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FAQs about Istituto Italiano di Fotografia

FAQs about Istituto Italiano di Fotografia

In this page you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about Istituto Italiano di Fotografia: where you can find reviews about Istituto Italiano di Fotografia, which photographic equipment is needed to participate in a course, what types of job opportunities photography one can expect, which professional photography courses you can find at IIF and much more. Have a look, you may find the answer to the doubt you have!

Do you still have some questions? Call us at +39 02 58105598 | +39 02 58107623 | +39 02 58107139 or write to [email protected] and we will be happy to answer.

What is Istituto Italiano di Fotografia?

Istituto Italiano di Fotografia is a professional photography school that has been training photographers for 30 years.

IIF focuses on photography only and stands out thanks to its ability to keep up with a particularly dynamic and continuously evolving sector. Our educational philosophy aims at helping each student develop their own personal style to allow their individuality to emerge, and at encouraging students to enter the professional world through real work experiences. This way you will learn faster and you will be able to enter the job market with the necessary confidence and dynamism. IIF courses are full of commercial collaborations with companies and agencies and of exhibitions, publications and photographic events.

To reach its educational goals, IIF was divided into three sections, three realities in one that complete each other and work for each other:

  • SCHOOL: a photography school that deals with didactics and professional training;;
  • ARTSIDE: a department that organizes photography exhibitions and cultural events to increase students’ exposure;
  • PRODUCTION: a photography agency, it’s the meeting point between companies and young photographers.

If you want to learn more about the history and teaching choices of IIF Milano click here.

Where is Istituto Italiano di Fotografia located?

Many ask us if we also have offices in Rome, Florence, Bari, Turin or Naples. The only offices of IIF are in Milan at via Enrico Caviglia 3. The choice of being headquartered in Milan – the economic (and photographic!) heart of Italy – is not random: it allows us to offer our students many collaborations and job opportunities photography.

How you can reach us:

  • Metro: line 3 (yellow) – station M3 Corvetto
  • Bus: 34 – stop: via Sulmona; 95 – stop: Via Boncompagni/Via Avezzana; 77 – stop: Corvetto M3
  • Car: from tangenziale Est – exit Corvetto

What are IIF opening hours?

The offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00. When there are ongoing lessons, the photography school is open in the evening (until 21:30/22:00) and in the weekend as well.

How can I reach out?

You can call us at +39 02 58105598 | +39 02 58107623 | +39 02 58107139 or write us an email:


Many people get mixed up about our name. The right name is Istituto Italiano di Fotografia (Italian Institute of Photography) that can be abbreviated to IIF Milano.


IIF educational offer is wide and includes many types of courses: Professional photography courses (held in Italian), Evening photography courses (held in Italian), Topic evening courses (held in Italian), Workshop weekends photography (held in Italian), Photography courses for teens and children (held in Italian), Summer courses in English and courses for companies and one-on-one lessons photography.. Every course has a different price:

You can find detailed information in the Courses page.

How can I pay?

At Istituto Italiano di Fotografia the accepted payment methods to pay your course fee and studio and equipment rentals are:

  • By bank transfer (please ask the administration office to which IBAN code you have to transfer the payment)
  • By cheque (in office by appointment), made out to Istituto Italiano di Fotografia srl
  • In cash (in office by appointment) – for amounts within the legal restrictions
  • By card (in office by appointment)
  • With Satispay


To attend a course at IIF you only need your own camera (reflex or mirrorless). We don’t give indications on the model or brand. Bring your cameras and lenses to class and take advantage of your course to understand if you need to buy new photographic equipment. If you don’t own a camera already, don’t buy it before or at the beginning of the course. During the first lessons talk to your teachers and the school staff and ask them for help in choosing the photographic equipment that suits you best. When you enrol in one of our annual or biennial courses you will receive your IIF card. The IIF card gives you access to discounts in specialized shops, where you can buy your photographic equipment if needed.

When you are a student, you have the right to rent IIF photographic equipment for outdoor use for up to three days in a row. This way, you can take advantage of IIF professional photographic equipment out of the school, too.

“Extra” costs that are not included in the course fee are the cost of the film used to shoot with the view camera in the first part of the first year of the Professional Biennial Photography Course, and the costs for printing the shots. The cost of printing your photos for the exams is also not included. You won’t need to buy textbooks: you’ll study on booklets provided by the teachers and always available in your personal myIIF page, that will be activated after your enrollment.


Is previous photographic knowledge needed to attend a course? Is there an age limit?

