Photography is pretty straight forward. It involves taking pictures of people, animals, landscapes and other objects using a camera. However, for the professional photographer, photography is much more than just taking pictures, it’s an art form that allows the photographer to capture reality and present it in a way that elicits feelings of happiness, fear, desire, and even anger. It’s also a medium photographers use to communicate thoughts, messages, and sometimes entire stories. It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and to the professional photographer that couldn’t be more true.
While a few photographers still use silver-halide film cameras, the large majority of photographers use state-of-the-art digital cameras. Modern digital photography offers several advantages over traditional film cameras. Digital photography enables photographers to edit images on a computer, store their work on small, portable memory devices (e.g., flash drives, compact disks, and memory cards) and share their work with clients and potential customer electronically in just seconds from anywhere in the world.
Photographers may be self-employed or they may work for commercial clients. While many photographers aspire to the life of freelance photography, it has its drawbacks. Self-employed photographers who run their own business have many responsibilities other than just photography. They must market their business, advertise, purchase and maintain their own equipment, pay bills, keep accounting and business records, and if they have employees there’s a whole other laundry list of things they have to do.
The career opportunities in photography are varied and diverse. Some photographers work as freelance photographers for corporations, magazines, news networks and publishing companies. Others work as educators, teaching photography classes and conducting workshops at public and private schools and universities. A few of the more popular career opportunities in photography include Portrait Photographer, Commercial/Industrial Photographer, Fine Arts Photographer, News Photographer, Aerial Photographer, and University Photographer.
The education required to become a successful photographer will depend in large part on what type of photographer you want to become. Although most photography careers do not require formal education, many aspiring photographers will take photography classes or earn a bachelor’s degree in photography or a related field. For example, a postsecondary degree is not required to become a portrait photographer, but if you plan on pursuing career opportunities as an industrial photographer, scientific photographer or photojournalist, you’re more than likely going to need to have a bachelor’s degree in photography or industry relevant field. You may also consider earning and associate’s degree in photography. An associate degree will help you develop the skill set and knowledge required to launch your career while providing you a useful credential that may be of benefit down the road.
Many four-year colleges and universities, 2-year community and junior colleges, and technical schools offer basic and advanced courses in photography. With the advent of the Internet and advances in online communication technologies, it’s now possible to earn a photography degree online and receive the education you need without ever stepping outside your front door. Below you’ll find a directory of accredited institutions offering campus-based and online photography degrees, courses and programs designed to prepare students for entry-level and career advancement opportunities in photography.
Photography Degrees, Certificates and Programs
|Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|
|Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More >|
|Kaplan University Kaplan University's campus locations provide the facilities, faculty, staff and career programs to help you achieve your personal goals. You can learn from professionals specializing in identifying career opportunities and preparing students for a brighter future. Learn More >|
|Northcentral University Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences. Learn More >|
|Colorado Technical University (CTU) CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, faculty who are real-world professionals, and innovative technology. Learn More >|