is school realy worth it?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by will turner, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. will turner

    will turner TPF Noob!

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    While taking a break from writing a thousand word essay on 'understanding exposure' I got thinking, is school really worth it?
    Iv been into photography since I was about 11 and there’s no doubt in my mind that this is what I want to peruse a carer in. so should I carry on with this 'into into photography' class just to get the a level at the end, or should I be out assisting photographers and building a portfolio?

    I don’t think this is a ‘general Q&A’ type question but more of a discussion, but if you think otherwise feel free to move it.
     
  2. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The paper on the wall might get you in the door, but if a serious career in photography is what you are after it's my opinion the later is a quicker route. Even after school, you are going to have to apprentice in all likelihood. Another observation, the most notable pro's seem to move up with the number of awards they have collected. Competitions seem to get them ahead faster than grunt work. Take all this with a grain of salt from a guy that was where you are a few decades ago. Today it seems you can't get a job as a street sweeper without that piece of paper.
     
  3. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I think it comes down to a personal decision. What market do you see your self in? If it is studio work maybe assisting is the way to go. If it is editorial work then school will help. If you are sick of photography 101, then consider a BA. Personally school was really worth it for me, but I had no idea of how valuable it was at the time. I can say that college afforded me the luxury of learning without the pressure of making money. The best part was being around other photo students in the same boat. Check out the job board. I was lucky enough to assist while going to school.
     
  4. Artemis

    Artemis Just Punked Himself

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    Why not both? Im an assistant and I go to college and do photography :D
     
  5. Jasmine

    Jasmine TPF Noob!

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    I would have to say that there are pro's and con's either way. I will not be taking the school route. I just take photo courses in my local area to keep up to date and work with other photographers to build my portfolio. However, some people feel school is important. I personally think that hard work and determination will get you just as far.

    Good Luck
    Jasmine
     
  6. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    It depends upon what is right for you.
    I have known some top class photographers that never went to College. And I have known a lot who have.
    I would say that having a Photo qualification means that you tend to be more flexible when having to solve a problem because you understand the principles. And if you get on the right course you can make a lot of contacts that will help your career.
    But in the final analysis it's all down to you.
     
  7. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Well, this is something on which I have a rather polarized opinion.

    I'll say so up front: I'm not a professional photographer, and don't really have any intention of becoming one, and I've never taken any classes related to photography. However, I never completed the eighth grade, and I will tell you that I've regretted it. Whenever I meet someone who is considering not doing "the school thing," I always strongly advise against it, regardless of what kind of school it is.

    Finishing school, whether it's high school, or earning the photography-related degree, or whatever, even if it's just to "get that piece of paper," is terribly important. If I could go back, I would stick with it. I got very, very lucky and wound up in a technical profession based on my aptitude alone. Even so, it took quite some time, and that was a lot of wasted time... something I can never get back.

    So, my advice is: stay in shool, get the piece of paper. It will make persuing your career just that much easier. Not having it will give the majority (who DO have the paper) a big advantage over you. It might take longer, but it's worth it.

    Give yourself the advantage.

    It's not often that I get on the soapbox, and I don't really like doing it, so I'll step off now and go back to minding my own.
     
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  8. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    I think a lot of it depends on the type of school too. My school focused a lot on the artistic side of the spectrum (composition, intent and other stuff like that was very important when we were critiquing.) But, it didn't teach me enough about the technical side of photography. However, there are other schools that are just the opposite. I am very glad that I went though because I actually loved studying all subjects, not just photography.
     
  9. Mansi

    Mansi TPF Noob!

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    something im confused about it.. i know i want to do pj... i've just kinda started out... loads to learn.. but should the learning come in a classroom environment or should i just be shooting like crazy and getting feedback from photographers i know around here?
    i know theres a course at the london college of communications 'MA in photojourno and documentary photography' which i am kinda looking at . so yep im confused too.. to study or not?
     
  10. uberben

    uberben TPF Noob!

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    I have to say i'm just a photographer in its humble beginnings and I graduated from college with a marketing degree last december. It took me 6 months to find a job and I had my piece of paper on the wall. I honestly felt that I had wasted my 4.5 years to get something that didn't seem to make a damn bit of difference. However, looking back at friends from high school who just have there HS diploma, they are really struggling to get work since it seems everybody has a college degree.

    If your young and dont have kids or any real responsibilities, go to college and have fun. You will learn more about yourself and hopefully refine what you see yourself as. You will never be able to go back and enjoy the college years again. Once your in the adult reality (which I am just realizing is more painfull then I imagined), it will be hard to go back and get that piece of paper. Plus, in college you have an amazing amount of people who like to have there pictures taken.
     
  11. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    My mom used to say: Without the paper, you're a piece of poop.

    It rhymes in russian.
     
  12. charlestongirl

    charlestongirl TPF Noob!

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    I am debating on this as well. I been shooting digital now, but when it comes to using SLRs and manual settings, I am very rusty and have forgotten a lot of what I learned years ago. I know lots of people who want to sell photos but they just rely on the point-and-shoot methods, they know nothing of F-Stops, or how to use anything on their camera but the auto zoom.
    I also think it would be fun and beneficial to learn the darkroom techniques. Any that I learned before, I forgot.
    I have been unsure if I am wasting my time, but my school here isn't very expensive and I think it would be fun... so why not. I agree with the other posters, if you are able to do it go with it and have fun. Any knowledge would be good, and you can get feedback from other students and teachers.
     

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