The study of photography requires an understanding of certain technologies as well as critical thinking, creative problem solving and communication skills. This kind of expertise can be applied to a range of professions, including commercial studio work, photo editing in publications, working with photography collections in museums, teaching at the high school or college level and a wide range of creative jobs.

The photography program at UTA was established in 1971. The curriculum is carefully designed to prepare students to enter a career or a graduate program with a strong portfolio, self discipline, conceptual development and the needed technical skills. We believe that the best photographers are able to produce images to communicate and express ideas. With a diverse faculty, our program offers personal options of curriculum, personal approach and technology. The faculty has embraced the digital world while maintaining a strong commitment to traditional methods. We have complete facilities for both ‘wet’ darkroom processing and digital work.

The five full-time faculty in photography represent a wide range of expertise and experience in the field as exhibiting artists. Core classes are devoted to specific technical skills and all classes stress the development of personal expression into a visual statement. We schedule a portfolio review for each student at least twice during their studies, attended by the photography faculty and any other faculty in the Department invited by the student.

Our facilities include a specialized computer lab, a large format digital printing facility, a spacious black and white darkroom, a separate area dedicated to alternative processes and an area for print finishing. The area maintains a professional equipped studio with variable lighting possibilities. We also provide 35mm, medium, large format, Holga and several mid range and high-end digital cameras for checkout.


  • Kenda North, Professor & Area Coordinator - Kenda North’s research focus is color photography. She has exhibited internationally and her work is represented in many prestigious public collections. She is represented by Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas.
  • Andrew Ortiz, Associate Professor - Andrew Ortiz specializes in digital imaging; his large format images, which explore identity, are exhibited nationally.
  • Leighton McWilliams, Associate Professor/ Associate Department Chair- Leighton McWilliams’s research focus is mixed media photo construction, large format and studio photography, and plastic camera urban street photography. His recent work is shown nationally in many academic, non-profit, and commercial gallery venues.
  • Bryan Florentin, Senior Lecturer - Bryan Florentin’s research is on installation/mixed media/critical theory. He is currently developing new installation work involving projections, images, and objects. He is represented by Kirk Hopper Gallery, Dallas.
  • Scott Hilton, Senior Lecturer - Scott Hilton’s research and creative work focuses on the use of “alternative” hand-made photographic processes, and staged images. Project Barbatype is a collaborative project making portraits of beard and moustache competitors using the 19th century tintype process, while other works focus on photographing constructed material tableaux. His works have been exhibited in solo and group shows nationally.


The Barnett Foundation Photography Award is a competition held each semester awarding $650 to three undergraduate students. The awards are based on a portfolio representing a body of work. Outside jurors are brought in each semester, one from the academic community and one from the gallery/museum community.

Past jurors include Missy Finger (Photographs Do Not Bend), Vance Wingate (TWU gallery director), Charles Dee Mitchell (Dallas based collector/critic); Libby Rowe (UT San Antonio), Luther Smith (TCU), Susan kae Grant (TWU), Leigh Merrill (A&M Commerce).

The Photo Faculty Scholarship is funded by tenured faculty Leighton McWilliams, Kenda North and Andrew Ortiz and given to an outstanding undergraduate student each semester. The faculty chooses a recipient who has shown growth and promise during the semester.


Professor Kenda North has taken students to Florence, Italy every two years for a = summer session trip since 2000. Students base out of the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, study the sites of Renaissance art throughout Florence and have an extended trip to the Venice Biennale.


FOCUS is the photography student organization. For more information, visit our student groups page.


The Photography program brings in speakers each semester to broaden student exposure to artists and professionals from all over the country. Past visiting artists have included Loli Kantor, Paho Mann, Penelope Umbrico, David Levinthal, Estaban Diaz, Susan kae Grant, Misty Keasler, Carol Golemboski, Keith Johnson and Keith Carter.


Current students in MFA programs are Amber Hall and Joy Ellis at TWU; Jeff Bradley at University of Houston, Annie Donovan at Florida State, Calen Barnum at UTSA, Josh Elliot at the University of Colorado.

UTA Photography graduates are making their mark on the professional world. Our BFA graduates are currently engaged in the following:

  • Julia Newman has a photography business in Brooklyn, New York.

