The Professional Photographers of California Officers and Board of Directors welcome you to West Coast School of Professional Photography. To become familiar with the benefits and campus activities, we encourage you to review this handbook.



We are guests on the USD Campus. Therefore, we must respect not only the facilities, must respect all employees, contractor/employees and other guests during our visit on the USD Campus.

Please display your best behavior on the USC campus or at any off-campus location. USD is a smoke-free environment. Please walk on the paths provided. We are guests, who hope to be invited back. No food or open drinks are allowed in the classrooms.


WCS selects the best instructors in our industry. In doing so, our class size will be limited to 8 – 15,  to provide you the student with quality hands on educational experience. The maximum number may vary depending on the instructor(s). In order for the WCS instructors to perform at the very best, we expect our students to do the same. If an instructor feels that a student is being disruptive to the instructor, or other students, that student, may, after a warning from the instructor, be asked leave the class by the WCS Director. WCS is noted for the quality of photographic education and it is our number one priority. Conduct in the classroom and on the USD Campus is important for the best experience by all.


West Coast School’s unique full week of hands-on photographic education takes place annually. Students sign up for the one class taught by one instructor, obtaining an intense 5-day learning opportunity with one of the industry’s leading instructors. You learn information necessary to become a better photographer; you gain a whole new circle of friends who share similar aspirations and goals. This is what makes West Coast School so special.

West Coast School is hosted at the scenic University of San Diego at 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA, 92110-2492



We suggest you check online for the availability of flight and times. The closest airport is San Diego International Airport in San Diego. If you are flying into San Diego Airport the USD campus is about 10 miles away. If you are taking a taxi to the school, make sure you let them now you are going to USD, as the area includes 3 colleges with similar names. Taxi rides from the airport are approximately $15-20. Reservations can be made with www.supershuttle.com. Just mention that your destination is USD. You may also use Uber.


Driving South: Use I-5 south, exit Sea World Drive and Tecolote Road and proceed left at the stoplight toward Morena Blvd. Turn right on Morena, Left on Napa, and left on Linda Vista Road. Travel to the second stoplight to USD to east entrance, then turn left to enter the campus.

Driving North: Use I-5, exit Morena Blvd. (signs will say: Morena Blvd. use I-8 East) Stay to the right and follow the signs for Morena Blvd. Take the first right onto Linda Vista Road to campus.


For a fee, parking passes good for the entire WCS session. Please use the USD link to purchase parking passes is: https://usd.t2hosted.com/cmn/auth_guest.aspx Park only in the marked white-lined spaces in the multi-level garage. Tickets will be issued for illegally parked cars.


The friendly atmosphere of the school lends itself to automatic car-pooling once classes have formed. Just ask a fellow classmate if you need a ride to offsite classes or restaurants!


Registration and Dorm check-in will begin at 3pm on Sunday, June 9, 2019 in the Maher Hall Lobby.


Most students are housed in Maher Hall dormitory. The WCS office and computer classes are located in Maher Hall. There is a pool table and TV upstairs in the social room; washers and dryers are located on each dorm floor. The campus also has a gym, tennis courts, and a swimming pool.


The rooms at Maher Hall do not include a refrigerator or a microwave. Sheets will be provided. We suggest you bring the following to make your stay more comfortable and homey:

  • ¬ Pull suitcase as you will have to park far away & your room may be upstairs
  • ¬ Pillow, blanket, sheets if you want your own (they will change your bed on Wed so make sure you tell them they are your own sheets or bring colored ones as they have only white ones.)
  • ¬ Bath towels (use theirs for floor mats), soap, shampoo, etc.
  • ¬ Room spray / Febreze (dorm rooms can smell if they have been closed up)
  • ¬ Toiletry kit…Soap, deodorant, lotion, etc.
  • ¬ Comfortable clothing, flat shoes for walking
  • ¬ PJ’s, lounge pants / top, robe & slippers
  • ¬ Brimmed hat or visor
  • ¬ Fan – no a/c in apt or dorm rooms & it can get stuffy & HOT!
  • ¬ Extension cord & multi plug surge protector for computer (not many plugs)
  • ¬ Smart phone, or alarm clock
  • ¬ Camera gear
  • ¬ Computer gear, jump drives, paper & pen for class
  • ¬ Extension cord & multi plug surge protector for computer (not many plugs)
  • ¬ ID, credit card, and cash
  • ¬ Business cards to keep in touch with new friends and trade show vendors

For the apartments we recommend you bring the same as Maher with the addition of:

  • ¬ There is a kitchen in the apartment…so we suggest you also bring:
  • ¬ Kitchen supplies: Paper plates, bowls, cups, napkins, pans, utensils, silverware, etc.
  • ¬ Coffee pot, coffee, sugar, milk, etc.
  • ¬ Breakfast stuff: Bread, jam butter, cereal, breakfast bars, etc.
  • ¬ Drinks, snacks (corkscrews anyone?)
  • ¬ Dish soap, dishrags, sponge, paper towels, dishtowel, etc.
  • ¬ Ice / ice chest.
  • ¬ Rolling dolly / cart


Everyone, bring a hoodie! Better safe than chilly.

