About Hallmark Institute of Photography

Hallmark Institute of Photography is a career focused training school for individuals interested in becoming a working professional photographer. We pride ourselves on providing a program that trains a complete photographer by focusing on the technical, artistic and business aspects of photography. These three areas are crucial to success in this competitive workplace. This is a full-time resident program completed in just 10 months. The course is an intense 1400 clock hours. Classes are 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. Instructional hours are similar to what you would receive in two years at a traditional college.



with real-world professional photographers and artists in our 10-month hands-on training program


the business of photography, integrated with 40% of our curriculum


the most relevant photographic and digital imaging equipment

Become Your Best

in our cohesive and intimate learning environment

Graduate Testimonials & Hallmark Institute Reviews

Charlie Carpino Headshot
Hallmark will teach you and push you
Charlie Carpino

After a few months of attending Hallmark, I finally visited Greg Heisler in his office for the first time.  I looked around at his photography and the only thing I said was, " Wow.  When I grow up, I want to be just like you".

We both laughed, but I wasn't kidding.  Attending Hallmark has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.  I have had the opportunity to be taught by, and work with, some of the best photographers.   I have had the opportunity and pleasure of working with the greatest group of young students who are bright, passionate, imaginative, and driven to succeed.  They have taught me a great deal and hopefully I have had some influence on them as well.

Hallmark is not a school for the weak of heart.  Hallmark will teach you, push you, drive you down and build you up.  You will laugh, you will cry, you will be frustrated, and you will succeed, if this is what you truly want.  

Last year, I had decided to pursue my passion for photography as a second career and to turn my life in a new direction.  After a lot of self-doubt and soul searching throughout these past ten months, I now know that I have made the right decision.  I now have the knowledge, skills and confidence to become a successful photographer.  I have made friendships and professional contacts that will last a lifetime.  I may never be a Greg Heisler, but what the hell.  Why not shoot for the stars.

I cannot thank all the instructors enough for their support, encouragement and their undying dedication to teaching.  And a big thank you to all my fellow classmates who accepted me into their lives, and to those who helped me succeed in my new quest.

Thank you to all.

— Charlie Carpino, Massachusetts
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Recent Blog Posts

Steve Giralt: 7 Things You Need to Know About Getting Started in Commercial Photography

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Steve Giralt, a New York-based commercial photographer whose clients include such well-known brands as Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks, Kraft and Macy’s, has worked hard for his success. We caught up with him on the eve of his recent guest lecture on “The Business of Commercial Photography” at Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. We asked him about the most important things that students should know about getting started in commercial photography. Here’s what Steve said:

  1. There is a big difference between someone who loves taking pictures, and is good at it, and someone who loves taking pictures for clients as part of running a business. Many students have a hard time with the idea that they need to shoot what a client wants, not necessarily what they want to shoot for that client. 
  2. The commercial photography business is an incredibly competitive and difficult one, and there is no room for lazy people. In order to succeed you need to REALLY want to do this and be willing to work hard day after day, for the rest of your career, to stay in the business and stay successful. I always thought when I “made it,” I could relax a bit and enjoy the success, but the reality is you need to constantly be pushing yourself to the next level to survive. 
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  • How to Price Portrait Photography

    A professional photographer is in business to earn a living. That’s what sets a pro apart from an amateur shutterbug. In order to make a living with photography, you need to know how to price your work. Setting price may sound simple, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. At Hallmark Institute of Photography, students learn the secrets of setting prices successfully.

    “Most photographers, having no idea where to start, will simply base their prices on what their competitors are charging and their own concept of self-worth. Unfortunately, most of the time, neither of these processes are accurate,” says Rich Barnes, owner of Barnes Portrait Design, one of the leading portrait studios in New England, and a member of the faculty at the photography school in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

    “Intelligent pricing can do many things for your photography business,” he says. “It can help to develop the image you want your studio to have. It can help control the volume and quality of your work, and without a doubt, it will be a main factor in determining the ultimate success and health of your company. For the photographer who makes his or her sole living on photography, few things have more of an influence on your life than your prices.”

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  • Communication Styles For Professional Photographers

    Are you very direct, or would you rather schmooze a bit before you get to the point? Although photography is a visual art, the photography business is very verbal. If you want to be a successful professional photographer or videographer, understanding different communication styles can make it easier to work with others.

    “If you own your own business, you work with clients, vendors and others. If you work for a photographer or studio, or a magazine, you will usually find yourself working with photo assistants, producers, art directors, photo editors and others. Learning to work with others, even those you may not enjoy, is crucial to succeeding in the work force,” says Shelley Nicholson, Director of Student and Career Services at Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

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Andy Bardon Photographs Earth’s Wild Places

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From the heights of the Himalayas to the depths of the Pacific, Andy Bardon will go to the ends of the earth to get a great image. Since 2012, the 2009 graduate of Hallmark Institute of Photography has shot three assignments for National Geographic magazine, and he counts some of the top names in outdoor clothing and equipment among his clients. This month, the photography school graduate is heading to Argentina to shoot the spring 2016 campaign for a large international outdoor brand. His new website showcases images of surfers, skiers, free divers, rock climbers, mountaineers and more.

“My website is a reflection of the work I want to get hired for,” says Andy, who recently took some time from his outdoor adventures to talk with us about his successful career in photography. “Once you’re in a competitive working environment, you have to show your strongest work.”

Turning a love of the outdoors into a photography career

Growing up in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, Andy was always motivated to get outside and explore. The mountains of the West always called to him, so he went to college in Colorado. After earning a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Colorado State in 2004, he hired on with Exum Mountain Guides, a prestigious guide service and mountaineering school in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 

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