Does It Matter Where You Go To College For Photography

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Today, I bound into a large 3-office question that I have stiff thoughts on.

T Asks:
Hi Mike! I accept a quick question for you lot. We take a xvi twelvemonth old daughter who wants to be a professional person commercial photographer. She hasn’t decided exactly what kind of pictures she wants to take. Last summer when she was fifteen, she spent the summertime making a cute and well-received food blog. She created all of the content and photography herself. My wife and I were really impressed and want to signal her in the right management for her called career. We are really struggling with finding the best road forward for her to learn. I’m curious what your recommendation would be. Studying photography at a 4 year university? But, exercise traditional photography programs prepare someone for commercial work? Should she wait at a plan that is commercially driven? Possibly it’southward amend for her to work as an intern/assistant for v years? Learn the concern from the inside?

I would recommend picking a major that has flexibility beyond simply photography, such as business, entrepreneurial studies, or engineering. After that – pick a fun minor. Photography, art, music. While a business major might not be the most fun major, it will set you up with a groundwork that makes a living as a commercial artist far easier.

Artistic arts degrees go out graduates woefully unprepared for the business realities of the fine art and photography globe. We would be okay to sacrifice a few history or theory classes and replace them with business classes. Artists (and photographers) are collectively some of the worst business concern people I know as a result of this. I credit my time taking business classes as one of the almost valuable investments towards my career.

Not just that, only photography careers can be fickle. There are then many factors that go into being a successful working photographer beyond just the ability to have pictures. It’south a bit like poker – you tin play all of the cards right and nevertheless non exist a winner. Yous just never know, and having a solid employable degree behind y’all will give you the confidence to pursue your photography career knowing that if it doesn’t work out you lot e’er accept something to fall dorsum on.

Not only that, merely it volition make existence employable right afterwards higher much easier. There’s so much flexibility with a business concern caste which volition help while you build your career. I wouldn’t recommend going right into photography full time, simply leveraging that caste to get at to the lowest degree a part time job to keep income flowing and to be able to properly guess and bid on jobs. You lot can’t be a successful photographer if yous’re drastic to get every job because you lot take no income.

I personally did not assist anyone, I just went for it. There are arguments for and against profitable only if someone really has the drive and a fashion of their own I’d say simply get for it. Assisting certainly tin can’t hurt either and at that place are definitely lessons I wish I learned in an easier manner (similar assisting someone, for case!) but I don’t recollect at that place’southward a clear respond here. Depends on personality and drive, I judge.

I personally majored in Environmental Studies / Science (it was an Environmental Studies program with a heavy focus on the scientific discipline aspects including physics and energy and a written report abroad program that had me measuring electricity generation from renewables, etc). I double minored in studio art and music because I figured if I was already paying for the degree I might too pack as much in as possible and larn what I could while I had the chance. This gave me a ‘real’ degree and also some fun stuff to play around with. I worked for a flake equally a graphic designer and and so ran my own signmaking company for a while earlier discovering photography.

How did yous larn photography? It’s obvious that y’all’re naturally gifted and accept a slap-up eye, only there must have been some formal learning somewhere along the way.

I learned everything I know from the internet and my art pocket-sized. I didn’t study any photography at school merely rather painting and sculpture and I felt that my pocket-sized gave me enough to larn the basics of limerick and color. Good fine art doesn’t have boundaries, really – a good painting has the same qualities as a good photograph, which has the same qualities as a proficient sculpture, etc. Good art can be evocative, can tell a story, has an interesting composition, moves the viewer emotionally, etc. Doesn’t matter what the medium is.

As far as the internet goes, I just soaked up as much knowledge as possible from internet fora and groups. I constantly put my work out there for critique and learned past showing crappy piece of work as much as possible and taking to heart the criticisms I received (the fine art small-scale gear up me up well for this, because critiques can be absolutely brutal).

Photographers really are a nice and generous bunch with their cognition, though, and I’yard thankful for that every day. I learn new things online constantly.

Thanks once again for your willingness to share your cognition. My married woman and I are professional photographers and I’m watching your FStoppers tutorials (all three) AGAIN! I’ve struggled edifice a portfolio…mainly because I’ve been so busy with nuptials work that I don’t have time (weddings pay the mortgage and Wells Fargo insists on that EVERY month). Just, we have decided to limit our weddings even if information technology ways making less in the brusque term. Nosotros can never commit to doing something else if we don’t commit to stepping abroad from weddings. So, we’re excited to really offset to dig deep.

Skillful luck and I am sure that your girl will practice just fine if she has two working lensman parents! Only I would still not in whatever style ever do a full art major, especially at the price universities are asking these days 🙂

Mike Kelley is an architecture and interiors lensman who has photographed projects all over the world. He is a self proclaimed airplane food enthusiast and the founder of the Architectural Photography Almanac.


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Originally posted 2022-02-12 07:26:41.