June 6, 2013 General, Photography 0 Comments

Photography Visual Communications

Photography classes often promote strong communication skills, encouraging students to be socio-culturally aware and attentive to detail. This can greatly benefit a photography student like you when you transition into your professional fields.

Like professional wedding photographer Daniel Colegrove, you can learn how to “look at and carefully observe expressions both in posture and the face, the way people communicate emotion visually.” These subtleties are often communicated through the image and can impact the reception of the photo.

At Harrington College, you can take a course called “Photography as a Communication Tool” in which you can learn these important skills. The course focuses on the basic aspects of visual literacy and structure, enabling you to address design, color and composition problems that may impact or inhibit visual communication.

Research psychologist Judy Weiser argues that “photos are considered to be representations of a person’s reality…. In viewing a photograph, the viewer through personal experience and expectations has learned to selectively disregard certain aspects of the objective world and change others so that the photograph can make sense and fit into the frame of a personal cognitive map of reality.” Not only do your photographs represent how you interpret reality, but they can communication your ideas and ideals. This communication is received by a viewer, interpreted and either accepted or rejected.

The photograph can directly impact the viewer’s opinions of the world. Your ability to manipulate this communication and take advantage of it can allow you to communicate important ideas and themes to your viewers. As a photographer, what do you want to communicate with the world? What do you value? How is your world view important and how can it change another’s?

Consider emphasizing communication in your photography degree program. Harrington College offers other courses that draw on the themes of “Photography as a Communication Tool,” such as:

  • Critical Color and Workflow
  • Fundamentals of Digital Imaging and Flow
  • Social Practices in Photography I
  • Social Practices in Photography II
  • Advanced Commercial Photography

What are some other ways you could practice communicating through photography?


What do you think?