Best Photography Schools in Illinois


Taking pictures is pretty common these days. You will see many people owning compact digital cameras and DSLR camera systems. However there is still a fine line between owning a nice camera and being a photographer. There is an art and science behind the practice of photography. Equipment, skills and knowledge help photographers come up with compelling imagery. Some higher learning institutions offer programs in the art of photography. In colleges and universities there are rigorous studies taken about the principles of creating art with cameras.

Included in the course are the hardware and software used, hands-on production techniques, and the development aesthetic sensibilities and technical skills. All of which are necessary in order to become professional photographers. Illinois is rich in colleges and universities offering these programs. Mostly, this study program is offered at the undergraduate level as a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In some cases, the program is offered as a minor in a related Bachelor of Arts major. Here are some of the best photography schools in Illinois.

Harrington College of Design

This is a well-known college offering a degree in photography. This institution is situated within the heart of Chicago. The school has been offering this program for more than seven decades. The degrees they offer are the Associate of Applied Science in Digital Photography and BFA in Commercial Photography. In Harrington’s associate-level degree program, students will study digital imaging technology utilized for the photographic production of pictures/images in commercial photography. Students will have access to modern equipment used in the industry, computer labs and studio facilities that will help the students in assembling their professional-style portfolio.*

On the other hand, the BFA program offers the students the opportunity in learning the aesthetic and technical skills utilized in the creation of high-quality photographic images that are commercially oriented. Students will also learn the professional digital capture systems, commercial lighting systems and the use of image-editing software. As the students complete their coursework and experience working as commercial photographer, they will be able to merge their job with the skills they have learned at Harrington College. Students will also be able to take their digital workflow to a new level.**

The Illinois Institute of Art

There are two campuses in Illinois offering degree programs in photography, one in Chicago and the other in Schaumburg. The Illinois Institute of art also offers the BFA Digital Photography under the Media Arts program. Their Digital Photography program teaches their students the basics of photography plus advances lessons like lighting, equipment use and composition. Students will make full use of their digital camera, plus the related software. Students will have the opportunity to experience darkroom techniques, design, and color both in a studio and on location. Also, it is part of the curriculum for students to develop business skills as well. The BFA degree program echoes the sustained effect of technology in the industry of photography and the extensive skills necessary to land jobs. This is to prepare the students for the task of finding work  while maintaining and increasing their own marketability (through an impressive portfolio) upon completing their photography degree.***


Are you ready to pursue your photography career? Get information on programs in your area and online using our photography degree finder at the top of this page. 


For more information on these schools and their programs, check out the links below.



*** and