1 Year Professional Photography Program

Comprehensive photography education

Course Info

The intensive 1-year/32-week professional photography program is designed to prepare you for a successful career in photography. Students will acquire all the skills required to create incredible images in their genre as well as work with numerous successful photographers to build their network.

No significant prior experience in photography is required. The program brings everyone to the same level very quickly, beginning with the fundamentals and filling the inevitable gaps in the understanding of those who have some experience.

Top-level professionals lead the courses and monitor the students’ individual acquisition of skills. Outside of class, students independently organize their shooting sessions and post-production, with the continued guidance of their supervisors. Particular attention is paid to the synchronization of subject matter taught in the different courses.

Every workshop concludes with each student completing a personal project that reflects the genre of photography in which they have the greatest interest. Upon completion, students are equipped with a portfolio of extraordinary images, technical know-how, refined artistic awareness, and a real-world understanding of the photography industry.

The one-year program concludes with an exhibition of the students’ best work at our premises, open to public.

A certificate (recognized officially in Switzerland) will be provided to those who complete the programs successfully.

As an additional benefit, the students will have a 12 months membership included, that will allow them to attend all practice workshops for free.

Campus: Geneva or Zurich

Language of instruction: English & Français (Geneva), English & German (Zurich)


– Swiss, UK, EU nationals: CHF 29,000

– International students: CHF 31,000

Diploma: Swiss Photo Club School Certificate

The program consists of two semesters:

Semester One: Fundamentals

The first part of the program comprises the core courses, which cover all aspects of professional photography, from Sep to Dec or Jan to May.

The first few weeks are dedicated to the acquisition of the basic techniques, allowing the students to be able to produce photos of good quality. During the following weeks, the students continually improve their skills (shooting techniques, composition and style) up to the level of young professionals within the field of photography.

Semester Two: Prepare for a successful career

During the second semester, the students improve their practical skills and broaden their range of knowledge, from Jan to May or May to Oct.

It is constructed as an experience of a typical photographer’s professional life, split between commercial assignments and personal work. The idea behind this is twofold: first, to give students the opportunity to actually practice not only creative techniques, but also to become completely comfortable with the business skills necessary to be successful as a professional photographer within whatever area of the business they decide to work.

Together with photography skills, this semester will also prepare the students for their career, covering subjects such as:

  • Business of photography (market analysis, pricing, building website, online marketing for photographers, etc)
  • Networking with established photographers in the city
  • Presentations from industry representatives from global photography brands.

In addition, pursuing a personal project ensures that students never lose sight of what made them fall in love with photography in the first place, and that the demands of commercial work do not overshadow their passion.

Several specializations are covered during the second semester:

  • Studio Photography: fashion / portrait / still life
  • Event / Wedding Photography
  • Photo Reportage: Documentaries and essays similar to those published by the media (magazines, news agencies, online media etc.).
  • Landscapes / Night photography for online publications & exhibitions

No prior experience is required to enroll in the SPC Academy Photography Programs.

A camera with manual exposure dial and a laptop are required during the courses.

No camera? No problem. We can lend you a camera to use during the courses.

Most of the courses are in person, so the student would have to be able to commute to the mentioned premises.

Remote learning can be arranged on special request, please contact us if you are interested.

The last week of the second semester is dedicated to the set-up of the students’ end-of-the-year exhibition on the school premises – an important event visited by established photographers, picture editors, news and advertising agencies. The students also have the possibility to exhibit their work at our regular SPC Photo Awards Events.

Photo I

Semester 1: 3 hours per week

Understanding basics of exposure, camera settings, natural light, composition. Critique of student work.

Imaging I

Semester 1: 3 hours per week

– Digital image parameters and formats

– File organization, tagging, IPTC data, copyrights

– Photo management process using Lightroom – import, library, retouch, export

– Adobe Photoshop basics

Vision & Style

Semester I: 3 hours per week

Students develop their own unique style and self expression. This course provides them with the critical tools to discuss and analyze their own photos as well as those of their fellow students, so as to give constructive criticism using the basic rules of composition and their own sense of aesthetics.

The course aims to improve the artistic quality and personal expression of ths students by:

– understand how an image is constructed, how to compose it, how to present it in a more efficient way,

– develop a certain photographic coherence and students’ own “visual signature”.

Shooting Lab:

Semester I: 4 hours per week

Students go on field trips or take over the studio to practice real-time photography skills with instructor feedback.

Ways of Seeing:

Semester I: 2 hours per week

This course aims to educate students about the history, evolution and current trends of photography. Students analyze the master photographers and they try to re-create their approaches while adding their own style. Exhibition visits can be organized on an ad hoc basis.

Business of Photography:

Semester I: 2 hours per week

The job of a “photographer” is 20% taking pictures and 80% everything else, including accounting, legal, marketing, sales, scheduling and more. This course aims to provide a solid foundation, structure, and system to operate a successful business. The first semester covers :

– Create A Sound Business Plan For Success

– Set Up The Right Goals For Your Business

– Establish Your Target Client Persona (with our templates)

– Analyze The Market And Your Competition with a SWOT analysis

– Representatives of major brands of photographic equipment, demonstrating new materials and presenting trends in the evolution of the profession.


Semester I: 3 hours per week during the last 8 weeks of the semester

This course is dedicated to the acquisition of the techniques essential to studio shoots, as well as to the treatment of digital images. Students are initiated to:

– the Stop-System,

– different types of lighting,

– the general principles of balanced light sources,

– as well as different types of cameras, from 35mm to the large format.

Photo Reportage

Semester I: 3 hours/week during the first 8 weeks of the semester

The course is designed to give an overview of photo reportage, focusing on 3 main themes: event photography, corporate photography, wedding photography and photojournalism. It includes discussions on the work of past and present masters and coverage of Geneva and Zurich events.

