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How do I create a compelling fine art portfolio? What creative programs will help me build my skill set? How to I process double exposure film? What gear should I invest in? How do I develop a commercial portfolio? How to I shoot at night? I love the outdoors and photography—how do I combine these into a career?

Whether you’ve been shooting for years or are just getting started, the Photography team pushes Accelerants to be able to answer theses questions for themselves. The Photography program begins with a comprehensive orientation, where the Accelerant, Mentors, and Coordinator collaborate to set highly individualistic goals based on the Accelerant’s ideas and interests. Once the overall goals are defined, Accelerants plan their first experiential project. Project strategy is set by using a pre-project form that outlines project goals, resources needed, skills to be developed, and real-world factors such as time, cost, and desired client feedback. Now we’ve got a plan, it’s time to start creating!

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The direction I’m trying to go with my portrait photography is moving past just cool poses, and getting to the grit of it, of human emotion.

Joe Friend, past madelife Intern & Photography Featured Artist

shutter iconLet’s get shooting! The focus of the madelife Photography program is the series of short project sprints, typically lasting 1 – 2 weeks, and designed to help the Accelerant experience a wide variety of skills, tools, and roles within the Photography industry. From setting a still life composition, to learning image transfers, to mastering Photoshop and other editing tools, in the Photography program, exposure is the key to building a robust portfolio. These projects can build on one-another or stand-alone to hone a certain creative skill or tool set.

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Going after big goals or big dreams requires a lot of self discipline and determination, and what’s required to create that kind of discipline on a daily basis is inspiration. You have to be excited, you have to be motivated about what you’re doing, and that’s why a core piece and a primary part of what we do every day is to make sure that stays alive in you.

Angelo Keely, Creative Director

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Will this piece build your portfolio? Will your photo be gracing the cover of the next National Geographic or did if fall short of your expectations? How was your lighting? Will this piece build your portfolio? Is it commercially viable?

Whether you feel like your project rivals Ansel Adams or it’s one you would rather forget, it is time to measure your project and move forward. From self-assessments to external input from Mentors, Coordinators, and the greater Creative Community, the measurement process begins with a significant amount of feedback. This feedback is combined with tools such as the post-project reflection form to objectively compare project goals with project outcomes and to allow Accelerants to judge the success of their projects for themselves. In the Photography program, there is no room for ego or time for sulking; just like in the real world, Accelerants measure, pivot, and move onward.


Perspective & Detail
Product Photography
Studio Photography
Event Photography

Advance your knowledge in the latest tools for post-processing corrections such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and InDesign

Learn how to efficiently and stylistically process
your photography


Editorial Photographer
Commercial Photographer
Adventure Photographer
Agency Work
Event Photographer
Fashion Photographer
Studio Photographer


Working with a DSLR
Product Catalog
Live Music Event
Adventure Shoot
Abstract Photography
Portfolio Development