Photography Camps & Teen Summer Programs | SOCAPA NYC & LA
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Photography Camps & Teen Summer Programs

New York City | Los Angeles, CA | Vermont


Summer Photography Camps for High School Students & Teens

New York City, Los Angeles, CA and Vermont

for Precollege Teens, Ages 14-18

SOCAPA offers one, two and three-week summer camps in digital and/or traditional darkroom photography with a strong emphasis on aesthetics and portfolio development. All of our camps teach and rely upon Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop as artistic tools, and all offer a healthy balance of classes/exercises in documentary (street), commercial (portrait and studio lighting), and fine art photography. All photo students learn web publishing and create an online portfolio of their work. In addition, students in our three-week intensives leave with a professionally bound portfolio of 8x10 prints, perfect for college admissions, job interviews, and to share with friends and family.

A Summer Photography Experience
Like No Other
photo student looking over lake

SOCAPA 'photo safaris' bring students from the heart of the city to the beaches of Lake Champlain.

high school photographers take pictures at camp

Hands on classes and engaging projects put the creativity in your hands this summer - we hope you bring a big enough hard drive!

youth photographers looking at camera

Work with SOCAPA's four other programs to do headshots, movie posters, dance stills, album covers and more!

Choose Your Intensive


Beginner to Intermediate




NYC, LA, and VT

Program Length

2 & 3 weeks

If you are new to SOCAPA, we recommend our Core Photography intensives. With a focus on hand-on learning, the program is a college level course distilled down to three weeks. The camp will both introduce concepts to beginner students and challenge students with previous knowledge of photography cameras and developing.


Advanced to Preprofessional


Digital only - NYC and LA
Digital & Darkroom - VT


NYC, LA, and VT

Program Length

2 & 3 weeks

SOCAPA's Advanced Photography intensive is for our return photography students and students who have extensive experience with digital photography. A strong emphasis is placed on portfolio development, and each student will be encouraged to create a body of work that showcases his or her own unique, creative vision through thematic and stylistic choices.
Nov 05, 2023

"Excellent program that my daughter really enjoyed... she did the 3 week basic photography. There weren't as many photography kids - a lot of the kids did film. But it was very well organized, and she ... read on google"

"Excellent program that my daughter really enjoyed... she did the 3 week basic photography. There weren't as many photography kids - a lot of the kids did film. But it was very well organized, and she really liked being able to travel around for different photo shoots during the day with the group (and explore Vermont a bit) and also the ability to go to the small and easy-to-navigate downtown area to hang out with her friends in the evenings/weekends. The balance of organized activities and freedom to explore in a safe area was excellent, and she really enjoyed all of the people. She got a lot of good photography exposure in addition to just enjoying the whole experience."

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Jan 10, 2020

"My 13 year old with a passion for photography but very little formal experience and no training went to SOCAPA Vermont for the 2-week Digital AND DARKROOM camp last year. Fantastic!!! They had a great... read on google"

"My 13 year old with a passion for photography but very little formal experience and no training went to SOCAPA Vermont for the 2-week Digital AND DARKROOM camp last year. Fantastic!!! They had a great time, especially learning the ways of the elders, in a real darkroom. Sounds like everyone teaching at Socapa and running the thing really love what they are doing, and have a breadth and a depth of knowledge that is impressive. Working artists when they are not there. This camp experience was at the top of our budget range but COMPLETELY WORTH IT. The facilities sounded really good, and the instructors seemed very adept at engaging a mixed-skill level group without anyone feeling bored or rushed. The photos and prints at the end of the summer experience were ample document of 2 weeks well-spent. They work the kids pretty hard, and also have constructive free time. My kid made a number of friends I think they may have for life---good value teens from a variety of places. HIGHLY fact, going back again this year. Only one shortfall: there is no program for moms :("

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Jun 07, 2018

"Had the best summer, learning loads about photography in just one week at the Brooklyn campus. I had amazing teachers that supported all students in every possible way. I met so many amazing people an... read on facebook"

"Had the best summer, learning loads about photography in just one week at the Brooklyn campus. I had amazing teachers that supported all students in every possible way. I met so many amazing people and had an unforgettable summer. I highly recommend to everyone, that wants to experience an amazing summer and is interested in arts, whether just for fun or for their future! Thank you SOCAPA!"

