Bachelor in Photography


Program Description

You will be developing as an image specialist who uses photography and other media in order to visually express own vision of reality in thought-provoking and personal ways.

Studying Photography means developing new ways of thinking and seeing. You relate to the world through (photographic) images, and as a professional photographer, you need to know how to deal with this powerful medium. What is your personal vision in relation to photography as a medium and an art form?

You will be developing as an image specialist who, in their own individual and questioning way, uses photography as a tool for portraying the world in thought-provoking and visually challenging ways. You relate to the world through images, by applying your knowledge of the properties of the medium of photography. Photographic images have their own distinctive character, provide specific opportunities, and occupy a special position within contemporary visual culture. As a photographer, you also possess knowledge of the language and general meanings of images, which you are able to apply for your own purposes.

Photography is increasingly about the way in which photographic images relate to the world, not only in terms of visual culture but also to society in general. This means that you not only learn to create powerful and distinctive images, but also to create images that relate in a powerful way to photography as a medium. You will be working collaboratively and making connections with other image makers, with society, with the public, in order to create work that stands out from the everyday snapshots of social media.

The curriculum coherently addresses the knowledge, skills and insights of professional photography, on a visual, technical and theoretical/researching level, and with a constant focus on the international professional context. Students work on projects and within a dynamic professional situation of experimentation, exploration, research, making and reflecting, which constantly brings them in contact with new environments, themes and challenges.

The curriculum also addresses the continuously changing professional practice of contemporary photographers. The medium of photography is no longer the exclusive domain of a small number of professionals: indeed, almost everyone takes pictures nowadays. Usually these are digital photographs, and an increasing number of amateur photographers are also able to digitally process these images. While everyone is now able to register their own lives and to process and publish the results on their own personal platforms (social media, blogs), the photographer remains a professional with the ability to oversee and reflect upon this professional field.


Career Opportunities

  • Artist/Photographer
  • Researcher

Creating Pioneers

Our successful Photography alumni include: Barry van Leeuwen (nominated for the Photo Academy Awards); Marylene Rutten (winner of the Drempel Award); Marijke Groeneveld (winner of the Leiden Photography Festival); Csilla Klenyánszki; Benjamin Li; and Erik Kroes.

Portfolio checklist

Are you:

  • talented in visual arts?
  • independent and responsible?
  • dedicated and motivated?
  • entrepreneurial?

Then visit one of our Open Days or Open Evenings – and bring your portfolio! – and apply for admission.


A selection of 10-15 works which were preceded by a creative process

For example: designs, objects, photos, films, games, animations, fashion (accessories), furniture, models, drawings, posters, campaigns, paintings, usable artifacts and sculptures. You can publish and present all of this in a neat traditional portfolio folder, but you can also use different methods: 3D work can be brought in a (cardboard) box, digital work can be presented on a laptop or tablet.

Please note: apart from these works, please show us some other things you created. Make a careful selection between the two. That way, we can assess to what extent you have an insight in your own qualities and your own work.

Last updated Jan 2018

About the School

The Willem de Kooning Academy offers contemporary and cutting edge art courses that complement changing, international practice. The outside world is no longer looking for the autonomous artist or the ... Read More

The Willem de Kooning Academy offers contemporary and cutting edge art courses that complement changing, international practice. The outside world is no longer looking for the autonomous artist or the graphic designer, but rather for people who possess a multitude of talents and skills and who look beyond the borders of their original discipline. Read less