Lay the foundation at BTK for an exciting and creative career in Photography. How? With a future-oriented, accredited bachelor program at the BTK – in an environment that sets no limits on the development of your artistic potential either personally or geographically. Practical, personal, with special international opportunities – thanks to our membership in Laureate, the world’s largest university network and to a big partner network dispersed over all continents.
Photography has been shaping our view of the world for over 175 years. Photography captures moments in time, over the ages and across generations, and it can often make complex relationships between society and individuals much clearer, more understandable, and more striking and concise than words could ever do. With pictures, you can make a genuine impact on people; they speak to our feelings and have a direct effect on us. Photography is a tool – both within a political as well as a personal realm – for shaping who we are and forming an identity. That’s why it is even more important to learn the standard principles and rules of photography, and then leverage these to create your own unique visual language.
Nowadays, working with photos does not automatically mean you are an independent photographer. With a bachelor’s degree in Photography, a whole world of various application areas is open to you: Image Editor, Art Buyer, Retoucher, or Curator. But, of course, you can also work as a photographer within the advertising industry and for publications, corporate communications and events, or as an artist. In most cases, you will work as a freelancer. Since the technical aspects of photography are becoming less and less important, being able to turn your ideas and feelings into visual concepts, to learn soft skills, self-marketing, and organizational talent, is required more today than ever before.
The program is designed to enable you as a student to discover all areas of photography. After learning the basics in photography and design, you will dive into portrait, fashion, documentary, and still-life photography, as well as experimental, editorial, and studio photography on a semester basis. The courses are accompanied by seminars in photography, art, design and film history, media theory, and philosophy. What’s more, you have the option to attend courses within the programs for Communication Design (English), Motion and Interaction Design, and Illustration.
The tasks are based on the requirements of the working world. BTK’s philosophy and mission is to support you in letting your talents and preferences unfold – regardless of whether you would like to work in an abstract, artistic way or with real-life applications. The development of your own visual trademark, as well as teaching you the skills you need to think of concepts out of the box, form the essential foundation for your career success. Thus, they are encouraged and supported.
To give you a more precise picture of what to expect in your future career, or to coach soft skills, you will complete a mandatory, 21-week internship or semester abroad, for instance at a partner university within the Laureate Network. The 6th semester serves to intensify your own design interests and to fine-tune them for your profession.
During the entire program, joint photo excursions will be organized on a voluntary basis – such as to Italy, India, Vietnam, Russia, Romania, Israel, Finland, and the USA.
In the 7th semester of your bachelor’s degree studies, you will leverage the knowledge you’ve gained and your skills to create your own concept for a challenging project and realize it.
BTK gives you access to software laboratories, studios, analog and digital cameras, as well as a comprehensive assortment of studio equipment, enabling you to execute your photo productions at a high, professional level.
Maren Demant, alumna in Photography, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2015
Why Maren gave up on business administration, her personal motto and some tipps for students: Read it here!
How did you come to study at BTK?
I had actually studied business. And I wasn’t bad at it at all, but it didn’t make me happy. Taking photographs and being creative, that was what I always wanted to do. One day, I came home from a lecture on controlling and decided that I had to do something else. A few weeks earlier I had visited the open campus day at BTK purely out of curiosity. A Bachelor’s student took me on a tour and showed me everything. That evening I went to the BTK website and saw that the deadline for applications was in two days. I worked on my portfolio day and night and sent it off. Then I was accepted! I happily ditched business studies and started to study photography. The best decision of my young life!
What do you remember most about how it started?
The time with Hans Grimmling – a very well-known painter – in the atelier at the beginning was the most intense. We were all very nervous, no one knew each other. But the time we spent there with him as a group brought us all together, and soon we were like a small family. It was nice and special, after spending time at university with hundreds of business students, to work with 10 or 15 people, chalk in hand in the atelier and to be able to call that studying. And everyone I talked to people, be it family, friends, or former classmates, they all said that I could finally do what I had already been doing during business studies lectures anyway legitimately now: draw, sketch, develop ideas.
What makes BTK so special for you?
I have always tried to experiment as much as possible, and to think and work interdisciplinarily: Motion Design, Communication Design, and also a bit of Sound, I’ve absorbed it all like a sponge. That was possible at BTK.
The BTK motto is “Create your Story. Inspire the world.” Do you have a BTK highlight story that has shaped you as a student?
One of the highlights was an exhibition with two courses at Kunstraum Bethanien Kreuzberg in my fourth semester. That semester we worked towards it and planned the exhibition with fellow students and professors. We all acted as one that semester. That was a wonderful feeling, to present your work to the wider public and receive direct feedback. The preview evening was a great experience and celebration for us.
BTK wants to encourage you to transcend borders, because creativity knows no borders. What was the most courageous thing you’ve done during school?
My Bachelor project. During it I really had to ask myself why I hadn’t looked for an ‘easier’ project. In 2014 I wore a VR headset for the first time, and I was immediately taken with it. Though everyone asked me why I, as a photographer, would want to focus on virtual reality. But I continued and persevered. That was one of the hardest half-year periods of my life, but I do not regret a single second of it. The challenge paid off: with the final work I was invited to the VR Vision Award in L.A. And I work with VR now, that is my job.
Is there a motto that describes your life?
We creative always carry a little existential fear in us. I freed myself from that from the beginning, because I told myself: if you love what you do, then you’re good at it. And if you’re good, then you can make a living from it.
What would you be your tip to students? What use should they make of BTK? What should they look out for in their development?
Do lots yourself, take on everything that comes your way! Taking the initiative is the alpha and the omega, as your program will be over quickly. I’m still sad to this day that I couldn’t do all the courses I wanted to do. BTK gave me the framework to push myself. And you can do a lot in that time.
Did your goal change during school?
No. I had the goal and still do: to do what I really love doing as my job every day.
Creativity, practical knowledge, team and entrepreneurial spirit at an international level meet at BTK.
Practical and personal with huge international possibilities, thanks to the membership of the world's largest university network Laureate and to a large partner network distributed over all continents.
Lay the foundations for an exciting career in motion graphics, art, and design at BTK.
How? With a forward-looking accredited Bachelor's and Master's degree at BTK, in an environment that does not restrict the fulfillment of your potential by setting personal or geographical boundaries.
Boundless international prospects
Boundless practical orientation
Boundless individual development
Last but not least – each individual on our campus
Students, faculty, and staff: all of them make BTK special with their own wonderful stories.
You can apply a year in advance for your desired starting semester. The application deadline for the winter semester is September 25th of every year.The application deadline for the summer semester is March 20th of every year.
How to apply:
Once we have gone through your application and work examples, we can then evaluate whether you are suitable for studying at BTK. If yes, we will invite you to an interview.
Important: In the application phase, you must have already decided on which of the six degree programs (Communications Design (English), Photography (English), Illustration, Motion Design, Game Design, and Interaction Design/New Media) you would like to study. However, please note that you may change programs at a later time if desired.
Find out more about the entire application process.