An overhead view of photography equipment.
Photo by Bailey Scott.

The Kellogg Community College Photography and Multimedia Program is an excellent way to learn more about being a photographer and what skills will be needed to excel in this field of work.

KCC, located at 450 North Ave. in Battle Creek, offers multiple photography courses to those interested in pursuing a job in photography, or if you just enjoy doing it as a hobby. There are many different genres of photography, and through the KCC Photography and Multimedia Program you’re sure to learn about them all.

So where do you start, and what is the best way to go through the program

Well, this depends on the genre you’re interested in, but as a beginner it is recommended you take the intro classes first. These are ART 222: Introduction to Photography, and ART 227: Digital Color Photography.

From there, the classes will move up in skill level. ART 223: Intermediate Photography, is the next stepping stone in the course, but it is only offered in the fall, requiring a little planning ahead if you wish to take it. The same is true for the next class up, ART 224: Advanced Photography. Taking both classes at the same time is an option for those who don’t wish to wait for the next fall semester, but it does require good time-management skills.

Throughout ART 223 and ART 224, students will learn how to work in the darkroom, as well as how different settings on the camera, such as aperture and shutter speed, will affect the light and exposure.

Classes after that will branch off depending on what you’re interested in.

Studio photography classes are offered for those who may be interested in shooting commercial photography, and they teach students how to shoot with a digital camera and how to edit photos in Adobe Photoshop. ART 229: Studio Photography should be taken first, followed by ART 239: Studio Photography 2. Both of these classes are only offered during the spring semester, which will require planning ahead on the student’s part.

Another route to go is with graphic design. The graphic design classes follow the same structure as the photography classes, starting with an introduction class and working up to harder practices. To start, students should take GRDE 103: Introduction to Graphic Design, and this class is offered during both spring and fall semester. Next would be GRDE 206: Graphic Design 1 and GRDE 208: Graphic Design 2. Both of these are fall semester only.

If you’ve decided graphic design is the route you want to go, then it is recommended you take GRDE 271: Graphic Design Internship. With this class, students will be exposed to what it is like working in a business setting, away from the classroom. Internships for this class are usually local advertising agencies or graphic design firms that will provide students with real-life experiences. The internships can be chosen by the professor or students can choose their own with the professor’s approval. This class is another that is offered only in the spring.

Taking a combination of these classes will set a student up for a Photography and Multimedia Certificate, which requires 30 credits.

Aside from offering a multitude of classes, KCC also has a range of facilities available for students. The computer labs in the Davidson Visual and Performing Arts Center are equipped with Macintosh computers, scanners and inkjet printers for those interested in graphic design and digital imaging.

The lighting studio has tungsten and electronic flash lighting equipment, a green screen and a Macintosh computer with capture software for students who wish to pursue studio photography.

There are two darkrooms at KCC, both fully equipped for film formats, mural printing and historic photography practices. If students don’t have the means to purchase equipment for their classes, KCC has an equipment checkout program that makes all necessary tools available to students. These include tripods, DSLR cameras and video recorders among other things.

Process Specialist Joanne Colyn was once a student at KCC who went through the program and then came back later on to help the students going through the same program. When asked about the Photography and Multimedia Program, Colyn said, “I believe KCC offers one of the strongest photo/art programs in Michigan.”

“Skills learned are numerous,” Colyn said. “Having gone through the program myself, I have learned that I am able to draw, paint, work with digital media (Adobe products) and take pictures better than ever before, whether that is landscape photos, studio photos, product photos, still photos or whatever.”

Nursing student Kaylee Hessler was one of many to join the Photography and Multimedia Program this year. Along with her Nursing courses, Hessler enrolled in ART 222: Introduction to Photography.

When asked why she chose photography, and what she liked about it, Hessler said, “I have always liked photography and wanted to learn more about it and how I could be better at it. I liked the subject and the relationships I have gained from the class, but it was more intensive than what I originally thought.”

In addition to taking Nursing courses next year, Hessler has also decided to continue with the photography classes.

To learn more about the Photography and Multimedia Program, contact Art Faculty Ryan Flathau at 269-565-7880 or