Career in photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by equisage, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. equisage

    equisage TPF Noob!

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    I'm going to be a senior in high school, and I'm considering photography has a career path. I've been looking at some art technical schools in the surrounding area, trying to get an idea of what the programs and curricula are like.

    I've come across two different degree programs... One is being called "Photography" and the other is being called "Photographic Imaging." I'm wondering if there is anyone here who can explain the difference between these two fields. It appears to me that the Photography program has a lot more courses designed for working with film, but I'm really clueless.

    If anyone can help me with this, or offer any other advice on the matter, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks! =]
     
  2. choudhrysaab

    choudhrysaab TPF Noob!

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    it kinda sounds like one is actual photography as the other may be post processing (Photoshop etc.)
     
  3. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think the best way of approaching this is to cover your bases upon what the curriculum of the program is and not the label. Who knows what they're going to be covering based on the program name. Do the research on the itinerary of the classes and this will probably shed more light.

    Nowadays it is very competetive that knowing photography and graphic design is a must so I think there are some schools out there who cover both spectrums in single program/degree. Also don't forget the business component - very very very important if you decide to go forward with this without a boss.

    Good luck!
     
  4. equisage

    equisage TPF Noob!

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    Its possible that there is a greater focus on that, but I don't think thats entirely the case. The Art Institute of Washington's website suggests that these careers are attainable with the Photographic Imaging program:
    Commercial photographer
    Product photographer
    Assistant photographic editor
    Freelance photographer
    Studio assistant
    Photojournalist
    Photo lab technician

    The curriculum for the program seems to offer a fair amount of courses for photography skill development.
     
  5. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    List up the courses that comprise both programs and we'll see what it comes down to.

    I'm also thinking one is about photography history, concepts, styles, composing, studio, light,... the other focuses on more post production. But hard to tell without a course description
     
  6. equisage

    equisage TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice. That is what I've been trying to do, its just rather confusing. Both curricula seem to have adequate training for actual photography, but obviously there are two different programs for a reason.

    The difference doesn't appear to be in the depth of knowledge, because that difference is clearly the one between the associate's and bachelors degrees of both programs. The Photographic imaging program seems to be more of what I'm interested in, but I don't want to miss any key instruction/ certification that might give me an edge.
     
  7. equisage

    equisage TPF Noob!

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    Photographic Imaging — Associate in Arts
    • Successful photographic professionals do not rely on talent alone. They must possess
      a thorough understanding of the composition of light as well as a wide array of technical
      skills-from choosing the right equipment to perfecting production techniques while capturing
      visually compelling images. Students must be creative, imaginative, and attentive to detail
      as they prepare to enter the field. While building an awareness of visual style, students also
      develop core values based in professional standards and practices and a skill set with a solid
      technical and design foundation.

      In addition to courses in art and design, students in photographic imaging study the history
      of art and the history of photography as they explore the principles of photographic design
      and the significance of visual style in the commercial sector. They study the application of
      professional cameras, lenses, and related processes-small, medium, and large formats-as
      they apply to commercial uses such as photojournalism or advertising photography. Students
      use the professional equipment to develop the techniques required for successful location and
      studio photography, as well as learning to solve problems in both natural and artificial lighting.

      Students apply all the tools of contemporary photographic techniques to the digital workflow
      of modern photography. Studios and darkrooms feature program-specific hardware and software.

      With my new skills, I can be...
      Commercial photographer
      Product photographer
      Assistant photographic editor
      Freelance photographer
      Studio assistant
      Photojournalist
      Photo lab technician

      (entry-level positions)

      Associate in Arts
      In the associate program, students develop skills by learning the basics of color, design, various camera techniques and applications, and digital imaging. At the end of the program, they assemble a portfolio of their work in the program.

