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  • Eight-month certificate program  
  • Entry dates: May
  • Notre Dame Campus, Winnipeg
Develop your distinctive style and technical skills with RRC Polytech's Professional Photography program. This program provides the knowledge and skills required to develop the technical and creative aspects of digital imaging and processing. Students will develop skills in digital image manipulation, lighting, SLR operation, exposure, composition, printing, editing, retouching and processing as well as foundational business skills.  

Through classroom discussions, projects, guest lecturers and field experiences, you will become knowledgeable in all areas of digital imaging and processing.

You will acquire hands-on skills in the following:
  • Digital image manipulation
  • Lighting
  • Manual camera operation
  • Exposure
  • Composition
  • Printing
  • Editing
  • Retouching
  • Processing

Admission Requirements

Your Academic History
If your academic history includes any of the following, please visit My Education for important information: post-secondary studies at an institution other than Red River College Polytechnic; Modified (M), English as an Additional Language (E), or GED high school courses; or home schooling; international secondary (high school) studies.
The college requires transcripts verifying your complete academic history including any public or private high school, college, university, or technical institute you have attended.


Upload Through Your Future Student Account

  • Scan your document(s) and save the file. Ensure you keep your original documents as the College may request to see them at any time.
  • Go to apply.rrc.ca and log in.
  • Click on your application, then Supplemental Items & Documents.

If you do not have a Future Student Account or require assistance, please contact our Student Service Centre at 204-632-2327.

Internationally Educated Applicants - visit www.rrc.ca/credentials for credential assessment information.

Submission of required documentation indicating proof of completion of admission requirements is due within 15 days of applying unless otherwise noted in the program's admission requirements.

However, if you apply within six weeks of the start date of the program, this item is due within 5 days of applying.

Proficiency in basic computer skills including word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software is essential to your success in this program. If you do not have these skills, it is strongly recommended that you complete Computers - Intro (COMP-1081) prior to beginning the program.

Regular Admission Requirements

  1. Grade 12
    • Submit proof of graduation from or enrolment Grade 12, including one credit of:
      • Grade 12 English
    • If you provide proof of enrolment, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter.
    • If you completed your education outside of Canada or the United States, do not submit your international academic credentials until requested to do so. See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information..

  2. English Language Requirements (ELRs)
    • Have you successfully completed the equivalent of three years of full-time secondary (high school) education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country where English was the language of instruction? To view a list of ELR exempt countries click here.
    • Approved English language assessments and required levels for this program are:
      • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Certificate - exit Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels from an English as a second language (ESL) program:
        Listening 8, Speaking 8, Reading 7, Writing 7 
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS - Academic):
        Listening 6.5, Speaking 6.5, Reading 6.0, Writing 6.0
      • Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST):
        Listening 4.5,  Speaking 4.5,  Reading 3.5,  Writing 3.5
      • If completing an assessment, we strongly advise you complete it before submitting your application to ensure you meet language requirements and can submit your results within 30 days of applying.
      • Assessment results must be dated within two years of your application date.
      • After confirming you’ve met English language requirements through your assessment results, the College will send you an e-mail requesting submission of your transcripts

Mature Student Admission Requirements
If you are 19 years of age or older and have been out of high school for a minimum of one year at time of application, and you do not meet the regular admission requirements, you may apply under the Mature Student admission requirements.

  1. Academic Requirement
    • High school graduation is not required, but you must have successfully completed or be enrolled in:
      • one credit in the following course:
        • Grade 12 English
    • If you provide proof of enrolment, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter.
    • If you completed your education outside of Canada or the United States, do not submit your international academic credentials until requested to do so. See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.

  2. Meet Regular Admission Requirement 2

English Language Assessments

English Language AssessmentMinimum Required Levels
L - Listening, S - Speaking, R - Reading, W - WritingLSRW
AEPUCE (Academic English Program of University and College Entrance )
Requirement: Submission of a parchment (certificate) indicating successful completion of the AEPUCE program, including language levels achieved if available.
CAEL and CAEL Online (Canadian Academic English Language)
CLB (LINC) (Canadian Language Benchmark - Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)
Canadian Citizens: LINC programs are not available.
Duolingo (Duolingo English Test)


There are no minimum required levels for L,S,R,W.

Only Duolingo English Test scores that have been verified through the Duolingo English Test Portal will be accepted.

