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NYIP Frequently Asked Questions

We are confident that NYIP offers the right distance education photography courses for you. In the following Q&A format, we answer key questions about NYIP, so that you can be sure that NYIP will meet your highest expectations. If you don't find the answer to your question here, please feel free to email us at or call us at 1.800.583.1736.

General Questions

Is NYIP accredited?

Yes, NYIP is licensed by the New York State Education Department and accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council. Learn more about NYIP Accreditation.

Which course is right for me?

Not sure which course to choose? See our guide on choosing the right photography course here.

How has NYIP Training worked for others?

With immense success. We’ve been teaching photography longer than any other school in the world. Since 1910, tens of thousands of men and women have enrolled in NYIP and gone on to become successful photographers. There are NYIP graduates working as staff photographers for newspapers, and graduates who freelance and operate their own studios. We are proud of our record and we know you’ll be proud to be an NYIP student.

When do the NYIP Courses start?

They start the moment you receive your first Unit of Course materials. We don’t have a rigid academic calendar. You can begin whenever you’re ready.

Will I have to quit my job or school?

No. You complete your NYIP training in your spare time, on your own schedule, at your own pace.

Do I need prior training or experience?

No. The Course assumes no prior training or experience. It starts with fundamentals and develops your skills through mastery of professional techniques in easy, carefully planned steps.

How long does it take to finish the course?

It depends on how much time you can devote to your coursework. We give you up to 3 years to complete the course, but many finish sooner. The average student will complete the course in 12-18 months

Does NYIP include business training?

Yes we do. Since over 60% of our students want to earn money with their photography, we cover the business of photography in detail in our Complete Course in Professional Photography. And our Marketing for Photographers Course is all about how to grow your photography business.

What are your admission requirements?

To enroll in NYIP, you must be able to comprehend written and spoken English, and have a High School diploma. If you are under the age of 27, you must supply a copy of your High School transcript. If you have not completed High School, or are under the age of 17, we will need written consent from a parent or guardian, or school guidance counselor. For more details, call us at 1.800.583.1736

What equipment will I need?

To get the most from your NYIP training, we recommend a camera with a manual mode. The majority of our students use DSLRs but many also work with smaller point and shoot camera with great success. The key is the ability to adjust the aperture and shutter speed. At a minimum, a basic "kit" lens like an 18-55mm will serve you well for our course. Longer telephoto zoom lenses can also be helpful, but are in no way required. The above mentioned cameras would also be suitable for the Video Making and Storytelling course, as would a dedicated camcorder.

A computer with internet access is required for all courses.

For the Complete Course in Digital Photography: Adobe Photoshop for Photographers - you will need ONE of the following programs: Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements. You will also need a computer to run this software. If you're not sure if your computer is sufficient, please visit Adobe's Web site and read through their System Requirements.

Do any of your courses cover glamour or boudoir photography?

Our Complete Course in Professional Photography does include a lesson about glamour and budoir photography. However, many students are not interested in this subject and it is completely optional.

How do employers view the course, can I get a job?

NYIP has been around for over 100 years and is well-recognized in the industry. In the field of photography, your portfolio and your work is what will get you a job. NYIP’s courses will teach you how to take professional quality photographs, and teach you the business skills so that you know how to earn money in the field. The certificate you receive from us will tell people that you have had proper training, but the portfolio of work you’ll develop throughout your course will be what gets you hired.

Can I take two courses at the same time?

Yes, and when you do you qualify for our Bundle Discount Plan. To find out more and take advantage of this special offer, call 1.800.583.1736.

Do I get a discount if my friend and I sign up together?

Yes, we offer a Bundle Discount Plan that you qualify for if you and a friend sign up for the same course at the same time. To find out more and take advantage of this special offer, call 1.800.583.1736.

Is the tuition tax-deductible?

Possibly. The IRS permits you to deduct the cost of your NYIP training under certain circumstances. Whether you qualify depends on your individual situation. Consult with your tax advisor to find out if it's deductible for you.

When is the school open?