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Read More Reviews
Digital & 35mm

SOCAPA digital photography starts with introductory camera tech classes to learn the basics of working with DSLR cameras and digital workflows. Shooting in raw, students learn how to import and develop their photographs in Adobe Lightroom, followed by advanced manipulation classes in Adobe Photoshop. In the Advanced Photo Camp, students dig deeper into digital workspaces and creative manipulation. SOCAPA curriculums follow professional best practices and prepare students for pursuing photography as a passion or in college.

35mm - Burlington Vermont campus only

Starting with the basics, students will learn how to develop 35mm film in the darkroom. Students will then print their photographs using enlargers and chemical baths. Working in the darkroom provides students with an opportunity to slow down, spend time with each image, and really understand the impacts that technical and aesthetic choices have on a final photograph. Learning to develop film and prints informs how students think about light, time, and photography as a whole. Students get the chance to work in professional darkrooms, sharing equipment and methods that have been refined over the lifetime of photography.


From the streets of Chinatown to the shores of Lake Champlain, explore the city on SOCAPA "photo safaris" and photograph the faces and places that make each city unique.

New York City, Los Angeles, and the diverse landscapes of Vermont, offer a wealth of photographic opportunities as well as some of the world's most exciting collections of visual art. Field trips are planned on an almost-daily basis. Students spend more time at the parks, boardwalks, streets and museums, learning and practicing photographic techniques, than they do in the traditional classroom. Formal classes in the history of photography, aesthetics, photo theory, Photoshop, Lightroom and studio lighting complement the work they do out in the field.

Photo Camp Cities

From NYU to Pace University, Occidental College, and Champlain College, all of SOCAPA’s programs are run directly on college campuses, using the classrooms, dormitories, and facilities of undergraduates. Residential SOCAPA students enjoy the emerging independence of dorm life together with roommates and floormates under the supervision of SOCAPA’s staff.


Attend SOCAPA as a day student and save on room & board.


Make pictures day one!

SOCAPA's engaging and immersive curriculums employ diverse and progressively more complicated projects to reinforce and build upon in-class discussions, and provide a fun and creative way to learn.

From self-portrait assignments, to street photography, headshots, movie posters, and web portfolios, be sure to bring a big enough hard drive to bring it all home!

Example Projects
The Hurrell

After completing a "Headshot Workshop," including a creative portraiture and natural lighting lesson, photographers will be paired up with students from the SOCAPA acting program to create professional studio headshots, portraits, and action photographs. Students will gain a basic knowledge of studio set-up, learning to control strobe lighting using equipment such as soft boxes and grids, creating a "drop-out white" background for professional headshots, and lighting subjects for dramatic, creative portraits. Photographers will gain the valuable skills needed to successfully direct photo subjects while experiencing the excitement of working in a professional studio environment. This project takes its name from George Hurrell, the famous Golden Age Hollywood MGM photographer.

The Cartier-Bresson

Guided by lessons on composition, street photography and techniques for safely and confidently approaching subjects, students will take to the streets, capturing candid portraits, human interactions, architectural street scenes, and urban details. This assignment takes its name from Henri Cartier-Bresson, an early 20th century master of street photography and father of photojournalism, who coined the expression the "decisive moment." Practice of the "decisive moment" encourages students to capture that fleeting creative instant in which everything in the frame comes together to create the best possible image. Through this exercise, students will build an awareness of framing, light, color, form, line, and pattern and will learn to make a multitude of aesthetic choices, to create technically strong and emotionally engaging compositions.

The Sherman

Students in the two week program will have the opportunity to create a series of creative self-portraits. Students will be encouraged to think outside the box, discovering what they want to say about themselves and translating this into images using in-camera techniques, costumes, props, lighting and/or Photoshop compositing. In addition to practicing the creative controls of shutter speed and depth of field, students will learn to work with self timers, tripods and manual focus. This project will stress the importance of conceptualization, metaphor, symbolism and self-expression, teaching from the work of photographers such as Cindy Sherman, Nikki S. Lee, Gillian Wearing, and Andy Warhol.