Production Lab

Semester I: 1h30/week

The course covers printing techniques with the programs Photoshop and Lightroom on Fuji Frontier or Durst Lambda printers as well as large-format ink-jet printers. Color management principles will be studied within the graphic chain of a typical digital lab (screen, printer, viewing booth). Students will gain the necessary knowledge to obtain high quality prints, true to their digital shots, whether by themselves or through a professional lab.

Digital Imaging II

Semester II: 3 hours per week

This course will provide advanced editing techniques so that the students can provide high quality post-production after their shooting sessions.

– Lightroom advanced

– Adobe Photoshop mastery

Vision & Style

Semester II: 3 hours per week

Continuation of semester I towards a more advanced level.

Shooting Lab:

Semester II: 4 hours per week

Students go on field trips or take over the studio to practice real-time photography skills with instructor feedback.

Ways of Seeing:

Semester II: 2 hours per week

Continuation of semester I towards a more advanced level.

Business of Photography:

Semester II: 2 hours per week

Continuation of semester I towards a more advanced level :

– Fine tune business plan

– Learn how to create a website (WordPress and alternatives)

– Meet famous local photographers

– Representatives of major brands of photographic equipment, demonstrating new materials and presenting trends in the evolution of the profession.


Semester II: 3 hours each two weeks

– perfect the knowledge acquired in the first semester,

– adopt a work methodology covering the different market sectors.

– Advanced techniques with multiple lights, gels, hard & soft light

– Working with models / make up artists / hair stylists

– From concept to image vs from another image to concept

Photo Reportage

Semester II: 3 hours per each two weeks

This course aims to make students work on long-term thematic projects. The work continues with the coverage of events taking place in Geneva or Zurich during spring. Depending on the demand, the students may also assist in actual event or wedding shoots. After short photo-essays, the participants work on a personal theme for a long-term project.

Production Lab

Semester II: 1h30/week

Continuation of semester I towards a more advanced level.

Video for Photographers: the Essentials

Semester II: 3 hours/week

This course aims to:

– provide students with the basics of audiovisual production in the field of promotional or experimental short films,

– teach them how to enhance their photographic work with the animated image,

– train them in software specific to this type of creation.

– train them on video editing

The assignments will focus on diverse topics so that students can experience their own approach to video making, regardless of the shooting mode used: documentary film, fiction film, family and animated film, experimental film, advertising and institutional.

Monthly Instalments:

We offer possibility of payment up to 12* instalments. You can combine instalments with your yearly training allowance.

* free of charge up to 3 instalments, CHF 10.- per month for each additional instalments. The instalment is only offered for people resident in Switzerland.

Geneva Yearly Training Allowance (CAF | Chèque Annuel de formation)

For those working and/or living in Geneva, you can apply for Chèque de Formation (CAF) to benefit from a reduction of CHF 750.- for any of the programs. Course references: 5010, 5011, 5012 & 5013.

Who is eligible for the Chèque de Formation ? (En savoir plus)

  • Adults domiciled and taxpayers in the canton of Geneva for at least one year at the time of the start of the requested training.
  • Adults who have had a frontier worker permit in canton Geneva for at least one year at the time of the start of the requested training.
  • Adult Confederates domiciled in the border area and who have been working in the Geneva canton for at least one year at the time of the start of the requested training.

Swiss Photo Club trainings are accredited by the following institutions in Switzerland: 

EDUQUA SWITZERLAND: 044 319 71 71, Oerlikonerstrasse 38, 8057 Zürich. Eduqua website. Run by the Swiss Federation for Adult Learning (SVEB), Phone: 0848 33 34 33. PROFORMATIONS Ligne directe : 022 388 44 33, info.proformations@etat.ge.ch, Case Postale 192, 1211 Genève 4. Link to website

REPUBLIQUE ET CANTON DE GENEVE, Département de l’instruction publique, de la formation et de la jeunesse (DIP)Service de l’enseignement privé. Autorisation d’exploiter une école privée de photographie. Rue des Gazomètres 1, 1205 Genève. Tél. +41 (0) 22 546 72 60 | sep@etat.ge.ch

CHÈQUE ANNUEL DE FORMATION (CAF) GENÈVE: SBPE/CAF• CP 428 • 1211 Genève 4. Link to Website

If you have to move to Switzerland for this program, you will need to apply to a student residence permit. For this, you will need the the proof of acceptance from us, which we can provide you after we receive your initial payment.

Please consult the links below for all questions related to your entry or stay into in Switzerland:

Studying in Switzerland (in English / Français / Deutsch)

Residency permits for students in Geneva (in French)

List of foreign representations in Switzerland

List of Swiss embassies and diplomatic representations outside Switzerland (> select country)

As soon as they receive the Pre-Enrollment Certificate, foreign applicants who require a visa to enter Switzerland must contact the Swiss representation responsible for their place of residence (at least 3 months before entering Switzerland). In principle, the visa application must be submitted from the country of origin. All applicants must be in possession of an entry visa for studies before coming to Switzerland. It is not permissible to travel to Switzerland on a tourist visa and then apply for a residence permit for training. The educational visa allows entry into Switzerland for the duration of its validity. Once you have arrived, you must file a declaration of arrival with the municipal or cantonal authorities in order to obtain a residence permit for training. It is recommended to do this without delay.

The validity of this permit is limited: it is imperative to request an extension before its expiry date.

Even if the person is not a national of a country subject to a visa requirement, he or she must have a residency permit.

Select Date & Time

We have no available classes within your selection(s).
You can either expand your search by using the filters above, or join the 'Waiting List' by clicking below to receive an email once we have an available date
Eduqua Image

This course is certified

1 Year Professional Photography Program and all the courses and workshops certified by the Swiss Quality Label of education