10 Best Photography schools in Canada| Tuition & Details

Photography thrives well in Canada and that is why the revenue for the Canadian photography industry is expected to increase amid economic recovery over a few years now.

Depending on where you work as a photographer in Canada, there are different job prospects for you.

For Photographers, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 5,800, while 6,300 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.

As job openings and job seekers are projected to be at relatively similar levels over the 2019-2028 period, the balance between labour supply and demand seen in recent years is expected to continue over the projection period.

In this article, you will not only see the list of photography schools in Canada but also some basic tips to succeed in photography schools in Canada.

Check out: How to Write a Scholarship Essay? A Complete Guide

Is Photography a good career in Canada?

If you plan to move to Canada as a photographer, you are lucky. Photographers are in demand across Canada and the beautiful thing is that you might be lucky enough to secure a Canadian Permanent Residency Visa with or without a job offer.

Therefore, whether you’re a citizen or someone planning to move to Canada, photography is important and is such a career that allows you to express yourself.

The cool thing is that you can do whatever you want in photography. Regardless of the “rules” and techniques, photography in Canada has no boundaries. You can express yourself without any restrictions at all.

When you graduate from photography schools in Canada, you will find career opportunities with magazines, newspapers, designers, websites, fashion industries, school photography companies, as well as in business sectors.

You can decide to establish your own studio and business as a portrait or commercial photographer.

Other graduates of photography programs in photography schools in Canada can decide to focus on fine art photography.

Apart from that, you can equally decide to pursue your postgraduate study in fields such as photographic preservation and archival studies, curatorial and museum studies, art history, education, and digital art.

What are the requirements to study photography in Canada?

The academic requirements to study in the photography schools in Canada vary from institution to institution.

Generally, students are assessed based on the combination criteria of those institutions. Other areas in which they are assessed include:

  • Communication skills
  • Creative potential

In addition, most prospective photography students are expected to submit a portfolio of their photographs and undergo an interview or write a letter of intent explaining their interest and background in the field.

Some institutions such as the school of the photographic arts will be required to upload a selection of up to ten images representing your photographic and/or visual arts work. This section does not apply to all institutions.

As an international student, you should expect to demonstrate English-language proficiency.

Some Institutions such as Sheridan-one of the best photography schools in Canada admits students based on academic criteria and accept based on the average of their six highest senior-level credits, including required courses.

In their classrooms, Sheridan’s common, shared language of instruction is English.

Students, therefore need to be able to speak and write clearly in English and have strong listening and reading skills.

These language skills support student success in all of our programs.

In some photography schools in Canada, Some applicants are required to complete additional testing as part of the admissions process.

Also, Equivalency tests; which are found in most photography schools in Canada, are for applicants who are missing a course requirement for admission.

These are just for some schools. Other photography schools in Canada may or may not ask for these things, Therefore, I suggest checking any of the photography schools in Canada of your choice and finding out their requirements.

What do students in photography schools in Canada learn?

Photography students study aesthetics, history, theory of the medium and practical topics such as:

  • Techniques of film development and printmaking
  • Composition
  • Colour theory
  • Studio lighting
  • Projection

Furthermore, digital imaging technology and the computer applications that are associated with the manipulation and storage of Images are also studied in the photography schools in Canada.

Therefore, most photography programmes in these best photography schools in Canada require their students to pursue related courses in humanities, art history and other visual arts in order to round out their degrees.

Categories of photographers in Canada

  • aerial photographer
  • commercial photographer
  • chief photographer
  • fashion photographer
  • evidence photographer – forensic
  • industrial photographer
  • finish photographer
  • forensic photographer
  • multimedia photographer
  • medical photographer
  • photographer
  • multimedia picture illustrator
  • news photographer
  • police photographer
  • photography supervisor
  • photojournalist
  • photomicrographer
  • scientific photographer
  • portrait photographer
  • racetrack finish photographer
  • retoucher – photography
  • wildlife photographer
  • still photographer
  • street photographer

Duties of some photographers in Canada

Below is a summary of the major duties of photographers. Upon graduation from any of the photography schools in Canada.

1. They decide on the type of camera, film, background accessories and lighting to be used in a particular project.

2. They determine the picture composition.

3. They make technical adjustments to equipment and photograph sheets.

4. They operate scanners while transferring photographic images to computers.

5. They adapt existing photographic images and create newly digitized images to be included in multimedia/new media products.

