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 June 15 – 20 2014


The Professional Photographers of California Officers and Board of Directors welcome you to the 2014 West Coast School of Professional Photography.

To become familiar with the benefits and campus activities, we sincerely encourage you to go through this entire handbook.


West Coast School takes place once a year for a full week of photographic education. (Sunday, June 16 – Friday, June 21, 2013). You sign up for one class by one instructor. For five days in June you’ll be treated to an intense learning opportunity being taught by one of the industry’s most knowledgeable photographers.  Not only do you gain the information necessary to become a better photographer, you gain a whole new circle of friends who share the same aspirations and goals as yourself. This is what makes West Coast School so special.


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



We suggest you check with your travel agent as to the availability of flights 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 minutes away. If you are taking a taxi to the school make sure you let them know that you are going to USD. We have 3 colleges here and some students have ended up at UCSD or SDSU.  Taxi rides from the airport are approximately $15. USD also has a deal with cloud 9 shuttle.  Reservations can be made at http://www.cloud9shuttle.com/.   For a discounted rate, just mention that travel is to USD.


From the North: Use I-5 South, exit Sea World Dr. & Tecolote Rd. and proceed left at stoplight toward Morena Blvd. Turn right on Morena, left on Napa, and left on Linda Vista Rd. Travel to the second stoplight to USD’s East entrance, turn left and enter campus.

From the South (or the airport): Use I-5 North, 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 Rd. Tra


Parking passes are purchased through the school now.  Cost is $25 for the week. These parking passes are good for the whole week of WCS.  There is a parking garage available for cars as parking is only good in marked white lined spaces!  Tickets for illegally parked cars will be issued.


The friendly atmosphere of the school lends itself to automatic car-pooling once classes have formed.   It is as easy as asking anyone.  Transportation between some off site class and restaurants has never been a problem for students.


Registration and orientation will begin at 3 PM on Sunday June 15 in Maher Hall Lobby.  Please join us for our opening ceremonies and registration; featuring some light refreshments, brief announcements and information for the week.

This will be a good time to see old friends and meet new ones.  There will be a mini programs from 4:00-5:45 Sunday afternoon.  A short orientation will follow the dinner break at the Student Life Pavilion.  The orientation program will be at 7:00 PM; all students are required to attend orientation!


Maher Hall is the building/dormitory that most WCS students will be housed in.  The WCS Office and the computer classes are located in Maher Hall.  There is a pool table and TV upstairs in the social room as well as a washer & dryers located on each dorm floor.  The campus also has a gym, tennis courts and swimming pool.


Most rooms in Acala Apartments will have a small refrigerator and microwave while Maher Hall rooms are no longer equipped with refrigerators or microwaves.

There will be sheets and towels in your room, but the towels are really, really thin. I always bring a nice thick towel and several wash cloths from home and 2 small bathmats for the bathroom floor, no bathmats are supplied.  While there is plenty of space to hang up your clothes, there are no hangers in the closet! Bring your own!

I always bring some pump soap for the bathroom sink, a bar of soap for the shower (the soap supplied is really tiny and thin), some spray air freshener, and the toiletries I like to use. None are supplied.

Sometimes it gets hot in the dorm room; I bring a small fan to sit on the desk to help circulate the air.

Bring your own corkscrew if you plan to enjoy that bottle of wine in your suitcase, no kitchen items of any kind are supplied.

Pack your swimsuit if your want to, the ocean is nearby, but you probably won’t have time to play in the surf, you will be too busy with your camera.

Travel Tip – [Weather]

It’s usually pleasant in San Diego, but if you go with your class on any nighttime assignments, you might want to bring a light jacket. Lens Babies excursions usually start around 9:30 pm, it does get cool at that time of the evening.

Travel Tip – [Campus Life]

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

The Trade Show always has plenty of vendors…  don’t forget to bring your credit card.

You will make lots of new friends at WCS. Bring a LARGE supply of your business cards for them and for the Trade Show Vendors.

It is a WCS tradition to have dinner with your class off campus on Thursday night. The restaurants will usually only write ONE check…. it’s a good idea to bring SMALL bills to pay for your meal.

With the exception of Thursday night and Friday lunch, you will eat all of your meals in the campus Dining Room in the Student Pavilion. The food is really good and they have a great salad bar.

