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"I came to Hallmark with very minimal photographic experience. However, I entered the program with an open heart and mind, which led me to the most extraordinary educational journey of my life. With the support and guidance of Hallmark's amazingly dedicated staff, I have achieved a level of skill that will help me build the foundation necessary to work in the industry. In addition to the exceptionally formal training, I have developed friendships with some of the most incredible people I have ever met. Over the course of 10 months, we have shared experiences and created memories that I will cherish forever. And though space and time may separate us, these people will always have a special place in my heart."
Clarita Aguilar, Class of 2012 - California
"I graduated from Law School in Venezuela and what I believed was a bright future as a lawyer was ahead for me, even though I felt incomplete. My dad and I were having breakfast together that morning. We were talking about the future, happiness, expectations and reality, when he said - 'I think you should do what you really love. If you love art, if you love photography, then go for it.' I'll never forget that day because that morning my life changed, I felt confident enough to pursue my dream of becoming a professional photographer and leave behind the plan of getting my Masters Degree in Barcelona, Spain. I came to Hallmark and after Orientation Day I never looked back...It was clearly the best decision I had ever made. These ten months were, by far, the greatest experience of my life. Being at Hallmark, surrounded by my classmates and instructors, I wish I could stay longer, to the point where I find myself doing nothing and walking around school because I'd rather be there 24 hours than anywhere else. I found friendships that will last a lifetime, a family, a home away from home, an amazing educational background and most important, I found myself. I'm really proud of being part of the Class of 2012 and I will never forget."
"Coming to Hallmark was the greatest decision I ever made. It is a great investment anyone interested in entering the world as a photographer could make."
Josh Allen, Class of 2012 - Ohio
"Some believe that to be considered a photographer, you need to be able to fully support yourself with a career in photography. I am confident that, after Hallmark, I can be a "successful photographer!""
Brian Arnold, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"My experience at Hallmark was life changing. I pushed my boundaries and I found out who I am. Hallmark is more than just a photography school, it is a family; a place where everyone can grow together and watch each other reach the potential inside. I have learned so much at Hallmark that I will take with me and teach to others. Thank you Hallmark 2012."
Tanya Bailey, Class of 2012 - Vermont
"Coming into Hallmark I really wasn't sure what to expect. I did expect hard work and an intensive photographic program, but coming out of Hallmark I learned much more than that. I learned BIG lessons on life and how to become a better person. It was a life changing experience that I could never forget."
Alex Beeche, Class of 2012 - New York
"I have dreamed of coming to Hallmark for years and now having gone through the program, I couldn't have asked for a better experience and education than I received here at Hallmark Institute of Photography."
Matt Blanchard, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"Switching careers mid-life is never an easy decision, but choosing my education partner was simple. After looking at many different options, I enrolled in Hallmark's intense 10-month program for it's emphasis on technical skill development, and it's focus on preparing you for the business of photography. What I did not realize at the time was how amazingly talented the faculty was, and how incredibly generous they would be with their time. Thanks to their guidance, encouragement, and the wisdom of their collective experience I'm feeling calm and confident as I step into a new career, and will be forever grateful to be part of the Hallmark family. Thank you for an amazing, life-changing experience. "
Karen Bruett, Class of 2012 - Texas
"Hallmark has been the best experience through out the whole program. The connections and friends that I have made here were incredible. What lead me to this school were the alumni that were also friends of mine before coming here. It was literally the best decision I have ever made. I always had a passion in photography and now the tools that I have learned from this school. I am ready to make this my career. This school made it possible for me to make it anywhere I want to go. But what you put into this school is what you get out of it. You have to work hard and make sure you pay attention. But it wasn't hard because this is what I wanted to do. I don't think there is any other school like this. And I am 100% sure there is no school out there that can teach you all this knowledge in one year and make you ready for the professional world of photography besides this school. No regrets and completely ready to have an excellent career and life style. Thank you amazing staff of Hallmark for being you. And thank you Hallmark for being the best."
Alex Bui, Class of 2012 - New Jersey
"Before coming to Hallmark I knew I wanted to be an artist, but I was stumped on where to inspire and grow as an individual. For that reason only I must say that coming to Hallmark has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have been transformed to the person I desire with the help from instructors and fellow classmates I have met on this ten-month journey. I am now ready to let inspiration guide my course and see the world through the eye of the camera. Thank you Hallmark!"
