Photography BFA Curriculum

The mission of the Photography department, at The Art Institute of Boston, is to educate our students within an internationally recognized program that is committed to a balance of traditional photographic practice and cutting-edge contemporary media.

This takes place within an intimate and evolving learning environment. The department emphasizes, and encourages, artistic practice at a high level, conceptual and perceptual awareness, critical thinking within both contemporary and historical context, the collaborative nature of contemporary art making, and the technical and aesthetic knowledge necessary for a life and career in the photographic arts.

The Art Institute of Boston | Photography

Photography Foundation

At AIB, you will dive right into the photography major. A unique, and very intensive, Photography Foundation year introduces you to critical, conceptual, historical, and technical studies. These classes, combined with courses in the humanities, art history, and studio arts will help you approach your career aspirations as a well-informed and educated artist. This photography specific Foundation year lays the groundwork for your exploration of the techniques, philosophy, and concerns of every facet of a photographic career.

The Photography BFA program at The Art Institute of Boston is attractive for several reasons but the most important to you is your immediate, and total, immersion into your desired major. There is also an incredibly diverse and inter-disciplinary curriculum; one of the best darkroom complexes in the country... including large gang labs, an alternative process lab, 17 individual color labs, photo dedicated digital studios, state of the art digital printing labs, working commercial studios, cameras and equipment of every description, seminar classrooms; an outstanding professional faculty of 22 working artists (without an attitude); small student to teacher class ratios (averaging 10:1), and a student population that is made up of great people from around the world. Best of all, our size (180 to 200 photo students) permits us to be very selective regarding an applicant's academic history and the quality of their portfolio. This has allowed us to hand pick young artists with strong academic and artistic history who will have an excellent opportunity for success, and who will immediately feel welcome and at home in our department. Here are a few links to help you get acquainted.

Here's a site for our annual book / course called Taking In: The Best of AIB Photography, to show you recent student publication: Taking In 2009 and for 2010.

For your viewing pleasure, here are two YouTube videos of 2 of our photography majors, Neil Contractor - AIB Photography and Samantha Chartier, Photography, talking about their experiences at AIB while majoring in Photography.

Also, two additional source for AIB images? You can find student and alumni work at Flickr and AIB on Facebook [day to day events, etc.]:
The AIB Admissions Facebook page is

The Art Institute of Boston | Departments | Photo Foundation

MFA in Photography

In the fall of 2011, AIB will welcome its first full residency MFA in Photography class. Please see the MFA pages for the specifics and application links. In the meantime, here is a brief overview of what has been guiding our focus as we've been building the program.

The AIB MFA program in Photography was created to emphasize craft and concept driven photography. Our program is built upon photographic history, and the fluid integration of contemporary media with traditional, and alternative, photographic practice. This is predicated upon the philosophy that photography is not a single entity, but is unique among the visual arts in its ability to successfully merge new technologies and cultural influences with artistic production. In this constantly evolving medium, it is artists who are cognitively defining the future of photography.

We believe that concentrated studio practice is essential to an individual's level of visual literacy and their capacity to interpret and communicate signs, symbols, and metaphors. We subscribe to the optimistic idea that the future of photography will be built upon its past and that contemporary artists are entering a period where antiquarian is synonymous with innovation. We will be at the forefront of this movement.



AIB Photography Faculty 2010 - 2011

Core Faculty:
Christopher James – Chair
Bonnie Robinson
Jane Tuckerman
Cig Harvey
Matthew Nash

Lab & Studio Manager:
Josh Winer

Adjuncts Faculty:
Christine Collins
Deborah Davidson
Matthew Gamber
John Goodman
David Hilliard
James Hull
Stella Johnson
Margot Kelley
John Lueders-Booth
Katherine McVety
Angela Mittiga
Lazaro Montano
Dana Mueller
Irina Rosovsky
Ben Sloat
Josh Winer