To enroll in the first year of the Professional Biennial Photography Course and in the annual evening course Full, you don’t need any previous photographic knowledge because these courses start from zero. Therefore, there is not an admission test and applications are open until full capacity is reached. 
Though, all classes are taught in Italian, so we request a certificate of Italian (level B2 or higher). We accept certificates issued by the following institutions: CILS, CELI, PLIDA, AIL. To enroll directly in the second year of the Professional Biennial Photography Course and in the evening annual course Full Advanced, you have to pass a portfolio review to prove that you have the necessary technical skills, the ability to work in a studio and visual communication skills.

For topic courses and Photography workshops weekends we suggest to have a look at the individual course brochures to learn about the skills you need to enroll in each course.

There is no age limit to attend our courses besides being of age (it’s possible for 17 year olds to enroll upon an interview). There is no upper age limit.


What’s the time limit to apply?

All IIF courses (with and without an admission test) follow the same procedure: applications are open until full capacity is reached and there is no closing date for entries. To get info about the availability of places in the course you are interested in, you can call the orientation office at 02-58105598 | 02-58107623 | 02-58107139 or write an email to [email protected].

Are there discounts on the courses of Istituto Italiano di Fotografia?

All the students and former students of IIF Milano have the right to a 10% discount on evening topic courses, workshop weekends, summer courses and courses for teens and children. You only need to write the discount code SCONTOSTUDENTI10 when you apply. If you apply to the Professional Biennial Photography Course after attending another IIF course, you get a 100€ discount on the annual fee.  If you apply to one of the annual evening courses (Full and Full Advanced) after attending another IIF course, you get a 50€ discount. The discount for students and former students doesn’t expire.

Moreover, we have some early-bird discounts for the Professional Biennial Photography Course and for the annual evening courses Full and Full Advanced.

Are there any exams?

Yes, during the Professional Biennial Photography Course. In the first and second year there are halfway checks to verify what has been done. At the end of the first and second year there is a final exam. If you pass the exam at the end of the second year, you will receive a Certificate of Professional education in Photography with an assessment of the merits. There are no exams at the end of the annual evening courses Full and Full Advanced, but at the end of both courses there are portfolio reviews.

Will I receive a certificate at the end of the course?

Yes, at the end of every course you will receive a certificate of attendance, while at the end of the Professional Biennial Photography Course you will receive a Certificate of Professional Education in Photography with an assessment of the merits.

Is Istituto Italiano di Fotografia a photography university?

IIF is a training institution that doesn’t issue degrees, so it can’t be considered a university photography and it doesn’t organize masters in photography. This is because our courses are practical and professional and therefore they are not  compatible with the teaching structure required by MIUR. Though, it’s important to underline that the crucial elements in the world of professional photography are your skills and your portfolio.

Moreover, it’s important to clarify that there is no such a thing as a register of professional photographers nor in Italy or abroad. Therefore, there is no need for a degree to work as a photographer, because – according to the law and the decision of the European Community – it’s not possible to create Professional registers anymore if not to protect the interests of the community in general, that is to say ordinary people and not the professionals of the category we are talking about. Therefore, IIF Milano chose to focus on what is really needed to become a professional photographer more than on being able to provide a degree.


Every year, IIF awards several scholarships to the Professional Biennial Photography Course for students-photo assistants (there are scholarships for both the first and second year). Every year, the call opens in January and usually closes in March/April- You can have a look at the last call by clicking here (since the course is in Italian and having a good level of Italian is necessary to apply, the call itself is in Italian).  Moreover, we award grants at the end of the first and the second year, based on the students’ marks and on the portfolios they bring to the exams. There are no scholarships for the evening courses Full and Full Advanced, for topic evening courses, workshop weekends and courses in English. You can obtain early booking discounts if you pay for the Professional Biennial Photography Course or the evening annual courses Full and Full Advanced in one solution.

What are the differences between the Professional Biennial Photography Course and the annual evening  courses Full and Full Advanced?

Istituto Italiano di Fotografia organizes two types of vocational courses, which delve into all photographic languages and aim to form professional photographers from scratch: the Professional Biennial Photography Course and the pair of annual evening courses Full and Full Advanced.


The teachers and the subjects are similar, but the first has classes in the day time (with lessons from Monday to Friday + on Saturday for the second year), while the other two have classes in the evening (two lessons per week + practice in studio). But if the program of the two courses is similar, the depth of study is different: the daily course is more complete and there are many more occasion to shoot in studio and outdoors, more possibilities to work with companies and agencies, and therefore more possibilities to work in the photographic field. Moreover, the students in the second years of the daily course have more occasions to have their work exhibited and published than those in the second year of the evening course.


