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The Photography technical certificate prepares students for employment in the field of photography. The program provides students with a basic knowledge of traditional camera and darkroom skills as well as preparing them to work in studio and digital settings. Students learn to efficiently operate 35mm film and digital SLR cameras, function competently in an entry-level lab and/or studio position, demonstrate working knowledge of digital imaging computer programs, and approach photographic problem-solving in a creative manner.

Students are prepared to work as lab technicians, photographer's assistants, and commercial, staff, or studio photographers.

Earn a One-Year Photography Technical Certificate or a Two-Year A.A.S. Degree in Visual Communications
The Photography technical certificate is a 30 credit-hour program that can be completed in one year. All of the required Photography technical certificate courses can be applied toward the Nashville State Associate of Applied Science degree in Visual Communications - Photography Concentration, if students choose to continue their education. Students who plan to apply the certificate toward an A.A.S. degree should consult their advisors about articulation options.

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Photography Gainful Employment Disclosures

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Advising Sheet Archives


2016–2017 Advising Sheets

Technical Certificate

AAS Degree


2015–2016 Advising Sheets

Technical Certificate

AAS Degree


2014–2015 Advising Sheets

Technical Certificate

AAS Degree


2013–2014 Advising Sheets

Technical Certificate

AAS Degree


Program Faculty

Beth Gorham, Assistant Professor, 615-353-3351
Beth Gorham (formerly Beth Trabue) received her BFA in Photographic Design from the University of Georgia in 1994. After college she worked as a custom printer, a freelance photographer, and as an assistant to renowned photographers Sally Mann and Jack Spencer before coming to teach at NSCC. As an Assistant Professor in Photography she teaches basic and black and white classes. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Photography from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee.

B.F.A., Photography, University of Georgia, 1994
M.F.A., East Tennessee State University, 2011

Emily Naff, Assistant Professor, 615-353-3079, Website
Emily Naff received a Bachelor’s Degree in University Studies from MTSU in 1997. She first fell in love with photography while studying at the University of Memphis. Through her professional experiences, Emily developed a skill for converting traditional labs to incorporate a digital workflow and has made Digital Photography her specialty. Emily used her professional experience working in a digital lab environment to upgrade the color lab at Nashville State to include digital technology. In her position as Assistant Professor, she teaches both online and ground classes including Basic Photography, History of Photography, Color Lab I and Color Lab II. Emily is currently incorporating her passion for travel photography into the curriculum at Nashville State, by offering Digital Photography courses through the TN Consortium for International Studies. Emily is is currently pursuing an MA in Digital Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design and continues to display her personal photographic work both locally and nationally.

B.S., Universal Studies in College of Liberal Arts, Middle Tennessee State University, 1997

Lloyd Skip Jackson, Instructor, 615-353-3021
Skip Jackson received his Certificate of Photography from Nashville State Technical Institute in 1988 where he graduated with highest honors. In 2000 he received an Associate of Occupational Studies in Commercial Digital Photography from Nossi College of Art where he had been an instructor since 1993. Skip joined the adjunct faculty at Nashville State in 1994 and has been a full-time faculty member since 2000. He attended the Maine Photographic Workshop in 2004 led by Ms. Susan Ruddick Bloom who authored Digital Collage and Painting for Focal Press and was the instructor for the class ‘Advanced PhotoShop Techniques’ for digital photographers.

Owning a commercial photography business for 10 years, Skip worked with clients such as JC Bradford, Dr Pepper and Cumberland House Publishing, along with numerous music artists. The National Association of Independent Record Distributors has nominated his work for Album Cover Design, and he has received numerous recognition awards from various entities. He has been a guest speaker for the National Association of College Photographers and is a member of the Tennessee Professional Photographers Association.

With a love for photography and a distinct interest in the digital environment, he worked to create and develop Nashville State’s current curriculum and focus on digital photography. Along with Digital Photography, Skip teaches Lighting I and II and has conducted workshops in Digital Imaging and Color Management.

