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

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Recent Blog Posts

Photography School Put Lenz on the Fast Track to Portrait Business

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When your last name is Lenz, you may be destined for a career in professional photography. Inspired by a cousin who was a photojournalist in Virginia, Gina Lenz got interested in photography in middle school. Today the 2009 graduate of Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, runs a successful portrait business in her hometown of Honesdale, in northeastern Pennsylvania. “I have always really loved meeting and working with people. At Hallmark, I did a portrait portfolio for my final project,” says Gina. “I knew I wanted to open a business one day.”

A surprise engagement shoot

One time, running her photography business required her to hide in the bushes at a resort in the Pocono Mountains in order to capture the moment when a client popped the question. The logistics were challenging. “I was on the phone every day, twice a day, for a week, communicating with the resort and the client. I went to the resort three times with assistants to make sure I wouldn’t be visible but still be able to get a clear shot.”

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  • Andy Bardon Photographs Earth’s Wild Places

    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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  • 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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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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