IELTS - Academic (International English Language Testing System)
Please Note: 3 year expiry date for Nursing Program Applicants
LSI (Language Studies International)
PTE - Academic Online Assessment (Pearson Test of English)
Password Skills (An in person English Language Assessment hosted by RRC Polytech)
This in-person, computer-based test is composed of four test modules: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test takes 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete and is conducted in two parts. The first part assesses reading, listening, and writing, and the second part assesses speaking in a separate room. Password Skills costs $139 to take through RRC Polytech. Password Skills is hosted by the RRC Polytech Testing and Assessment Centre: E440, Manitou a bi Bii Daziigae building, on the fourth floor. If you wish to do Password Skills remotely (not in-person), Password Skills Plus can be taken online. RRC Polytech does not offer Password Skills Plus, but we do accept the results for entry into program.
Password Skills Plus (Password Skills Plus is an online assessment that can be taken instead of Password Skills. )
TOEFL-iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet Based Test)
To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT® test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test in selected areas.

Who Should Enrol?

If you are looking to develop a distinctive style with advanced technical skills, this program is for you! 

You will learn to work as a professional and create images that evoke an emotional response. You will develop strong skills in digital image manipulation, lighting, exposure, composition, printing, editing, retouching and processing as well as foundational business skills.

Locations, Dates and Fees

Next Estimated Term 1 Start Date (subject to change)

Location Start Date Apply Link
Notre Dame Campus May 05, 2025 Apply Now

Costs (estimates only; subject to change)

Program/Student Fees
Year 1
Books and Supplies
Year 1
Program/Student Fees (International)
Year 1
1Includes Health and Dental Fees
2Not Including Camera

Red River College Polytechnic is a participating institution in the HigherEdPoints program. Through this program, students are able to convert Aeroplan® Miles and TD Points into funds to help cover their tuition. Family members and friends can also contribute to a student’s education by converting their loyalty points - anyone can donate their points to an individual student.

Visit the HigherEdPoints website for more information about the program and/or to set up an account to convert your points.

Program Outline

You must complete all 13 courses to earn a certificate.

  • Fundamentals of Photography 
  • Portrait Photography
  • Fine Art Photography
  • Photography Marketing
  • Digital Photo Editing
  • Digital Portfolio Development 
  • Business Document Design
  • Commercial Photography 
  • Digital Image Processing 
  • Photography Styles 
  • Photography Entrepreneurship 
  • Photography Project Management
  • Photography Portfolio Project

Courses and Descriptions

(Click the course name to view the description of the course)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In addition to Transfer of Credit from a recognized post secondary institution, other RPL processes are available for RPL courses. Click here for more information. For courses with no RPL, please check www.rrc.ca/rpl for additional contact information.
PHOT-1000Fundamentals of Photography
More Information

Learn how to select and use the right photographic equipment and technologies for each situation. You will learn how to interpret technical manuals, select ISO, and manipulate aperture and shutter speed to achieve a desired effect. This class will also teach you how to use lighting equipment, and to apply the mechanics of exposure to control light and influence the final product. Assignments will focus on analyzing, adjusting and manipulating light to determine the quality of light. You will apply the principles of lighting and colour theory to a variety of photographic scenarios by measuring, evaluating and adjusting light/colour to create quality images.

PHOT-1032Digital Photo Editing
More Information

Learn the basic program functions of industry standard photo editing software. Students will learn how to retouch photos using Adobe Photoshop’s painting and editing tools. Students will develop image work flow processes needed to prepare images for presentation, using many of the shortcuts and tips used by expert image editors.

PHOT-1033Digital Image Processing
More Information

Learn the comprehensive program functions of industry standard photo editing software. You'll learn advance retouching techniques on photos using Adobe Photoshop’s painting and editing tools. Prepare files for commercial printing using work flow processes and techniques used by expert image editors.

PHOT-1038Digital Portfolio Development
More Information

You will learn how to develop a web presence on the appropriate social media channels by building a simple website, blog or online store using a popular website builder. You will use creative writing techniques to connect with an audience through blogging and social media posts. You will then explore the fundamentals of online marketing, data analytics, search engine optimization (SEO) and effective use of #hashtags.

PHOT-1045Photography Styles
More Information

Learn about the origins and evolution of photography by focusing on the styles used by photographers throughout history. You will learn how to contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different cameras, lenses and photo processing methods using different historical styles. You will learn about principles of composition, as well as history of photographic technology. You'll learn to produce professional images in the spirit and style of some of history's finest photographers.

PHOT-1046Portrait Photography
More Information

Develop the skills needed to produce professional quality portrait photographs. You will learn how to identify the needs of the client prior to a portrait photo shoot, how to set up photographic equipment, and organize a successful portrait photo shoot. Emphasis will be on people and time management skills, as well as camera controls and photographic composition as it relates to portrait photography.

PHOT-1047Commercial Photography
More Information

Students will learn to evaluate commercial photography projects and identify the needs of the client before beginning a professional photo shoot. Emphasis will be on developing your eye for visualization of the end product specific to the six main genres of commercial photography.

