Department of Visual Art + Design introduces photography minor


Courtesy of Jaden Williams

Photography student Jaden Williams shares his fashion/editorial portraiture.

The department of Visual Art + Design is now offering a minor in photography.

With non-art majors in mind, the minor is designed for students to gain a foundation in creative photo techniques, industry-standard software, visual language and photo history.

Students will take a total of six courses, which include basic digital and darkroom classes, intermediate and advanced classes. Students are also required to take a class oriented towards commercial and assignment-based photography integrated with journalism.

Assistant professor of photography Lily Brooks explained what the curriculum has in store for students interested in a minor. 

“Throughout the curriculum, they learn how to use a camera technically and have full control over the manual digital camera and film camera. They learn industry-standard software, like Adobe Suite for image processing, which includes Lightroom and Photoshop. They learn how to print their images and how to translate a digital image into a digital print. They learn studio lighting so we have strobes and backdrops,” Brooks said.

No equipment or software is needed prior to taking any photography class. Everything will be provided by the department, according to Brooks.

“All of the labs on campus in our department have the Adobe Creative Cloud installed on them so no student has to own any equipment or software to take a photography class. In fact, we have a suite of digital cameras that students can check out so you don’t have to have a camera to take a class,” Brooks said.

Chloë Bishop, an art major with a concentration in photography, has been a darkroom lab monitor since the beginning of the semester. The lab, located in the Clark Hall annex, allows students to develop film from their cameras and edit their photos.

Bishop explained her responsibilities as a lab monitor.

Chloë Bishop, a visual arts major, rolls film from an analog camera into a spool for easy storage. (Austin Dewease/The Lion’s Roar)

“Make sure everything is tidy, fix the printers if something happens. If people need help with an image like editing or if they need help with the printers. Making sure people sign up for lab hours and that students wear masks and are socially distancing,” Bishop said.

Art students concentrating in photography plan to produce a juried exhibition and a senior exhibition toward the end of the semester.

“It will include artwork by students of all different disciplines within the art department, and at the end of the semester, the senior exhibition goes up, and that’s where seniors present their entire thesis project or capstone project,” Brooks said. 

According to Brooks, she wants the photography minor to serve students and enable them to be able to create visuals in all fields.

“Everything that we look at is saturated with images these days, so there’s this insatiable need for images in the world and we think that a background in being a skilled image maker and storyteller will lead to students being more valuable potential employees in a number of different fields, not just within the fine arts,” Brooks said.

For more information on the photography minor and program, students can email Lily Brooks at  [email protected] and follow @slu_photo on Instagram.