The Professional Biennial Photography Course is the most complete option, and is dedicated to those who want to invest most of their time in training as photographers for the two years of the course. The annual evening courses Full and Full Advanced (of which Full corresponds with the first year of the daily course, and Full Advanced with the second year) are dedicated to workers or university students who want to still receive a complete education in photo


As for the certificate that students receive at the end of each course, after completing the final exam of the Professional Biennial Photography Course students receive a Certificate of Professional education in Photography with a merit assessment. At the end of the annual evening courses, students receive a certificate of attendance.


A recent survey we conducted among the alumni who graduated from both courses in the last 10 years shows that the placement rate in the photographic field is obviously different (the placement rate in the photographic field is above 60% for the Professional Biennial Photography Course, and around 30% for the students of evening courses, who choose to pair their current job with photography instead of replacing it).


Ultimately, both paths are equally valid and complete, held by similar faculties, in the same building equipped with professional photographic gear, but with a different depth of analysis and with a different range of possible collaborations with companies and agencies.


If you still have any doubts call us, book an interview or take part in an open day (in Italian)!

Does Istituto Italiano di Fotografia organize collaborations with companies or internships?

IIF Milano deeply cares about the connection with the professional world and real photography jobs. Students of the second year of the Professional Biennial Photography Course and, to a lesser degree, of the annual evening course Full Advanced, will have the chance to take part in exhibitions, publications, photography festivals and events, and to carry on commercial projects for clients working in several sectors (fashion, food, design, music, events), experiencing the working environment from the beginning. This way, at the end of the courses not only will students’ portfolios cover all the main photography genres, but they’ll also include photos commissioned by our clients and taken at real events.
To promote real photography jobs, once students finish their education Istituto Italiano di Fotografia works with several brands, agencies and publishing houses and chooses the best students and former students to give them the chance to work on commissions and commercial partnerships.

What are the job opportunities offered by photography?

Those who decide to go at photography often don’t know the real photography jobs offered by a form of education such ad that provided by Istituto Italiano di Fotografia and think that the only career path one can follow is being a photographer.

Actually, the world of photography is complex and offers several different job opportunities. Let’s try to list some real job opportunities photography to see what types of jobs one could do after attending the Professional Biennial Photography Course of the two annual evening courses Full and Full Advanced:

  • Photographer, with different specializations: from fashion to architecture, from reportage to events, from landscape to portrait, from still life to food. The clients can vary (companies, agencies, e-commerce shops, private clients, publishing houses, newspapers and magazines), and so do the purposes of the images (brochures, advs, social networks, books, websites, etc).
  • Photo assistant, who takes care of the set and of the most technical and practical aspects (especially of lighting and photographic equipment). Usually, each photo shoot needs more than one photo assistant.
  • Digital assistant, who deals with the direct acquisition and the post-production of images before they get used (they often work in television or in the sports field).
  • Video maker, a role that is more and more intertwined with photography and that often is taken on by the photographers themselves.
  • Post producer, whose job is to post produce images by using professional photography editing softwares.
  • Photo editor, a professional – often included in the editorial staff of a magazine or newspaper – who chooses the photos that will pair with articles and interviews.
  • Photography producer, who coordinates professionals and technical services to produce photo projects.
  • Director of photography, in charge of photography during the shooting of a film, a documentary or a music video.
  • Curator of photography exhibitions, in charge of designing and organizing photography exhibitions and events.
  • Photo Art Advisor, a new role on the art market that is in charge of buying and selling photographs for organisations, companies and private clients.
  • Art gallery manager, who is in charge of an art gallery and chooses whose photographers the gallery is going to sell the work.
  • Manager of photography archives, who manages the filing, cataloging and conservation of the photographs of companies, foundations and photographers.

Who are IIF teachers?

Professionalism and passion are the main features that characterize the teachers chosen by Istituto Italiano di Fotografia. Professional photographers specialized in different sectors of image and visual communication. Different personalities, different curricula, different work experiences. A well-informed choice by IIF Milano. Because differences and original approaches enrich students’ education. Click here to read all the teachers’ bios! In every bio you can find out in which courses the selected teacher teaches.

I want to attend a tailor-made course, is this possible?

Of course! IIF organizes tailored photography courses and labs for schools, companies and individual students. The courses can focus on different photography languages and genres depending on the client’s needs. Click here to learn more about tailor made education.


Do you organize courses for teens and children?