Technical Certificate, Photography, Nashville State Technical Institute, 1987
A.A.S., Occupational Studies in Commercial Digital, Photography, Nossi College of Art, 2003
C.C.P., Certified Professional Photographer, Professional Photographic Certification Commission, 2007

Program Facilities

The Photography program at Nashville State has the most complete facilities in the region. This includes:

  1. Black & White Lab with 2 fully equipped group darkrooms that include 22 enlargers for printing 35mm, medium format and 4x5 negatives. The lab also includes a large area for developing film.
  2. Color Lab with 15 individual dark rooms and a RA-4 roller transport processor for developing prints from color negatives up to 40” wide.
  3. Digital Color Lab is fully equipped with film and flatbed scanners, 16 Macintosh G5 computers with the latest industry software. Printing capabilities include a Noritsu 3300 digital printer that prints digital files onto traditional photographic paper, as well as two large format Epson Inkjet printers.
  4. Lighting Studio is fully furnished with a variety of professional quality tungsten and strobe lighting equipment, backdrops, 4x5 view cameras and digital technology.
  5. Digital Imaging Classroom with 16 Macintosh G5’s with the latest industry software, scanners and inkjet printers.

Nashville State provides all chemistry required for printing in the B&W, color and alternative processes class. Students are responsible for providing their own SLR camera, film and paper.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hours can I expect to spend outside of class time?
For every hour you are in class, expect to spend four hours outside of class preparing assignments.

What kind of camera do I need to have for school?
You will need a Single Lens Reflex 35mm camera with a 50mm or medium length lens. Your SLR camera must have a manual setting. A point-and-shoot camera is unacceptable. Be sure you have a manual to your camera!

Are there any accessories/attachments that I will need for my SLR?
A cable release and a tripod. A camera bag is optional but highly recommended. Another good investment is a UV and polarizer filter for your lens.

Besides my camera and textbook, how much do I need to budget for class supplies?

Approximate Expenses
PHO 1110 Basic Photography*  $150.00 - $250.00
PHO 1115 History of Photography $20.00
PHO 1170 Business of Photography $20.00
PHO 1210 Black & White Photography I $200.00 - $300.00
PHO 1230 Color Lab Techniques I* $200.00 - $300.00
PHO 1240 Lighting I* $200.00 - $300.00
PHO 1270 Portfolio Practicum* $200.00 - $300.00
PHO 1310 Black & White Photography II $200.00 - $300.00
PHO 1320 Color Lab Techniques II* $200.00 - $300.00
PHO 1350 Lighting II $200.00 - $300.00
PHO 1410 Nature Photography* $200.00 - $250.00
PHO 1430 Portrait Techniques* $200.00 - $300.00
PHO 1470 Photojournalism $150.00 -  $200.00
PHO 1490 Digital Photography $100.00 -  $200.00
*Estimated cost per course will depend on whether you are shooting with film or digital.

What can I do to get ready for my classes?
First and foremost, familiarize yourself with your camera and read your manual. You can also purchase your Basic Photography textbook, Photography – by London and Upton, 8th Edition, which is available in the campus bookstore.

Where can I purchase photographic supplies?

In Nashville:    
Dury’s: 701 Ewing Avenue 615-255-3456
Internet and Phone:    
B&H Photo 800-947-6628
Freestyle Camera 800-292-6137
Calumet 800-225-8638

Who do I contact if I have any further questions?

Career Services and Cooperative Education

The college has a very active Career Services Office that assists students, graduates and alumni with their career and employment needs.

Cooperative work experience can be an important addition to a student’s formal classroom work. Co-op courses may substitute for technical courses with the prior approval of the Program Coordinator. The Career Services Office will provide the correct course numbers. For more information about cooperative work experience opportunities, please visit the Career Services Office Web site, phone 615-353-3248, or e-mail

Contact Information

Program Office: 615-353-3390

Beth Gorham, Assistant Professor
Phone: 615-353-3351

Campus Directory

Advising Sheets

Please see Advising Sheet Archives on the left for previous year advising sheets.

Technical Certificate
Photography Technical Certificate

AAS Visual Communications
Photography Concentration

NSCC Catalog

See NSCC Catalog for program requirements, recommended schedules, course descriptions and syllabi.

Class Schedule

See Class Schedule for course availability.

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