouver.
Jeff BellProgram Manager
Jeff Bell has immersed himself in the art and technology of making pictures, after working in a corporate role in information technology and web development for ten years. Through his professional training at Langara College, he now relishes the opportunity for expression and creativity offered by pursuing photography full-time, specializing in portraits and sports photography. www.jeffbellphoto.ca
Adam BlasbergLead Instructor
Always pushing his own limits, Adam Blasberg found his inspiration to photography on a one-man bicycle tour of Canada from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, BC. Dedication to perfection, professionalism and focus have helped put Adam on the map as a rising force in photography. Whether behind the lens or in front of it, his focus is people, working cooperatively with all involved to produce a flawless finished piece. With a peerlessly sharp eye for details, Adam Blasberg brings a personal touch to his clients’ work. www.adamblasberg.com
Christopher MorrisLead Instructor
Christopher J. Morris got his start in photography over 25 years ago shooting news and sports events in Montreal for Canadian Press, Reuters and several other newspapers. Now based in Vancouver, he has worked on assignments for MacLeans, Time, Newsweek, Hello, The New York Times, Times of London, The Observer, Der Spiegel, Stern, and many other magazines around the world, doing documentary work, news, sports, features and portraits. Currently a contributor to Corbis and Redux Pictures, Christopher has been teaching at VanArts since 2009, and most recently covered the last 3 Olympic Games, winning an Applied Arts Award for his work in London 2012. www.christophermorris.com
Mary L.G. JensenLead Instructor
Mary L.G. Jensen
Mary L.G. Jensen is an accredited portrait photographer who has been running her successful studio in Richmond, B.C. since 1986. Through giving presentations, teaching fellow photographers, and exhibiting her work, she has earned her Master of Photographic Arts designation from the Professional Photographers of Canada. Further recognition from her peers has allowed her to have the prestigious F/PPABC conferred on her, making her a Fellow of the Professional Photographers Association of British Columbia. She is accredited in both Portrait and Wedding photography. www.artisanphotography.ca
Kaj R. SvenssonInstructor - Stock, Product & Architectural Photography
Kaj R. Svensson
Instructor - Stock, Product & Architectural Photography
Educated in British Columbia and California Kaj has over 25 years experience in commercial, illustrative and stock photography working in all camera formats including 35mm, medium, 4” x 5” and 8” x 10” view cameras, and the latest digital equipment. Kaj also has extensive knowledge of and experience in lighting techniques and has owned and operated studios for over 20 years. He has been actively involved in teaching for over 20 years, and has taught at institutions such as the University of British Columbia (Centre for Continuing Education),British Columbia Institute of Technology, and other prominent local photography schools. www.viewpointswest.com
Sandra LeungInstructor - Wedding Photography
Instructor - Wedding Photography
Sandra Leung is the principal photographer and owner of Yaletown Photography and Yaletown Wedding Gallery. Sandra specializes in a artistic lifestyle approach to people photography. Her work has been published in numerous local and international publications. With 17+ years of photography and marketing & communications experience, Sandra has become one of the top wedding photographers in Vancouver. Sandra also brings a unique fashion-photojournalistic style to her wedding imagery. Each wedding celebration reveals unique beauty and emotions which she captures in her passion to create meaningful and dynamic imagery for both international and local clients alike.
Lisa KaulbackInstructor - Commercial Production
Instructor - Commercial Production
As a graduate of Langara‘s Professional Photo-Imaging Program, Lisa Kaulback has found expression for her obsessive attention to detail in the world of production, a role that involves helping photographers quote and manage commercial photography shoots. Her diverse portfolio on large scale stock shoots and award winning advertising campaigns dates back to 2002 and has taken her to Australia, on an Alaskan cruise, to the mountains and the desert, and into the strange world of taxidermy. In the classroom, she is credited with high standards, demanding assignments, wit, and compelling anecdotes. Lisa’s latest project is a book she has authored on commercial production, Building Winning Bids – available on iBooks. http://kaulbackproductions.com
Kevin LanthierInstructor - Photoshop
Instructor - Photoshop
Kevin Lanthier is a visual artist, commercial photographer, and digital retoucher. With his company Cake Imagery, he works with top creative agencies and advertising photographers in Vancouver and around the world, for clients including Jameson Whiskey, Ronald McDonald House, Telus, Rogers, Esso, Aritzia, CP Rail, Coast Capital, BC Hydro, The City of Vancouver, and many others. He brings this strong technical foundation from the commercial world to his fine art work, building his images from dozens, if not hundreds, of separate photographs to create scenes and convey ideas in ways not possible with traditional photography alone. His current work focuses on distilling and amplifying narratives found in urban spaces via highly controlled, concept-driven compositions. Kevin has been working with Photoshop since before he picked up a camera, and maintains a philosophy that he will use any tool or technique available to realize the images he wishes to create. He likes to bring this openness of possibilities to his students, to encourage them to try to create the images from their imagination, regardless of the constraints of the physical world around them. http://www.cakeimagery.com http://www.kevinlanthier.com
Mauricio OrozcoInstructor - Photoshop
Instructor - Photoshop
Mauricio Orozco is an advertising and commercial photographer. Born in Mexico City and educated at the Brooks Institute in California, Mauricio now calls Vancouver, BC his home. For over 20 years he has been able to collaborate with his clients to create images that are strong, useful and authentic to their brands.
