Core Digital Photography

2 & 3wk
  • 2wk....$2495
  • 3wk....$3545
  • New York, Los Angeles, Vermont
  • 13-19


SOCAPA's two and three week Digital Photography intensive, The Art of Faces and Places, focuses on digital SLR cameras, Photoshop and Lightroom. Students are introduced to an array of digital photographic techniques used in the studio, on location and in post-production.

earn college credit
Get a headstart on college and earn three college credits in this three week program!  U.S. Citizens currently enrolled as High School Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors are eligible. Learn more about college credit


Learn to use your camera and improve your Spanish language skills!

All classes will be taught in Spanish by a Spanish speaking photography instructor. Students will be required to speak Spanish in class with the assistance of the instructor. Technical camera and computer terminology will be learned as both Spanish and English phrases.

Out of class, students will be paired, as often as possible, with roommates enrolled in the Spanish immersion program or native Spanish speaking students. Speaking Spanish outside of class will be encouraged by our staff but not strictly enforced.

Studio photography during summer camp


The "Faces" component of the program emphasizes the art of capturing the human condition on camera. Students learn what makes a good photograph by studying the aesthetics of master photographers such as Dorthea Lange, Sally Mann, Walker Evans, Diane Arbus and Robert Frank. Students learn the fundamentals of composition and natural lighting as well as studio portrait techniques.

New York City photographer at Coney Island


The "Places" component of the program reminds students to never forget where they are. Photography, even in the studio, does not take place in a vacuum. 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. In a final class on web design and publishing, students learn to create an online portfolio of their summer work, which is posted on the SOCAPA server at the end of the program.

Summer Photography campers at professional studio


Photography studios provide a controlled environment in which to make your photographic dreams possible. Studio Lighting and backgrounds create dynamic portraits and beautiful professional headshots.

Students learn intermediate portrait lighting techniques and have ample opportunity to experiment with studio photography through photographing their classmates, SOCAPA Actors, Musicians, Dancers and themselves!

In addition to the above, students learn advanced portrait lighting techniques and have additional opportunities to experiment in the studio during the Themed Portfolio project the third week.

Spanish Immersion

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 compositions.

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, dance, and music programs 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 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.

The Cameron

Students will tell a story by creating a narrative photographic series. These projects are tailored to each student's interest and can be elaborate, conceptualized fictions or non-fictional documentaries of person or place. Students will study the work of Julia Margaret-Cameron, Duane Michals, Alec Soth, Gregory Crewdson and Danny Lyon, historical and contemporary photographers who successfully tell photographic stories with a variety of inspiring approaches.

Movie Posters

For this assignment, three-week photography students work with the filmmakers and actors to create a movie poster concept for display at the final screening. Photographers study the graphics and typography of well-known movie posters, then create one image to represent their assigned film. Students will learn to integrate text and graphics into their images and will employ advanced Photoshop compositing skills to bring their ideas to life.

11a-3p: Airport Arrivals
1-4p: Dormitory Check-in
5-6p: Welcome Dinner
6-7p Photography Program Orientation - Meet & Greet with Teachers
7-8:30p: All Programs Orientation
9:30p: Dormitory Floor Meetings & Orientation
10-10:30p Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: History of Photography
12-1p: Lunch
1-3p: Intro to Equipment
3-5p: Field Shoot near campus
5-6p: Get ready for dinner
7-9p: Dinner on the Town
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30a – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Aesthetics - location shoot history
12-1p: Lunch
1p-5p: Photo Safari Assignment (Coney Island, NY/Burlington Waterfront, VT/Venice Beach, LA)
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9:30p: Walking Tour of Downtown/Group Photo
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30a – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Intro to Photoshop/Lightroom
12-1p: Lunch
1-5p: Darkroom
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9:30p: Night Shooting: Long Exposure
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Studio Lighting
12-1p: Lunch
1-5p: Shoot Headshots with Dancers or Projects
5:30 – 6:30: Dinner
7-9:30: Live Concert in Park
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Photo Safari - NY-NYSE/Battery Park/Southside Seaport; VT-Shelburne Farms; LA- Hollywood
12-1p: Lunch
1-3:30p: Darkroom
3:30 - 5:00p: Digital Lab
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9p: Week One Showcase
  Karaoke Fest
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
8:30 – 9:30a: Breakfast
10a: Leave for day's outings
(NY-Washington Square/Village/Soho)
(CA-Universal Studios/Venice Beach)
(VT-Farmer's market/Church Street/Stowe Mt./Ben&Jerry's)
Lunch and Dinner – Student's Choice
7-10p: Evening Show on the Town
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
8:30-9:30a Breakfast
10-1p: Writing/Rehearsal/Prep for Talent Show
1-4p: Afternoon Activity (Park, Beach, Museum, Shopping)
6–9:30p: SOCAPA Talent Show
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in