The Photography Pathway at TJ gives students the opportunity to use industry standard equipment such as Canon, Sony, and Nikon DSLR cameras, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and studio lighting to bring their creative ideas to life. Students work independently and collaborate on many different types of photography and graphic design projects. Students learn about visual literacy and how images are used as a tool for communication. While there are many technical skills that students will learn in the Photography Pathway, there are also many soft skills that students will work on such as interpersonal skills, work ethic, time management, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.

Design Pathway Information


Commercial Photography I Overview:

This photography course focuses on studio-based photography. Students will learn basic DSLR camera operations, framing and the art of styling and lighting for professional photo shoots. Projects will include various print advertisements and studio work. Students will learn about careers related to commercial photography and the postsecondary programs and requirements within Colorado. Some examples of jobs in this area are photographer, graphic designer and stylist. Students will complete a number of projects and design pieces to be added to personal portfolios. 

Commercial Photography II Overview:

This photography course emphasizes the needs of commercial photographers with regard to technical expertise, creativity, and professional equipment. Technical aspects include camera techniques, lighting, digital image manipulation in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, alternative processes, and stock photography. Creative exploration of subject matter, lighting, color theory and other psychological characteristics in the development of images are studied. A variety of photographic equipment is utilized for the studio and on location. Students are expected to create a digital portfolio of work. Students will go on field trips, meet professional photographers, and show work professionally in a local gallery. At the end of the course students will take an exam to get Adobe Certified using Adobe Photoshop.

Commercial Photography III Overview:

This course concentrates on the high-end capabilities of Adobe Photoshop as an illustration, design and photo retouching tool. Students explore a wide range of selection and manipulation techniques that can be applied to photos, graphics, and videos. The course competencies and outline follow those set out by the Adobe Certified Associate exam in Visual Communication Using Adobe Photoshop. Students will have opportunities to collaborate and work with local clients to produce work. Students will go on field trips, meet professional photographers, and show work professionally in a local gallery. At the end of the course students will take an exam to get Adobe Certified using Adobe Photoshop.

Yearbook Staff Course Overview:

Yearbook Staff is a photojournalism and graphic design course.  Students will use digital SLR cameras and Adobe programs for image editing.  Students will use Jostens Yearbook Avenue to design their pages in the yearbook.  Students will gain experience with interviewing, writing, photography, graphic design, communication, and teamwork.  Students will learn about the concepts and techniques involved in professional photojournalism.  Hands-on experience will be both independent and team based with the end-goal of creating a professional product (the yearbook!) that the TJ community will purchase.

Instructor: Lea Rabon (she/her)
Phone: 720-423-7146
E-mail address:

MAT – Master of the Arts in Teaching, University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA; BFA – Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Photography, University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA; 

Endorsements: Colorado Dept. Education
CTE Certification in Media Arts; Visual Arts K-12 Certification

My name is Lea Rabon, and I teach Photo 1, 2, 3, and Yearbook at TJ! This is my fourth year at TJ and I’m so grateful for the amazing opportunity to be a part of this community. I’ve been teaching visual arts for the past fourteen years in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Colorado. Before I started at TJ, I was teaching elementary art at Schmitt Elementary School, STEM School Highlands Ranch and Powderhorn Elementary School. I’m also a freelance photographer, acrylic painter, and I’m represented by the Bitfactory Gallery in Denver as a visual artist. I’m passionate about yoga and I studied to become a yoga teacher. Some of my hobbies are making all kinds of art, taking my dog on adventures, hiking, rock climbing, snowboarding, cooking and gardening.

Students who study in the Photography Pathway receive training that can lead to the following jobs: Camera Operator, Director, Film Editor, Photographer, Photo Technician, Photo Editor, Photojournalist, Photo Retoucher, Graphic Designer, Art Director.