This professional photography department started as a federally funded workplace education program called the "Austin Model Project". It initially contained a degree plan in Professional Photography and a Certificate Program called "Photographic Artist" (retouching and restoration).
Austin Community College opened its doors in September of 1973 and imported the Model Project, which now had upwards of seven different disciplines, as the core of its work place education. The Photography Department has been a highly valued part of the institution for all of these years, interfacing with photographic associations and placing practitioners in the field.
The founder of the Austin Model Project was a Professional Photographers of America, Master of Photography, Gilmore Williams who was then President of the Southwestern Professional Photographers Association. Mr. Williams was Department Head until 1990 when his new associate, Lynn Jones, BA ('60), Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara , CA. took over. In August of 2005 Bill Woodhull, BFA (82) Stephen F. Austin was named Department Head.
This department has between 1,100 and 1,450 registrations yearly, with a "head count" exceeding 450 during regular semesters. The average student age is 29, there are about 65% women, and the ethnic mix also almost exactly matches the community in which we are located. The state of Texas requires that 85% of our graduates work in photography or go on to an institution where a higher-level degree may be acquired, our graduate’s average 98%! Our students are required (as a "Capstone Experience") to join a professional photography organization, attend at least one convention or seminar, submit photographs in competition with working photographers from a 5 state region, and attend associated training sessions. In addition to this requirement, students are encouraged to work part time or accept internships with local photographic organizations. All of these are to better prepare them for a photographic career.
ACC photo graduates with a 3.0 average are guaranteed admission and advanced placement at the preeminent school in our field, The Brooks Institute of Photography. Our institution is one of only two in America with this articulation.
There is an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Professional Photography. This plan has a photographic core as well as an academic core. Upon completion of the core, the student may seek training either in the photography of people (Portrait, Wedding) or Advertising/Fashion. These general directions may be "fine tuned" through the addition of various subjects such as Photo Journalism, Architectural, Landscape, CU-Macro, Expressive Photography, Fashion Photography, higher levels of Photo Computer Imaging or other subjects as desired.
AAS Degree in Advertising and Fashion Photography: This program provides learning experience in theory, laboratory, and studio work in commercial photography. Assignments also include photography of products, architecture, and fashions. Graduates of this program qualify for jobs as photographer's assistants, laboratory workers, studio managers or owners. Minor variations desirable for student career goals may be accomplished within college policies by approval of the Program Coordinator.
AAS Degree in People and Portrait Photography:This program provides learning experience in theory, laboratory, and studio work in portrait photography. Assignments include portraiture of men, women, children, and groups in studio and on location using electronic flash or natural light. Graduates of this program qualify for jobs as photographer's assistants, laboratory workers, studio managers or owners. Minor variations desirable for student career goals may be accomplished within college policies by approval of the Program Coordinator.
A Photographic Artist Certificate Students successfully completing this program are prepared for careers as photographic retouchers, print finishers, and print colorists, print restorers, and print copiers, and can perform the duties of a photographer's assistant in simple portrait and product photography. Job opportunities are found in studios, color labs, archives, and the animation industry. The sit-down nature of much of the program makes the training ideally suited for the mobility impaired. Trainees should have good artistic sense, creative ability, fine visual acuity, accurate color perception, and excellent eye-hand coordination. Employment opportunities are considered to be above average. Minor variations desirable for student career goals may be accomplished within college policies by approval of the Program Coordinator.
A Digital Assistant Certificate A student successfully completing this program is training for a career as a photographer's assistant. The student will gain knowledge in software relevant to photography as well as learn about capturing images digitally. The objective of this certificate is to prepare students to work with photographers, art directors, and designers in the areas of the digital lab and administrative support.
The Department of Photographic Technology is in two locations 3 miles apart.
Northridge Campus: In North Austin, the departmental headquarters has one Portrait Studio equipped ProPhoto lighting mounted overhead on Photogenic Machine Co. rail system. The labs are equiped with 48 state of the Apple computers, Nikon 9000 film scanners, and Epson and Canon inkjet printers. Camera equipment ranges from small, medium, and large format digital capture.
Metric Place Campus: Located one mile north of Northridge is the Metric Place Training Facility; it is a large studio (2,000 sq. ft.) classroom. This space is fully equipped with film and digital cameras, computers, lighting, stands, and accessories.
Faculty Four full time, 1 adjunct/classified staff and 18 adjunct (part time) faculty members. Almost all of our adjuncts are full time working professionals in the field of photography. The faculty represents a stunning array of primary and secondary specialties. Check the faculty page for more detailed information about specific faculty on our team.