      Graduates in the associate program may choose to continue into the bachelor of fine arts program, or they may seek entry-level positions in the field as studio assistants or as staff photographers with publishing companies, photography studios or labs, and production companies.
    • Total Credit Hours: 96


    Photography — Associate of Science
    • "Unifying and teaching the traditional and digital processes of photography to inspire the next generation of image makers, our photography faculty are committed to bringing a strong practical, theoretical, and professional background to each student. We take pride in our students' success, guiding them to acquire the industry-related skills, hands-on experience, and vision to produce competent and thought-provoking imagery needed in the ever changing world of professional photography."

      — Anderson B. English, M.F.A., Academic Department Director, Photography

      The Mission of the Photography Associate of Science degree program is to prepare graduates for entry-level positions within the diverse world of photography. Emphasis is placed on development of fundamental composition, technical and problem-solving skills needed to produce competent imagery coupled with communication and business skills appropriate to market needs.

      To produce a visually compelling image, photographic professionals cannot rely on creative talent alone. They must also have proficient compositional, lighting, camera and technical skills and a thorough understanding of the subject in order to be successful.

      Students who complete the 21-month Associate of Science degree in Photography develop skills by learning the basics of color, design, visual expression, various camera techniques and applications, digital imaging and business practices.

      Those who choose the Bachelor of Science program in Photography will be challenged to expand upon the varied skills and proficiencies studied in the associate’s degree program through coursework that is greater in depth and rigor. Students will strive to develop a solid photographic identity, purpose and direction.

      Graduates of the associate’s degree program are prepared to seek entry-level positions as photographic assistants, photo lab technicians or digital-imaging artists. For the independently driven, freelance work in the portrait, editorial and commercial fields present additional career opportunities. Bachelor’s degree graduates are prepared to seek entry-level positions such as newspaper photojournalist, studio manager, commercial photographer, editorial photographer, and photographic editor with advertising agencies, publishing houses, magazines, and production companies. Many graduates open their own studios or work independently by taking freelance assignments.
    • Total Credit Hours: 104
     
  8. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you tried talking to the counselor? Maybe if you have any questions on a particular class asking the professor might also be helpful.

    If you don't mind me asking, what type of photographer did you want to be later? :D e.g. wedding, studio, photojournalist...etc
     
  9. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Whatever you choose, take business classes as well as your photography degree program. As many as you can. Seriously.
     
  10. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hard to tell the difference between them.

    They both seem to touch on similar subjects, although the Photography one seems to go into the science and understanding of the elements... the "why is the rule of thirds so interesting". The Photo Imaging seems to be more application of these principles.

    I'm really not sure though, so I totally agree in discussing with a counselor.

    And I 100% agree with the suggesting of taking business classes to learn how to run your own business
     
  11. equisage

    equisage TPF Noob!

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    Hm, thats a good idea. The school with the Photography program is nearby where my brother goes to college, so perhaps I can contact someone about it when we drop him off this month.

    I'm not entirely sure yet. Up until recently I wanted to become a Vet.. but the kind of medicine I want to practice is near impossible to get schooling for (accupressure + herbology). So I'm really just now looking more deeply into photography as an option (though I've had an interest in it, as well as other arts, ever since I was young). I think I would enjoy photojournalism, or equine (horse) photography. I'd really rather freelance (so yes, rufus, I'm definitely going to be looking into education in business, thank :)), but if I could get a job working for a magazine I think I would enjoy that. I'm mostly interested in nature and living subjects. For instance, working for national geographic would be a dream job for me.. if I had more guts. lol

    I've heard that photography is an extremely competitive field (quite the opposite of the career I was pursuing up until recently). So, I'm wondering how difficult it will be to get a business started.
     
  12. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    While not a professional, I think the affordability of DSLRs these days has made it so anyone and their uncle has one. Many people don't bother taking the time to learn how to use it, they just set it in auto and enjoy the greatness of the CMOS sensor.

    So there are alot of people out there taking pictures. Alot of businesses pick up a dSLR to shoot their own products, everyone has a friend who has one and asks to shoot their wedding. But these people don't stay in business as they more often than not don't have a quality product.

    So if you have a good product, good marketing, good customer service, then you already start to seperate yourself from the masses
     

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