How to Choose the Best in Photography Education

by Enche Tjin on September 15, 2010

It’s a dilemma that hits most aspiring photographers – do they really need a formal education in order to make it big in the world of photography? Is it not enough that they are passionate about what they do and that they’re already skilled photographers who are willing to learn on the job and with experience?

photography-class-learning-course-educationDo they really have to spend money and time in going to college to learn what they already know? The answer to all these questions is that a photography education could add to what you already know and that employers are increasingly demanding a degree if you want to be taken seriously.

So it’s worth your while to go to college and study photography formally. When you choose the best in photography education, you find that it’s easier to gain a foothold in the industry of your choice, so work at it with the help of these tips:

  • Start early on, when in high school preferably; you must know how to work a camera (and not just the point-and-shoot kind), and it pays to take a few courses in photography if they’re available. If your school doesn’t offer them, look online for viable options.
  • If a private art school is beyond your means, look around for state schools that have departments of art design and photography – they’re just as good and much more cost effective.
  • Some schools offer a degree in art with an emphasis on photography while others offer a degree in photography itself – look over the syllabus and check if it has what you’re looking for in and what you hope to achieve with the degree.
  • Choose a school that has a good reputation and infrastructure that’s up to date and current – if you’re going to be studying about and using technology that’s on its way out, your degree is practically worthless.
  • Look for schools that offer programs that teach business concepts and management courses along with your photography major – these come in handy if you’re going into business for yourself.
  • Focus on a school and program that accords importance to practical work – although photography theory is important, there’s nothing like practice to achieve perfection.
  • Choose a school that provides opportunities for you to work as an intern with reputable photography businesses – this not only allows you to gain experience, you also learn more about the kind of work you are best suited to.

If you cannot afford to go to college or if you’re hesitant to take out a loan in order to pay your tuition fees, I would suggest you find a job and look for online options to earn a degree in photography. It’s a win-win situation if you find the right college and are able to balance both work and study with equanimity.

A formal education in photography opens up opportunities that extend beyond traditional photography – you could also choose to teach the subject at a college if you’re willing to take a few more courses or you could use your expertise to set up your own photography business.

This guest post is contributed by Becky Patterson, who writes on the topic of Become a Photographer. She can be reached at beckypatterson89[@]gmail[.]com.

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writing services review January 10, 2011 at 10:15 am

Nice tips! Very helpful for me, because I really want to get a proper photography education

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