One of the first steps you have to take is this: Honestly assess your skill level in photography. You must choose from summer photography courses with this information firmly in your mind. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to write some ideas on paper or on the computer. List all the different photography experiences you have had.
Consider the areas where you might be a bit weak, such as with developing film or capturing moving images (sports etc.) When you have a solid idea of where you stand in the field you can start a serious search for summer photography courses.
If you are a beginner you won't want to get involved in summer course in which all the participants are professionals or semi-pros with a lot of experience. You will only be frustrated because the program will move too fast or the information will be so technical or detailed.
Look for a summer course that helps you see the best images before you capture them. Work with an instructor that can show you automatic settings, manual settings and explain the basics of film speed and use of flash.
If you are more advanced in the field of photography you will need to choose one of the photography courses that doesn't use time for these fundamentals. There are excellent instructors who can lead training and field work for those who are already at the "next level" or want to take their photography there.
Female photographer with camera and notebook
Some students have found that the programs offered at The Darkroom International School of Photography are outstanding. While this school does have a full-time, three-year program they do have summer classes too. Instruction ranges from the true beginner through intermediate skill levels to the most advanced training in techniques.
While the name may be a bit misleading you can get excellent photography instruction from the New York-based School of Cinema and Performing Arts. This school offers "two and three week summer programs in traditional 35mm darkroom and/or digital photography."
One of the interesting features of these programs is that photo shoots are associated with dance and acting programs.
Photo students learn and practice by capturing images for acting students or dance students, for example. Programs include Digital Photography -The Art of Faces and Places, 35mm Darkroom & Digital Photography and others.
If you would like to live and work in Prague, Czech Republic, for a month this summer gather more information about the Prague Summer Program offered by Jan Pohribny. Two courses are offered, with a limit of 12 students each. These programs do not include darkroom instruction. Students will focus on the creativity of photography.
The international city of London is home to a number of excellent photography courses (also see photography courses London). Art schools in the city have a wide-ranging schedule of programs, from beginner instruction to advanced techniques.
For example, you may want to get more details on the University of the Arts in London, especially the Central Saint Martins art-school programs. This school offers several short-course programs. One is limited to individuals in their late teens while others include detailed instruction on video or moving images. Be sure to ask about the per-night charge for accommodations.
If summer photography courses in the U.K. are your goal, try Photographers' London, "a summer photography course which may be of general interest" when you are new to photography and unfamiliar with London. Short courses may last from five weeks to 10 weeks.
We certainly don't intend to recommend any particular school or program. But specific examples are often the best way to get introductory information about summer photography courses.
Accademia Italiana (will open in a new browser window) has a summer photography program for beginners in July of each year. This course covers 40 lesson hours and as is the case with many programs, students engage in "practical work in the photographic studio and in the dark room."
Start planning now so you get your top choice among summer photography courses.