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.

 This program is currently not available to international applicants.
Where: Comox Valley
Starts: September
Length: 10 months
Tuition: $7,470 approx
 Apply Now

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This program is a chance for students to establish themselves as professional photographers. We work closely with industry, giving students hands-on experience and the chance to work on a major client project.

Linda Perron, NIC instructor and department chair

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Program Requirements

Completion Requirements

Students must achieve a minimum of 55% 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 equivalent, or an English Assessment;
  2. A portfolio of photography, and
  3. A 300-word statement of expectations.

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

As a graduate of NIC's Professional Photography certificate, you will have the advanced technological skills required to work as a photojournalist, fine art photographer, advertising photographer, photographer's assistant, wedding photographer and portrait photographer.

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

Costs indicated are estimates for a 100% course load per year, unless otherwise noted. 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

Year 1
Tuition $7,470
NISU Fees $135
Lab Fees $115
Total $7,720

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