  • Mindy Byrd has a photography studio and works as a fashion photographer in Dallas.

  • Katie Nixon has a contemporary beauty studio in Dallas, Katie Nixon Photography.

  • Michael Myers is working as photographer and studio manager at DallasPhotoStudio.

  • Betsy Williamson received her MA in art history and MFA in photography at UNT. She is currently teaching in the Dallas area.

  • Ashley Whitt and Ross Faircloth received their MFA from TWU and are currently teaching in the Dallas area.

  • Michael Hoefle received his MFA from the Herron School of Art and is currently teaching in Indiana.

  • Oscar Plascencia received his MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is currently teaching at Adams State University in Colorado.

  • Delaney Allen received his MFA from the Pacific College of the Northwest and is currently working as an independent artist in Portland.

  • Charity Roberts is working at Heritage Auctions in Dallas as a digital technician.

  • Gerardo Gibbs is an art handler with Nerwin and Martin in Fort Worth.

  • Hannah Frieser received her MFA from TWU and was director of Light Work at Syracuse University for many years. She is currently working as an independent curator.

  • Rueben Gonzales is a marketing coordinator at SMU in Dallas.

  • Robert Rodriguez is the founder and director of RAR Pictures, based out of San Francisco.


At the 2010 PIEA Awards, Associate Professor Andrew Ortiz won Grand Prize Faculty Portfolio. Aaron Whittaker won Second Prize in the Digitally Constructed Single Image category.


  • Over 7,500 Square Feet
  • 2 gang darkrooms
  • 4 Individual darkrooms
  • Film processing area
  • Non-silver darkroom and work area
  • Large print finishing area
  • Studio facility with strobe equipment and large format cameras
  • 2 critique areas
  • Digital lab with 18 stations and scanners
  • Printing area for large scale digital printing


Basic photographic imaging. Assignments emphasize an artistic approach and include black-and-white materials, darkroom procedure, and color transparencies.

Basic course in computer imaging for art majors. Emphasis is on the introduction and use of the computer as a tool for personal expression. Fundamental principles in electronic media are explored with additional emphasis on experimental and innovative techniques. May be repeated for credit.

Students use the tools of digital technology to enhance their image-making skills. Topics may include digital film and reflective scanning, fine printing, alternative cameras and formats; to the development of a deeper understanding of the student's place in photo history and criticism.
Advanced level course in computer imaging for art majors. Conceptual as well as expressive problems are introduced to encourage independent and creative problem solving in digital imaging. Emphasis is placed on both manipulation of photo-based media and creation of two-dimensional animation. May be repeated for credit.
This course will examine different approaches to art that are not medium-specific but assumes the student has knowledge of photography as art. Projects will be structured as responses to lectures on topics in modern and contemporary art with emphasis on installation and conceptual work.

Methods of manipulating the photographic image. Techniques may include manipulative printing, computer imaging, cyanotype, Van Dyke prints, platinum/palladium, transfers, silkscreen, intaglio, and lithography.

This course encourages students to use a variety of photographic processes (black & white, color, non-silver, computer imaging, etc.) with an emphasis on the development of a personal stance. Students will work on individual projects and present work in an environment of critical discussion.
The development of an aesthetic and critical response toward photographic color. Techniques include exposure and printing of color negatives as well as the use of digital technology. May be repeated for up to six hours credit.
The theory and practice of situational photography. Studio lighting, large format and digital camera techniques.
This advanced level course explores the use of medium and large format film cameras, film development, gelatin silver printing techniques, and archival presentation.
This course concentrates on the conceptualization, development and execution of tableaus designed exclusively for the camera. Lectures, readings and presentations will cover view cameras, studio lighting, set design, scouting locations, using props, and working with models.
An advanced level course that investigates making imagery using portrait, self portrait, or the figure as subject. The course incorporates contemporary practices in digital imaging, digital studio, and Photoshop. This course requires expertise in digital imaging and studio photography. May be repeated for up to 9 hours of credit. Prerequisites: ART 3352 and ART 4363 or permission of instructor.

Photography Faculty

Bryan Florentin

Area Coordinator

Assistant Professor

Andrew Ortiz

Associate Professor

Scott Hilton

Senior Lecturer

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