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Independent Digital Photography

Independent Digital Photography

Program Code:IDP
Duration:4 Semesters (2 Years)
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Diploma

Program Description

Earn your diploma in Independent Photography and you could become a professional photographer, equipped with the technical skills and business knowledge you need to succeed in this creative and dynamic field.

You’re best suited for this intensive four- semester program if you have a strong interest in photography and image creation, along with a basic knowledge of photography.

You’ll be required to demonstrate an understanding of imaging fundamentals. Throughout the program, you’ll build a strong portfolio of photographic and illustrated images for a wide range of practical business applications. Along with artistic and technical skills, you’ll learn business and entrepreneurial skills. Your hands–on learning will concentrate on the digital realm of photography and imaging. You will be required to purchase a minimum of photography/imaging equipment.

Whether you’re working behind the camera or are working in a technical support role, you’ll be prepared to compete in this evolving market.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s), or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading).

Additional Requirements

  • Letter of intent
  • Portfolio of ten (10) images including:
    • 2 scenics
    • 2 still life images
    • 2 portraits
    • 1 creative self–portrait
    • 3 other images of your choice

Applicant Selection

  • Applicants will be invited to attend an orientation where they will submit a portfolio and letter of intent.
  • Applicants are ranked based on the strength of their, portfolio, letter of intent and Grade 12 English mark.
  • Admission to this program is competitive. Only the top ranked applicants will be offered a seat in the program.


  • Although not required for admission, the following are recommended for your success in the program:
    • Grade 11 or 12 Visual Arts (drawing, painting, illustration)
    • Basic computer skills including office software
    • College Art Fundamentals Program.


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Your Career

Professional photographers are entrepreneurs. Most run their own businesses, working as freelancers for a wide range of clients across many sectors. Some are employed in key roles at photography studios, leveraging their technical expertise in photo manipulation, restoration and compositing.

Application Process

The applicant selection is a two–step process:

Step 1: Academic achievement (i.e. grades in pre–requisite courses and/or scores in English and Reading Comprehension tests) may be used to select applicants who are eligible for Step 2.

Step 2: Attendance at an Orientation Session, submission of a portfolio of photographic work (Parts A and B), and completion of a program–related assignment.

Applicants who are unsuccessful in Step 1 will be notified by mail, and will not be included in Step 2 of the selection process.

Portfolio Requirements:

To be considered for the IDP program we ask that applicants submit a portfolio (Part A) and a letter of intent (Part B).

Part A. Ten (10) best images, including:

  • two scenics
  • two still life images
  • two portraits
  • one creative self–portrait
  • three other images of your choice

Do not include flowers or pet pictures unless the lighting is extraordinary.

Part B. Letter of intent submitted as a digital Word file where applicants need to demonstrate:

  • they have done some research into the various disciplines of photography, and have a goal in mind as to what they want to do after graduating; or
  • if applicants don't have a specific goal in mind, they should still have a basic understanding of what photographers do, and the options that are available to them; and
  • that they are enthusiastic, motivated, and willing to work hard to learn the craft.

All portfolios must be submitted in digital form. Our selection process does not allow for printed portfolios or non–digital artwork. Images must be submitted as JPEG files, written documents as Word files.

Important note: All files must be submitted on a non–returnable 1 or 2 gig USB flash drive, and placed in a single folder named "Lastname, Firstname, Student number".

Orientation Session:

Orientation sessions are typically held four to seven months prior to the beginning of classes. You will be advised through Admissions as to the exact dates. A tentative guide is provided below:

  • February or March for the September/Fall term
  • October or November for the January/ Winter term

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant term.


Please select the curriculum from the Academic Year in which you started (or will be starting) your studies. An Academic Year begins in September and ends in August of the following year.

2014/2015 Academic Year
Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
EAC150 College English 3
IDP100 Photography I 3
IDP102 Colour Theory 4
IDP103 Business I 3
IDP104 History of Imaging 3
IDP105 Creativity I 3
IDP111 Digital Imaging I 3
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
IDP200 Photography II 6
IDP202 Digital II 3
IDP203 Business II 2
IDP204 Wedding and Event Photography 3
IDP206 Photojournalism 3
IDP306 Creativity II 2
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 3 Course Name Hrs/Wk
EAC409 Print Journalism 3
IDP302 Digital Imaging III 3
IDP303 Small Business I 2
IDP304 Self Promotion and Portfolio Building 3
IDP311 Photography III 6
IDP405 Pro Seminar in IDP 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 4 Course Name Hrs/Wk
IDP312 Introduction to DSLR Video 3
IDP403 Small Business II 3
IDP404 Field Placement 1
IDP406 Independent Project in IDP - Preproduction 4
IDP407 Independent Project in IDP - Production 4
XXXXXX General Education Option 3

General Education:

One of the general education courses must be a literature course (from any category) for which College English is a prerequisite.

2015/2016 Academic Year
Semester 1
College English
Photography I
Colour Theory
Business I
History of Imaging
Creativity I
Digital Imaging I
Semester 2
Photography II
Digital II
Business II
Wedding and Event Photography
Creativity II
General Education Option
Semester 3
Print Journalism
Digital Imaging III
Small Business I
Self Promotion and Portfolio Building
Photography III
Pro Seminar in IDP
General Education Option
Semester 4
Introduction to DSLR Video
Small Business II
Field Placement
Independent Project in IDP - Preproduction
Independent Project in IDP - Production
General Education Option

General Education:

One of the general education courses must be a literature course (from any category) for which College English is a prerequisite.

Contact Us

Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22840
International Admissions Advisor: Thomas Hein
(416) 491-5050 Ext. 22380
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Sharina Khan
(416) 491-5050 Ext. 33008
Program Contacts:
Program Coordinator: Ray Steinke
(416) 491-5050 Ext. 33572
Program Chair: Mark Jones
(416) 491-5050 Ext. 33488

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