6. Medical photographers are likely to work closely with various medical illustrators.

7. They may process exposed film, may use airbrushes, and computer techniques to retouch negatives.

What are the qualifications required to immigrate to Canada as a photographer?

1. A bachelors degree in visual arts with specialization in photography or the completion of specialized training in photography, in high school, college or specialized training schools or extensive on-the-job training under the supervision of a photographer is required.

2. Experience in or knowledge of computerized photography or digital imaging may be required.

3. Creative and technical ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are required.

How much does it cost to attend any of the photography schools in Canada?

I’m pretty sure you are aware that the cost of attending any of the photography schools in Canada depends on the institution as well as your aims.

On average, the annual cost for photography school varies from $10.000 to $30.000.

There are online photography schools in Canada and even online photography schools that you can choose to invest in than spending years in a university to obtain a photography degree.

Online courses will cost you around $100 per month. But the prices do vary depending on the prestige and overall length of the program.

Photography Jobs and Salaries

There are plenty of career options for photography program grads. Just a few include:

  • Photojournalist
  • Digital Imaging or Photo Editing Technician
  • Fashion, Editorial or Event Photographer
  • Freelance Photographer
  • Artistic practice
  • Fashion, commercial or editorial photography
  • Digital/print publications or image archives
  • Arts or gallery administration
  • Artist representation and production

Earnings in the industry will vary depending on the position you are in.

Salaried positions start close to $30,000 per year, but can move up quickly with experience.

Freelance and contract work is typically paid hourly, with wages starting in the $30-an-hour range and running much higher with experience.

How long does it take to graduate from the photography schools in Canada?

It depends on the school actually, If you plan to obtain a degree from a University, then you have to be looking at 3 to 4 years.

However, other photography schools in Canada, such as the School of the Photographic Arts (SPAO) take only two years.

List of photography schools in Canada

  1. Ryerson Image Arts / best photography school in Toronto
  2. OCAD U / top photography school in Ontario
  3. Sheridan / best photography program in Ontario
  4. School of the Photographic Arts (SPAO)
  5. Emily Carr U / top photography schools in BC
  6. Langara College / best photography school in Vancouver
  7. The Centre for Arts & Technology / best photography school in Kelowna
  8. NSCAD U / best photography school Atlantic Canada
  9. AUA / best photography school Alberta
  10. Concordia / best photography school in Quebec

Ryerson Image Arts

Best photography school in Toronto

Tuition and Fees

Domestic Fees Range: $7,087 – $7,805
International Fees Range: $30,013 – $31,003
For detailed fees information visit Tuition and Fees by Program.

This is one of the best List of photography schools in Canada that has prestigious photography programs.

Students work with still, moving and computer-generated imagery and in creative, documentary and professional fields.

There are different options for you. You can decide to pursue the integrated digital option and have access to one of North America’s largest photoproduction facilities.

There are work placements and practical assignments, exhibitions and above all, professional gallery showings which are all aimed at giving the students the best.

Their course in Photography is a four-year course. To apply, there are three simple steps, which are:

  • Step 1: Submit Your Application
  • Step 2: Submit/Upload Required Documents
  • Step 3: Check Your Application Status

OCAD University

Top photography school in Ontario

Tuition and Scholarships

Full-time domestic students: $7,200 per academic year
Full-time international students: $27,500  per academic year. 

OCAD U’s undergraduate entrance scholarships and awards range from $500 to $5000.

In-study scholarships recognize overall academic achievement and are given at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd-year levels of your program. These scholarships can range from $100-$4000.

OCAD University has some of the best facilities when in Canada when compared to other photography schools in Canada.

It is one of the photography schools in Canada with a colour and black and white darkroom.

It is Canada’s largest art, design and media university where you are given the chance to benefit from the option to select from a wide range of creative areas.

These include electives in Sculpture/Installation, Printmaking and Drawing & Painting, among many others.

This is one of the photography schools in Canada with more artistic and experimental photography programs.

Their programs have a strong emphasis on artistic vision. Above all, they give students the opportunity to explore a broad range of issues and styles.

At the end of this four-year program, you will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree.

