getting a good photography job with experience but no degree

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by pbere, May 26, 2009.

  1. pbere

    pbere TPF Noob!

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    How do I go about this? Employers are often looking for a photography degree. Does this matter? I have worked for a fine art pregnancy and baby studio, Lifetouch Portrait Studios, and now work for a high volume local photography studio.

    My current studio is not doing well right now with the economy, and I have frustration with the office politics there. I have my own company but I am apprehensive about relying just on that. What is a better route for me? To promote my own company and go solo, or find a company that is doing better that I can work under. My dream is to have my own photography business, but I need to figure out if I can afford to focus on it, and survive during the time it will take to build it up so I can support myself.

    Here is my website for an assessment of my skill. www.biancaportraits.com
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Depends what job you are after.

    I would think that if you are getting a job in a bigger company as their permanent photographer, or a magazine or something similar, if you don't have a degree, you need to have a great portfolio. Actually, having a degree or not wouldn't have as much impact as a good portfolio.

    If you have no degree, little professional experience, limited portfolio, you could try and get in as an assistant, a helper or something similar.
     
  3. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I put a much higher value on actual experience and a good portfolio than on a piece of dead tree that says you went to a classroom and learned a bunch of theory. That's worthless if you are not artistic.

    I'll second that a good portfolio is the best route.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The degree is a door opener and - especaily for something like photography - that is about as far as it goes. Your portfolio and your works will carry far more weight.

    However without a degree you might find it tricky to get on that first step to getting an interview - so call up a few friends - you have worked for two companies so see if anyone knows anyone and see if any of you contacts can help with a push in the right direction. Also remember to be persistant - you are going to get rejections - probably a lot, don't give up, read them (some might mention specifcaly why you were rejected) take notes and keep going!
     
  5. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually, I find that the contacts you get while getting your degree can often be more valuable to get work and such than the degree itself
     
  6. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    Agreed! Thats how I got my job in construction. Had offers from post professors as well as classmates who got me interviews.
     
  7. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    In a company or organization I find that there are two levels of photographers. One is the photographer/technician who takes photos more of a documentary nature where little creativity or style is required. The second is the photographer/manager who works on media presentations with department heads and other executives, writes reports, scripts, and perhaps even an internal multi-page newsletter. The range of photography may be from corporate portraits through public relations to promotion and advertising work. A photographer/manager may not require a photography degree but certainly A university degree since good literacy: speaking and writing skills are expected.

    skieur
     
  8. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I dont believe a degree is necessary, your work should speak for itself. If you have a kick ass portfolio then you obviously know what youre doing and you dont need a stupid piece of paper to say that.
     
  9. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I am guessing that you are interested in staying in the retail market. If that is the case you may be good to go at this point. Depends on the market you will be targeting. If you are trying to tackle a market like San Francisco or LA. You will need a degree. Not so much the piece of paper, but the education will take your work to the next level.

    Assisting is an excellent approach. Finding the right photographer is a long and arduous process.

    Love & Bass
     

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