Photography and Documentary Studies

The photography concentration builds a strong foundation of technical skills in exposure, intentional image-making, darkroom practice, and digital workflow. Students have opportunities to explore a range of emerging and traditional technologies while developing personal interests and professional skills.

About the Concentration

The concentration focuses on include studio lighting, portraiture, still life, visual storytelling, community-based projects, partnerships in ecology and sustainability, color photography, digital imaging, photogrammetry (3D photography), photo-collage, non-silver processes, contemporary art practice, bookmaking, and media.  

Oppoortunities also include internships, paid opportunities, and professional pathways, which enhance the qualifications of students who wish to pursue graduate work.

A final thesis project results in exhibition, an artist’s book, and portfolio.

Career Possibilities

  • Photography business
  • Auction house
  • Media organization
  • Nongovernmental agency
  • Research foundation
  • Museum
  • Publishing venture
  • Aid organization
  • Real-estate company
  • Fashion label
  • Public-relations firm
  • Design studio, or gallery
  • Colleges or Universities
  • Start your own business

Graduate School and Other Paths

Many students continue on to graduate school in visual arts, emerging media, or documentary film.

Many fields align closely with the practice of photography. Often, the modes of creativity, critical inquiry, discipline, collaboration, technical skill, community engagement, generosity and ethics acquired at Buffalo State will take you on other paths, while guiding you as a thinker, doer, maker.

Facilities and Equipment

Classrooms and facilities* are accessed through the basement of Upton Hall, either from the side of the Science Building, or from Upton’s front entrance.

Darkroom: Upton 109 | Classroom and digital lab: Upton 112-113

  • Mac and PC computer lab equipped with photo-editing software
  • Small- and large-format digital printing (up to 44” wide)
  • Gang black- and-white darkroom with 14 enlargers, for printing up to 4x5" negatives
  • Black-and-white film processing area and photo finishing area
  • Non-silver processes area
  • View camera film developing area
  • Shooting studio, equipped with lighting and backdrops
  • Studio for film and print scanning
  • Photobook production facilities
  • Photography art and technical resource library
  • Exhibition area

*Lab fees cover the cost of all chemistry/darkroom facilities, small-scale digital printing, and some course expenses.

Intro-level students (FAR 220) work with both 35mm and digital cameras. A limited number of 35mm film cameras are available for loan.

Darkroom Information


The darkroom is kept open during lab hours (posted on the bulletin board outside of Upton 109). Otherwise, darkroom and lab access is available for registered students, provided a class is not meeting at the time. 

Student Monitors

Student monitors mix chemicals, answer questions, and keep the facility clean. 

Interested in Becoming a Student Monitor?
Monitors have access to the darkroom even though they may not be taking a photography class that semester. 


Zachary Hellwig, Digital Photography Research Assistant

Ross Simpson, Photography Research Assistant

Photography Supplies

Camera/Darkroom Supplies

Buffalo State Book Store 

Camera Spot, Delaware Camera
Buffalo (716) 877-3317, Request student discount.

K&M Camera
NYC (212) 523-0954, Student pricing.
Excellent reputation, prices, & shipping. Avoid cameras rated in “Bargain” condition.

B&H Photo Video
(212) 444-6750

Brooklyn Camera Exchange 
888-570-6009, Ask for Arnie

Amazon Used Camera Equipment

Craigslist – local listings

Friends and family members may have a camera you can borrow.

Camera Repair

Camera Spot, Delaware Camera
Buffalo (716) 877-3317

Nippon Photo Clinic
NYC,  212-982-3177

Steven K. Grimes
Rhode Island, 401-762-0857