It’s usually pleasant in San Diego, but mornings and evenings can get a bit cool, especially for those of us who chill easily. Also, you want to be comfortable for class nighttime shoots.


You will be doing a LOT of walking around campus; comfortable, flat walking shoes are a must!


This year our Trade Show will feature vendors and a Swap Meet for our students to sell their used equipment. If you are interested in a table please call the WCS office at 800-439-5839 ext. 3.

The trade show is on Tuesday evening beginning at 6:30 until 9:00pm. Some vendors will set up on Monday and tear down on Wednesday. Please stop by during lunch. The trade show is located in the Hahn Center Forums A&B.


If you are staying on campus, your housing fee includes a $40 meal card you’ll receive at registration. Please DO NOT lose it. Your meal card can be used at the on-campus deli, the main dining hall, the market, and the formal restaurant. Your meal card will not purchase alcohol; however there is a bar in the format restaurant. Once the $40 card has been depleted, you can use a credit card, debit card, or cash to pay for food.

With the exception of Thursday night (a WCS tradition: ‘Dutch treat meals with your class at a San Diego area restaurant) and Friday lunch, you’re encouraged to eat in the student pavilion. However, if you want to dine elsewhere, the USD campus is located only minutes from several very good and very fast restaurants. Just don’t be late for class.


Breakfast – 6:30 am

Lunch – 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

Dinner – 5:00 pm


Breaks at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm are optional, dependent upon the instructor.


Wireless Internet is available throughout the campus. You will log onto to the USD Wi-Fi for access.


Battery-operated tape recorders are permitted at your seat in class. No extension cords, please. Absolutely NO VIDEO RECORDING IS PERMITTED, including the use of cell phones in any class.


Some instructors have specific items they would like for you to bring. A separate letter will be sent for those, or you can email your instructor if you have questions.


The classroom facilities are on the campus of the University of San Diego at Maher Hall and a few other locations. Registration runs from 3 – 4pm on Sunday. Orientation and classes begin Sunday evening. Class runs Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, with some instructors including evening session classes. Friday class runs from 8:30 am through 1:00 pm, some instructors may run pass 1:00 pm. Please check with your instructor because of your flight plans.


Some class(s) may require an additional fee for materials. You will be notified if any additional fees are related to your class. Your personal needs are at your expense. Demonstration equipment, prop sets, and other items used in classes will be for sale at reduced prices to students. NOTE: if not previously paid, the balance of your tuition must be paid in cash or certified check on the day of registration.


Your paid registration is for the class that you registered for. Registrations are not transferable. If you have extenuating circumstances concerning a course change during the school week, please speak directly to the school Director. If you need to leave med-week for any reason please inform the Director and your instructor.


WCS reserves the rights to cancel courses, make faculty changes, or refuse admission to any student. In the event a course is cancelled, the student will have the option of registering for another course (subject to availability) or receive a full refund. Withdrawal from a course is subject to a $75 processing fee. Please review Cancelation Policy below.


Tuition includes a non-refundable registration fee. Refunds (less this fee) will be issued under the following guidelines:

January 1st – March 1st $100 penalty

March 30th – April 1st $200 penalty

After April 2nd – NO REFUNDS


The group photo will be taken on campus Sunday at 5:45 pm the photo is included as our gift to you, sponsored by Millers Professional Imaging. Please wear the shirts given to you at Registration.


Casual dress is the norm. We recommend bringing a light jacket or sweater for cooler classrooms and evenings.


Our models are volunteers. Digital files are their ONLY compensation, so image submission for models is expected. Please honor all requirements for digital images to make sure they are available to the model coordinator.

Only Instructors and the WCS Director have the authority to use images taken at WCS for publications, websites, portfolios, and image competition. (PPA Rule #6 No entry will be eligible that has been made under the supervision of an instructor or as a class assignment).

Students are not to ask the models to sign model releases. 


Each student will have an opportunity to fill out a school and class evaluation. Let us know your thought both positive and constructive. We are always seeking to improve your West Coast School experience.


Attendees who are PPA members in good standing will receive 2 PPA educational merits upon completion of a 5-day class. PPC members will receive 1 merit for the 5-day class, which is good toward their PPC Service Award and Business & Arts Degree. Attendance for each day is mandatory to receive PPC Service Award merits and / or PPA merits. The merits are handed to each student after class has been completed. It is your responsibility to furnish us with your PPA number on your registration form.


Applications will be provided. WCS hours will count toward your Business & Arts degree. Inquire to be sure your class gets accredited.


A publicity photograph with the instructor is the option of the instructor. Though the instructors are not required to do so, we certainly encourage it for your own scrapbook or publicity in your local newspaper. This is an excellent way to receive valuable publicity.


After completing the course, you will receive a graduation packet. In it will be your gifted class portrait, PPA merits, (if you are eligible), and a WCS certificate.


Once you are a WCS alumni member, you will be given a preferred mailing status and be the first to receive our new class information for the following term.


The officers and board of directors of West Coast School of Professional Photography wish to say, “Thank you” for the insight to improve your professional image and helping us to better serve our profession.

Please watch the website for important updates before the WCS session starts.

This is going to be an awesome year at West Coast School of Professional Photography.

View the schedule on the website to get a basic framework of the week. The schedule will be updated and a final schedule will be published before school starts.