Unleash creative potential at Samford Academy of the Arts’ fall classes

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Being able to capture amazing shots like this is only the beginning of taking a class at the Samford Academy of the Arts. Photo courtesy of Meg McKinney

If quarantine made you realize you could use a couple of more hobbies or that you’ve let passions get pushed out of the way, now is your time to find that spark again. Learn a new language, master the art behind the lens or enhance a skill with one of Samford Academy of the Arts’ creative classes. Offered both in-person and online—registration is now open.

Plug in to your creative side

Blair Ramsey started out as a student and is now shooting professional work. Photo by Blair Ramsey courtesy of Meg McKinney

It’s not often we get to take time for ourselves and really delve into our personal interests. At the Samford Academy of the Arts, you’re encouraged to let your creative side take control whether through music, photography, writing or other forms of art. While some classes will meet completely online, others offer a hybrid method of both in-person and virtual.

Learn from those who know it best

Samford Academy of the Arts
Meg McKinney is an instructor at the Samford Academy of the Arts and an experienced professional. Photo courtesy of Meg McKinney

One of the greatest aspects of taking a class at the Samford Academy of the Arts is that you’re learning from seasoned professionals. Take Meg McKinney, for example, who’s shot for Fortune 500 companies, New York City-based lifestyle magazines and worked as a staff photographer at Southern Living magazine.

Now, she teaches a variety of photography and photojournalism classes at Samford Academy of the Arts, including Architectural Photography and Lensbaby: A New Perspective.

“Students meet and learn with other photography students, exchange ideas, and see a lot of images every week.  My class assignments begin with introductory subjects and then I build from there with lectures, assignments and field trips.

By the end, they have had a range of assignments and situations that makes their skill levels grow. They also learn to work together—being faced with new challenges. As a teacher, I enjoy seeing all of this happen.”

Meg McKinney

From student to master

You don’t have to go into the class expecting to become a professional, but don’t be surprised if you do. Blair Ramsey has taken multiple photography classes at the Samford Academy of the Arts and is currently following Academy’s Photography Certificate Program track. 

“Recently, Samford University was named ‘the most recommended university in the U.S.’ In my experience, the leadership and instructional philosophies within the Academy of the Arts are representative of that honor. 

The instructors are knowledgeable, encouraging, and offer a wide breadth of experience and teaching styles. Personally, I’ve gone from shooting in automatic mode when I first arrived to now considering myself a working photographer.”

Blair Ramsey
What are some of the iconic spots you would love to photograph around Birmingham? Photo taken by Blair Ramsey courtesy of Meg McKinney

Blair now shoots for local and semi-professional sports teams, magazines and conducts portrait work. She commends the amazing instructors at the Samford Academy of the Arts and also notes that the students are one of the best parts of her education.

“The most unexpected, yet fulfilling, aspect of the program are the students. Being a part of a welcoming community with common interests has not only fostered new friendships but allowed access to an even broader community of knowledge. There are times I learn as much from my fellow students as the amazing instructors.”

Blair Ramsey

What classes are offered?

Meg’s shot for ORE Drink and Dine, located Crestline Village. Photo courtesy of Mef McKinney

Adults, teenagers and children alike all have the opportunity to gain or improve a creative skillset at the Samford Academy of the Arts. Most areas of learning offer a variety of options for beginners and those that are more advanced.


Test your skills in everything from fused glass jewelry making to stained glass. There’s even an opportunity to learn calligraphy!


While we wait for the days of travel to begin, get a jumpstart on your French, Italian or Spanish so you’re a pro by the time your next trip rolls around. Samford Academy of the Arts also offers English basics for beginners and professionals.


Choose from piano, violin, cello or voice lessons—either way, the school will have you showcasing yourself as a musical genius in no time.


Living in Birmingham it’s easy to find inspiration all around us—so why not capture it? Whether you need help with Photoshop, color printing or are a fresh beginner there are many options this year for practicing the click of the camera.


Even though I write for a profession, there’s always room to grow—especially creatively. In Southern Short Story Writing, students will read short stories by Southern authors and write fiction set in the American South.

Now the hardest part—which one will you choose? Learn more about which class is right for you through Samford’s Academy of the Arts’ website or contact academyofthearts@samford.edu for further information.

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