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“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
Alfred Eisenstaedt

Get inspired by and collaborate with SOCAPA's four other programs in unique inter-disciplinary projects. Create movie posters for the filmmakers, headshots of the actors, or photograph the dancers on their video shoot.

Catherine B.
Advanced Photography
Hana R.
Advanced Photography
Kate G.
1wk Digital Bootcamp
Who We are

Tom LeGoff

After graduating with a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, Tom LeGoff moved to New York City in 1990. He has created portraits of many actors, directors, musicians and politicians. Tom's work has been published internationally, is consistently displayed in galleries, and is in the permanent collection of the American Museum of Moving Image. He has also worked on films and has documented many weddings. In 2003, Tom created SOCAPA’s photography program, and has been teaching every summer since. A dedicated life-long learner, he earned his MFA from the University of Louisville in 2017. Tom has also organized community photography workshops for teenagers. Tom sees photography as a great way to express one’s self, and to explore the world; he is enthusiastic to help others embrace this medium. More at


Selena Salfen

Selena earned her MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City. As a professional photographer, her clients include Time Out Chicago, Chicago Magazine, Macy’s, The Onion, Interscope Records and Draft FCB. She has been selected for various exhibitions, including shows at the Camera Club of New York and SOHO Photography Gallery. She has taught photography at SUNY, Westchester Center for the Arts and the International Center of Photography. She is originally from Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. More at


David Gardiner Garcia

David Gardiner Garcia is a New York based photographer who has an eye, talent and passion for sports and sports photography. He used to race triathlons professionally and is now an avid cyclist and swimmer. David is a staff photographer for the New York Road Runners. David was born in Costa Rica, is bilingual and was educated all over the world at Global College (Long Island University) where he received his Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a focus in photography. David's work is powerful, dynamic and celebrates the moment where light, time and composition all come together to create a poetic moment. Samples of David's work can be viewed at


Sasha Phyars-Burgess

Sasha Phyars-Burgess was born in Brooklyn, New York to Trinidadian parents, and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Bard college in 2010 with a BA in Photography where she studied with An-My Le, Tim Davis, Barbara Ess, Michael Vahrenwald, and Larry Fink. Upon graduation she worked for Larry Fink for one year before moving to Berlin, Germany and Trinidad and Tobago. She is interested in using photography education as community empowerment, the African diaspora, particularly in the Caribbean and Latin America, as well learning about Pennsylvania. Sasha was artist in residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 2015. More at


Galina Kurlat

Galina Kurlat was born in Moscow in 1981 and immigrated to the United States shortly after the fall of communism in 1989. She received her Bachelor of Media Arts Degree from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute in 2005. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in a number of public and private collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She has recently moved back to New York City from Houston, TX. More at


Beth Bates

Beth moved to NY in 2001 to work for photo heroes such as Mary Ellen Mark and David Levinthal at the 20x24 Studio. In 2004, she started exploring photographic print methods including wet plate collodion and photogravure. She currently divides her time between her studio in Brooklyn and northern California, using photography as a personal means to explore the natural world and as a commercial medium to document beautiful interiors created by designers. She has also been teaching film photography and alternative processes since 2006.

Drop us a line

If you have any questions, please send us a message. We will contact you ASAP.

TOLL FREE USA: 1.800.718.2787

LOCAL NY + NON-USA: 646.828-3558

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"a life-changing moment for Ally... she emerged from the program with emerging confidence and the belief that she could have a future in the arts... I wish I could have left her for 2 more weeks."
Gina F., California
"a taste of what college life will be like"
Sue M, Washington, DC
"Simply stupendous!"
Daniel S, California
" intense and exciting! I loved the combination of learning photography with exploring New York City. The instructors were the best!"
Chole R, Washington
"absolutely awesome and I will always remember it as the summer that I made the final decision to pursue photography as a career. I was just accepted to Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) photojournalism department"
Travis G, California
"as far-reaching as they come"
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"provided the necessary artist’s environment she needed as she explores and makes big life decisions as she enters her senior year in high school."
Christine T, New Jersey

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