PhotographyDegrees.org is a site that provides resources and tips for students interested in becoming photographers. If you’re interested in getting into the field, we’ve provided answers to commonly asked questions below. You can also follow our blogger, Anthony Socci, a professional photographer and published author, for industry updates and tips on what it takes to work in this field.
- Why study photography?
- What are my degree options for a career in photography?
- Are there alternative fields to photography in the visual arts?
- What will a degree in photography prepare me for?
What are my degree options for a career in photography?
You have a few options to consider when it comes to pursuing a photography degree. Which one you choose depends on your college and career goals. If you’re just starting out, an associate degree might a good option or perhaps a bachelor’s degree if you can commit three or four years to your education. If you’re interested in learning more about specific photography programs, we’ve created a list of popular options below.
Southern New Hampshire University
The Art Institutes
Full Sail University
View more programs in Art and Design.
Why study photography?
Photography programs are comprehensive and teach a variety of skills such as business and customer service skills, communication skills, how to use unique software, and build a professional portfolio. Bachelor degree programs incorporate general education classes into your education plan while associate degrees and vocation certificates teach career-specific courses.
Once you’ve completed a program, at any degree level, you’ll have a portfolio to show prospective jobs and clients. As you continue to work in the field, your portfolio will be something that sells you.
Are there alternative fields to photography in the visual arts?
Yes, there are alternative fields to photography in the visual arts that offer a variety of opportunities for an arts-based education. Below you’ll find a list of different areas of study in the visual arts to help you find a degree path that best suits your academic and professional goals:
|Area of Study||Description||Career Options|
|Visual Communication and Design||A degree in visual communication and design teachers students how to create, plan, and execute visual solutions to unique problems in business and contemporary society.||
|Graphic Arts||A degree in graphic design provides a strong foundation in design principles and digital technologies and develops skills to communicate visual messages and brand strategies in diverse media formats, which include print, web, motion, and mobile devices.||
|Video Production||A degree in video production teachers students how to craft messages across many media types and to use creative tools to develop multimedia projects that are enhanced by video and audio.||
What will a degree in photography prepare me for?
A photography degree prepares you to work in many different of industries. You can pursue employment as a wedding or portrait photographer, commercial and industrial photographer, scientific or fine arts photographer…the list goes on and on.
Job duties vary depending on the type of photography, type of employer, and your credentials. Some photographers choose to work with many clients at once, especially those who work on a contract basis. The fields with the highest expected growth are in portraiture and commercial photography in advertising. Below are descriptions for some of the different types of photographers and photography careers:
|Type of Photographer||Description|
|Action or Event Photographer||Action or event photographers cover company events, awards ceremonies, religious ceremonies, weddings, and more.|
|Fashion Photographer||Fashion photographers are responsible for photographing apparel, accessories, and fashion models as well as for overseeing photography production, including hair styling, apparel, and lighting.|
|Nature Photographer||Nature photographers capture images of our natural world and often specialize in photojournalism in order to photograph natural disasters.|
|Portrait Photographer||Portrait photographers document coming-of-age moments and often specialize in individual and group portraits.|
|Still Life Photographer||Still life photographers use lighting, angles, and other techniques to make food and products look just as appealing on film as they do in real life.|
By pursuing higher education, you can increase your job opportunities and overall lifetime salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), photographers can earn upwards of $68,000 a year. Pursue your passion and get started in a photography degree program today!