Monday, 22/4/2024 | 1:22 UTC+0
Photography Directory

Do You Need A Degree to Become a Successful Photographer

photography education 2If you want to become a professional photographer, you need technical knowledge, creativity and high quality equipment. When it comes to the equipment, well, you need some cash to invest in it, and I assume that anyone interested in a professional photography is creative and talented. But, what about photography education; do you need to get the degree to become a successful photographer? Let’s try to find the answer to this question.

First of all, I think that going to a college is an important decision and you should surely take it into consideration. It’s not about the acquisition of technical knowledge, but being exposed to a wide range of people, social situations and subjects. It’s crucial to be immersed in a subject and surrounded by other students who are also into it. Living and breathing photography on a daily basis is invaluable, especially if your instructors and peers are encouraging and inspiring you to do more.

photography classesNevertheless, photography isn’t a nuclear science and you don’t need a fancy lab to practice it. A good DSLR and a Photoshop are more or less sufficient. And, although it is nice to have an access to well-equipped studio and high-end lighting tools, if you’re motivated enough, you can do a lot of experimentation and studying on your own.

No matter if you’re interested in photojournalism or artistic photography, you need to gain knowledge in basic photography techniques. Will you do that online or by going to a school is less important, but you need to have classes in lighting, on different types of photography, how to adjust your aperture, shutter speed and other settings etc. It’s also essential to learn how to edit your images, as well to take classes in creative concepts, colors and composition. Later on you should focus on the exact photography field you want to specialize in, because it’s quite impossible to become a really successful wedding and nature photographer at the same time. I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t capture that lovely scenery when traveling, but in today’s world, don’t let yourself become jack of all trades, master of none.

photography educationSince most photographers become sole proprietors immediately after they graduate, it’s important to learn how to run your own business, too. As a freelance photographer, you will be responsible for every aspect of your success. Will you get the idea on how to achieve that while attending university? If the answer is no, choose another school which will offer you start-up tips and knowledge. In any case, take a business or marketing class in school and never stop learning it!”I’m a visual artist and I’m not interested in this marketing stuff” is a perfect attitude, if you want to fail or stay an amateur (the one who loves) forever.

I’ve asked experienced and successful photographers running well-known studios how they choose their employees. Nobody told me that they hire photographers just because of the school they went to. Instead, most of them hire on portfolio and reputation. So, if you think that just because you have a fancy degree, someone will want you in their team, you’re terribly wrong. The images you show them will make them either hire or reject you.

Bottom line, photography education is a must for people who want to become successful photographers. Nevertheless, formal education and getting degree shouldn’t be your number one priority. Instead, focus on gaining real knowledge, practicing and expressing your creativity!