IIF mainly organized vocational courses, but we also offer some photography courses for teens and children in Italian. Click here to learn more about them.

Are there any photography courses in English?

Most of the courses organized by IIF Milan are in Italian, but we organize some courses in English. More specifically, right now we offer a Basic Photography Summer Course and a Fashion Photography Summer Course.
The Professional Biennial Photography Course includes an optional English course in the first year and a compulsory course of technical English in the second year. The technical English course includes simulations of conversation in standard work contexts (photo shoots and job interviews in English).


IIF is a professional photography school and its approach is based on giving the students the opportunity of gaining a lot of concrete experience shooting in studio and outdoor. Therefore, to ensure high-level education IIF has chosen not to organize courses provided entirely online.

To offer an additional service, for theoretical lessons only IIF grants the opportunity to choose whether to attend in person or online (in both cases students can intervene and ask questions to the teacher). Practical lessons must be attended in person.

Those who are interested in learning photography but can’t come to IIF headquarters repeatedly can opt for intensive summer courses in English, that allow to pair the opportunity to practice with the need to be at IIF for just a few days.

Is it possible to gift a photography course?

Are you tired of giving the same gifts all the time? Make a truly special gift for your loved ones’ birthdays or for Christmas! Buy a gift coupon for a photography course at Istituto Italiano di Fotografia and surprise your loved ones with a unique and original present!  You can find many courses that are going to fulfill the technical and creative needs of both experienced and beginner photography students. You can choose between daily or evening courses, workshop weekends, courses for children and teens. You don’t know which course to choose or if the person you want to gift it to is going to be free in the course dates? Don’t worry! Who receives the course can change the type of course or the edition (by informing us at least 15 days before the start of the gifted course)! The gift coupon doesn’t expire. If the course is canceled due to force majeure, you can get a total refund.

Choose the course you are interested in and buy it directly online by choosing the option “is it a gift?”. You need to specify at least the name and surname of the person receiving the gift. If you add the contact data of the receiver, they will be used for course-related communication only (such as the email the confirms the activation of the course one week before the start).  If you don’t reveal them, we will send the necessary info to you, and you’ll have to forward them to the person attending the course.

Which are the photographic genres studied at IIF Milan?

Istituto Italiano di Fotografia teaches a lot of photographic languages and subject, among which:

  • Photographic technique
  • Visual communication
  • Carrying out a project
  • Still life photography
  • Portrait photography and self-portrait
  • Landscape photography
  • Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Camera Raw (Post-production)
  • Reportage photography
  • Street photography
  • Fashion photography (in studio and outdoors)
  • Video making
  • Video editing
  • Food photography
  • Nude art
  • Architecture and interior photography
  • Entertainment photography (events, concerts, dance, circus, etc)
  • Sport photography: football, basket, indoor etc.
  • Wedding photography
  • B/W analogue
  • Photo editing
  • Curatorship
  • Photography and cinema (cinematography)
  • Smart photography
  • Copyright
  • Marketing and personal branding for photographers
  • English for photographers

Do you want to read some opinions and reviews about Istituto Italiano di Fotografia?

You can have a look at some opinions about Istituto Italiano di Fotografia and read the reviews of our students and alumni on Facebook, Google and eMagister. Under the section “Alumni” on our website you can find a list of some of our alumni and their respective websites. You can scroll them to find out what our former students do for a living.

How are IIF spaces organized?

On the 300sm ground floor you can find the reception, a computer lab (with iMacs equipped with Adobe Creative Cloud and professional scanners for negatives), the assistants area, a break room, a studio equipped with a professional kitchen for food photography photo shoots, and two photo studios that can be divided into smaller photo sets thanks to the use of movable walls. On the first floor, there is an open space with glass walls for the office, and two more day-light studios that can become classrooms when needed. If you want to see some photos of the location, click here.
A location entirely designed for photography, making IIF Milano not only a photography school, but also a space equipped with studios for rental in Milan (you can find more info in the section “Studio rental”).

To facilitate the beginning of its students’ photographic career, IIF ensures its students and alumni generously discounted rates for the rental of studios and photographic equipment. Click here for the price list, or write [email protected] to ask for more info.

What type of photographic equipment is there at IIF?

IIF is equipped with professional photographic gear and photographic lights with accessories and grips (Profoto, Arri, Manfrotto and Ianiro), a great variety of paper and fabric backdrops for still life, portrait and fashion photography.
When you are a student, you have the right to rent IIF photographic equipment for outdoor use for free for up to three days in a row (you can ask for more info directly at the rental desk).