Although an expert at digital manipulation, the many years working with film taught him the importance of creating the best possible image at the moment of exposure. His background has also turned into a true passion for teaching photography and digital retouching. You can see some of his work at www.mauorozco.com
Patrick KosloInstructor - Light Painting
Instructor - Light Painting
Patrick Koslo’s first published work was a shot of science fiction author William Gibson for the 1991 cover of West Magazine. His work has since appeared in Vancouver Magazine, B.C. Business, City Food, Common Ground, Nuvo Magazine and the Georgia Straight. He has done slideshows and lectures at Vancouver Film School, Exposure Gallery, Camera Canada College at UBC, Capilano College, The Roundhouse Community Centre, The Planetarium and various camera clubs. His work, which included 50 light painted images, appeared in the 1998 episode Killswitch of The X-Files with Twentieth Century Fox Television. He worked with Georgia Pulos on a 50th Birthday tribute to Jim Morrison of The Doors, shooting in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara and Paris France. He is constantly looking for new ways to expand his conceptual, experimental photographic vision. He does not use a computer or photoshop but encourages his students to use whatever means necessary to stand out with a creative edge in today’s competitive and high-tech photographic world.
Ross den OtterInstructor - Fundamentals, Lighting, & Actors' Headshots
Ross den Otter
Instructor - Fundamentals, Lighting, & Actors' Headshots
Leaving their small B.C. towns of Courtenay and Summerland in the mid-eighties and meeting at Langara‘s respected photography program led not only to a thriving partnership in business but also to a thriving partnership in life. Pink Monkey Studios, established in 1996 by the husband-and-wife team of Ross den Otter and Sarolta Dobi, has skillfully filled the portfolios of actors, models, and corporate executives from across the Lower Mainland for over a decade. Establishing and maintaining quality relationships with all their clients, the Monkeys’ branched out to commercial and on-set film work as well, expanding the scope of their business. www.pinkmonkeystudios.com
Scott HastingsInstructor - Web & Graphic Design
Instructor - Web & Graphic Design
Primarily a visual artist producing illustrations, graphic designs, motion graphics, websites, and video production, Scott Hastings is also an active musician and entertainer. Some of his contracts include Layout & Design for Rogers Communications, Graphic Design for Actress Rebecca Romijn, Album Designer for Ludwig Recordings, and Producer of an animated explainer video for MS Filter Systems Inc.
Scott’s career started at the Gulf Islands Film & Television School as 3D Animation Program Manager, Soundtrack Composer, Video Mentor and co-producer of the school’s official YouTube Channel launch. He won awards for his short 3D animated music video Frog Song and created opening credit animations for the documentary Contact the People (2002 Sundance Film Festival premiere), Sound design for National Film Board short films Suckerfish by Lisa Jackson and The Collector by Kassia Ward, and Richard Reeves’ camera-less animated film 1:1.
Vairdy FrailInstructor - Print & Portfolio
Instructor - Print & Portfolio
Years of traveling around the world following the surf and snow can do a lot of wonderful things to a person. For Vairdy the people and places rekindled a passion of photography and eventually brought her back to Vancouver to study at Langara College. After graduating from the Professional Photo Imaging program, she spent the next few years between the secluded Islands of Haida Gwaii in the summertime shooting and following the competitive snowboardcross racing circuit competing across Canada. Her competitive drive to develop as a snowboarder took her to the Andes Mountains of Chile where she was injured during training, putting a sudden end to her snowboarding career. Following some recovery time at home in Vancouver, Photography once again became her focus and before long Vairdy was assisting and learning the ropes of retouching with Commercial Photographer Philip Jarmain. After a couple years in the commercial business, Vairdy had discovered talents and interests that she did not know existed in retouching and post-production.
With this new focus Vairdy brings to the industry her own unique style, delivering quality work to ad firms and commercial photographers here in Vancouver.
Program Duration12 Months
Next Start DatesSeptember 3, 2024 September 2, 2025
The Professional Photography program at VanArts is designed for you to master the technical, creative and business skills essential to life as a professional photographer. We offer the only intensive one-year program in Vancouver that focuses on business skills in addition to hands-on experience in the field and studio, all taught by successful working photographers.
Skills You Will Learn
• Visual communication
• Digital workflow & manipulation techniques
• Lighting & style development
• Video for photographers
• How to shoot for multiple industries
• How to run your own business (including marketing, branding, & attracting clients)
• Commercial (advertising, food, architecture)
• Editorial (fashion, sports, photojournalism)
• Consumer (families, portraits, weddings)
• Fine Art (decorative, exhibitions)
• Creative direction
Bring Your Own Device
A laptop is required for this program, Expand the 'Supplies and Equipment' section below for laptop specs and other equipment requirements.
This program has been approved by the Registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
VanArts has articulation agreements in place with several well established universities/colleges in Canada, Australia, and the UK. These degree pathways allow you to complete your bachelor’s degree in as little as one year after your studies at VanArts. This gives you the advantage of two credentials; a professional diploma and an undergraduate degree. These partnerships may not only save you money in tuition cost, but allows you to transition easily from VanArts to the partner institution while continuing your educational pathway in your chosen field of study. For international students, completing your BA degree in as little as two years of additional study with our local university partners provides you with the option to apply for a Canadian work permit, which may lead to permanent residency or Canadian citizenship. This list represents the pathways, universities and specific degrees available for graduates of Digital Photography at VanArts:
10% deposit upon acceptance to hold your seat
40% six weeks prior to start date
50% by end of Term 1 (3 months into studies)