Is it worth it to go to school for photography?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JbleezyJ, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. JbleezyJ
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    JbleezyJ New Member

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    Or would it better just to learn from others and own your own and just jump into the field and save that college money on equipment and investing on starting things up yourself?

    I love photography and I want to do it for a living I just don't know where to start to actually try and make a living from it. For those of you who are making a living being a photographer I'd like some advice.
  2. MohaimenK
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    MohaimenK New Member

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    Depends on you but why pay for something you can learn from books and practice? It doesn't involve a diploma. Just my opinion.
  3. mwcfarms
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    mwcfarms New Member

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    Depends on what kind of learner/student the person is too. If you pick up things very quickly etc. I'm sure one of the proffesionals will chime in.
  4. 8ball
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    8ball New Member

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    I'll tell you right now hallmark school of phoptography is 60 G's for 10 months
  5. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Well, do you have any idea about the type of photography you want to do for a living? If you want to run your own business, then a business education would probably be a lot more beneficial than a photographic education. If you want to work directly for another company, then it may not matter, but having the education credentials might help land that type of job (although skill & talent will probably trump credentials).

    Either way, photography isn't one of the trades that requires education & certification, like Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Electricians etc. But it usually doesn't hurt to get some education.
  6. JbleezyJ
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    JbleezyJ New Member

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    It's just I want to do photography and my mom wants me to get a college degree and I don't feel like I need to go to college for photography but then again what if I don't make it in the photography field. I'm just unsure of what I should do.

    I want to do about all kinds of photography commercial, fashion, portraits, product, fine art, photo journalism, stock I want to do it all. Not so much weddings though. haha
  7. Stradawhovious
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    Stradawhovious Well-Known Member

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    And community education courses are almost cheap as free.

    [speaking as a non professional photographer, but also as someone who has experience in specialized diplomas.....]

    It really depends on your endgame. Do you wish to be a full time photographist, or will this be a supplemental income? Have you done the research as to the average salary of a photographologist? Are you comfortable making about $16,000 a year for the first several years of your career? (based on an educated guesstimate of income in your average LARGE city..... cut that in half if your city has a population smaller than you shoe size)

    I could be wrong, you could be the best thing to happen to photology since reusable flashes, but based on the number of sharks in the proverbial tank you would have your work cut out for you to make it out the gate with a primary income in photography. I could also be wrong about how difficult it would be to break into a career as a professional photomaker, but based no what I've been reading here I don't think I am.

    My advice to you.... and I wish I took this advice before getting my two near useless degrees in stringed instrument restoration..... talk with folks that have graduated from this school 5 years ago. Figure out if they are making a living with what they learned at the school..... figure out how much they make (on average) per year. I have learned that people who have graduated from these types of schools (both specialized and four year) are more than willing to give lots of information to prospective students.

    Talk to professionals in your town. See if they offer community ed classes..... I would bet that more than one of them could use a hand around the studio from an unpaid intern........

    Just sayin'.

    FWIW, my .02, YMMV and all that. Feel free to completely dsregard the above advice.
  8. Stradawhovious
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    Stradawhovious Well-Known Member

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    And one more thing...... if you want to go to college and get a degree.. (and you should....) look into a nice 4 year degree majored in business management (then maybe minor in photography). That would, in my opinion, be more important to a private photography studio than a degree in photography.

    Again, FWIW, My .02 and all that...
  9. AprilEye
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    AprilEye New Member

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    An on-line or correspondence course may not be a bad idea. I just signed up for a Fundamentals of Digital Photography course through New York Institute of Photography. It has 16 lessons which they mail to you including books, cds, dvds, etc. and it is interactive online as well. Something to check out. I saw their ad in Popular Photography magazine and you can work at your own pace. You have up to 2 years to complete the course. Here is the info: NYIP - Overview of NYIP photography courses - Professional photography, digital photography
  10. orb9220
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    orb9220 New Member

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    Yep major in Business or even Graphic Artists with photography as minor.
    Would make your mother feel more secure that you are getting a real degree.
    And will give you the additional skills to become a successful photographer if that is what you choose.
    If not and you change your mind then left with skills that can be applied to many other fields.
    .
  11. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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  12. Bitter Jeweler
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    Bitter Jeweler Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with that business model.
  13. mishele
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    mishele Moderator Staff Member

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    How old are you?? Go to college.......at the very least go for biz. Your mom is looking out for you. That doesn't mean that you can't become a photographer......it just means you have more options.
  14. flyingember
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    flyingember New Member

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    you'll be broke within 3 months. assuming you have three months of living expenses in your savings

    I run a photo business part time. I work full time in IT. I've made < 4 figures this year with photography. I really need several thousand dollars to put towards advertising.
  15. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Also, as sad as it is, there is a difference between liking photography and having to make a living from it. What I mean is that when you are forced to do it, to pay the bills, it may not be as much fun anymore.
    But don't be put off by that...being able to make your living, doing what you truly love, is the big key to being happy in life.

    If you think that maybe you just really like photography...then become a doctor or a dentist etc. Those are the people who can actually afford all the cool photography gear and can afford to travel to the cool places to take photos. :er:

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