This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2021-2022 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The Department of Photography and Film offers a variety of basic, intermediate and advanced photography and filmmaking classes leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Film.

The program provides students with the ability to intelligently express, investigate or document using photography and/or film and to interpret meaning in still and moving images. Emphasis is placed on photography and film as contemporary fine arts. The department promotes a fundamental and effective philosophy that students maintain creative freedom, have access to resources and are enrolled in courses in which they can refine their voices and skills through traditional and contemporary media, tools and professional working methods.

Student learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Historical perspectives
    Students will clearly recall a functional knowledge of photographic and independent film history and theory, define the relationship of photography/film to the visual disciplines and relate the medium’s influence on culture. Students will incorporate a broad perception of cultural diversity including age, race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, etc., communicating insight and ownership of a personal meaning of diversity. 

  • Applied criticism and theory
    Students can analyze, assess and debate contemporary sociopolitical issues and theoretical discourses within the context of contemporary photography and film as well as related media practice and research. Topics to be examined can include but are not limited to multiculturalism, environmentalism, queer theory, feminist and gender studies, postmodernism, modernism, psychoanalytical, Marxism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism and post-digital. Students will incorporate a broad perception of cultural diversity including age, race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, etc., communicating insight and ownership of a personal meaning of diversity within applied criticism and theory.  

  • Effective visual communication
    Students can effectively author and present visual illustrations, representations, descriptions, explanations and/or contextualizations of their artistic, research-based and career-oriented photography/film pursuits, ideas and emotions for a broad range of purposes and audiences.

  • Effective oral communication
    Students can effectively deliver oral descriptions, explanations and/or contextualizations of their artistic, research-based and career -oriented photography/film pursuits, ideas and emotions for a broad range of purposes and audiences.

  • Studio technique
    Students definitively recognize, explain, employ, appraise and compute the use of basic to advanced photographic and film tools, techniques, technologies and processes sufficient to advance their work from concept to finished product. Students will display evidence of professional proficiency regarding the methods and modes of production presented in required courses covering technical mastery of antique, analog and digital photography/filmmaking processes and techniques.

  • Professional practice skills
    Students demonstrate and apply broad knowledge of current business practices and resources of professional artists and independent commercial photographers and filmmakers. Students are capable of estimating costs, administering their legal rights as authors of visual art, establishing a professional network, generating and distributing marketing materials, establishing a reliable mode of art production, acquiring additional training, and devising business plans. Students can recognize ethical issues when presented within the context of professional practice.