Within this minor program, students explore the stylized and exciting field of commercial fashion photography. Through research, discussion, demonstration, practical application, field trips and guest lectures, students gain a thorough understanding of the field, preparing them for a career within the world of fashion photography. Throughout this program, students work directly with models and local fashion designers to create a dynamic portfolio of professional fashion images.

Fashion Courses

Fashion I | 5 units

Starting with a history of the fashion industry, this course explores the impact that fashion and its associated ideas and stereotypes play in our society. Regular analysis of contemporary fashion images help students identify current trends and styles in the industry. Extensive work in the studio and on location, utilizing a wide array of equipment, provides students with the solid technical skills necessary for creating contemporary fashion images. Weekly demonstrations highlight a wide variety of lighting styles, including dramatic, beauty and glamour. Students gain experience in all areas of the fashion world, including catalog, runway and advertising photography. Weekly critique of student work addresses technical issues and encourages creativity.

Fashion II | 5 units

During this term, students work extensively with models, modeling agencies and modeling schools. Through weekly in-class photo shoots, students learn how performing test shoots, giving direction, the photographer’s attitude and psychology play a critical role in the fashion shoot. Students gain a thorough understanding of the members of the fashion team, including general stylists, make-up artists and hair stylists. Course discussion will address business considerations such as contracts, pricing, legal issues and identifying various fashion markets. Throughout the term, students work to develop a unique personal style, ultimately producing a dynamic, cohesive portfolio of professional images.

Faculty Spotlight

Chris Vaccaro

Chris earned his B.F.A. in Commercial Illustration Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1987.  In the years that followed, he worked as a studio manager and assistant for some of the top photographers in NYC. In 1989 he moved to the studio manager position at the Maine Photographic Workshops. From there, he ultimately helped to launch the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops as the studio manager in 1990. In 1993, Chris opened his own commercial studio in Rhode Island, landing major accounts with Swarovski Crystal, Wenger Swiss Army and Rhode Island Monthly Magazine as well as other regional and national publications. Over 20 years later, Chris continues to run his commercial photography studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island photographing everything from products, food and people to fashion and architecture. To see Chris’ work, go to: