Visit our commercial photography program here in Atlanta & then you’ll understand how committed we are to training the top commercial photographers in the country.  Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Pretty smart guy, that Einstein. The beauty of imagination is that it can take us anywhere we would like to be. And it’s a photographer who captures that imagination for everyone to see.  Creative Circus photographers bring a lot more to the creative table than their DSLR cameras. To succeed creatively you must seek passionately, measure accurately, engage completely and practice daily. Today’s commercial photographer is actually more producer than shooter. They plan, gather and direct the process of making images, either working alone or with others. At The Circus you can expect to creatively explore your vision, master digital production and work alongside like-minded creatives. You’ll also become well-versed in other important aspects such as capture and file management to enhancement and delivery. All this might sound like a crazy busy two years. The question begs, are you crazy enough?

Department Head

Greg Strelecki
Greg Strelecki Department Head, Image

Greg Strelecki

A graduate of the Art Center College of Design, Greg became the Image Department Head at The Creative Circus in 1995.
He has produced images professionally for advertising, design and corporate and editorial clients. Greg enjoys excellent, intelligent, and memorable commercial photography.More amazing facts: -Enjoys being surrounded by creative people -Works hard to make “it” better -Takes him his Image grads bowling, and he recently bowled a 201 -As a Valentine’s birthday gift, he’d been described by his friends using words like: generous, talented, sensei, patient, respected, caring, tall, Hawaiian-shirted with crazy hair. Yep. True dat. -Lives with his wife, Karen, and four rescued cats in the Historic District of Madison, Georgia.

Greg Strelecki
Program Description

Conceptual thinking is stressed throughout the curriculum. Some courses enable the student to work individually while others require collaborative problem solving with students from other disciplines. It’s a creative marriage that has real-world challenges but, ultimately, produces finished professional samples. Additionally, a good working relationship here can and will, carry over into the professional arena.

Technically, there is much a photography student must learn. Basics in small, medium and large format camera options will be explored in the studio.  Classes in studio and location lighting expose the student to daylight, tungsten, quartz and electronic flash options, in addition to understanding additive and subtractive lighting tools, light modifiers, and grip gear.  Today more image making requires comfort and fluency on the computer. By using lighting and studio techniques from other classes, students capture images either as an original digital file or scan film which then allows them to work in Photoshop, the industry standard, to craft a finished image.

Curriculum: Year 1
IM100: Basic Lighting
Light is one half of photography. To control the light one must be exposed to its properties and its variations. Daylight and tungsten light will be discussed and practiced through class assignments and demonstrations.
Placement, intensity, metering and exposing of light are the basic controls a photographer must master.
IM110 : Digital Photography 1
Begins the process of working with electronic digital cameras, digital work flow, and Photoshop software .
IM120: Digital Color Management
Included in the advanced format is a concentration and application of a digital workflow; from digital still capture through, and including electronic output, archiving, and management.
IM130: Boot Camp
Is a basic digital photography class that deals with camera and lens operations. The information includes the camera settings of both shutter speed and aperture, and how, when combined, produce a correctly exposed digital file. Lens discussions involve focal length, depth of field properties, and focusing techniques.SECOND QUARTER
IM200: Advanced Lighting
Students will continue studies in lighting principles introduced in Basic Lighting. Topics include lighting ratios, characteristics, additive and subtractive methods, color balancing and mixed lighting.
IM210: Digital Photography 2
Furthers the processes and skills learned in Digital Photography 1 by addressing the making of selections, masking, basic color correction, film scanning, advanced Photoshop, file managing, and archiving.
VS202: Color Theory for Image
An exploratory course concerned with color as the soul of design, with history and social structure being primary elements. The course introduces in-class exercises to prove applicable color theories and outside assignments to implement the principles as they apply to specific creative works.
IM220: Visual Thinking for Photographers
A class devoted to stretching the creative, conceptual muscles of photographers in the imagining, development, and production of a compelling image – an image that’s more than just a pretty picture.THIRD QUARTER
IM310: Introduction to Portraiture
At some point in every photographer’s career it is necessary to photograph people. This course provides the technical information needed to become proficient in a variety of fields where the subjects are people. Broad, short, Rembrandt, split, beauty and butterfly lighting are some of the basics covered here. Posing and body language will also be discussed.
CG927: Digital 3
Students will take an existing print ad campaign from their portfolio and expand it to a new media format.
IM350: Equipment & Tools
New equipment will be presented on a weekly basis including, but not limited to, cameras, lenses, lights and light modifiers, digital capture and processing tools, and grip/location gear.FOURTH QUARTER
IM340: Documentary Photography
Capturing the essence of people, places and events is the main thrust of the material presented in this course. The photo documentarian works with socially significant issues through the language of photography. Subject matter may be the environment, travel or the “human condition.” This course deals with photographs as a series of images as well as single images. Class topics include equipment, films, processes, researching and finding markets, obtaining releases and a variety of other related ideas and information.
IM420: Fashion & Beauty
Clothing, accessories, model portfolios and performers are a few of the subjects in the fashion and glamour field. This course covers finding and working with models, lighting and posing techniques, film/digital equipment, model releases and other information required to work successfully in this fast paced and competitive field.
IM430: Interiors & Exteriors
Styling, composition, and lighting are important factors in showcasing living and working spaces. Balancing mixed light, choosing appropriate props, and determining the ideal camera location can define the vision of an architect, interior designer or space planner. This type of photography can be used in editorial magazines or commercial brochures.
GE920: Film/Video/TV Production
This course will allow Image students to learn to concept and execute for motion photography.
Curriculum:Year 2
IM510: Tabletop/Still Life Photography
Students will continue studies in lighting principles. Topics include lighting ratios, characteristics, additive and subtractive methods, color balancing and mixed lighting.
IM730: Business & Marketing
Working on a practical level, the student will produce a kit of essential business practice forms as well as a marketing strategy to help identify and contact potential clients. The portfolio will be examined and critiqued to best refine the photographic voice for the general marketplace.
DV304: Intro to Video Editing
Video content for the web will be created using linear and compositing editing software.
TM601: Interdisciplinary Teams 2 (AD/CW/IM)
This course collaborates art director, designer, writer and photographer in a creative team of two or more persons to create an original campaign or poster. The photography samples may be produced on location or in the studio.
DV303: Motion Graphics 1
They will learn how to import and manipulate video. Apply basic animation and effects and learn to leverage cameras for realistic perspectives. i.e.; after effects, animation
IM520: Corporate Photography
Annual reports, quarterly reports and corporate public relations are but a few of the areas in which the corporate industrial photographer works. Learning the skills which make it possible to photograph not only the executive portrait, but the material stored in the warehouse, the new goods coming off the assembly line and the worker in the environment of industry, are the lessons delivered in this informative course.
IM620: Styling
Styling improves the level of visual taste and sophistication through coordinating the various elements (people, clothing, food, objects, background, etc.) and designing them for photographic production. Introduction to prop houses and various sources necessary to produce styled photographs will be covered. Image research from publications illustrating current photographic styles is also emphasized. Group critiques will allow evaluation of how well student knowledge and skills have been demonstrated.SEVENTH QUARTER
IM640: Weddings
Wedding photography is part portraiture and part photojournalism. This course covers the basics from scheduling the event to the final portfolio presentation and will include posing, lighting basics, the use of filters, and the importance of storytelling.
TM701: Interdisciplinary Teams 3 (GD/IM)
This course explores the creative working relationship between a graphic designer and photographer. Their creative marriage serves a slightly different audience than the advertising/photography team. Finished samples may include a movie poster, product brochure or an editorial magazine spread.
IM830: Assisting Workshop
Each student is assigned to a working commercial photography studio. The student and studio must commit to a full eight hour work day a week, for ten weeks. The student will perform as an assistant, take direction from the photographer, complete requested tasks, and learn through observation and participation the day to day operations of a photography business. At the end of the quarter the studio will be contacted for a performance review of the student and a final grade will follow.
on certain aspects specific to the completion of the graduate book.EIGHTH QUARTER
IM810: Graduate Portfolio Development
Emphasis will be placed on polishing presentation, developing and expanding local network contacts, and refining the skill of self-assessment, self-promotion and marketing.
IM820: Individual Projects 2
Established for the focused student to further expand his/her final graduate portfolio. The student must provide a pre-determined number of concepts and present these ideas to the department head for approval. Once approved, the student must meet and maintain a production schedule for the balance of the quarter.
GR803: Advanced Specialized Study
This course allows advanced students to receive individualized feedback on book pieces, group critique as well as one-on-one instructor consultation.
IM840: Directed Studies
This class is designed for the ever changing needs and opportunities for the Creative Circus student. This class will enable The Circus to address needs outside the normal curriculum and be adaptive to special situations for its students. These situations may include a special guest instructor from the creative industry, a special project, large or small in scope, submitted to The Circus for student participation, and/or working
Graduation Requirements
In preparing an Image student’s final portfolio, we look at the conceptual and technical successes of the student’s work to establish a personal point of view. General or specialized, still life, product, portraiture or fashion can define one’s presence in the marketplace. Plans are also made to build, market and manage each of our alumni’s businesses in commercial photography.
Career Services
During the final quarter, students meet with the Director of Career Services to discuss career goals and objectives. Graduating Photographers also work with an industry professional on personal presentation skills that will benefit them during interviews or presentations to a client. Graduates have access to our alumni listings, agency contacts, portfolio reviews and direct personal assistance from the Director of Career Services, whose services alumni can continue to use the throughout their career. *Department of Education Program Disclosure

Getting Started

Candidates must first interview to be accepted to The Creative Circus. We do not accept an application without an admissions interview. This essential first step ensures The Creative Circus is the right school for you. Our admissions staff will work directly with you to answer all of your questions and guide you through the enrollment process.

request interview

Request More Info