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As a high school student, how can I determine if a career in photography is right for me?

In order to look into photography as a career instead of a hobby I will need to enroll in photography classes to learn more about lighting, composition, technique's and many more elements to capture a beautiful image. I can perhaps look for photography clubs around me to get more familiar with taking professional photos. One last thing I can do to gain more knowledge is watch YouTube tutorials that'll be helpful for editing the images/ to take them as well.

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Frank’s Answer

Hi Carmelina,

You are embarking on an exciting career path! Hopefully, the following few steps can help you decide:

Evaluate your technical skills. Photography involves understanding camera settings, composition, lighting, and post-processing.

Are you passionate about capturing moments? Do you enjoy experimenting with angles, lighting, and subjects?
Curiosity and a desire to learn are essential for growth in photography.

Photography allows you to express your creativity. Can you envision unique shots and tell stories through your images?


Remember, photography is both art and skill. If you find excitement in capturing moments , learning and expressing yourself visually. It might be a career for you.
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David’s Answer

Hey Carmelina, as a retired freelance photographer with over fifty years of experience, I can offer some suggestions.
Do you have a genre of photography in mind? Is photography your passion?
You can find work as a photographer without a college degree, but I strongly recommend an education. Depending on which genre you choose could influence where to attend college. No matter how you learn, you will have to know how to operate a camera in order to create images that a client will pay for. If advertising photography is your thing, you could become an assistant at a studio in New York. That's how I began. Of course, times have changed. I believe most studios in the city now work with digital. In my day, digital did not exist. I did take a few evening classes at a school in the city. If you are interested in photojournalism, NY is a good place to start.
I'm not a believer in photography clubs or Youtube. There are dozens of books on photography and you live in a city which has incredible libraries.
Do your research on photography and the various careers that are available.
Best of luck!
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Carmelina !

There are many ways that will help you understand if you were meant to be a photographer and you have given wonderful ideas for how to do it. The short answer that wraps up what you've said is: education and practice. It is an interesting and exciting career, with much variety and offers much to look forward to.

You are right about taking structured classes. Being in New York City, you can look into the International Center for Photography, the School of Visual Arts, PhotoManhattan Photography School, and New York Film Academy. If you decide that you want a college degree, a Bachelors Degree in Photography, you can obtain it at New York University, Syracuse University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York at New Paltz, City University of New York Queensborough Community College, City University of New York Queens College, Pratt Institute, Saint John's University and the New School just to name a few. It will be good to learn the skills in a structured setting and will provide you with projects with which you can begin a portfolio and network and meet contacts for good opportunities. The college setting would help you very much if you decide to be a professional photographer.

Something else you can do which will seem fun to you if you are destined to become a photographer would be to do some Photography Challenges. It is an activity in which you have a list of various things/ways/places that you photograph and try to complete the entire list. I have left a link below for you to see some lists and information. Pinterest is filled with these and I think it will be a good way to test if you'd like to be a photographer or not. I see that you are interested in watching some instruction on You Tube about editing so I have left a link for you below for some videos to watch.

When considering a career as a photographer, remember that this field of work has a wide range of employment and freelance opportunities. Also consider that you are in a perfect city for photography because there is a lot going on in large cities and lots of people. The bigger the city you live in, the more opportunity you will have.

I hope that this is helpful in your decision to pursue or not pursue photography. Do not hesitate to come back and ask more questions for advice here at Career Village !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGES https://www.pinterest.com/dawnshiree/photo-challenges-and-365-ideas-photography-inspira/
PHOTO EDITING TUTORIALS ON YOU TUBE [VIDEOS] https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=photo+editing+tutorials
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Nikolaos’s Answer

Hi Carmelina,

Frank has already provided some really useful advices and your ideas about photography clubs and YouTube tutorials can definitely work.

Another idea would be to spend some time with professional photographers if possible. This could be through shadowing opportunities, or simply engaging in conversations with them about their work. I think that by understanding their day-to-day tasks and the challenges they face, you can get a clearer picture of what a career in photography entails.

Additionally, working on personal projects can be very revealing. Set yourself some creative challenges and see how you handle the process from start to finish. Pay attention to how you feel during these projects because these feelings can always give you some answers.

Another helpful approach is to seek feedback on your work. Sharing your photos with others and receiving constructive criticism can help you gauge your progress and identify areas for improvement. This feedback can also reinforce your motivation if you find yourself excited to apply suggestions and see your growth over time.

Having said that, if you find that your passion for photography continues to grow and you are excited about the multiple possibilities ahead, then a career in photography might be the perfect fit for you!

Best of luck!

Regards,
Nikolas
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