Art Institute of Photography

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Big Bully, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Big Bully

    Big Bully TPF Noob!

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    I am looking into different photography schools, and I was wondering if the Art Institute is a good school for photography. I was thinking about the school in Las Vegas. Has anyone heard anything about it?
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    FYI

    I went the AI Seattle for about a year, the teachers there are awesome (for the most part), and you'll get a good education from them, but the administration is abysmal and pretty much makes it a moot point.

    If you know you'll get work straight out, have quite a bit of your own equipment (not just an SLR and lens, but some sort of strobes, even speedlights will work fine) and not go into student housing, it's ok.

    HOWEVER, they treat their students like crap. They accept anyone into their school who knows how to write a check that won't bounce, they're hardly accredited anywhere, and they were bought out by a Japanese or Korean company who redid their curriculum to minimize costs and maximize profits by charging more and keeping the students enrolled for less time. The student housing is (when I left, i'm sure it's more now) $900/month. I lived in student housing, split a 2bdr/2bath apartment with 3 other people and we were paying $900 each. YES, $3600/month for an apartment that wasn't even worth about $600/month total. One of my buddies didn't have running water for a week and had to move out as a result, and is currently in a lawsuit with the school about it because they refused to fix it. These apartments are crap, the buildings were made in the early 1920's.

    They basically want to crank people out as fast as possible. For each class, lets say Advanced Lighting, you meet 10 times. That's it. Once a week for 10 weeks. It costs (as of summer 2007) $1300 for the class (NOT including film/equipment costs[that adds up quick, because it's not 35mm, it's 4x5]) The History of Photography class used to be an alternative process lab, where you actually made albumen prints, cyanotypes, etc. Now it's sitting in a classroom, behind a projector, watching your instructor browse Google over the material you used to get your hands on for 4 hours. NOT EVEN KIDDING. Oh yeah, and the quarter system will seriously screw up your transfer to another school should you realize AI is junk. They go off of quarters, not semesters.


    The only reason why a select number of schools will recognize the AI BFA in photography is because most of them know AI is s***. The 'select' schools are the leftovers.

    Basically, if you want to learn art, go to a school such as PNCA. It's that simple. If you want to learn how to be a commercial shooter, go to a university, Art Center, or Brooks. Brooks and Art Center are expensive, but a few of the people that graduated from AI Seattle last year transfered from Brooks and said it was one of the worst decisions they've ever made. Some thought it was a good one, it's personal choice, and like I said, the AI teachers are amazing, a couple of them even graduated from brooks, so that gives you an idea.

    Basically, at AI, you'll learn how to shoot product (think watches, lots of watches ugh..), studio and location portrait with off camera lighting, and post production/workflow. Can you learn all of these yourself? Yes. But AI will teach you on what you need to do during shooting to make the images as technically flawless as possible. If you have dust on your print, if your watch isn't at 10:10 or 1:50, if the pin is out, if you have some spill on your subject from your hair light, if the cheek is a little hot, if your specular highlights on your flatware aren't perfect, it's a reshoot - period. F until you redo it.

    :no smile:
     
  3. leila

    leila TPF Noob!

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    i've only taken one photography class... sorry
     
  4. Big Bully

    Big Bully TPF Noob!

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    So would you recommend it? Or should I just keep looking for other schools?
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Up to you, that's how they run their gig.

    An AA ain't much of a safety net, but if you know you'll get work, than it's a moot point.

    If you want stiff competition and teachers that will be harder on you than anyone on this forum than go to AI (seattle). I've seen people walk out of the classroom crying because the teachers cut the crap.

    the first 2 quarters are meh. but as far as assignment material and classes, 3rd quarter is where it starts to get good.

    Then you have the administration ripping you off and not getting any white seamless for a week, and never cleaning or fixing the cameras. 7 studio slots and 1 polaroid back? c'mon.
     
  6. Shadow Images

    Shadow Images TPF Noob!

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    Back in the early 90's when I attended Colorado Institute of Art, they were extemely money driven. During the first day orientation, the head of the photo program basically laid out a spending scale. If you spent so much, you got a certain grade. $100 mnth = D, $200 mnth = C, etc. This was in excess to the tuition, lab and dorm fees. I did get to stay at the DU dorms, which was pretty cool. The total cost for a 2yr degree would have been about $50,000 (that's tuition and boarding). I would not recommend the AI's and think a 4yr accredited school will get you farther in life. If you don't want a 4yr college and want to be a career photographer, jump in the pool and good luck.
     
  7. Big Bully

    Big Bully TPF Noob!

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    I already have my associates in photography, I am looking for a bachelors, or something with more info and training than I was given at my school.
     
  8. Shadow Images

    Shadow Images TPF Noob!

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    What aspect of the photography are you looking to get into? That would be a big factor in my recommendation of a school.
     
  9. Big Bully

    Big Bully TPF Noob!

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    I possibly looking into fashion, landscape or nature, architecture. I enjoy all aspects. But I am not sure which one I am more interested in.

    Here is a question, do degrees transfer into Art Institute, or am I going to have to retake some classes?
     

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