Photography at BHSU

We are updating the 4-year plan for our Bachelor's degree in Photography. To set up your individual 4-year plan, please meet with your advisor or contact Janette Hettick at Janette.Hettick@bhsu.edu or (605) 642-6934

BHSU Photography Emphasis

Discover your creativity

Mass Communication students will explore visual-design, photographic image-making, written, broadcast and web-based multi-media processes using the most advanced computer-software, technologies and equipment in upgraded facilities. Students enjoy a high level of career placement upon graduation due to the high demand for knowledgeable and highly skilled professionals in the viable and growing Mass Communication job market.

  • GAIN REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCES by taking up an internship.
  • JOIN A CAMPUS ORGANIZATION: Campus organizations help majors and minors get extracurricular experience in their fields of study and network with other students.
  • GET A CERTIFICATE in journalism, photography, or social media
  • A MINOR/EMPHASIS IS REQUIRED: Minor in integrated media, sports media, public relations, science communication, photography, or graphic communication.

BHSU also offers a BFA in Photography!

Click here for more information.

BHSU's Photography program offers classes that span all aspects of the profession, from Basic Photography to Advanced Studio and Commercial Photography. Students learn both the artistry and the commercial aspects of this career.

Photography graduates will find opportunities in photojournalism, commercial photography, and fine art photography, with some going to graduate school for a Masters in Fine Arts.


The Photography emphasis offers:

  • Outstanding faculty who are internationally known for their work
  • Opportunities to display student work at show on and off campus
  • Excellent darkroom and digital imaging facilities
  • The Shutterbuzz Photography Club which offers workshop, exhibitions, and field trips

Careers in Photography

As with most professions, a degree can open the door to opportunity. In the field of photography, degree holders are often considered for jobs as commercial photographers, photojournalists, digital photo editors, videographers, and even educators. Here are descriptions of the most common photography careers.


Photojournalist
Photojournalists photograph newsworthy people, places, and sporting, political, and community events for newspapers, journals, magazines, or television. Some work as salaried staff employees, while others own their own businesses and are known as freelance photographers. Freelance news photographers may license the use of their photographs through stock photo agencies or contracts with other types of clients.


Fine Art Photographer
Fine art photographers sell work to individuals, galleries, interior designers, architects, libraries, community centers, churches, banks, hotels, government and elsewhere on a freelance basis or by commission. Fine art photographers enjoy creative freedom not generally allowed to freelance or staff photographers, but they must also be extremely self-motivated.


Commercial/Industrial Photographer
Commercial/Industrial photographers capture images used for books, advertisements, catalogs, and wide media. They take pictures of a wide variety of objects and subjects, including models, landscapes, buildings, and merchandise. An industrial photographer might take pictures of machinery, workers, and other products that can be useful to workers in analyzing, public relations, and business strategies. Industrial photography takes place at the site of its use.


Studio/Portrait Photographer
Studio/Portrait photographers often work in their own studios, taking pictures of groups or individuals. They often specialize in particular events, such as weddings, religious ceremonies, or school photographs. They also may work on location. Some portrait photographers may own their own business, which requires them to arrange for advertising, schedule appointments, mount and frame pictures, purchase supplies, keep records, bill customers, and possibly hire and train new employees.


Freelance Photographer
Freelance photographers are hired out on a job-by-job basis, which is a nice perk for those who prefer to make their own schedule or to work on a variety of projects. Freelancers do many of the same jobs as staff photographers, without the benefit of a consistent paycheck. Some freelancers specialize in areas such as portraits, aerial photography by plane, weddings or fashion.


Photography Course Requirements

Mass Communication Minor with an Emphasis in Photography

Minor Requirements

  • MCOM 165 - History of Photography
  • MCOM 265 - Basic Photography
  • MCOM 266 - Photojournalism
  • MCOM 350 - Digital Photography
  • MCOM 365 - Advanced Photography
  • MCOM 367 - Color Photography
  • MCOM 465 - Contemporary Issues in Photography
  • MCOM 494 - Internship

Black Hills State University Photography students are exposed to different aspects with the photographic medium to help enable them to choose the career path that is appropriate for their individual shooting styles. Students will have the opportunity to explore Fine Art Photography, Studio Based Photography, Portraiture, Weddings, Advertising Photography, Photojournalism, Landscape and Alternative Print Processes. BHSU offers the photography enthusiast the chance to hone their skills to a professional level and to take their photography in the direction that is most appropriate for each individual.


Please enjoy this small sample of student work.

If you would like to see more check out our other photography galleries.



Photography Emphasis Requirements

Major Requirements

  • MCOM 165 History of Photography
  • MCOM 265 Basic Photography
  • MCOM 266 Photojournalism
  • MCOM 312 Intermediate Photography
  • MCOM 350 Digital Photography
  • MCOM 364 Studio and Commercial Photography
  • MCOM 365 Advanced Photography
  • MCOM 367 Color Photography
  • MCOM 450 Alternative Photographic Printing Processes
  • MCOM 463 Professional Practices in Photographic Imaging
  • MCOM 464 Advanced Studio and Commercial Photography
  • MCOM 465 Contemporary Issues in Photography
  • MCOM 494 Internship

Take one of the following classes

  • MCOM 151 Intro to Mass Communication (gen ed)
  • MCOM 161 Graphic Communication
  • MCOM 210 Basic Newswriting

Careers

As with most professions, a degree can open the door to opportunity. In the field of photography, degree holders are often considered for jobs as commercial photographers, photojournalists, digital photo editors, videographers, and even educators. Here are descriptions of the most common photography careers.