You are given access to the following and this is one of the reasons OCAD university made it to the list of the best photography schools in Canada.

  • Short experiential learning placements from among hundreds of organizations
  • Creative in-class projects with real-world industry partners
  • Exclusive summer internships
  • Gallery exhibitions of your work
  • Freelance creative opportunities
  • Jobs after graduation

Sheridan

Best photography program in Ontario

Full-Time Domestic Tuition Fee per Term

  • Year One – $1350.00
  • Year Two – $1350.00
  • Year Three – $1350.00
  • Year Four – $1350.00

International students: $7,867 per term

Sheridan was founded in the year 1967 and has grown from being just a local college to one of Ontario’s best.

It is one of the photography schools in Canada that is filled with creative people across its vibrant locations.

Their program prepares you for a dynamic professional photography career in communications through its entrepreneurial focus.

Upon graduation, you are sure to be able to create conceptually and visually compelling still and moving images, and explore photography’s potential in existing and emerging fields.

Their photography equipment and facilities are one of the best in Canada and all over the world which includes state-of-the-art DSLR, medium format digital and video cameras.

Sheridan’s International Centre presents this award to students who demonstrate outstanding leadership and engagement on campus and the award is valued at $1,500, $1,000, and $500.

Find out about their scholarships.

Visit website

School of the Photographic Arts (SPAO)

The Photographic Arts and Production Diploma at SPAO is an incredibly unique opportunity to acquire comprehensive analogue and digital photography skills, develop a broad understanding of photographic theory and history, and cultivate individual vision and craft.

They offer a wide range of in-person and visual courses, masterclasses and workshops, all available to students of all levels.

Class subjects at SPAO include:

  • Studio lighting
  • Post-production
  • History
  • Traditional analogue
  • Historic processes

The SPAO Residency provides mentorship, support and structure for photo-based artists to focus on an aspect of their career or an upcoming project.

The school is designed for visual artists who have previously completed training in the visual arts or lens-based media.

SPAO offers the only two-year photographic arts diploma in Canada.

The Photographic Arts and Production Diploma is an incredibly unique opportunity for their students to acquire comprehensive analogue and digital photography skills.

This course equally helps you develop a broad understanding of photographic theory and history and above all, help you cultivate the individual vision and craft.

Scholarships at School of the Photographic Arts (SPAO)

Though the scholarships are not listed, SPAO, the only two-year photographic arts college in Canada is offering 1 free year of tuition for ALL Canadian citizens and permanent residents as well as 3 other exciting initiatives. This is as, at the time of this publication, this is to let you know that this might not be there at all times.

School of the Photographic Arts (SPAO) tuition fees


Application Fee $50.00 Application


Payment 1 $500.00 Tuition Payment acting as deposit, to be paid upon SPAO’s offer of admission

Payment 2 $4491.85 ($3726.60 tuition + $765.25 kit, book, & field trip fee)

Payment 3 $4491.85 ($3726.60 tuition + $765.25 kit, book, & field trip fee)

Payment 4 $3726.60 Due June 8, 2020

Payment 5 $3726.60 Due August 24, 2020

TOTAL $16,986.90

OPTIONAL FEES

Wonderlic SLE test $30.00 CAD

TOTAL OPTIONAL FEES $30.00 CAD

Emily Carr U

Top photography schools in BC

This is one of the places where multidisciplinary and innovative photography majors provide both knowledge and hands-on skills in a range of analogue and digital processes.

Through art history and research as well as critical courses you will be given the opportunity to study the work of contemporary and historical artists and photographers.

In both the classroom and the studio courses which you will take, you are sure to know how photography relates to other mediums, including installation, performance, video, printmaking and above all directorial work.

Upon graduation, you will obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Majoring in Photography (BFA, Photography).

Photography courses at Emily Carr university

  • PHOT 207: Drawing, Writing + Photograph
  • PHOT 219: Photo + Narrative
  • PHOT 309: Photographic Installations
  • PHOT 316: Studio Photography
  • PHOT 410: Senior Photo Practice

Students also have the opportunity to complete a Minor in Curatorial Studies, Art + Text, or Social Practice + Community Engagement.