Billy Butcher, Class of 2012 - Connecticut
"The past 10 months at Hallmark have been one of the best educational experiences in my life. I came to Hallmark to follow my dream and a passion and to also become a stronger photographer. I have seen HUGE improvement in my photography skills due to the teachers' help and always being there all the time to help out in any way they can. This has been a once in a lifetime experience for me and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I am feeling confident to go out into the world to follow my dream as a photographer and to make it my career."
Ashley Calogero, Class of 2012 - New York
"I remember after I finished my bachelor degree in communication studies, my desire for photography began. I started working in my hometown as a freelance photographer and people liked my work, but I wanted to go more in depth and learn professionally. Ever since I found Hallmark Institute of Photography I have not regretted it because this has been certainly a great decision in my life and it has affected me as a person in many aspects. I gained an unforgettable learning experience by being in a workable environment with faculty and classmates during the 10 months of hard work."
Viviana Cardona, Class of 2012 - Mexico
"I came in to Hallmark anxious, terrified and never even having laid a finger on a 'professional' camera. Now, I'm 100% confidently leaving Hallmark all because of the incredible knowledge that the staff and instructors here have given me. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have the guts to start my own business right out of school. As much as I am going to miss having the amazing instructors, equipment and facilities available right when I need them, I'm beyond excited to get this whole career thing going!"
Jillian Carter, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"Coming to Hallmark was the smartest decision I have every made. Coming from a very liberal background I was unsure if I would ever be successful in the professional world of photography. Hallmark gave me all of the technical and business skills I need and will now have to confidently start my own business. And on top of that, I have made some of the best friends that I am confident will forever be a huge part of my life."
Stephanie Craig, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"If I look back 10 months ago to the first day at Hallmark, I was asking myself "Is this the right place for me?". Growing up with a passion in music, I didn't know if I should have gone someplace else to fulfill my music career. 10 months later I look back at that thought and laugh to myself. What was I thinking? Hallmark has given me more than just the skills I needed to become a professional photographer. It has given me opportunities I never thought I would be able to see; life long friendships, and so much more that is indescribable. If anybody was looking to pursue a passionate, professional career in photography - Hallmark is the place to be. You can go and check out other art schools and they might give you an art degree but I can promise you that you will not walk away with an incredible portfolio which, in the long run, is what matters. You won't be able to work with professional photographers who currently work in the industry every week...and you wont be able to meet people who eat, sleep, and breathe photography. 10 months later I look back at Hallmark and wouldn't change my decision for the world. This past year has been one of the craziest, exciting years of my life and I can't believe that I have to say goodbye to it."
Ryan DeVoll, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"Hallmark wasn't just a school it was a home, and once I accepted that, the instructors and students became my family. It's unbelievable how much my life has changed for the better since attending."
Sean Dougherty, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"Before coming to Hallmark I had been a hobbyist for years, but wanted to grow further and learn more. Hallmark is just the place for this, the Staff and Faculty are not only great instructors, but also a great family. After going through the short ten month program and arriving on the other side, I know I have the skills and tools to make it in this industry. I feel better not just as a photographer, but as a person. The people and connections I have made, the work and dedication I have put in along side my peers, and the knowledge of our successes and our failures we have all gained is priceless. I would not trade those ten months for anything in the world; this is something any Hallmark Alumni would tell you."
Mike Dunkerley, Class of 2012 - New York
"Hallmark. The only college I applied to, because when it came to photography I knew it was the best. It ended up being one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have never been surrounded by a more determined and helpful staff. Every instructor here brings something to the table that makes Hallmark what it is. I have learned more than I ever imagined I would. I now feel as though I have the necessary skills to photograph any thing I am called to do: portraits, weddings, catalog advertisement, etc. And for that, I'd like to thank Hallmark. I'd like to thank Hallmark for being all that it is and for helping me begin my career in photography, where according to you, 'I will make pictures not take pictures.'"
Dana Entrott, Class of 2012 - Vermont
"I've always wanted to be a photographer and when I was in 4th grade I knew I wanted to go to Hallmark Institute of Photography. When I was in High school I looked at Hallmark's program again and I still loved the program that they have. When I came here I was so excited to learn about photography, I have met some great students and teachers that I will never forget. Leaving here with the technical and business part of photography has made me confident to go out and start my own business in photography. I will miss Hallmark but am glad to say I can visit whenever I want."
Caitlin Fisher, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"Hallmark is the best way to spend 10 months. Working hard and having fun doing what we love."
