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Image & Content Creation

No longer accepting new enrollments.
The Image Program is focused on providing balanced and versatile training in the art, craft and technology necessary for creating a wide variety of still and video communications. Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Pretty smart guy, that Einstein. The beauty of imagination is that it can take us anywhere we would like to be. And it’s a photographer or videographer who captures that imagination for everyone to see.

The Image Program offers two concentrations for students – Content Creation and Photography. Content Creation is for students who want to embrace the fast-paced commercial advertising world by concepting, creating, and producing branded eye-catching and engaging still life, stop-motion, and video content geared for social media. Their final portfolio will feature work where they’ve taken part in the art direction, photography, videography, copywriting, design, and digital workflow in each project. The Traditional Photography track encompasses a broader range of photography and videography techniques. In addition to creating branded social media content, students will explore further into the vast world of commercial photography through Creative Portraiture, Fashion, Product, Documentary, Event, and Film photography. This track is great for students who are driven to create their own photography business and manage their own varying freelance projects or collaborations with agencies. The two concentrations aren’t exclusive, and the portfolios show bits from both concentrations.

At The Circus, you can expect to creatively explore your vision, master digital production and work alongside like-minded creatives. You’ll also become well-versed in other important aspects such as image capture,  file management, digital retouching and final delivery. All this might sound like a crazy busy two years. The question begs, are you crazy enough?

Program Description

Conceptual thinking is stressed throughout the curriculum. Some courses enable the student to work individually while others require collaborative problem solving with students from other disciplines. It’s a creative marriage that has real-world challenges, but ultimately produces finished professional samples. Additionally, a good working relationship here can, and will, carry over into the professional arena.

Technically, there is much an Image student must learn. The fundamentals of digital camera use are covered for studio and location photography, while exploring techniques for both, still life and portraiture. Classes in lighting expose the student to daylight, tungsten, LED, and electronic flash options, in addition to understanding additive and subtractive lighting tools, light modifiers, and grip gear.  Basics in small, medium, and large format camera options will be explored in the studio. With the inception of social media, more imagery than ever relies heavily on movement. Students will learn stop-motion and videography techniques to create engaging creative content. The latest editing software is taught to ensure students are well equipped with industry standard skills for crafting polished professional imagery.


Here’s a small sample of the classes you’ll take as an Image student.

Intro to Photography

This instrumental digital photography class deals with the many details of camera operation and lens selection. The instruction demonstrates how to combine the camera settings of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to produce a correctly exposed digital file. Lens discussions involve focal length, depth of field properties, and focusing techniques. Students are introduced to Capture One for editing, image organization, and tethering to capture images remotely. This course covers the fundamentals of file management and backup required for a professional photography career.

Lighting + Production

Natural and artificial continuous light are discussed and practiced through class assignments and demonstrations. In class demos cover placement, intensity, metering and exposing of light. Students learn the basic production methods of building a set for their subject.


This course provides the technical and styling information needed for proficiency in a variety of fields where people are the subjects. Students learn methods for shooting creative studio, lifestyle, conceptual, environmental, and editorial portraiture.

Visual Storytelling

This class is devoted to developing a story in a short-form (60 seconds) video piece. Instruction will include ideation, scripting, storyboarding, basic camera operation, composition techniques, audio capture, lighting practices, grip options, and editing. Students are introduced to the basics of video editing, audio editing, and visual effects using Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Audible, and Adobe After Effects. 

Fashion + Beauty

This course covers finding and working with models, wardrobe styling, lighting variations, posing techniques, camera/lens selection, retouching techniques, model releases and other necessary information required to work successfully in this fast-paced and competitive field. Project will include producing video content in addition to still images. Students learn about networking and collaborating with models, makeup artists, and hair stylists for professional level images.


This course focuses on how to improve the level of visual taste and sophistication through coordinating the various elements (people, clothing, food, objects, background, etc.) and designing them for photographic production. Introductions to prop houses and various sources necessary to produce styled photographs will be covered. Image research from publications illustrating current photographic styles is also emphasized. 


Using strategic thinking, students creatine engaging social media content for various consumer products. Projects include a mixture of still and motion content for various social media platforms. Instruction covers stop-motion animation and cinemagraphs.

Social Media Campaign + Copy

Students will learn methods and techniques for creating a campaign for one brand that stretches across multiple social media platforms and the web. Projects include creating a mixture of still and motion content custom shot (in size, orientation, and style) for each platform with supported written copy to extend the client’s brand messaging.

Still Life Photography

Students continue studies in lighting principles and color theory to create fine art still life images. Topics include composition, arranging, styling, color harmonies, constructing small sets, lighting options, and camera/lens control. Students will draw inspiration from painting and photography still life aesthetics throughout art history. Toward the end of the course students introduce branding strategy into their fine art imagery.

Documentary Photography + Video

Students capture the essence of people, places, and events through a combination of still imagery and video in documentary format. Topics include history through photojournalism, storytelling through imagery, pairing proper equipment with certain events, obtaining releases for subjects and locations, the power of timing, and cohesive editing within a series.

Graduation Requirements

In preparing an Image student’s final portfolio, we look at the conceptual and technical successes of the student’s work to establish a personal point of view. General or specialized, still life, product, portraiture or fashion can define one’s presence in the marketplace. Plans are also made to build, market and manage each of our alumni’s businesses in commercial photography.

Career Services

During the final quarter, students meet with the Director of Career Services to discuss career goals and objectives. Graduating Photographers also work with an industry professional on personal presentation skills that will benefit them during interviews or presentations to a client. Graduates have access to our alumni listings, agency contacts, portfolio reviews and direct personal assistance from the Director of Career Services, whose services alumni can continue to use the throughout their career.

More Resources

Student Work

Program Directors

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