Skip to main content
8 answers
9
Asked 582 views

How many years do you have to go to college to be a photographer?

This question was asked anonymously by a learner

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

9

8 answers


1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Louis’s Answer

There is no right or right way to go about being a photographer. I have a double masters degree but not in photographer. I've never taken a class but I've photographed 12 magazine covers 9 Grammy Awards, 4 superbowls, 15 Oscar shows, wedding and headshots. Photography is a very creative career and the sky isn't the limit. If it's want you want to do get a camera and get out there but nothing happens overnight. It takes time. I have 9 published books, and shoot for countless print publications. I travel a great deal and have friends all over. I curate and create Photography exhibits. The only limit are the limits your place on yourself.

Louis recommends the following next steps:

Get a camera and go shoot. Tons of online places looking for writer's and photographers
Join Flickr and get inspired
Follow street photographers on Instagram
Have fun
1
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Tiffanie’s Answer

Hi!

I don't think there is one right way to become a photographer. I know lots of photographers that just picked up a camera and started learning on their own.

You can go to university to learn how to do photography, you can take classes on online platform likes Udemy, you can probably even learn from social media.

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-become-a-photographer
Here is a good link for how to become a photographer.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Michelle’s Answer

Hello, CVOH !

I love this question because there are so many options on how you can realize your dream of being a professional Photographer and I would be happy to lend some advice to you !

Photography is one of those special careers in which it is very evident that it provides both a service and a product. I would advise obtaining at least a Bachelors Degree in either Photography or Business (with Photography in mind). This is also one of those careers that you can have your own business for. I would suggest getting an Associates degree first and than the Bachelors Degree. You can research the majors at the colleges that I left a link for below and see which ones you like best. Also explore the colleges that are in your area. It takes 4 years to obtain a Bachelors Degree if you go for four straight years without a break.

It's not required that you get a college degree for photography, but there are schools for Photography that many people do go to. Explore from the list at the link below to see if they are 2 year or 4 year programs. I believe that it is important to go to college for this because of the great knowledge that is taught and shared, the opportunities, networking, contacts and personal growth that can come from any formal education. A degree will give you an edge when you are starting your career and applying for jobs. It is an art, a service, but it is also a business and education can greatly enhance your business know-how for your future.

Another way to do this is not go to college and be self-taught, taking courses on line and reading a lot about all the latest techniques, digital graphics, CGI, etc. You will have to teach yourself and additionally search for free on line photography courses. I wanted to mention this as an option, but I do not advise this route because of the limitations it may impose. When you are looking for work, a resume with a degree might take favor with an employer. You also have to think about project opportunities which are done on campus at college and overseen by an experienced professor that can give you constructive suggestions. You would also need to ask friends and family to pose for you when you start self-teaching about portrait photography. If you go to college and get your degree, many things that will benefit you will be provided for you on campus in person.

So you actually do have options and after you explore the ones I have mentioned, come to a personal decision based on what will be best for you. It is an exciting and rewarding career and just know that you deserve the best preparation for it.

I wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

COLLEGES THAT OFFER DEGREES IN PHOTOGRAPHY https://www.collegesanddegrees.com/programs/photography
PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOLS https://theartcareerproject.com/photography-schools/
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Pablo’s Answer

Hi!

I'm glad you are curious about photography and becoming a professional.

I don't think you strictly need to go to formal education or spend many years in college to become a professional photographer. This doesn't mean that learning techniques, history, and trends and mastering your craft will not require investing in classes or specific courses.

To put this in perspective, I will tell you how I became a photographer.
In high school, I had an analog camera, and I took Photography 101 as a supplementary class to learn the basics of photography. I fell in love with the art. Later, I assisted two photographers in various commercial seasons for three years (meanwhile, I did some informal photography jobs). These sessions varied from fashion, jewelry, bridal, engagement, family, product, yearbook, and even documentary photos. This gave me a glimpse into what it is to take this kind of picture and learn each genre's technical and artistic aspects. It was a great hands-on experience next to real professionals who had the equipment and the clients to the job.

As I felt more and more comfortable jumping into sessions on my own and saving some money to get my equipment, I decided to offer my photographic services and tried to at least every 2 to 3 months learn or explore something new in my photography journey, like going to a photo walk tour, or signing up to a class or workshop, or even going to youtube and learn a new technique for editing my photos. The most valuable thing that I got from this was that I built a group of contacts and friends, each one with their expertise in photography, whom I could consult or go to if I had any questions or wanted some critique about my work.

In other words, I think you need to combine shooting experience, creativity, and technical knowledge to feel confident that when you get offered a job,are up to the challenge.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Shontavia’s Answer

You certainly don't need to attend school to become a successful photographer. Many accomplished photographers have mastered the craft on their own. All it requires is a keen sense of intuition and a healthy dose of patience!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Melanie’s Answer

That's a great question! This question I feel like it has a lot of avenues of opportunity to learn. Some people work better in a college environment. I was half self-taught and by going online to credible resources learning about lighting, lenses, and photography styles.

There are a lot of great places to go online and in person to grow niche skills that could spark your creative interest. Now you may work better in a school environment for practicing photography. But the best thing to remember is knowing how you enjoy being taught: In-person (Hands-on), on your own creating your creative projects to gather experience and sense of identity, or mentorship/Workshops. I think these are great options if you want to see what's out there. That makes sense for you to understand photography. At the end of the day, If college is the way you want to learn and you feel comfortable. That's the most important aspect. Make sure you think you'll excel in that learning approach with photography.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

William’s Answer

Becoming a photographer doesn't necessarily require a college degree. Many individuals find joy in photography and turn it into a profitable side hustle. Kickstart your journey by capturing some captivating images and showcasing them on your personal brand website.

Nonetheless, securing a college degree could be beneficial in the long run, especially if your interests diversify over time. If photography is your passion, think about seeking out cost-effective education options to hone your skills.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Parker’s Answer

I believe that attending college is not a mandatory requirement for photographers. The essence of art lies in understanding the basics and mastering the techniques, not necessarily in formal education. Art is about creation, and this applies to all forms, including photography. This is why I think that college is not a strict necessity for artists. If there are opportunities to learn photography for free, such as online classes or courses at community colleges, I highly recommend taking advantage of them. So, in my view, college is not an absolute requirement for pursuing photography.
0