William Fisher, Class of 2012 - Washington
"My time at Hallmark has been more than life changing. I wouldn't have been able to succeed without the 'tough love' from the instructors. Knowing that I would keep going when the going got rough. I've been through ups and downs but I kept moving forward because I knew I could do it.
"After retiring from a successful career of 40 years as a physician anesthesiologist, I decided to go one step further and pursue my life long interest in photography. Hallmark Institute of Photography has given me an opportunity to make Professional Photography as my second career. After ten months of intensive training with extremely knowledgeable, experienced, well known in their field and helpful instructional staff and world class equipment, I am ready to launch my new career. Hallmark not only trains the students in professional photography but also in the business aspect of it which is helpful in making one a successful professional. Hats off to Hallmark!"
Dave Gupta, Class of 2012 - New Jersey
"When I came to Hallmark I was ready to learn as much as I could and even though I struggled at the end it was all for the best and I'm glad I did it."
"Hallmark Institute of Photography was an amazing experience which made me grow as both a photographer and an individual. This school has brought plenty of knowledge and experience to all of us, most of the time hard to take in and demanding. I plan on using everything I've learned in Phase V."
Amber Hankins, Class of 2012 - New York
"There are a thousand different words I could use to describe my experience at Hallmark. But that would require an incredible amount of typing, and it would take up most of the remainder of today. In all seriousness, in only ten months, the dedicated staff is able to transform students with little to no photographic experience into industry-ready, professional-grade photographers. It is an intense ten months, yes, but you will be equipped with the confidence needed to break into the industry by the time graduation comes. If photography is your true passion, then Hallmark is without a doubt, the place for you."
"Hallmark has been a once in a lifetime experience and words cannot describe how happy I am that I took it. It gave me the skills and confidence I need to succeed in the industry of professional photography and my photos have improved more than I could have ever dreamed for."
Cara Hatem, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"Before coming to Hallmark I was going to school at ITT Technical Institute in Springfield, Missouri. I was getting ready to finish everything for my Associates degree. As I was thinking on what to do after I graduated, I thought about just finding work. But while looking through images I just developed from my film camera and as I was filtering through images I wondered if I could get better in taking pictures. So I was researching schools and that's how I discovered Hallmark. When I got to Turners Falls and went to go see the school I met David Turner and he went through my images I brought to share. He ended up taking a photograph of mine and he gave me one of his photographs in return. Talking to David Turner and Gregory Heisler opened my eyes to more possibilities to using natural lighting or even common lighting from Home Depot. Ever since I came here my eyes have been open to new and more possibilities on how I take pictures. This was the first time working with Commercial studio setups. And I've come to enjoy figuring out how to create still lifes to take pictures of. After Hallmark I hope to be getting a job with Lifetouch as I start a journey to possibly getting into Music Photography in both Location Portraiture and Commercial Work that I can create something to make the music people hear thrive in the hearts of themselves."
"Even within the first week of Hallmark I knew I had made the right decision to move across country and further my photographic education. Upon my arrival at Hallmark I already had a bachelor's degree in fine art photography, but Hallmark pushed me to a level I never even thought was possible. The instruction here is incredibly in depth and expands your way of thinking, creating and most importantly seeing. Hallmark has taught me to actually see light. Now I cannot watch t.v. or go to the movies without noticing the light and observing how it adds depth, dimension and character to a scene. Hallmark has given me the confidence to move forward with my goal of opening my own studio and the knowledge to create a stellar image from start to finish. When I look back at my pre-Hallmark photographs I chuckle at how terrible my Photoshop skills were and smile at how far I have come.
Kayley Hoddick, Class of 2012 - California
"Throughout my life, I've only gotten two kinds of responses from people; relentless mocking or a confused look when the person decides to completely disregard and ignore me. Hallmark changed that forever. For the first time when I got excited about new projects, the instructors would get excited too! None of my concepts were ever shot down. Finally, I learned how to create and execute the fanciful dreams that I longed to share with the world. What others called crazy or stupid, Hallmark harnessed into fearlessness with me. I entered this school with the hope of learning enough basic skills to survive in the world. Instead, I leave with a calling and purpose in every step. Thank you Hallmark."
Molly Hodge, Class of 2012 - Texas
"Looking back on my time here at Hallmark and standing here as a graduate now, I cannot believe where I've come from. Starting off Hallmark fresh out of high school was terrifying for me. No friends or family, no comforts that home gives you; I was diving into the deep end. But, I knew from the beginning, this is what I want. This new vision that I have, these new skills that I've learned, it's what I've wanted from the start, but as the year went on, I wanted more and more. I knew that my work was going to change, but in 10 months, I had no idea. I had no idea where it would go, or how much it would change. Now my work exudes confidence: something I didn't have at all in the beginning, and something that I've been struggling with my whole life. Everything given to me at Hallmark, and everything I've had to work for at Hallmark has built me up, reinforced me and readied me for what life has to throw at me, and for that, I wouldn't change a thing."
"My experience at Hallmark has been nothing short of amazing. The school is great, the top of the line equipment we get to use is outstanding, but most importantly the people you meet here are absolutely the best part of the entire 10 months. When you get here, you find that you are forced into a new sea of people, people that you have to love and work with every day, but soon after you meet these people, teachers and peers alike, you no longer feel forced. These people become your friends, your support system and your family. The hardest part of this program, without a doubt, is that you will find some of the greatest friends you'll ever have and after a very short 10 months, you feel like you are being forced again, but this time it's to say goodbye. Try your best to hold on to these people! They are forever your links to the photography world and they will always keep you striving to be the best you can be. These are the people in your life that you will never forget.
Meghan Hume, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"Hallmark has truly been the best and worst ten months. I am now prepared to step out the doors and into the world."
"My experience at Hallmark was one that I will never forget. I was surrounded by incredible talent and inspiration all the time. It was the best educational experience I have ever had."
Kathleen Kelly, Class of 2012 - New Hampshire
"Fresh out of high school, I chose to go to Hallmark Institute of Photography, which was the best decision I could've made. I have had an intense journey here with learning business and photography, to making remarkable friends, and becoming a part of the Hallmark family. It has been a point in life that will never be forgotten and has definitely made me a confident photographer."
"Hallmark taught me not only how to make a great photo, but also the complicated, secret photography world of which I get to finally be a part. Society can be a big, messy, and kind of scary place, but photography allows me to put it neatly into little digital boxes so that everyone else can see. Hallmark taught me everything I could ever need in order to make those boxes an accomplishment of which I am most proud, and I can never, ever say thank you enough for that."
Marla Klein, Class of 2012 - Wisconsin
"For the first time in my 18 years of living, there have been no second thoughts on my leap of faith to apply and attend Hallmark. I frequently found myself thinking just how wild it was to be able to go to school and make a career with something that I absolutely love doing. Each experience during the past ten months, whether good, bad, or absolutely terrible have defined me in such a way I could have never though possible. Entering the school, I was scared. Leaving the school, I still feel afraid, but find comfort in the fact that this time I have an entire network to fall back on. People that I have formed bonds with deeper than those I have previously had for years. Those same people, while wanting their own personal success, found the time to hold up a white card when they had twenty other things to do for their own final.
Cassidy Kristiansen, Class of 2012 - Connecticut
"I first looked at Hallmark when I was eighteen. After coming on a tour and going to an open house, I decided to wait a few years to make sure I was really ready for a career in photography and for the intense program that Hallmark offers. Now, I'm glad I waited. Hallmark has provided me with the most unique experience I've ever had. At the beginning of the year, it was hard to believe it would ever be over, and all of a sudden, it's ended. I've met unforgettable people here and made some amazing friends. As these ten months come to a close, I've come to realize that no matter what anyone says about the program here, you really can't know what you're in for until you're living it."
"I could write a book based on my 10-month experience of Hallmark. It's a part comedy, part biography, part adventure, part travel, part horror, part drama, and a part inspirational.
Kurtis Lamberton, Class of 2012 - Washington
"After pursuing diverse interests in the fine arts for many years, my creative curiosity is now focused through photography. In a little less than a year, Hallmark not only taught me how to operate industry leading equipment, but also let me discover the potential that photography has in my life. After an exhilarating 10 months, I feel that I'm ready to begin the ultimate career."
Calvin Laszakovits, Class of 2012 - Colorado
"Before Hallmark I didn't think I could ever stick to doing one thing. I had a thirst for life and didn't want to settle down and do the same thing day after day. With Photography I'll never have to do that, everyday will bring something new and exciting. If I didn't attend Hallmark I may have never had the chance to realize that you can live an extraordinary life working, doing what you love."
Kelly Leipziger, Class of 2012 - Pennsylvania
"Hallmark was one of the hardest and greatest decisions I have ever made. To sum up my experience at Hallmark I would have to say controlled chaos; now when I say it that way I mean it in the best way possible. I am hands down a better photographer leaving this place as well as a better person. I'm leaving with life long friends that I have made here with fellow students and faculty. I wouldn't trade anything for the last 10 months and I am more then ready to go out into the real world with confidence knowing that Hallmark has given me a leg up on the competition of everyone else who is starting, as well as a lot of people who have been in the business already. So if your reading these testimonials wondering if it'll be the right decision like I was a year ago, don't think, just do. Come to Hallmark and I promise if you put in the time and effort then you won't regret it for a second."
"Before I came to Hallmark I thought, there is no way I know enough to come to this intense of a program. When I moved up here and actually started Hallmark, I still thought the same thing. It probably wasn't until a few weeks into it that I thought, OK, everyone else is in the same boat as me. I can survive this. Throughout the year I would shoot the assignments and be happy with the shots I came out with. Then I realized I was a photographer because the typical photographer came out in me."
Cody Mader, Class of 2012 - Pennsylvania
"I remember the first day I came to middle of nowhere Massachusetts. I was so scared and unsure of what my life was going to be like for the next ten months. And now, I stand here in Turners Falls, MA not wanting to leave.
Ana Martinez, Class of 2012 - Mexico
"I took the plunge to come to Hallmark after almost five years of reviewing different schools across the globe. I wanted something that would give me an excellent foundation and a professional edge in a short period of time. While I knew the course was going to be an intense program, nothing prepared me for the life changing events that followed after I left my home country, India. Hallmark has made me tough, it has made me adapt quickly and it has challenged me to the very core. The guidance, support, training and mentoring I've received from my exceptional instructors has been fabulous. In addition, working alongside some of the world's future cutting edge creatives amongst my own classmates has helped push my own visual boundaries..."
Gerald Martins, Class of 2012 - India
"These ten months at Hallmark have been the foundation to my future. Not only did they teach me everything I know about Photography but they also helped me with real life situations. Such as working with people you don't like and having to pay bills. I learned so much about myself and I will be forever thankful and I'm proud to say that my life is starting with Hallmark Institute of Photography as a foundation."
"I have learned so much in my ten months here that it is hard to put into words. I have learned not only how to properly compose and expose an image but how to market and sell those images as well. The instructors have proven to be an invaluable resource to me, as I begin my journey and start my own business. Hallmark has prepared me to tackle any situation that may come my way and also the confidence to do it! I can't wait to see where this journey will take me."
Erin McDonald, Class of 2012 - Indiana
"Hallmark was the best experience. I had an amazing time; all the teachers were so caring and helpful. Even with my dyslexia it was easy to be myself with all of them to get me as far as I have come and I know I will be successful because of Hallmark."
Elizabeth Montanile, Class of 2012 - Puerto Rico
"My experience at Hallmark has been the most inspirational, fascinating time of my life. I never imagined I could be where I am now in both concept and experience. This program has changed the way I look and feel about everything. And so it's with new eyes and a smile that I tread off into the real world to put my knowledge to work."
"When I began my senior year of high school at sixteen years old, I was leaning towards a degree in graphic arts and web design because I didn't think writing was a realistic career or means of support. (I had taken Photography 1&2 during my sophomore year and hated the curriculum!) After high school I worked and traveled, all the while exploring photography on my own and realized I had an amazing amount of love for it. Experimenting on my own was all well and good, but I felt like my brain was beginning to deteriorate from lack of use; the jobs I had worked since high school (due to not going off to school for fear of wasting time and money in the wrong place/field/career/life,) required little to no brain power. I narrowed down my possible career field choices, and found Hallmark. Hallmark was too good to be true, and too expensive for ten months. I decided to apply anyway and apply for the scholarship while I was at it. Somehow I was granted the scholarship, and four years after I started my senior year of high school I started Phase I of Hallmark. And took off running. Hallmark introduced me to literally countless opportunities and a one-of-a-kind wealth of knowledge. Hallmark's staff is key to it's success, and after I leave here, the things I'll remember most aren't the grades for the practicals or waiting in line for equipment, but everyday witnessing educators and students talking just to catch up. Instructors who love to teach and likewise students who love to learn. Peers conversing about problems and getting involved in each other's personal lives because they want to help. Mentors-an alumni, an instructor, or a staff member-getting involved in someone else's life because they truly care about everyone in this building. Being surrounded at all times by my peers-all of us wanting the same thing, all of us having the same goals, pushing ourselves and each other to do better, to be better, has helped me learn so much about photography and helped me grow as a person. Ten months of blood, sweat and tears I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. If professional photography is something you might be considering, apply at Hallmark. Contact the school and ask to sit in on just one regular day and it will change you."
Jenn Mowry, Class of 2012 - New Hampshire
"Coming to Hallmark was the first decision I truly made on my own and I can say that it was definitely the best decision I have made yet. In the ten months that it took I have immersed myself photographically in every possible aspect. And it is because of this i don't think I will ever step way when I have a dream as end results are better than you can ever imagine. And I have the my Hallmark family to thank for this."
Jacob Murphy, Class of 2012 - Connecticut
"Hallmark is my door to success. Before Hallmark I didn't think school after high school was for me. Hallmark is the perfect school for hands-on people who learn at a fast pace, like me. The instructors are there for you when you need them and aren't just worried about their paychecks; they genuinely want to see you succeed. As for my work, it has jumped up tremendously. I came in knowing absolutely nothing about photography other than the fact that I had a passion for it. Hallmark turned my passion into a skill that is getting better and better everytime I push the shutter."
"Coming to hallmark was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. There is no other school that I looked at that teaches photography like Hallmark does. The family that I have made in the past 10 months is irreplaceable. Knowing everyday I had instructors who are some of the best in the photography business teaching me was awesome."
Bill Nichols, Class of 2012 - New Jersey
"Yesterday I was thinking back on my first time making a still life. The process of coming up with an idea and actually producing an image was foreign to me and challenging. After fretting about what to have as a theme for the still, I was able to calm myself and focus on the task at hand. I googled still life oil paintings and skimmed through the images, stopping on those that gave me a sense of connection to the image. The image I settled on was that of a stack of old books and an ink well. The lighting gave you a sense of mood and feeling about what time period it may have been representing. I then set out to see what I could find around the house to use as props for my own image. I had an ink well from a trip to old Sturbridge Village and some old bibles and prayer books that were found in my house when we purchased it. They were copyrighted from 1893-1910. I also had some feathers that I have collected over time to use as the pen. Inside the bible I found an old letter dated 1914. Also found in the house a pearl rosary bead. I set out the next morning to the commercial studio with a concept, props and feel for the still. Upon arriving at school I gathered some materials for a foreground and background for the shoot and set up the lighting and camera. Then started building the set. I was in no way prepared for the outcome and reaction I had for the image I produced. I had such a sense of accomplishment and pride in myself for being able to turn a couple of books and rosary beads into something beautiful that I was proud to have my name attached to. If anyone came near me I had to show them what I had done. I felt like a volcano that was erupting with energy. Unbelievable feeling....one I couldn't wait to go home and share with my husband and family. They themselves were caught up in the excitement of the moment and momentum that I was trying to relay to them. My parents were so glad to hear me so excited about my day and my experiences that I was having at Hallmark. An excitement that I owe to my instructors and the faculty at Hallmark. I have learned so much in the short 10 month period of time being there. Just think, I didn't even know how to turn that camera on the first day of orientation! Now I am able to produce quality images that I want to share with any and everyone willing to stop and look. It wasn't always easy, nothing worth anything in life ever comes without a lot of dedication, hard work and yes a few tears. At times I thought 'why am I doing this?', but there was always faculty there to lend an ear and encouragement to get me through the day! Now I am so proud to say I am a graduate of Hallmark Institute of Photography!"
"Nothing in life is promised, except for the fact that you will change. And that's what Hallmark does; changes you. Hallmark made me a strong, more mature woman. Thank you, Hallmark. "
Katrina Pacola, Class of 2012 - New York
"Before coming to Hallmark I didn't know a thing about this field; I didn't even own a camera at the time but they saw potential in me. I came here to make a career out of Photography. These 10 months have taught me so much it amazes me. I fell in love with this school and all of my instructors. Coming here changed the way I see things and now I feel comfortable enough to go out into the real world. I know that I can start my own business and survive when I leave this place. This is the only school that will help you pursue your dreams as it helped me pursue mine. Being able to learn from this school was just remarkable. It taught me so many things."
