Photography | Minneapolis College of Art and Design


Photography students experiment with traditional tools, modern technologies, and up-and-coming trends to advance their distinctive storytelling abilities. With access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, students explore the history, contemporary practices, and cultural impact of the medium.  


Two students stand outside with their cameras on tripods.

As a Photography major, you will:

  • Learn photography techniques and camera controls for successful digital and film prints.
  • Experiment with traditional (darkroom), nontraditional (cyanotypes) and digital photographic methods.
  • Conceptualize and complete a personal photographic project, while developing a personal photographic style.

MCAD Photography graduates have gone on to become fine art photographers, photojournalists and studio owners.

Get a feel for the program:


Do I need to bring my own equipment? 

No, all equipment will be provided. However, a student may bring their own equipment if they like. All students will be required to pay a refundable damage deposit fee of $150.

What types of projects will I be working on?

Students will explore photography techniques such as cyanotypes, analog film and digital and will work on assignments in each technique. Students will have a goal of creating a larger project around a theme for the final student exhibition. For the final project, students may choose to work digitally or analog.

Will the program teach digital or darkroom photography?

The program will focus on both digital and analog photography using both digital and film cameras. Students will learn darkroom techniques, including developing film and making final prints. Digital photography projects include access to a computer lab, Adobe Photoshop, scanners and printers.

Will other techniques be taught?

Students will experiment with and learn techniques for darkroom photography, pinhole cameras, large-format photography, as well as some alternative photography methods, such as cyanotypes

Will I learn any editing software?

Students will learn the basics of Adobe Photoshop with the goal of editing and printing their work for the final exhibition.

Black and white photograph featuring one student in several poses from the torso up. Central is the student looking directly into the camera. On each side of the central figure are three images of the student with a blurred head showing different movement and facial expressions.
Color photograph featuring four views (2x2). The main image in each is a student holding a camera up to her face. Each image is subtly different, using double exposures of plants to vary the color and texture.
Three black and white photographs. Central image shows a student sitting in her dorm room, by a window and is in clear focus. Image on the left also features the student sitting by a window but is out of focus. Image on the right shows the student standing in the doorway and is also out of focus.
Color photograph of student standing outside at night, leaning on a parking gate arm that is lit up in green. Dimly lit trees and other parking structures can be seen in the background.
5 color photographs shown behind a bouquet of pink roses in a glass vase. The central image is the largest and shows the student looking directly into the camera holding two of the roses. Two images of different pink flowers can be seen to either side. Then, on the outsides are two more images of the student holding the roses in different poses.
5 color photographs. Central image shows the torso and arms of a woman and is in sepia tones. Clockwise from top left shows a plant in red tones, the interior of MCAD in yellow/green tones, a student at Gold Medal Park in green tones, and the interior of a dorm room in blue tones.
Color photograph of a plant at night. I red bud can be seen well lit in the foreground, a light source and dark blue sky can be seen in the background.