Professional Photography Certificate

This intensive 10-month program will prepare you to enter the world of professional photography. Develop core professional photography skills and gain hands-on experience as you build an industry relevant portfolio that showcases your artistic talent and technical skills.


Applications for Fall 2021 start will open Thurs, Oct 1, 2020

Where: Comox Valley
Starts: Sept 2021
Length: 10 months

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I love what I do and I feel so grateful every day that photography is my career. I don't think I would be doing any of this if it weren't for the foundation I acquired while attending NIC.

Karley Bracey, Bracey Photography, NIC Pro Photo Alumni

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Program Requirements

Completion Requirements

Students must achieve a minimum of C- in all courses.

Admission Requirements

  1. C in Provincial English 11, Composition 11, Creative Writing 11, Literary Studies 11, New Media 11, Spoken Language 11, English First Peoples Literary Studies & Writing 11, English First Peoples Literary Studies & New Media 11, English First Peoples Literary Studies & Spoken Language 11, or an English Assessment;
  2. A portfolio of photography, and
  3. A 300-word statement of expectations.

Portfolio Submission during COVID 19: Currently NIC Comox Valley Campus is closed to face-to-face operations. We are still welcoming and accepting portfolio submissions electronically via email If you require any guidance on how to electronically submit please email your questions to the Professional Photography Coordinator, Dirk Erkau,

Portfolio Submission Guidelines

  • Portfolios may be submitted throughout the year, recommended deadline for fall term intake is April 30th.
  • Portfolios will continue to be accepted while seats remain available.
  • Portfolios will be assessed by a panel of faculty and may take up to two weeks to complete.
  • Portfolios along with your written statement can be dropped off at Student Services at the Comox Valley campus or emailed to International students will submit electronic portfolios and statements to


Accessible Learning

Making education accessible for those with a documented disability is a key priority for NIC. We offer a wide range of services, supports and resources for students. For more information visit: Accessible Learning Services.

Program Highlights

Develop advanced photography and media skills to advance your career as a professional photographer. 

You will gain technical expertise in post-production, editing and output, motion capture, digital asset management and presentation platforms to qualify for work in photographic studios, newspapers, magazines, museums and government.

In the fall semester you will learn colour theory, design and composition, introductory studio lighting and digital imaging.

During the winter and spring semesters, you will expand your skills as you learn specialty applications such as portraiture, advertising photography, editorial and photojournalism, post-production and digital asset management.

Gain valuable hands-on experience in the field of photography as you participate in field trips to diverse locations and take part in work experience where you will complete a major client project.

By your final semester, you will have completed an industry-evaluated portfolio project that showcases your photographic talent and technical skill.

Career Opportunities

Graduate with NIC’s Professional Photography certificate and gain the advanced technical skills required to work professionally in a variety of fields like photojournalism, advertising, wedding photography and more. Follow your passion and graduate with the tools to build your future in photography.

Supply List

Supplies Required

Students are required to provide the following list of basic supplies and equipment:

  • professional grade digital camera with HD video capable of professional quality image capture.
  • professional grade lenses, covering wide angle to telephoto.
  • flash meter
  • tripod with ball or three-way head
  • 500 GB portable hard drive
  • CF memory card reader (if applicable)
  • colour checker
  • Instructors may add additional equipment for specific courses.
  • Students must also be prepared to cover the costs of color ink jet printing, field trip expenses and framing for gallery shows.

Supplies Provided

The program has six medium-format camera systems that students will be able to use on short term loans through the department equipment loan program.

Tuition & Costs Estimate

Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit our tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Tuition $8,246
NISU Fees $160
Lab Fees $125
Learner Resource $180
Health and Dental $275
Total $8,986

Students are automatically enrolled in the mandatory Health and Dental Benefit plan ($275).

Find out if this program is eligible for Student Aid BC funding.

This program is tuition refund Category 3.

International Fees

Year 1
Tuition $16,886
NISU Fees $160
Student Services Fees $1,020
Lab Fees $125
Learner Resource $180
Health and Dental $275
Total $18,646

Additional costs for international students include the $100 application fee (required).

For more information on tuition costs and refunds refer to International Tuition and Costs.

Portfolio Guidelines

Your portfolio is your opportunity to present yourself to the faculty review panel. There is no perfect portfolio. Each portfolio is unique and represents your abilities, creativity and interests. The portfolio panel is looking for an open, exploratory attitude, energy and a commitment that is consistent with the intense nature of this one-year program. You should submit your best and most recent work.
  1. Include 10 to 15 samples of your strongest photographic work to date.
  2. Include a portfolio inventory list identifying the works in your portfolio. Photographs should be submitted as JPEG files, with a largest dimension limit of 500 pixels.
  3. Include a one-page, double-spaced written statement detailing:
  • Your photographic experience so far
  • Your goals as a photographer
  • Why you want to study at NIC

    Please note that the written statement is not used to determine your suitability for the program, but to provide the review panel with insight into your passion and perspectives on photography.

Portfolios and your written statement can be dropped off at Student Services at the Comox Valley campus or emailed to

NIC's ProPhoto Class 2020 meet the graduates, view their portfolios.