NYIP is open year round, and we have open enrollment in that students can enroll at any time. Each student progresses at his or her own pace. The office is open from 9am to 6pm weekdays, except is it closed for U.S. legal holidays.

Do I get personal supervision and help?

Yes. This is a hallmark of NYIP, something that makes us different from many other online or distance education schools. You have unlimited access to your Student Advisor, who is ready and willing to answer your questions via telephone or email. And when you complete your projects, they will be evaluated on audio by a working professional. This support and guidance from insiders in the field is an important part of your creative training — giving you much more insight than a letter grade.

How much do the NYIP courses cost?

Tuition prices for each course are different. To find them, check the tuition page for the course you are interested in. To see a list of all NYIP courses, click here

Are NYIP's courses offered online?

At this time, the Complete Course in Professional Photography and the Fundamentals of Digital Photography are both offered 100% online. The other courses are mailed to you on thumb drives containing all of your course materials. All of our courses allow you to learn from anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace.

How do I enroll in NYIP?

It’s easy. Simply fill out our online enrollment application or call us up at 1.800.583.1736 and enroll over the phone with one of our student service representatives.

Who is my instructor?

Each student will be assigned an instructor, who are all working photographers, when you submit your first photo project. That instructor will be your instructor for the remainder of the course. If you wish to change your instructor at any time, you are welcome to contact your student advisor and make this request.

Do I need to have internet access?

Yes. You will receive your project evaluations via email. And some courses will include online comprehension tests. If you do not have a computer or internet access at home, you can always use a computer at a local library or at an internet cafe.

Does the school provide job placement or internship opportunities?

Unfortunately, because we have students from all over the world, not just in one region we are not able to offer opportunities like this. However, the student advisor will gladly help you brain-storm about ways to find some in your area. And we also offer an alumni association for those students who complete the program with job listings and other career services to come in the near future.

Do you offer financial aid or other tuition assistance?

Because of the shorter length of our courses, we are not eligible for standard financial assistance programs that are offered by two- or four-year schools or federal agencies. Our low tuition and monthly payment program are designed to make it possible for students to afford the training on their own.

NYIP is approved to offer various military financial assistance programs. Click here for more info on our military tuition assistance programs.

What is the school's plagiarism policy?

NYIP Policy on Plagiarism:

Educators at all levels are aware that allegations of plagiarism and other forms of student cheating are on the rise in high schools and colleges across the country. While there should be no reason for a student to practice any sort of academic dishonesty in a program that is designed for self-improvement, we have the same commitment to academic integrity that all accredited schools share.

The New York Institute of Photography maintains a zero-tolerance policy toward plagiarism.

All work submitted by NYIP students must be the student’s own work and the result of the student’s own effort. Otherwise, it is plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of work in any form, which is not one’s own work without acknowledgement of the source or sources of that material. Plagiarism can include presenting work produced in collaboration with someone else as being entirely original, or it can be a quotation or paraphrase of someone else’s material, as well as direct copying.

If ideas or information come from a source, that source must be acknowledged and credited either by attribution, footnote, or any other accepted technique depending on the medium. Direct copying of someone else’s words is the most overt form of plagiarism.

Any type of plagiarism is unacceptable and will be grounds for dropping a student from an NYIP course. All possible instances of plagiarism are reported to the Institute’s Director who may use any means necessary to investigate the matter.

If you have any question about how to properly cite a source, please contact your student advisor before you submit any finished work to the school. If you have any questions on this topic, please contact your student advisor. For more information about plagiarism, you can visit the site The FAQ section there is particularly helpful.

Finally, NYIP students should be aware that in addition to consequences involving your enrollment in the school, plagiarism of copyrighted material can be a violation of U.S. copyright laws and lead to legal action and proceedings.

I don't see my country listed on the enrollment form.

If your country is not listed on the enrollment form, this is because we do not currently accept credit cards from this country. In order to enroll, you must first contact the school and complete a bank transfer. If you have any questions about this please call us at 212-867-8260.