Is it possible to rent photo studios and photographic equipment?

Beside being a vocational school, Istituto Italiano di Fotografia owns 5 photo studios for rental in Milan. Photography studios in Milan at IIF can be rented for combinable time slots of 5 hours. The cost includes an equipment kit and photography lights with accessories and grips (professional studio equipment: In every studio you can find a make-up station. Studio 6 is also equipped with a kitchen and is therefore suitable for food photography photo shoots. IIF also offers professional photographic equipment for rental in Milan. Find out more about rental for students, alumni and external clients.

When is it possibile to visit the school and find out about the courses?

Every year we organize many open days in Italian to introduce ourselves and our courses, and to show you the school.
Moreover, if you call 02 58105598 or write to [email protected], you can schedule a one-on-one orientation interview online or at school, where we will provide you with all the info you need.

How would you recommend preparing for a professional course at IIF?

For the first year of the Professional Biennial Photography Course and the annual evening course Full you don’t need any previous knowledge, so you don’t have to prepare for the course. If you would still like to prepare for the course, we recommend visiting as many exhibitions as possible, participating in photographic festivals, hanging out at specialized bookshops, and taking advantage of social media to keep up to date with the production of contemporary photographers. Undoubtedly, having a good knowledge of the work of other photographers is very important.

Would you like to read some books and essays to start exploring photography? We recommend:

  • Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography
  • Luigi Ghirri, Lessons in photography (Lezioni di fotografia)
  • Michael J. Langford, Langford’s Basic Photography: The Guide for Serious Photographers
  • Willy Ronis, Willy Ronis. Photographs 1926-1995
  • Michele Smargiassi, Un’autentica bugia
  • Susan Sontag, On photography

I have to move to Milan to study at IIF, could help me with practical issues?

Every year, IIF welcomes students from all parts of Italy and several foreign students. Moving to another city is not always easy, so don’t hesitate to contact us even for more practical issues.

We also want to point out the useful service offered by YesMilano, supported by the Chamber of Commerce of Milan. Click here to get a lot of useful information about moving to Milan (renting, medical assistance, change of residence, transportation, etc). Click here to see the information dedicated to international students. Moreover, YesMilano can support you in the most practical aspects of moving to Milan: you can send an email to [email protected] and write that you are or want to become an IIF student to book a meeting with their team.

Does IIF offer accommodation benefits?

Every year, Istituto Italiano di Fotografia welcomes students from all parts of Italy. Therefore, we have several partnerships to help you find accommodation at a discounted price for short and long stays.

Partnerships for long stays:

  • DoveVivo offers our students fully-furnished accommodation at max 25min from the school with public transportation. The rent includes condo fees, light and gas, heating, unlimited wifi, cleaning before you check-in, a 24/7 assistance service for emergencies, free rental of sport and freetime equipment, a fidelity card. The rent varies depending on the period, the building and the location. We recommend contacting them via email to ask for a proposal/quote (you need to specify you are an IIF student to get access to our special conditions) and then you can book an appointment: [email protected]
  • Spotahome is a platform that allows you to book rooms and apartments online from all over the world. All rooms and apartments are verified by Home Checker and can be visited through an HD Video tour. You can also see high quality photos and the layout of the space. Use the code IIF25 to receive a 25% discount. For more info: [email protected] | +39 3791468503 (WhatsApp)
  • UniPlaces is a platform that helps you find rooms or apartments rented out by private owners. Use the code ISITFOTO15 to take advantage of our special conditions. For more info: [email protected]
  • Inlife is a platform for online accommodation rentals that provides different types of accommodation (rooms, flats, studio apartments or co-livings). Click here to see some of the solutions available at the moment. With the promotional code INFOTO10 you can get a 30% discount on the booking fee. If you want more info, you can write to their dedicated email address: [email protected]
  • Collegiate proposes the residence Milan North, open to students and new graduates. The residence is close to a metro station, the rooms are single rooms with private kitchen and bathroom, there are study rooms, an indoor swimming pool, an SPA, a gym, an internal patio with a garden and much more. Discounts for IIF students: 200€ discount on stays that are longer than 12 months; use the discount code MIN-IIF-000 when booking (rules and conditions apply). For more info: www.collegiate.it | [email protected] | +39 3206491542

Recommendations for hotel and short-stay accommodation:

Where could I eat something nearby?

There are many places close to IIF where you can grab a bite in between lessons. Click here to see the list of places we recommend.


Do you have any more questions? You can call 02-58105598 | 02-58107623 | 02-58107139 or send an email to [email protected].