Choosing a Photography School

Choosing a Photography School

When choosing a photography school, it's best to first consider your career goals.

Interested in a career as a fine art photographer? Photographers who use their photography to express their personal vision should seek schools that offer BFA or MFA degrees. Subject matters vary in fine art photography, and today there is often an overlap between fine art photography, photojournalism, and fashion photography. For example, images that capture attention in news may later become a symbol for a period or nation. Look for schools that will help you develop your own style, understand the history of photography, create pieces under direction of established professionals, and work with a variety of art mediums related to photography, such as printing.

More commercially-minded photographers -- event or portrait photographres -- should look for programs offering courses in photographic technology, lighting, darkroom procedures, and camera formats.

Many photographers end up working as freelancers or run their own studios, and therefore many photography programs offer courses in business management and the details behind running a studio. These courses are vital to those looking to work independently. In addition, classes in accounting, marketing, and entrepreneurship could be very helpful for commercial and fine art photographers alike.

Small class sizes will help ensure that you receive individual attention from instructors. Hands-on time is also very important for you to develop a portfolio, which can be used to demonstrate your skills and abilities to potential employers.

Finally, you should seek out photography schools that will help you find internship experience or full-time positions after graduation, as the field is highly competitive. An internship can also expose you to other aspects of the job that can help make you more valuable as an employee or, later, employer.

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