Get Your AAS Degree in Commercial Photography at ACC

Here is some exciting news-ACC will be offering an AAS degree in Commercial Photography starting Fall of 2017. This program is designed for creative individuals who want to learn the skills necessary to have a rewarding career as a commercial photographer. If you love taking pictures but want to go further, this is your chance to learn to make photographs. We want you to tap into your artistic self, but we are not about cranking out starving artists. Our curriculum has the courses that will enable you to learn the skills necessary to have a long and satisfying career as a working commercial photographer.

Photographer with camera and computers

Students gain a strong foundation in all the technical aspects of photography including exposure, lighting, composition, color theory, printing, video, and more. This program is balanced between the technical and the aesthetic skills necessary to make compelling images. There is balance between traditional and digital image making and balance between the art and business of commercial photography. Our mission is to help students enter their photographic specialty with all the skills they will need to be successful.

Specialties in the industry include consumer wedding and portrait photography, commercial advertising, corporate/industrial, and editorial/stock photography, photojournalism, fashion, architecture, automotive, sports, and nature/wildlife photography to name a few. There are opportunities to be a freelance photographer running your own business or working as a staff photographer for a business or corporation. There are a myriad of choices and we will help you discover which one is right for you.

Female photographer taking a picture of sun setting on mountainsArt fashion studio photo of beautiful elegant woman in luxury evening dress. The instructors heading the Commercial Photography Program have over fifty years of teaching experience and as professional photographers. Your instructors will be working professionals at the top of their fields and they will be teaching what they know. They bring their expertise into the classroom and share what is currently happening in the industry.

photographer journalist camera photo dslr editing edit designer photography teamwork team memories lighting shooting commercial contemporary shoot objects objective concept - stock imageNow for the best news, this program doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars like the private college options available in the area. Imagine graduating with a manageable amount of student debt, or being able to pay as you go with the help of financial aid. Instead of writing a whopping check each month to pay off debt, you will be able to take that money and invest it into your business! If all of this sounds exciting, find out more about starting this fall by contacting us. We are happy to answer any questions you might have. Your opportunity to have a rewarding creative career as a commercial photographer is available at ACC.

by Brad Bartholomew, ACC Photography faculty

Cross-departmental Collaboration Builds Job Skills at ACC

Are you looking for a college that will give you real world, unique experiences working not only cross-departmentally, but also with other colleges? ACC takes pride in giving our students the opportunity to learn in a multitude of ways, thus increasing their job skills and their confidence in those skills.

One recent project allowed biology students to work with the University of Denver and our own multimedia, graphic design and illustration students to create work that was both scientifically and visually compelling.

Dr. Nia Bauer, ACC Biology Faculty:

To increase scientific literacy, problem solving skills, student interest and success in STEM courses, ACC Biology students are being exposed to a real-world hands-on research experience. Engaging students in a meaningful research experience early in their academic careers can have lasting implications for both initial student success and long-term development of a community of innovative, problem solving citizens.

Through a partnership with Randall Cohrs, Ph.D., Department of Neurology at the University of Denver, ACC BIO 111 students are working on a research project to map possible promoter regions in the Varicella Zoster Virus DNA, responsible for Chickenpox and Shingles.  These regions will help researchers understand how the virus become activated and latent (deactivated). Ultimately, this information could lead to the design of treatment for chickenpox and shingles.

I believe that this is where education is going, away from canned labs to more open-ended projects that allow students to understand how science is really done.  Since we did things a bit ‘differently’ this year in BIO 111 labs, I was looking for a way to visually represent the project that was more engaging than just words in a lab.  This is why I asked Tom to help fulfill this vision and his class did an outstanding job!

Tom DeMoulin, ACC Multimedia, Graphic Design and Illustration Department Chair:

A cross-department faculty collaboration between the Biology and Multimedia/Graphic Design departments provided advanced opportunities for students in both departments last semester.

In the fall of 2015, Biology 111 students were to embark on an undergraduate research project in collaboration with a University of Denver researcher.  This ongoing work allows ACC students to map the Varicella Zoster Virus DNA, responsible for Chickenpox and Shingles, looking specifically for regions that activate and de-activate the virus. Dr. Bauer wanted a visually dynamic tool to engage BIO 111 students from the outset. Nia reached out to me and my students to create a unique, animated introduction to the process. 

My Motion Graphics class, MGD 143, took up the challenge as I incorporated this project into the course’s curriculum for a month of the term. Acting as both the client and technical advisor, Dr. Bauer was interviewed on multiple occasions by the Motion Graphics class to ensure both technical accuracy and her satisfaction with the project’s direction. The five-minute animation was delivered on time in a relatively short turnaround of five weeks and has subsequently been used in multiple sections of General Biology 111.

View the video of this project on ACC’s YouTube Channel.