"Choosing to attend Hallmark was without a doubt the best decision I've made in my life thus far. The 10 months I spent here has led me down so many incredible paths that I never could have imagined taking before this journey began. Hallmark allowed me to dive headfirst into my passion while being surrounded by some of the most talented, amazing, & unforgettable people I could ever hope to meet. Not only have I grown as a photographer, but I have grown as a person in a way I never expected. I feel that I now possess the knowledge, skill, & confidence necessary to go forth & forge my own path in the world of professional photography. Attending Hallmark is an experience that I wouldn't trade for the world."
Emilia Pare, Class of 2012 - Vermont
"I knew the moment I entered Hallmark Institute of Photography that this was the place I needed to be. Passion meets technology with an amazing, dedicated staff which made this year the best year of my life."
Jesse Psota, Class of 2012 - New Jersey
"Being a career change student, my initial attraction to the Hallmark program, apart from the amazing faculty & equipment access, was the short 10 month duration of the course. It is truly amazing how far my photography has come during this short time. My portfolio was painstakingly built with my sweat, tears and the constant love, encouragement & hard work of what I can now call my 'Hallmark family.' What I will most cherish from this experience though, is far beyond how it helped me professionally. The friends I made, the interesting people I photographed and how far I came as an improved person in life is what I will value the most. I will recommend this program to anyone with absolutely no equivocations."
Sameer Raichur, Class of 2012 - India
"When I discovered Hallmark last year I knew immediately it was the right fit for me. Photography, for me, was just a hobby taking pictures of my friends and family. I left behind a career, my family, and my sanity in Texas for a year to attend this intense 10-month program. Hallmark taught me not only how to take a great picture but how to make a great picture. It has given me the confidence and the skills to start my new career."
Rachel Rose, Class of 2012 - Texas
"Hallmark was a long but short journey and I loved the good and the bad. I now have the skills I need to go forward in my photography and finding amazing friends was a great bonus. I will forever remember this experance and the people I went through it with."
"For me, coming to Hallmark was one of the best and most thought-out decisions I've ever made in my life and I will definitively never regret it. My main objective was to improve my skills in photography and take it to another level and I've not only accomplished that but also I've lived one of the most wonderful, exciting and frightening experiences of my life. What I liked and enjoyed the most was to have such an amazing group of talented photographers always willing to help and support you during this rollercoaster ride that Hallmark's intensive 10 month program represents."
Lili Silva, Class of 2012 - Venezuela
"Going to Hallmark is one of the best experiences of my life and a decision I don't regret. The instructors are the most amazing, dedicated, supportive, and most fun people you will ever meet. I didn't think I would find friendships that will last a lifetime, but I did. I just wish I could keep this cocoon and take it into Phase V with me! But alas, we have developed into butterflies and are ready to fly away."
Christine Siu, Class of 2012 - Pennsylvania
"Hallmark changed my life, my perspective and my career path. Sustaining in school was never a strong quality of mine being dyslexic; one night while being in college I just cried to my mom telling her that I couldn't pursue this any longer and the studying was killing me. She had found Hallmark online and told me I should take a look at it, looking into the school and actually attending for the full 10 months have been the most rewarding and enjoying process of my entire life. Hallmark made school so easy and fun! We got hands on experience and training with some of the best equipment in the industry, gained business knowledge and learned from the most caring instructors.
Janaya Smith, Class of 2012 - Ohio
"The last ten months have been the best experience I've ever had, for the friends to everything that I've learned. Everything in the past ten months that happened, I couldn't ask for more."
Tyler Spanbauer, Class of 2012 - Wisconsin
"Attending Hallmark has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. Before coming here, I would have never imagined I would be able to grow so much as a person and a photographer within just ten months. But with the help of the amazing staff and fellow students it became reality. Although this has been the most hectic and stressful months ever, I will never forget all the extraordinary accomplishments, memories, and friends I have made here."
Mackenzie Spangler, Class of 2012 - Ohio
"Hallmark has been an amazing experience that I wouldn't change for the world. This school as well as the staff, will forever hold a space in my heart."
Gabrielle Spaulding, Class of 2012 - New Jersey
"My experiences at Hallmark has definitely changed me for the better. Hallmark's curriculum has given me the skills that I need to succeed in the world in photography, and then some. I've made lifelong friends with some of the teachers, and Hallmark has helped me learn that, even though I may get stressed and overwhelmed at times, I do my best under pressure."
Amy Spirito, Class of 2012 - New York
"A few years ago I decided I was ready for a career change. I have always dreamed of working as a photographer, but I knew that if I wanted to be successful in the field there was a lot I needed to learn. For years I searched for an ideal program without much luck. About a year ago I was referred to Hallmark by a friend and former graduate. The next day I took a tour and applied to the program immediately.
