Professional Photography Careers and Jobs

Be prepared to start an exciting photography career in just two years

Colorado Mountain College prepares you to enter the field of photography in just two years. Our hands-on training and up-to-date curriculum will set you up for a successful career. Go on assignment for an award-winning publication. Assist a famous photographer. Start your own portraiture business.

Put your passion to work in:

  • Photojournalism
  • Fine art photography
  • Portrait photography
  • Science photography
  • Commercial photography
  • Digital photo editing
  • Videography

Good news! According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the need for photographers is expected to grow through 2022. The outlook is most promising for freelance photographers, as more than half of all photographers are self-employed. This means you'll need a strong business sense and the ability to market your work. Colorado Mountain College will give you the tools you need to create a successful freelance business.

Colorado Mountain College alumni statistics indicate that over 66 percent of our professional photography graduates are working in related careers or fields

The work of our professional photography graduates has been published in:

  • US News & World Report
  • LIFE
  • Time
  • Outside
  • Outdoor Photographer
  • Skiing Magazine
  • Communication Arts
  • Sierra Club Calendars
  • Fortune
  • A Day in the Life Series

What Professional Photography School Graduates are Doing

David Gillette

“I have been blessed to meet and photograph people from all around the world. The friendships that have been built through photography is something that I am grateful for every day. I feel very honored to do what I do and very proud to provide the best service that I can for my clients.”

David Gillette, photographer based in Vail, Colorado


Peter and Kelley Gibeon

Peter and Kelley Gibeon met as students in the professional photography program. They have built an incredibly successful architectural photography business together and collaborate with creatives from elite California golf communities, to Rocky Mountain recreation towns, Central American resorts, the French Riviera and beyond.


Guadalupe Laiz

Guadalupe Laiz came to our program from Buenos Aires. She just signed a book deal with the premiere global publishing company teNeues for her upcoming book Horses of Iceland. She also recently opened a gallery in Aspen, Colorado.


photo - Elizabeth Moreno

Elizabeth Moreno

“I believe that the solid technical understanding of the media I acquired at CMC will help me immensely in my future career. I think that in any area of photography, dominating the technique is crucial to evolve as a photographer and develop your own style. My goal is to become a documentary photographer and I think the instruction obtained in the program was a great start.”

Elizabeth Moreno received two grants from the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts in Mexico to pursue photographic projects. Shortly after graduation, her work was featured in a full page story in Shutterbug Magazine.

photo - Kelly Sarno

Kelly Sarno

“Photography is definitely my passion because of the moments that I get to capture. One of my favorite parts about Colorado Mountain College was my relationship with the instructors. Also, I’m a very hands-on learner and the classes were very reasonably sized. So I got to know my teachers, they were in there every step of the way, helping.”

Kelly Sarno opened Digital Dimensions photography studio and printing lab after graduating the Colorado Mountain College photography program.

photo - Beau Gustafson

Beau Gustafson

“The technical aspects of photography are demanding and to get in the door anywhere you have to be able to demonstrate a great understanding of all the things that go into creating images. I left CMC with the knowledge and understanding to then become the assistant to some of the best photographers in the world who shot for magazines such as Vogue, Esquire, Rolling Stone, GQ, and advertising clients such as Ford, Mercedes Benz, and Toyota. I have traveled around the world working for photographers and for myself. It all started with my choice of CMC. The location is amazing.”

Beau Gustafson is now living in Birmingham, Alabama, where he is the main contributing photographer for Birmingham Magazine while keeping his other clients happy shooting food, fashion, still-life and portraits for advertising, magazines and books.

photo - Pat Davison

Pat Davison

A runner-up for National Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1999, winner of the Knight Fellowship to Ohio University to study the Masters Program in Visual Communication, Pat Davison was part of a team who won the Pulitzer Prize for for photographic coverage in 2000. He also produced a photo essay about his mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s.

photo - Gabe Rogel

Gabe Rogel

“After completing the professional photography program at Colorado Mountain College, I have enormous understanding of both the technical and business aspects of photography. The program has also definitely fine-tuned my eyes as a photographer.”

Gabe Rogel, outdoor adventure photographer and filmmaker,

photo - Carr Clifton

Carr Clifton

Outdoor Photographer Magazine called him “one of America’s pre-eminent landscapists.” Carr’s credits include: Sierra Club books, calendars, cards; LIFE; National Geographic; Outside; and numerous books.

Carr Clifton, landscape photographer,

photo - Rich Sounders

Rick Souders

“Colorado Mountain College provided me with a solid core foundation in the fundamentals of photography and lighting that has helped propel me to where I am today.”

Rick Souders, owner of Souders Studios, one of Colorado’s largest commercial photography studios.