New York Film Academy South Beach
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Degree Programs at the South Beach Campus



Acting for Film




Acting for Film

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Photography

Photo by NYFA photography grad Kohichi Ogasahara Photo by NYFA photography grad David Alvarado Photo by Bryan Kong NYFA photography grad

Overview of our BFA in Photography

New York Film Academy South Beach’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography is a dynamic three-year program that provides candidates with a thorough foundation in the fields of Commercial, Fine Art, and Documentary Photography.

Across eight semesters, undergraduates are immersed in all aspects of photography study that is both academically rigorous and creatively challenging. Students will get the chance to shoot photographs throughout Miami and expand their portfolio at the top photography school.

Students’ creativity is carefully and constantly nurtured as they are encouraged to find and develop their own unique visual language and vocabulary through a process of investigate, critiquing, creative conceptualizing, self-reflection, and practice.

Each photography course is designed to focus on one of the many specialized areas within the discipline, inviting students to be introduced to the mastery of tools and techniques critical to successful photography practice. We will initiate General Education curricula subjects including Art & Design History to offer a well-rounded and well-integrated photography education.

By the end of this program, students will be equipped with the creative business skills necessary to succeed in the highly competitive fields of Commercial, Fine Art, and Documentary Photography in all major photography markets. However, the program also has a broader, cross-disciplinary structure which will empower students with the knowledge to apply their core skills to a range of complementary fields, giving them a wider choice of professional paths to pursue.

NYFA South Beach’s instruction in photography represents a two-pronged system of teaching both creative photography and business of professional photography. We blend a curriculum designed for the student seeking to explore both sides of the photography discipline. Through a variety of courses, each designed to focus on one of the many specialized areas within the discipline. Our photographers will be prepared to function in the professional workplace, whether in a creative photography environment or in a complementary photography field.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of available and artificial light and apply this to their images.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of Lightroom as an organizational tool and Photoshop as a non-destructive editing tool.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of lighting tools and digital and analog camera systems.
  • Students will demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of digital output systems.
  • Students obtain an applied understanding of the visual language of photography and the ability to incorporate technical, formal, and conceptual competencies in their creative work.
  • Students will gain a working knowledge of industry standard business practices in commercial, fine art, and documentary disciplines.
  • Students acquire professional skills and practices appropriate to students’ area of interest.
  • Students will demonstrate their knowledge of and relate their work to the technological, artistic, social, and cultural currents within the history of photography and contemporary photographic practice.
  • Students will identify their area of personal interest and then conceptualize and complete self-directed projects that culminate in a cohesive body of work for printed, online, or exhibition presentations.
  • Students will demonstrate their ability to produce photographic work that is consistent with high professional standards.
  • Students will articulate in verbal and written form the key technical, formal, and conceptual issues in their creative work and the work of others.

Semester Breakdown

Over the course of NYFA South Beach’s eight-semester BFA in Photography degree program, students are expected to achieve the following objectives during each semester.

  • 1st Semester: In the first semester, photography classes introduce core photography skills both in digital capture and lighting. As students learn to shoot and edit, they are exposed to the history and theories of photography. As they begin to analyze and critique images, students develop essential skills to conceptualize, compose, and develop their own visual language. Students are encouraged to think beyond convention and apply what they have learned to their creative work. The first semester is when students begin their courses in the arts and humanities and social and behavioral sciences, which will continue throughout the course of their BFA studies.
  • 2nd Semester: Photography courses will continue to challenge their photographic abilities, both artistically and technically. Students are instructed in the intricacies of available and artificial lighting while expanding their repertoire of techniques as they work with professional strobe lighting and grip hardware. In post-production, they extend their knowledge of basic color and tone corrections to make accurate color prints with modern inkjet printers. Students are introduced to theories of aesthetics, semiotics, design, and color, which will enhance their visual vocabulary. They explore contemporary movements in photography and visual arts and discuss the work of seminal artists, applying this knowledge to their assignments.
  • 3rd Semester: Students will refine their pre-visualization skills with more complex shooting assignments. They delve into applying their knowledge of the characteristics of artificial and mixed lighting, effectively controlling their results. This semester, they are introduced to Photoshop, the predominant digital darkroom tool. Working with color management and adjustment layers, students produce accurate inkjet prints. Students interact with working professionals in a hands-on course, creating valuable networks and seeing first-hand the myriad professional paths available to them on completion of the program.
  • 4th Semester: Students will advance their knowledge of camera systems by working almost exclusively with medium and large format photography. They will be introduced to film, working with the Zone System to reinforce their knowledge of exposure and lighting. They will consolidate their proficiency by scanning then processing their images using Photoshop and then output to large format black and white inkjet prints. Students are introduced this semester to the video capabilities of DSLR, where they will become cinematographers, directors, producers, and editors on three film projects. They also further their analytical skills during class discussion and research assignments by looking at key histories and theories underpinning the cultural, historical, and social contexts in which photographs are produced and distributed.
  • 5th Semester: Photography lessons refine the conceptual and practical skills they have developed and embark on a series of self-assigned projects. In digital imaging, they experiment with an array of blending modes and break their images down to components, allowing them even greater creative control. Students fine-tune their printing skills and are given the opportunity to use alternative digital printing processes. This semester introduces electives, enabling students to begin directing their studies in their chosen genre.
  • 6th Semester: Students apply their working knowledge of advanced lighting and digital imaging to their projects. Students are provided with a constructive forum in which they are encouraged to develop their professional objectives by taking stock of their current skill set. Within a mentored environment, students are encouraged to become more independent in their work methods. Students must complete two out of seven electives, which complement their core courses, broadening their perspectives.
  • 7th Semester: In this semester, students begin to synthesize their coursework to date and begin to position their thesis efforts for the final two semesters of the BFA program. They investigate the business of Professional Photography and examine self-promotion strategies and essential business practices. Students work on branding their business identity and constructing a business plan. They are guided through the initial portfolio development process, and examine current trends in portfolio presentations in all areas of the industry. Students will sharpen their critical thinking abilities as they explore the way images are read, both figuratively and literally. Electives this semester further consolidate students’ direction.
  • 8th Semester: During the final semester, students focus primarily on their thesis projects in the genre of their choice. Consolidating their work from previous semesters, students will demonstrate advanced technical skills, creative vision, and personal aesthetic in the production of their final portfolio and body of work of the thesis exhibition. Peer and instructor critiques help guide them through these steps. Final electives this semester enable comprehensive and solid culmination of each student’s chosen field.
The BFA program culminates in a final portfolio presentation and group exhibition in which invited peers and industry professionals in Miami attend. This event is an opportunity for students to exhibit their best work and to develop their professional network.

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New York Film Academy South Beach, Florida
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 200 Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone: (305) 534-6009