Weaving an Internship into a Full-Time Position

Kyle Muhr with ACC MGDI faculty John Hall

Kyle Muhr with ACC MGDI faculty John Hall

ACC Multimedia, Graphic Design & Illustration student Kyle Muhr recently interned – and subsequently earned a full-time position – at Workhorse 45 in downtown Littleton.
Workhorse 45 is a unique brand maker, with a general store in the front end of the building and a full-service branding, design, web development, marketing and communications studio tucked away in the back.

“Kyle was the first of many students that we plan to work with through an internship program with ACC,” said Shane George, President, Creative Director and Brand Maker at Workhorse 45.  “After a short time of working together, there was no denying his talent and the solid foundation of design and skills that were cultivated by the staff at ACC.  We are so excited to have Kyle on board at Workhorse 45.”

Prior to his internship and appointment at Workhorse 45, Muhr participated in ACC’s in-house MGDI internship, Studio ACC, and was the lead designer on the 2015 edition of ACC’s award-winning art and literary journal, Progenitor.  The publication received a “First Place with Special Merit” award in the American Scholastic Press Association’s 2015 annual magazine competition, an “Award of Excellence” in the 2015 University & College Designers Association Design Competition, and a second-place showing in the Southwestern Division of the Community College Humanities Association’s 2015 Literary Magazine Competition.

Furthermore, when Studio ACC students were charged with developing a logo for the new Downtown Littleton Art District, it was Muhr’s design that was ultimately selected.

A native of Brush, Colorado, Kyle will have his work featured in the upcoming MGDI Student Show (April 28 – May 6) in the Colorado Gallery of the Arts at ACC.  He will complete his AAS this May.

Opening the Eyes of the Youth Through Art

ACC Art Professor Gigi Lambert

ACC Art Professor Gigi Lambert

With the opening of the third week of spring semester, everything is beginning to get into the swing of it all. Students know where their classes are, they’re getting to know their class mates and professors, they’re adjusting to the workloads and their schedules. Here, at the Art and Design Center, we’ve decided to interview our first Professor. Gigi Lambert has been teaching students for the past 30+ years; though, not all of those were spent at Arapahoe Community College. She’s taught swimming, 2D design and water media (water painting). Through all of her classes, she’s taught more than the course at hand; Gigi has opened the minds of her students by teaching them to open their eyes, to observe the world from a different perspective. She aims to change and influence as many lives as she possibly can. We can most definitely say that she enjoys her job wholeheartedly.

Q: Why did you choose to teach at Arapahoe Community College?

A: I’ve always cared for the community college system and to be honest, ACC might have chosen me. One of my friends worked here and they were looking for another teacher, this is where my friend recommended me for the job. Since I’ve started teaching 2D art and water media, I’m so surprised at how much the art program has grown; how the department has gained a personality, a shape, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. I’ve been teaching for 30+ years and I’ve loved every minute of it. “In terms of long term relationships, it’s my longest.”



Q: Why did you decide to teach? What lead you to this decision?


A: I started out teaching a swim class and realized that teaching was fun, I found it to be so thrilling; though, I never thought that I’d end up teaching art. After a while I found myself modeling for art classes. It was during these classes that I started to listen to what the professors were saying. How they described the scene – how to get the pencils to dance on the paper as the young artists sketched. It was in these classes that I really wanted to get into art. This was my starting point.

Q: What is your favorite aspect about Arapahoe Community College?

A: Without a doubt, I love the diversity of the student population. In my classes, each student learns differently and it challenges me to connect with each student. In case you haven’t noticed, I thrive on challenges; so to teach to each student’s different style of learning, it’s what some would call my purpose.

Q: How would you describe your teaching style?


A: Enthusiastic. Perhaps even overly enthusiastic. I aim to focus on the student’s individual needs. Just because little Johnny can paint beautiful landscapes doesn’t mean that he can draw portraits; and just because little Susie can draw portraits doesn’t mean that she can paint beautiful landscapes. It is my goal to be able to get the students to gain a better understanding of what being an artist really means. Everybody’s a snowflake, that’s just the way it is. No two people learn in exactly the same way as each other and it’s my job to make sure that they’re able to achieve their artistic goals.

Q: What are your top three expectations for your students at the beginning of the semester?


A: My top three expectations for my students is for them to find a love of form; for the world around them, and to be able to look at things from a new perspective. I expect my students to be more aware of the content in their everyday lives in order to live a happier life where they’ve discovered who they are. I expect them to see more, to open their eyes, and to have a better understanding of art. If my students were to take only one thing away from my class, I’d want that one thing to be my students leaving with a sense of purpose.

Q: If money wasn’t a crucial part of today’s society, would you still wake up every morning and come to work to teach?


A: Absolutely! Without a second thought. The reason being that I love teaching. I mean, yeah, the money is an added bonus but it’s not the main reason I teach. The way that I see it is that everybody who teaches, teaches because they care about their students and their futures. Another reason that I love teaching so much is because it doesn’t take up all of my time; it allows me to work on my own works, to focus on other aspects of my life like my family. I can honestly say that I have one of the greatest jobs in the world.

Photograph and Interview by Brandon Kile, ACC Art & Design Work Study