PHOT-1048Fine Art Photography
More Information

Develop the skills needed to produce professional quality fine art photographs. You will learn how to apply creative use of photographic equipment and techniques for a fine art photo production. Emphasis will be on creating photographic images that evoke an emotional response.

PHOT-1049Photography Marketing
More Information

Learn the marketing concepts required to develop your brand and target your markets.

PHOT-1050Business Document Design
More Information

Promote yourself and your business through well-designed documentation and presentation. In this project-based course, you will become proficient in creating business documents such as proposals, presentations and invoices. Emphasis is placed on quality and production deadlines culminating in a business presentation of your professional portfolio.

PHOT-1051Photography Entrepreneurship
More Information

Cover the basic aspects of running a small photography business. You will gain an understanding of the process, issues and decisions in managing an establishment or purchasing of a small photographic business. Whether considering starting a new photographic business or developing and established enterprise, you will find the content applicable.

Some of the topics include: creating a business plan, developing a marketing plan, using financing statements for planning and analysis, planning human resources, the role of government and regulations, taxation and personal self-assessment.

PHOT-1052Photography Project Management
More Information

Learn to manage photo-shoots like a project manager. You will study the fundamental aspects and principles of project management in a modern photo studio, including lifecycle, integration, planning, organization and communication. This course focuses on managing the practical production, finance and business side of the industry. You will learn how to develop an effective annual budget that reflects the “true costs” of photography projects in a profitable studio.

PHOT-1053Photography Portfolio Project
More Information

Build your photographic brand and prepare to launch your professional career by showcasing your strongest content. In this course, you will edit, print and produce a finished portfolio of you photographic skills. Emphasis is placed on professional level post-production techniques and preparing files for both print and web.


Computer/Laptop Requirements

Online learning is a critical component of course delivery in all Red River College programs. To ensure each student has the tools they need to achieve their academic goals, all Red River College students require, at minimum:

1.  Off-campus access to a current computer with a webcam

2.  A high speed internet connection

• Recommended minimum speed: 10 mbps for download, 3 mbps for upload
• Slower internet connection speeds may result in audio and video issues. Please keep in mind that if others in your home are using the same internet connection at the same time as you are, you may also experience audio and video issues.
• Please refer to https://www.rrc.ca/future-students/computer-requirements/  for further information on Computer Requirements for Students.

Please note that any anticipated costs are not included in Books and Supplies estimates.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate artistry by creating images that evoke an emotional response.
  • Apply the principles of lighting and colour theory to a variety of photographic scenarios by measuring, evaluating, and adjusting light and colour to create quality images.
  • Apply the mechanics of exposure to control light and influence the final product.
  • Apply principles of composition to produce professional images.
  • Select and use photographic equipment and technologies appropriate to the task.
  • Demonstrate effective use of written, verbal, and non-verbal communication, employing relevant knowledge, skills, and judgment in a business setting.
  • Work as a professional, maintaining high standards of practice, make ethical judgments and decisions, follow legal requirements, and adapt to a rapidly changing work environment through demonstrated commitment to lifelong learning and professional associations.
  • Work effectively individually and as a member of team, demonstrating time management, organizational, and interpersonal skills.
  • Develop proposals and organize and orchestrate photo shoots through the successful management of resources and time.
  • Apply business processes through the application of accounting, marketing, sales, data management, and human resources (HR) practices and principles.
  • Use and adapt to a variety of computer software and hardware for both photographic and business purposes.  

Recognition of Prior Learning

RPL Is a process in which individuals have the opportunity to obtain credit for college level knowledge and skills gained outside the classroom and/or through other educational programs. It is a process which documents and compares an individual’s prior learning gained from prior education, work and life experiences and personal study to the learning outcomes in College courses/programs. For more information about RPL at Red River College, contact Red River College’s RPL Advisor at 204-632-3094.

Graduation Requirements

You must complete your program within four years from the start of the first course in the program, unless otherwise stated in the program outline.

A program GPA of 2.0 (60%) is required to graduate.

You will not be granted more than 75 percent of credit requirements for graduation through transfer of credit.

When you have successfully completed all the required courses in this program, be sure to apply for your certificate. For complete details on applying to graduate and convocation, see rrc.ca/convocation.

Questions about graduation? Please call 204-694-1789 or 1-866-242-7073 for assistance.

Graduation with Honours
If you obtain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.8 or better for the program you will graduate with honours.  If you fail any course in the program, you will not be eligible for this honours designation.


Academic Advising Service
Our academic advising service can provide information about our full-time programs, explain program admission requirements, and help you select the right program to meet your career and academic goals. We can also connect you with helpful people, resources, and supports.
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Red River College Polytechnic endeavours to provide the most current version of all program and course information on this website. Please be advised that classes may be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, process, or procedure without notice or prejudice. Fees may change without notice.