Tuition Fee at Emily Carr University is $432.50

See full details about the tuition fees

Langara College

Best photography school in Vancouver

The professional photography program is a two-year diploma that offers hands-on and comprehensive training that provides graduates with the skills which they require in order to achieve success.

In this college, students have the opportunity to access a wide range of specialized photographic equipment and above all, students have the full support of their staff. Their program is intensive and provides the opportunity to develop a comprehensive portfolio.

Their training is further enhanced by field trips and regular visits from industry professionals.

Apply here.

Tuition fees at Langara College

Tuition deposit for international students: $6000.00

Subsequent payment: $1500.00

Application fee: $155.00

See full details about tuition fees.

The Centre for Arts & Technology

Best photography school in Kelowna

The Centre for Arts & Technology is one of the best photography schools in Kelowna that is just 12 months in duration.

At Center for Arts, their photography courses will take you for a deep dive into the technical and historical sides of the craft.

The Professional Photography diploma program offered at one of the leading digital photography schools in Canada will prepare you for these careers:

  • Commercial Photographer (Product, Fashion, Advertising)
  • Corporate Photographer
  • Fine Art Photographer
  • Photographer’s Assistant
  • Photojournalist/Editorial Photographer
  • Portrait Photographer
  • Sport/Action Photographer
  • Event/Wedding Photographer
  • Wildlife Photographer
  • Real Estate Photograph

Domestic Tuition fee for Professional Photography: $18,900.00

International tuition fee for Professional photography: $22,100.00

See other fees.

NSCAD University

Best photography school Atlantic Canada

Photography major at NSCAD U is designed to balance your acquisition of technical skill with the theoretical and conceptual tools that are required by you as an artist.

You will have the chance to explore the dynamic, technical and historical relationships that photography has.

You will obtain a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at the end of your stay. Above all, Photographic Services provides extensive facilities for both film-based and digital imaging. 

Tuition Fee

Provincial Students:$8,842
Canadian Students: $10,125
International Students: $21,121

AUA

best photography school Alberta

This is one of the photography schools in Canada that that will help you develop your creative abilities and critical thinking skills while fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.

Whether you need part-time or full-time help, assistance over the short term, or help with a special project, they can help you find what you need.

Tuition for international students: $15,980

Check out tuition for domestic students.

Duration: 4 Year(s)

Concordia

One of the best photography school in Canada in Quebec

Concordia’s 3 to 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Photography is certainly one of Quebec’s best photography programs.

The program covers both analogue and digital photography.

Courses comprise a mix of the theoretical and the practical, with an emphasis placed on the understanding of photography’s sociological and artistic ramifications.

Studio Arts electives include Black-and-White Photography, Colour Photography, Large Format Photography, and more.

Can I immigrate to Canada as a photographer without a job offer?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Provided you have a reasonable total CRS score on your Express Entry application and can meet the 67 immigration point threshold for your Canada Federal Skilled Worker Visa.

Technically there is no minimum CRS score required to submit a Photographer Canada Express Entry profile, therefore you are good to go.

Of course, securing a job offer (documented in the right way for immigration purposes i.e. LMT) will give you an instant CRS boost of 200 points so it makes sense to start this process as soon as is practical.

Why Choose an Accredited Photographer?

The accreditation process is very vital because the accreditation process recognizes photographers who have reached a nationally accepted standard of proficiency and knowledge in the art of photography.

If you are PPOC accredited or if you attended any of the photography schools in Canada, then people are likely going to be confident in you in providing the necessary skills required in getting a job done.

To become Accredited the Photographer must submit a set of 10 images in one or more of the 79 categories of photographic specialties identified by PPOC.

The submission is then judged by a panel of qualified judges.

Once successfully completed, the photographer is then recognized as a PPOC Accredited Photographer and as such, a specialist in their chosen field.

After graduation

Once you graduate from any of these photography schools in Canada, you can then apply your already acquired creativity and experience to visual arts, such as:

  • commercial photography and web production
  • curatorial and arts administration
  • editorial and art publishing

You can equally decide to work as:

  • a commercial photographer
  • digital image specialist
  • art buyer
  • arts administrator
  • advertising art director

Also, you can decide to pursue your graduate studies in any of the photography schools in Canada and it can be in any of these:

  • Master of arts programs in Documentary Media
  • Film and Photography Preservation
  • Collections Management

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