Photography Program

Students carefully handling and reviewing a stack of large of papers

The photography concentration at Western emphasizes a cross-disciplinary approach with a strong basis in conceptual, historical, and technical development. The primary goal is to prepare students to become innovative practitioners within the contemporary art world. The course sequence begins with the introduction course (370), structured to establish a solid grounding in photographic art practices, including theory and technique. This is followed by a selection of intermediate level courses (371, 372, 373) which offer students an opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and concepts through, seminars, readings, exhibitions and professional practice studies. The advanced level (470, 492, 493, 494) courses often consist of self-directed projects that afford students time to produce a substantial body of research-driven work, which reflects their individual interests.

BFA Degree

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is the professional undergraduate art degree. It is an expanded undergraduate degree that requires each student to undertake a program of more than 180 undergraduate credits. In the context of the photography concentration, the BFA is an opportunity for students to focus on the development of a photo-based body of work throughout a nine month academic year, culminating in a BFA exhibition. The students work with their committees throughout the year, in order to develop their emphasis as they progress to their final exhibition. For more information, please visit the BFA’s section of the Course Catalog.

Photo lab - darkroom

Photography Facilities

The darkroom facilities include a well-ventilated gang lab with 25 black and white enlargers, 10 individual color labs as well as film loading rooms and an alternative process area with a large ultraviolet light exposure unit. Inside a newly renovated seminar classroom is a digital lab containing iMac computers equipped with Adobe Creative Suite and Lightroom, all paired with Epson V700 scanners. There is also a digital print lab with two large format printers, an Epson 9800 and Epson 7900. In addition, students have access to a wide variety of camera equipment in conjunction with a stewardship program with Academic Technology (ATUS) including the new Canon 5D Mark II’s acquired through a WWU Student Technology Fund Grant.

WWU photography blog

Person hiding their face in pink flowers
Couple of portraits of someone in a fur coat and no shirt

Flash: Ashly McBride

sunrays over the head of a person sitting on the shore

Photo by Liam Schehl

ocean sunset viewed through trees

Photo by Liam Schehl

Lakeshore views

Passing Time, Shelby Hagemann

Trio of photos: flowers in a vase, glass bottles, banana in a glass

Flash: Rachael Andrews

series of portraits

Flash: Jeni Hass


Photo by Liam Schehl