About Photo Projects and Tests

Is it okay to use Photoshop to adjust images for my photo projects?

Yes, you can edit your images prior to sending them in.

Can I submit a panorama for one of my photo projects?

Absolutely, we love to see panoramic images.

How does your grading system work?

The comprehension tests are given an actual letter grade. The photo projects are evaluated and marked as completed if the photos meet all the requirements. However, from time to time, an Instructor will specifically ask a student to resubmit a photo, or an entire project. This would not be considered failing, but rather a resubmission of an incomplete project.

I got my tests results immediately but I have not received my photo evaluation yet. How long does it usually take?

The comprehension tests are submitted online so you get the results as soon as you are done. The photo projects are evaluated by one of our teachers, all of whom are working professionals. The average turnaround time is 2-3 weeks.

How is my evaluation returned to me?

When your evaluation is ready, you will receive an email with a link to download the evaluation online.

Course Specific Questions

Professional Photography Course

What are the best file formats to use? TIFF, DNG, JPEG? RAW?

That depends on what the photo is for:

  • Capture Mode: Shooting in RAW allows a photographer to capture more detail than if they were to shoot in JPEG. The RAW capture format also provides photographers with more control over the image in the digital darkroom. The ability to change the white balance on a RAW file can make an immediate impact on the overall look of the photo. For instance, by choosing a white balance setting of cloudy, or shady, your photo will take on a warmer tone. If your indoor pictures have a yellow color cast, simply select the Tungsten White Balance preset. Since RAW files do capture so much detail, they will take up more space on your memory card, and hard drive. For example, a 10 megapixel camera with a 4 GB Compact Flash card can hold about 135 RAW files in comparison to 420 JPEG/FINE images. If you decide to shoot RAW, you will want to pick up a few extra memory cards.
  • For Archival Purposes: The DNG format was recently created by Adobe in an effort to unify the various RAW formats created by different camera manufactures. For example, Canon’s RAW files are known as .CRW, and Nikon’s are .NEF. Many photographers feel this can potentially become problematic in the long term. They argued that their RAW files may not be future proof in newer software applications. Programs like Adobe Lightroom have an option to backup your RAW files as .DNG. If you want to protect your digital negatives (RAW files) for many years to come, DNG is well worth the effort.
  • For Making Prints: For those special images that you want to print and display, the preferred file format is TIFF. By saving your completed image as a TIFF, you are using a lossless file which is capable of producing high quality enlargements. JPEG is a compressed file which can degrade image quality slightly. While this may not be noticeable on the computer screen, it will likely show on large prints. By starting with a RAW file, and converting to a TIFF, you are not compressing the file, or losing data. For prints, TIFFS should be saved at 300DPI.
  • For Email and Web Posting: JPEG is the recommended format for sharing images on the web, or by email.

What camera do I need for the course?

If you aspire to be a professional photographer, I would recommend you limit your choices to either Canon and Nikon, the two dominant players in the market for high end consumer and professional cameras. Both manufacturers offer a nice range of cameras in the budget range you are considering. I would recommend that you purchase a camera and zoom lens that are below your preliminary budget, since you will want to grow your “system” by adding external flash units, specialty lenses, and other items as you become more skilled at photography and you look for greater technical and artistic challenges.

In making your choice, I suggest you start by going to DP Review a great independent website that reviews virtually every camera out there. Click here for their page on Buying a DSLR

What is the best tripod to buy?

You can choose between Carbon Fiber, Aluminum, or a Carbon Fiber Aluminum mix. Carbon Fiber is much lighter and easier to hike with. Since they weigh less than 4.5 pounds, you'll be more likely to take it with you instead of leaving it home. Also, Carbon Fiber doesn't get as painfully cold as Aluminum. Anyone who shoots in cold weather climates will appreciate this comfort.

It can be very uncomfortable to look through your viewfinder while hunched over for long periods of time. We recommend finding a tripod that extends to about your nose without extending the center column. Once the ball head and camera are attached, it will be the perfect height.