Laura Swoyer, Class of 2012 - New Hampshire
"A second career, a new perspective on life, an appreciation for how to see light, the confidence to create art, the skills to make an image, the knowledge of the industry, the commitment of the faculty, the joy of success and the lessons that are taught when not. Hallmark, a place where, what you put in to the program is what you get out of the program... Thank you to the faculty for a wonderful, challenging, life changing experience into the world of photography."
Terry Taillefer, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"Attending Hallmark was an irreplaceable experience that I will not soon forget. I have made lifelong friends within the student body and learned invaluable lessons from the ever-supportive staff."
Maddy Talias, Class of 2012 - New Jersey
"If I had to describe my 10-month journey here at Hallmark, I would have to say it was truly a blessing, not only in the fact that I was able to become a better photographer because of the equipment and amazing staff here, but also because of the incredible bonds I have created with the instructors and my fellow classmates. I will never find a better place with such an amazing support system like here at Hallmark Institute of Photography. Without their caring so much for my well-being and future success, this journey would not be as remarkable as it is. The Hallmark 10-month program holds true to its ability to create professionals in every aspect of photography, and I can walk away knowing that what I have learned here is truly invaluable, and has put me ahead of most people who are just starting out in the industry. Thank you, Hallmark, for helping me grow stronger as a photographer and as an individual."
Tim Tolentino, Class of 2012 - Virginia
"I was 31 years old when I decided to make a career change. I was working in an office wearing a suit everyday and kept looking at pictures on the web every chance I had. It is not an easy decision to follow your passion and leave behind everything you know... but it is worthy.
Manuel Vazquez Lopez, Class of 2012 - Mexico
"My experience at Hallmark was amazing. I was opened up to a person I never knew existed inside myself. I was changed in so many ways by the environment, the instructors and the people I met during the stressful, challenging, yet rewarding 10 months. I will forever be proud to be a Hallmark alumni and am glad I made this decision to take a step forward and follow my photographic dream."
Megan Verbeke, Class of 2012 - Indiana
"Before Hallmark I was a photographer, but because of Hallmark I was molded into a working professional photographer. They have taught me all kinds of photography from aerial photography to commercial photography. I love that it's not all about portrait photography, but a copious amount of different types of photography."
TD Wehle, Class of 2012 - Virginia
"Coming to Hallmark, I had a list of goals in my head that I wanted to achieve. Not only in those 10 months did I achieve every single one, but made friendships that will last me the rest of my life. The teachers are inspirational and the program is fantastic. If I could attend for another year I absolutely would."
Jesse Weiser, Class of 2012 - New York
"My time at Hallmark has been the best and worst year of my life. There were tears, there was doubt and there were certainly challenges. But now at the end of this crazy journey, I realized that I came out knowing so much more than just photography. I learned more about myself this year than I ever have. The amount of amazing people I have met, the techniques I have gained, and the knowledge I have been taught is irreplaceable and I am convinced I wouldn't have gotten it anywhere but Hallmark. Now, there are still tears, still doubts, and still challenges; but for completely different reasons. I would never trade this amazing experience for anything in the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Katelin White, Class of 2012 - Pennsylvania
"My time at Hallmark has been one of the best experiences of my life. I am very grateful for everything the great instructors here have taught me. Before Hallmark I didn't know much about photography but this school taught me everything I know from camera settings to composition, posing, lighting and more. I have met some amazing people here at Hallmark and had the chance to work with some of the best instructors. I now know I can make a career out of my biggest passion, photography, all thanks to this amazing school and everything it has taught me to become the amazing photographer I am today."
Nicole Winship, Class of 2012 - Massachusetts
"My time here at Hallmark has truly been incredible. I have learned so much within the past 10 months, not only about photography, but life in general. The teachers were always so helpful and willing to work with me on everything and in doing that they helped me grow as a photographer and as a person. The lessons that I have learned here at Hallmark will stay with me throughout my life and my career."
"I never knew I could speak with images in my own way. Only recently did I come to realize that the process of making images is such a gentle yet powerful way of self-expression, and photography is the beautiful language that I will never get tired of. I can speak or write it either violently or lovingly. It will announce the death of time, however the images become the extended evidence of the moments-the moments of being.
Moxue Zhang, Class of 2012 - China