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Graduation project 'Thirty-seconds Love Songs' | Kimmo Virtanen Bachelor Photography 2016</h5>

Image: Installation view graduation project 'Thirty-seconds Love Songs' | Kimmo Virtanen, Bachelor Photography 2016,
Winner Photography Department Award & KABK Bachelor Thesis Award, Winner Overduin Award and Winner Steenbergen Stipendium 2016

Our goal is to teach you how to become an independent thinker who creates visual projects. Studying at the KABK will help you become the professional of tomorrow within an international context.

The contemporary work field of professional photography is the starting point for the overall study trajectory. Hence the five-month long internship in the third year, and many connections made within the professional field over the course of your studies. Our international team of teachers reflects the diversity of the professionals of today. They are all practicing photographers working in a variety of fields - from visual arts, to documentary and editorial fashion to more commercial settings.

The structure at the KABK can be viewed as an inverted funnel. In the first year, you will receive lots of assignments where the aim is to get you up to speed with basic theories, concepts and technical skills. Each year, you will enjoy more freedom to employ the acquired knowledge of the topics you set for yourself. But also in later years, an emphasis on theory, writing, concept development, technical and entrepreneurial skills remain.

The process through which you come to your work is of utmost importance. Final results are secondary, especially in the early years of study. We ask you to approach your subjects with curiosity, to investigate them thoroughly and approach your subjects in various ways before finalising any project.

Teaching will happen mostly in class settings, where you learn to discuss and examine your own work, and others. Our system places a strong emphasis on developing verbal skill and an active attitude in class conversations. You will learn how to present yourself and how to express your ideas, crucial for any successful professional career.

Next to work discussions there are seminars, workshops and (guest) lectures by internationally acclaimed professionals. Expertise from other disciplines is employed when necessary, allowing you to develop strategies for an excellent presentation of your work. At the KABK, there is room to work in the well-equipped studios. There is a black and white darkroom, a digital printing room, and a dedicated space for students to edit their images and discuss work with peers.

Documentary and Fiction specialisations

In the second year of your studies, you will choose your specialisation: Documentary or Fiction. This won’t affect the topics you work on, but says more about the way you approach these topics. The role you take as maker determines your choice for Documentary or Fiction.

Documentary students tend to take a role of observer and work ‘with’ and ‘in’ the real world. A documentary student is always in conversation with subjects and has a genuine interest in others. Their work contemplates ‘what the world is’ in the same way a columnist reflects on what’s happening in the world. The work field for a documentary photographer can range from classical documentary to fine arts.

Fiction students often take a role of creator, of someone who intervenes and directs. Imagination takes a big role and subjects are functioning like actors who show the vision of the author. Fiction work contemplates ‘what the world could be’ in the same way a novelist reinvents the world we see. The work of fiction photographers can be found in settings ranging from commercial such as fashion and advertising to fine arts.

A lot of fascinating work is made in the grey area between Documentary and Fiction. There is room at the KABK to actively work in this grey area and we encourage students from both directions to collaborate and inspire each other.

Full-time and part-time

KABK offers the BA Photography in both a part-time and full-time variant. The content of the part-time programme is comparable to the full-time programme, but with a different organisational structure. Study load and intensity are comparable as well as the level of expectations. Part-time classes take place on Mondays and Tuesdays and occasionally Friday – some classes are combined with full-time classes. In addition, there are one or two project or workshop weeks per year. The part-time course has fewer classes and requires more self-study than the full-time variant.


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Last updated: 2017-05-24


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