Professional Program

A comprehensive education with professional results.

If your goal is to become a working, professional photographer, NESOP is the place to start. NESOP's Professional Photography Program is sixty weeks of immersive, hands-on instruction, lecture, critique and active lab time spread over two academic years, offering a balanced and intensive education in the art, technique and business of photography and multimedia.  The length and structure of NESOP's Professional Photography Program allow for a greater level of instruction and time for student growth than can be accomplished in other, shorter programs; and, with sixty weeks of a hands-on, practical and 100% photography- focused education, NESOP delivers a superior level of industry-specific, relevant knowledge and career training.  Our graduates attest that our program offers the ideal time frame to gain a mastery of the technical and business skills required to succeed as a professional photographer while developing a distinct, identifiable style.  NESOP graduates leave the Professional Photography Program packaged as professionals--with a minimum of two dynamic, cohesive, professional portfolios, working websites, comprehensive marketing materials, professional business cards and current résumés.

The first year of the Professional Photography Program establishes a solid foundation in photographic craft and visual communications in contemporary (digital) and traditional (film) technologies.

This year emphasizes mastery of basic technical skills and the underlying principles of black & white and color photography through proper metering and exposure methods, image capture and final image output in both digital and analog formats. As you progress technically, the program structure enables you to explore design concepts and develop your ability to convey ideas in a solid and exciting visual language. While emphasis is on current digital technologies, NESOP incorporates film into its first-year curriculum as a unique teaching and learning tool. Working with film breaks down the image-making process, requiring students to slow down and engage in the practice of bringing their images to perfection from print to print. This valuable practice strengthens their skills and supports the students' understanding of the digital process, ultimately augmenting their ability to use the full range of digital imaging tools available. From capture to process to output and from black & white to color photography, year one ensures the solid formation of the technical and aesthetic skills necessary for success in the advanced specialization areas during the second year.

Year 1 Courses

In the second year, you choose courses in your areas of interest and specialization, selecting a combination of courses totaling between 12 and 24 class units each term.

During your second term, you declare your Major and Minor areas of concentration. The focus is on developing and refining a creative vision while cultivating the marketable skills needed to succeed as a photographic professional. A broad range of course offerings, a high degree of choice and the exceptional depth and diversity of instructor expertise support the pursuit of this goal. Solid business training and practical experience with industry-standard and emerging technologies ensure your readiness for the real world.


From your start in the program until well after graduation, the NESOP Student Services department is prepared to assist you in establishing yourself as a professional in the field and helping you find full-time and freelance work.

While you are still in school, we offer individualized assistance to help you identify and obtain internships and assisting opportunities. In the second year of the program, you have the ability to participate in an Externship, allowing you to gain real-world experience in a relevant, modern work environment while earning course units. Also, in the second year of the program, you will be granted student-level access to job leads and calls for entry via NESOP's online Job Portal--a resource, updated in real-time and available to you 24/7, which features detailed job postings and industry opportunities. These, and other resources, mean that many of our students are obtaining work in the field before they graduate. The Director of Student Services is present at your portfolio review to become familiar with your work and regularly meets with you during your course of study to learn about your work and the types of photographic career opportunities in which you are interested.

NESOP also offers a number of opportunities beyond the classroom to help you prepare for your career. In addition to our in-house Insider Training seminars offering career-building tools and support and Industry Networking Day, where outside industry professionals offer portfolio reviews and networking opportunities to graduating students, we keep students and graduates informed about important events and opportunities in the photographic community in Boston and beyond.