You will get a meal card when you check in, please don’t lose it!

If possible, bring your camera gear in a rolling suitcase with a handle; it will make your life so much easier as you go from the dorm room to your classroom. Many students bring their laptops with them, and don’t forget a supply of jump drives.  Your work is usually critiqued each morning in your classroom and you will be asked to provide images DAILY(!!!) on jump drives for the classroom models, which is the only way the models get “paid.”


Lunch is from 12:00 to 1:30 pm.  You’re encouraged to use the USD cafeteria.  However, the USD campus is located only minutes from several very good and very fast restaurants.  If you choose to go off campus, please be prompt so that classes can begin again at 1:30.


Dinner begins at 5:00 pm.  Each student receives one $40 meal card to help cover meals on campus.  Traditionally each class will have one off campus social dinner on Thursday with your instructor that is not covered by WCS or your meal card.


If you are staying on campus, your housing fee includes a $40.00 meal card which can be used in the USD dining hall. Once the $40.00 is used up, you can use a credit or debit card or cash.

The new Student Life Pavilion dining cafeteria is no longer all you can eat.  You pay for what you want, Pizza, Mexican, Sushi, Pho, American Grill, Salad, desert etc.  Extravagant ordering may exceed your card allotment and require additional funds that you will be responsible for.   There are Deli’s, the main dining hall, a market & a formal restaurant.  Your meal card will not purchase alcohol, however there is a bar in the formal restaurant.


Breaks at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm are optional with each instructor.  The USD cafeteria is in the Student Life Pavilion and is available to our students.  Additionally, students and visitors to USD are never far away from a cup of coffee or a quick snack, as five cafés are located conveniently across campus.


Wireless internet is available throughout the campus. They have completed their upgrading of the wireless access on campus & for access you will need a credit card & register online while there. You have options of service 1 day for $5 or a week for $15. Please visit www.sandiego.edu to sign up.


Battery operated tape recorders are permitted at your seat.  No extension cords, please. Absolutely no video cameras will be permitted in any class.


Most instructors will be using a “Master Camera,” from which a set of photographs (representative of the week’s work) will be posted online for everyone’s review.


EVERYONE is expected to bring at least 4 examples of their work for the instructor’s analysis. 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.  Their email address is listed on the web site under instructors.

Dress informally. You are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes and easy walking shoes. 


The classroom facilities are on the campus of the University of San Diego at Maher Hall and a few other locations.   Registration goes from 3:00 to 4:00 on Sunday. Orientation and classes begin Sunday evening.  Class runs daily from    8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with some instructors having evening sessions with their class. Friday class runs from 8:30 a.m. until noon.

No children or spouses allowed in the class room


As far as school is concerned, there is no additional cost to you.  Your personal needs are your expense.  Demonstration equipment, prop sets, and other items used in classes will be on sale at reduced prices to students.  NOTE: If not previously paid, balance of tuition must be cash or certified check.


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 with the School Director, Kathy Metz. If you need to leave mid-week for any reason, please inform Kathy.


This year the group photo will be taken on campus Tuesday at 4:45 pm and is a gift to you from the WCS.


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


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


Our models are volunteers.  Prints are their ONLY compensation, so image submission for model prints is expected.   Please honor all requirements for digital images that are made available to the models!


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


Attendees who are PPA members in good standing will receive two PPA Educational Merits upon completion of a five day class. PPC Members will receive merits for the five day class, which are good towards their PPC Service Award.  Attendance for each day is mandatory to receive PPC Service Award merits and/or PPA merits. The merits are handed to the student after class has been completed.  It is your responsibility to furnish us with your PPA number on your registration form.


Applications can be provided.  WCS hours will count towards your B&A 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 you to 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 packet.  In it will be a class portrait, PPA Merits, (if you are eligible), a WCS certificate, and a class list so that you can keep track of the friends you have made at WCS, and a news release for your local newspaper.


Once an alumni of WCS, you will be given a preferred mailing status and be the first to receive our new class information for the following term.  Be looking for it!

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 web site for important updates before the school.

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

There is a schedule on the web site that is intended to give a basic framework of the week.  A new schedule will be published before the school with any final changes