Photojournalist
Photojournalists photograph newsworthy people, places, and sporting, political, and community events for newspapers, journals, magazines, or television. Some work as salaried staff employees, while others own their own businesses and are known as freelance photographers. Freelance news photographers may license the use of their photographs through stock photo agencies or contracts with other types of clients.


Fine Art Photographer
Fine art photographers sell work to individuals, galleries, interior designers, architects, libraries, community centers, churches, banks, hotels, government and elsewhere on a freelance basis or by commission. Fine art photographers enjoy creative freedom not generally allowed to freelance or staff photographers, but they must also be extremely self-motivated.


Commercial/Industrial Photographer
Commercial/Industrial photographers capture images used for books, advertisements, catalogs, and wide media. They take pictures of a wide variety of objects and subjects, including models, landscapes, buildings, and merchandise. An industrial photographer might take pictures of machinery, workers, and other products that can be useful to workers in analyzing, public relations, and business strategies. Industrial photography takes place at the site of its use.


Studio/Portrait Photographer
Studio/Portrait photographers often work in their own studios, taking pictures of groups or individuals. They often specialize in particular events, such as weddings, religious ceremonies, or school photographs. They also may work on location. Some portrait photographers may own their own business, which requires them to arrange for advertising, schedule appointments, mount and frame pictures, purchase supplies, keep records, bill customers, and possibly hire and train new employees.


Freelance Photographer
Freelance photographers are hired out on a job-by-job basis, which is a nice perk for those who prefer to make their own schedule or to work on a variety of projects. Freelancers do many of the same jobs as staff photographers, without the benefit of a consistent paycheck. Some freelancers specialize in areas such as portraits, aerial photography by plane, weddings or fashion.

Get a certificate in photography
Are you looking to update your knowledge of photography or expand your current job skills with subject matter related to photography, but do not wish to enter a degree program? BHSU offers a certificate in Photography.

BHSU has among the finest darkroom and digital imaging facilities in South Dakota and the surrounding region including a new 2000 square foot studio. BHSU also offers black and white and color labs, a film developing area, and a digital imaging lab. This lab is complete with multiple Mac computers, scanners, and various large format and desk-top printing stations.

This certificate is great for high school teachers to expand their knowledge base or be brought up to date on new technology in the field of photography. It is also helpful to any education majors who hope to teach photography in the public schools. Journalists and photographers can stay up to date and learn the latest techniques.

Course Requirements for the Photography Certificate:

  • 3 MCOM 265 Basic Photography
  • 3 MCOM 365 Advanced Photography
  • 3 MCOM 367 Color Photography
  • 3 MCOM 465 Contemporary Issues in Photography

Questions? Email Professor Steve Babbitt at Steve.Babbitt@BHSU.edu

Expand Your Experience

Students in the BHSU photography program can expand their classroom experience through various opportunities:

Travel and Cultural Opportunities

At BHSU students have the opportunity to study abroad through faculty-led trips such as the photography departments recent trip to Iceland in 2019. BHSU students have also traveled to photograph the Solar Eclipse and have taken trips to Utah to photograph the southwestern landscapes. Studying abroad, or in the field, will expand their world by providing opportunities for students to experience another culture while receiving a globalized education in photography.

Photography Exhibitions

A foundational belief of the BHSU photography program is that students must exhibit their work as artists/photographers. For that reason, all students in the BHSU photography program will have the opportunity to participate in exhibitions at various campus galleries, photography competitions, and calls for entries.

Shutterbuzz Club

BHSU photography club, Shutterbuzz, focuses on promoting the appreciation for the art of photography while connecting with the community around us. Shutterbuzz activities range from photographic excursions to raising money to help feed the hungry in our community. All students at Black Hills State University are welcome and encouraged to join us whether you have a top of the line DSLR camera or a cell phone.

For more information, contact: Skott Chandler at Skott.Chandler@BHSU.edu

FIND YOUR CAREER

There are employment opportunities in a variety of sectors:
» Advertisement
» Audio/Video Scecialist
» Broadcaster
» Commercial Photographer
» Creative/Art Designer
» Drone Photographer
» Filmmaker
» Fine Art Photographer
» Graphic Designer
» Inernational PR Specialist 
» Journalist
» Logo Designer
» Miltimedia Specialist
» News Editor/Writer
» Photojournalist
» Portrait/Wedding Photographer
» PR Agent
» Reporter
» Speech Writer
» Science Outreach Specialist
» Social Media Content Photographer
» Studio Product Photographer
» Radio Announcer
» Web Designer 

TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Develop valuable personal relationships in a small community with amazing faculty and staff while thriving in the outdoors of the Black Hills.