Stock Photography E-Course at Santa Barbara City College, California

I was recently contacted by a Wendy Dempsay Skiles, a stock photography instructor at Santa Barbara City College, California, in anticipation to a comprehensive e-course on Stock Photography [PHOT 150] that will be starting in late-August 2018.

Having analysed the syllabus in detail, I trust that this may be an opportunity that many reading this may find useful/interesting. Not only to increase your stock earnings, but also to earn a certificate from a reputable institution to add to your Resume/CV. Please read on to find more practical information.

Distance Learning

Again, this course is all online. You’re probably a big fan of distance e-learning…which most of us didn’t have the luxury especially if we had to wake up to 8:00 am lectures while hungover!

Traditional classrooms are quickly being replaced by e-learning

Course Description

The following is the verbatim description of the course:

“Exploration of today’s stock photography market. Learn about methods for archiving, organizing and submitting images to clients, as well as digital rights management (DRM) issues.

Assignments will be broad based and are designed to advance both technical and creative skills.
1. Camera Limits
2. Models and Releases
3. Image Improvements
4. Your Best Stock Shot”

The following are the course objectives:

“1. Study the stock photography market and consider future trends. 
2. Create and understanding of model and property releases and when to use them. 
3. Considering different means of image protection and copyright usage. 
4. Prepare images for submission into stock houses.”

Course Summary

The course is over a 6-week period starting on August 27th, 2018 and more specifically deals with the following topics week-on-week:

  • Week 1: Introduction to stock photography and getting the gear ready to shoot for stock;
  • Week 2: Consider what makes a worthy stock image, trends, and information about releases;
  • Week 3: Post-processing photos and keywording;
  • Week 4: Learn about copyrights, trademarks and take a deeper look into stock houses;
  • Week 5: Rights and responsibilities of photographers locally and around the world.
  • Week 6: Running a stock photography business, including taxes both in the US and internationally. Conclusion to course.

Interaction during/in between classes

The course is meant to be highly interactive during and in between classes. It includes:

  • Screencasts for personal critiques of work and suggestions for improvements, with photos opened in Photoshop/Lightroom as the instructor speaks and other students suggest improvements;
  • Discussion board discussions, assignments and assessments that are supposed to be complete during the e-class.

Other Perks

  • Santa Barbara College have struck a deal with Alamy, which will offer a code to hand out to students. The code is valid for two years and students will be able to keep 100% of their royalties. Here’s more information on the Alamy student scheme. I believe this incentive alone may be enough to entice some contributors on here to sign up as the 50% extra commission may quickly offset the course cost or even more over a two-year period.
  • Free access to, while they’re enrolled in classes.



  • California-residents: $46!
  • US-residents: $266
  • Non-US students: $331

More information on tuition can be found here.

Other Photography Courses at SBCC

This course has a maximum space for only 30 students and runs once a year (may be expanded if there is more demand). However, there are many other photography e-courses running in parallel, such as:

  • Beginning Photography; and
  • Portfolio class.

SBCC’s Program is designed that if a learner would like to earn her/his AA degree online in a couple years, s/he may do so.

For further information on courses offered, please click here and to contact Wendy directly:
Hope you consider this fantastic opportunity and best of luck on your photographic journey.

About Alex

I’m an eccentric guy on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images. I’m determined not to waste my life away as a corporate drone and have devoted five years to making it as a travel photographer and freelance writer. I hope to inspire others before it’s too late.

I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography

Check out my new photo review service, where I’ll help take your images to the next level and get them sold regularly!



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