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Our philosophy is focused on encouraging students to discover and question their own motivations for making photographic art while providing them with the foundation and tools to continue to advance their education after graduation. In so doing, the faculty and staff work to support and inspire the next generation of artists and leaders—ensuring that once they earn their degrees, they enter the world as engaged, independent, self-directed artists, scholars and citizens.

Within our department we promote exploration and push students to work outside their comfort zones, asserting that they “must become comfortable with being uncomfortable.” This basic philosophy empowers students to gain new perspectives and modes of creation through stretching themselves technically and conceptually to further expand and advance their artistic practice and education.

Statement of Solidarity

Dear friends of the Department of Photography,

The University of La Verne’s Department of Photography and the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography, stand in solidarity with those protesting for civil rights and social justice reforms. We condem all forms of systemic racism, violence, bias, aggression and the marginalization of Black, Indigenous, Asian and all Peoples of Color (BIPOC) as well as discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, disability and intersectionality. As a community of those who study, teach, write about, advocate for and/or create art, we have committed our life’s work to learning-from, exploring-with, and creating-towards our shared humanity.

We recognize that there is great work ahead of us all as we rebuild a more equitable and inclusive future. We reaffirm our commitment to diversity, equity, access and inclusion, while committing to know better and do better, to support our diverse community of artists, scholars and advocates.

In solidarity.

Shannon Benine, Photography Department Chair, faculty + staff

Get Involved


Your gift to the Department of Photography, within the College of Arts & Sciences, helps us to expand our program in order to provide further support to our students and local community. Any amount is welcome so donate now to help shape the future of our Department of Photography at the University of La Verne.

Donate Your Gear

If you are interested in donating your used (and new) working analog and digital cameras, lenses and accessories to support the growth of our Department of Photography, please direct all inquiries to the Photography Chair, Shannon Benine.