When you are photographing landscapes, flowers, insects, you may want to get down to the ground for a unique perspective. To do this, you will need to check the minimum height of the tripod. Ideally you should be able to bring it down to about five inches from the ground. There are a few different ways to achieve this perspective. Some tripods have an adjustable, or reversible center column. Others have no center column at all.

If your camera, 400mm lens, and ball head weigh five pounds each, your tripod needs to support at least fifteen pounds. Even if you don't currently use a super telephoto, you may decide to rent or buy one in the future. At a minimum, look for your tripod to have a "load capacity" of fifteen pounds. If you regularly use longer glass, then I'd recommend something that can hold twenty to twenty five pounds.

Look for a tripod with a folded length of 26.5 inches or less. This will be small enough to check in a medium sized duffle bag for both international and domestic flights. Tripods with four leg sections are normally a bit smaller than three section models. However, three sections are not only much faster to set up, but they are sturdier.

What are some of the best filters I can buy to take great travel and landscape photos?

Two words, Neutral Density. It surpasses the Polarizer as the most useful filter landscape photographers can keep in their bag. These great little tools come in many shapes, strengths, and sizes. For the most versatility, I recommend the square types that fit in a lens mount. Cokin makes inexpensive holders that work well with other brand's filters such as Hitech. Generally, a soft edge two stop neutral density filter is a good place to start. It works by reducing the difference in brightness between the foreground and the sky. This allows your digital sensor to capture the detail in both areas. For example, if you meter the foreground and expose it as 18% grey, the bright sky may be overexposed by two stops. A two stop ND filter would correct this by holding back two stops of light from the sky. With this technique, you can exceed your camera's dynamic range. Filters in the three- and four-stop range are also quite effective and worth keeping in your bag. The soft edge variation is much easier to blend naturally whereas the hard edge is preferable for seascapes with a definitive horizon line. To pick up an ND filter, check out

While the aforementioned ND filters are a necessity for any serious landscape artist, be cautious when considering the purchase of a UV filter. Generally these filters don't provide much impact, and can in fact reduce the ultimate image quality. Some photographers use them as a protective measure, and camera stores push them for this reason. Yet, for landscapes they are normally not necessary. A Circular Polarizer however, is a very handy tool for increasing saturation, and eliminating reflections on water and other surfaces. By rotating the filter while looking through the viewfinder, you can actually see the change a Polarizer has on the scene. The effectiveness of the polarization is dependent upon the angle of the sun in relation to your lens. For this reason, polarizing filters should not be left on the lens at all times. Also, be aware that using a Polarizing filter reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor by as much as two stops when you use it to its maximum effect.

Fundamentals of Digital Photography

What kind of camera do I need?

Any camera with a manual exposure setting will do for this course. If you’re not sure whether or not your camera has a manual exposure setting give us a call and talk to one of our student advisors, who can talk you through your camera.

How do the projects work?

There are two Photo Projects. One is to be submitted after Unit 1 & 2 is completed. Project 2 should be submitted after Unit 3 & 4. Often times students are confused because there is no project to be submitted with Unit 1. You’ll receive the first project in Unit 2, and it will cover what you've learned up until that point in the course.

Can I send in both projects at once?

You can, but it's better not to so you can take advantage of your instructors evaluation and possible apply it to your next project.

Can I take all the exams before submitting the projects?

Yes, you can.

Photoshop for Photographers

What version of Photoshop do I need?

Any late release of the full version of Photoshop (CS through CS6).

Does the school sell Photoshop?

No, we do not sell Photoshop. You must already have or purchase Photoshop on your own in order to complete this course.

Are NYIP students eligible for Student/Teacher version of Photoshop?

Yes. Students should contact their student advisor to obtain the necessary information regarding the educational discount from Adobe.

Does the course cover any programs other than Photoshop?

Photoshop is the mandatory software program that the course covers, but we also include optional material on Lightroom and Elements.

Why do the illustrations not resemble my version of Photoshop?

The course is designed to be non-version specific to accommodate as many students, using different versions, as possible.