image: frame from the Living In Sanctuary video
Video: Laurel Smith, Global Imagination Scholarship recipient
photo: by Claire Clarke, Isaacson School / Professional Photography student
Photo: Claire Clarke, Bronze Award, CPOY
photo: "Gemni" by Rachel Williams, Isaacson School / Professional Photography student
Photo: Rachel Williams, Gold Award, CPOY
photo: by Caito Foster, Isaacson School / Professional Photography student
Photo: Caito Foster
photo: by Kaitlyn Adams, Isaacson School / Professional Photography student
Photo: Kaitlyn Adams
photo: by Kaitlyn Adams, Isaacson School / Professional Photography student
Photo: Morgan Pihl
photo: Molly Repetti, Isaacson School / Professional Photography student
Photo: Molly Repetti
photo: by Ian Edquist, Isaacson School / Professional Photography student
Photo: Ian Edquist
photo: by Eugene Priebe, Isaacson School / Professional Photography student
Photo: Eugene Priebe
photo: by Daniel Workman, Isaacson School / Professional Photography student
Photo: Daniel Workman
photo: by Jaycee Boyer, Isaacson School / Professional Photography student
Photo: Jaycee Boyer
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Professional Photography Degree

Get quality academics, high-tech photography labs and Rocky Mountain inspiration

Your camera has the power to tell a story to the world. Whether it's a story of injustice, acclaim or scenic beauty, all it takes is a professional behind the lens.

Get the artistic and technical skills you need to tell your story at with a photography degree at Colorado Mountain College. You'll have access to one of the most-photographed mountain ranges in the world — right outside your door!

Colorado Mountain College offers:

  • A visually inspiring location in the heart of the Rocky Mountains
  • State-of-the-art equipment and studio space
  • Access to internationally renown ski area, events, concerts and competitions
  • Up-to-date instruction from professional photographers
  • A photography degree curriculum that prepares students to enter the workforce

Colorado Mountain College is surrounded by photography-loving mountain communities. From local galleries and artists' collectives to monthly art walks and award-winning exhibits, you'll have several outlets to showcase your work.

Aspen, a hub of international photography and pop culture, is nearby. It's also home to world-class skiing, snowboarding and the Winter X Games. If you're interested in winter sport photography, or just playing in the snow, this is the place to be.

Beautiful scenery, a happening photography scene, not to mention epic skiing and outdoor adventure — there could hardly be a better location to earn a photography degree. Come get inspired!

Hands-on Professional Photography Training

Build your photography portfolio before graduation with hands-on experience outdoors and indoors

If you're interested in outdoor photography, Colorado Mountain College it the place to be. With access to one of the most-photographed mountain ranges in the world, the outdoor opportunities are endless.

Fill your portfolio with shots of:

  • Mt. Sopris and the towering Elk Mountains
  • Active mountain wildlife including deer, elk and bald eagles
  • Dramatically changing seasons and diverse landscapes
  • Autumn slopes afire with golden Aspen trees
  • Snow sports in Aspen and Vail, such as Winter X Games

Through assignments and field workshops, you will learn to solve visual and logistical problems while on location. Participants in outdoor photography field workshops travel to locations such as Yellowstone and Canyonlands National Parks, and the Albuquerque Balloon Festival.

Beyond the scenery, the Professional Photography Center at Spring Valley is one of the most comprehensive of any school in the Rocky Mountain Region.

Our state-of-the-art digital imaging equipment includes:

  • Cameras
  • Large format Epson printers
  • Apple and PC computer labs
  • Medium format digital back
  • Local high-quality print sources

Let your indoor creativity flourish in our 1,200-square-foot studio. Photograph a wide variety of sets, from intricate objects and portraits to large designs. State-of-the-art studio equipment is available, including large light banks donated by The Chimera Company and portable lighting systems for location shoots.

logo: Isaacson School Communication Arts Media

See more student work and information about the Isaacson School.

Get Started with the CMC Photography Program

We recommend that students applying to the Professional Photography Degree Program take the SAT, ASSET, or ACT test prior to attending the "Jump Start" session for pre-enrollment. The photography program requires students who place in two or more skills classes or placing into one skills course with a score below established benchmarks follow a six semester course of study. This can be a disappointing development to a student expecting to enter the program immediately.

The program in four, five or six semesters
The four-semester outline should be followed by all students seeking the AAS in Professional Photography who place into college level reading, college English and introduction to algebra.

If your test scores place you into two or more skills classes, you will take the alternate Six-Semester Plan.

Some students choose to complete the program in five semesters, working primarily on their portfolio in the fifth semester. These students have frequently displayed the strongest portfolios since they have already completed all of the photographic skills classes. Portfolio is offered both fall and spring semesters.

Many professional photography classes are offered only in the semester listed, so you must take them in the required semester to complete your degree in two years (four semesters). You must complete all professional photography courses with a "C" or better to continue to the next course in the sequence.

Professional expenses
As a professional photographer, you will need to invest in quality equipment and supplies. Professional photography classes require several items, including your own camera, lenses and accessories. The professional photography department keeps a list of the supplies and equipment you will need, including costs for leasing some items from the school.

Compare: Our tuition is one of the lowest of professional photography programs in Colorado

Low costs keep CMC graduates from being crushed by debt as they start their careers. Give yourself a financial break without compromising your education. That's smart.

Here’s how our in-district and in-state tuition compares to other professional photography programs in Colorado: