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where would I go if I wanted to become a photographer?

any ideas ?

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James Constantine’s Answer

Hey there, Lizzie!

Let's Chat About Your Journey to Becoming a Photographer

If the world of photography is calling your name, you're in luck! There are plenty of routes you can take to polish your skills and make a name for yourself in the professional photography world. Here's a little guide to help you kick off your exciting journey:

1. Photography Schools and Workshops: One of the quickest ways to become a photographer is to join a top-notch photography school or participate in workshops led by seasoned pros. These places offer well-structured programs that teach you all about photography, from technical skills to artistic composition, and even business practices. Some of the big names in photography education include the New York Institute of Photography, Brooks Institute, and the London College of Communication.

2. Apprenticeships and Mentorship Programs: Another great way to learn photography is by becoming an apprentice or finding a mentor among established photographers. This hands-on method lets you gain real-world experience while learning from an industry expert. Many professional photographers are happy to mentor or take on apprentices who are committed and passionate about photography.

3. Online Resources and Communities: Thanks to the digital world we live in, there's a wealth of online resources for those eager to learn about photography. Platforms like YouTube, Skillshare, and MasterClass offer a variety of tutorials and courses taught by industry pros. Plus, joining online photography communities and forums can give you a chance to network and receive constructive feedback on your work.

4. Building a Portfolio: No matter which path you choose, it's crucial to build a strong portfolio that showcases your skills and style as a photographer. This could involve capturing a wide range of subjects and styles, entering photo contests, or teaming up with local businesses and organizations to gain exposure and experience.

5. Networking and Internships: Networking in the photography industry can lead to internships or assistant positions with well-known photographers or photography studios. These opportunities let you see professionals in action, learn about the business side of photography, and make important connections that can boost your career.

6. Specialized Photography Conferences and Events: Going to specialized photography conferences, trade shows, and events can give you a peek into the latest trends, techniques, and gear in photography. These events are also great for networking with industry professionals and getting inspired by their work.

By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to building a solid foundation for your photography career, all while refining your skills and developing your own artistic vision.

Here are the top 3 authoritative references I used:

- New York Institute of Photography: A well-known institution offering comprehensive photography courses and programs.
- Brooks Institute: A respected school known for its focus on visual arts education, including photography.
- Skillshare: An online learning platform that offers a wide variety of creative courses, including photography tutorials taught by industry pros.

These sources helped provide reliable information on formal education options (like schools and workshops), online learning resources, and networking opportunities in the photography industry.

Take care and all the best on your exciting journey,

James.
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David’s Answer

Hi Lizzie, I am going to assume you're referring to college. It depends on which genre of photography you're interested in. Lots of schools offer a degree in photography, but not many offer a degree that directly applies to making money with a camera.
Art Center College of Design is the best known school if you want to be a commercial photographer. Generally commercial shooters shoot advertising photography and they are paid the most money. However, this requires a lot of money to open and equip a studio. If you have the passion and determination, this is the school to attend.
If photojournalism is your thing; University of Missouri School of Journalism is excellent.
Also, you can get a liberal arts degree from many schools that will offer some photo classes to give you basic photo knowledge because to be a professional photographer, in most instances, does not require a degree. But, a degree allows you to earn a living as you build your photography biz.
I hope this helps.
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Michael Anthony’s Answer

Hi Lizzie.

There are a vast number of ways this answer can go. I can only speak from personal experience in my field of photography. You have years of deciding what you want to do with your future career so I would start off with photography as a hobby. If you have access to an SLR digital camera, pick that up and learn all the features so that it becomes an extension of you and let your creativity flow through from your mind and eye to the finger on the shutter button. Test the waters and explore your talent and find the passion for the hobby.

Get out and take pictures. Take pictures of everyday life as you see it. If you see an interesting story develop in front of you, capture that moment. When you see a landscape that inspires you, capture that moment. If you see someone walking by who peeks your interest as a photo subject, capture that moment. The whole world is a story to capture. Whether you find an interest in shooting nature, landscapes, city photography, portraiture, fashion, or arts, it's all there waiting for you.

Once you discover that photography is for you, as mentioned previously, look into formal classes. They can be at a community college or local workshops. Get down to the basics and master them. From there you can only grow. After that step, if your mind is made up to formally pursue an education, find arts programs at colleges or universities to major in. If you want a safety net (which I personally prefer), select a dual major in a field that interests you. Personally I never studied photography. It just landed in my lap from hobby to portraiture and later women's fashion and interior design photography. Having traveled that route, I am an advocate for some kind of formal education in the field as my career has been haphazardly a case of being at the right places at the right times.

Best of luck on your adventure and remember, capture those moments.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Lizzie !

What an excellent interest you have ! You have some great options so I'd like to share some advice with you.

To be a professional Photographer, your first option is to go to a college for a degree in Digital Photography. The top schools in your state for this would be Temple University in Philadelphia, Drexel University in Philadelphia, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and Point Park University in Pittsburgh. Once you decide that you want a college degree as a foundation for your career, decide if you want to go for an Associate degree or a Bachelors degree.

If you believe that you do not want to attend a college but still want a degree, you can do the course of study on line. Among the finest on-line degree programs for photography are Savannah College of Art and Design, Southern New Hampshire University, Arizona State University, Academy of Art University, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Lindenwood University, and Mount Saint Mary's University in Los Angeles, CA.

Your third option, if you do not want to go for a degree in Photography, you can take classes in your community and any free on line classes that you may find by doing a search on the internet. It would be to your benefit to take some business management classes, too as one day you may want to create your own photography business. So you have three options and it is up to you to decide which one will work best for you and when you would like to begin.

You will have to invest in good photography equipment and it would be great to start a collection of books about photography so you can start your own reference library. Bookmark a lot of photography How To websites and keep any How To photography videos available on your computer. Once you have the equipment, start taking photos. Try landscape, portrait, black and white, special effects, AI generated, Food Photography, fashion photos, Abstract, the sky's the limit ! The sooner that you begin, the better foundation you will have. Be sure to archive all of your photography work both on line and in hard copy within a portfolio.

I hope that this has been a bit of a help and I wish you all the best and a lot of fun with your studies in photography !
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Ryan’s Answer

Hi Lizzie,

As someone who did wedding photography in the past, you don't really need to go to school for photography, unless you want to.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars in school learning about photography you can invest that in photography gear that will enable you to be a good photographer.

Look for photographers that capture images you like, and analyze the photo. What makes you like it? The lighting? The pose? The field of view? Then try to recreate the photo.

Hands on experience will lead to more growth then going to a university for photography. You can also purchase books from photographers you like if you prefer a more formal type of education.

The most important part is to build a portfolio, such as a IG page to show your work.
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