Photo schools

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Zoolfoos, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Zoolfoos

    Zoolfoos TPF Noob!

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    I'm sure you see a fairly large number of theads with this title, but please bear with me.

    I graduated from high school last year, and decided to take the year off to think and decide what I want to do instead of wasting a year and a lot of money in general studies somewhere. I have been a very active photographer for almost seven years, but it was always more of a hobby. I wanted to see if it was something that I could do for a living. I know that the career field is becoming very competitive.

    Anyway, I got a job working in a portrait studio, although not as a photographer. I worked more on the business end, and helped manage client accounts, etc. I learned a lot about studio work this way, and it is something I think I could do as a career.

    More recently though, I have been working as a photographer for a local company that publishes a variety of newspapers in my area. I was lucky enough to get a part-time staff position. I really think this could be the job for me. I almost always enjoy my work, and it changes on a day to day basis, which is a big plus. I like traveling.

    If you've had the patience to read this far, I am really grateful... don't worry though, I'm getting to the point. :)

    I am at a cross roads. I am basically considering two schools to go to next year. I applied to a handful, and after finally having heard from all of them, I have narrowed my choice down to two. If I could choose a location and environment it would definitely be The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston. I love the city, and I like the school. I am a bit concerned that I won't get the technical education I should have. I could be wrong, SMFA has tech classes, but most art schools don't quite match up tech-wise to a school like RIT, which is my other choice. If I go to RIT I will pursue the advertising photography program and a minor in printing. I feel like this would give me a good background and skill set for studio work or journalism. At the same time, I do think that being in an art school atmosphere could be very rewarding.

    For anyone who cares to respond: which do you think would give me a better "edge?" Is there something that you think I would be sorely lacking by going to one school or the other?

    Any other comments or recommendations are welcome of course. I have thought about this so much and discussed it with many people already, but I thought it would be nice to get an outside, unbiased opinion.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Zoolfoos

    Zoolfoos TPF Noob!

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    Hm, I suppose I could always study tech on my own. I know a lot of people have. It seems that having something on paper which says that I definitely know what I'm doing would put a lot of employers at ease.
     
  3. dangerwoman

    dangerwoman TPF Noob!

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    have you looked into New England School of Photography, also in boston?
     
  4. Zoolfoos

    Zoolfoos TPF Noob!

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    Oh... no I have not, but I will. Right now.

    Thank you for the recommendation!! I always appreciate it.
     
  5. dangerwoman

    dangerwoman TPF Noob!

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    im starting my last trimester in my first (of two) years there. its very technically based but theres also alot of room and encouragement to explore, experiment, and try things. the facilities and staff are great...
    its a two year certificate program, but is amazing so far, and ive only heard that it gets better :D its in Kenmore Square.

    message me if you have any questions about it
     
  6. Zoolfoos

    Zoolfoos TPF Noob!

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    A quick reply to the NESOP post: I haven't had time to fully look over the program, but do you think that in the area of photojournalism, a degree will be necessary. I don't have a problem with freelancing on the side, but ideally, if I go into news work I would want a staff position - it's the job security.

    NESOP doesn't offer a degree program. I've looked at other non-degree programs and this seems to be the best I've seen so far. I will say it's definitely something I would be willing to consider.

    Just a few thoughts, but I need to read more about it.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. dangerwoman

    dangerwoman TPF Noob!

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    i pm'd you back :D im just posting it here also incase anyone happens to search and has the same questions as you !


    To be honest- im not sure about the field of photojournalism, as thats not my goal, but what ive heard from my teachers and TAs in regards to that specifically is that its probably the easiest field to get a job in, but the worst paying. they have also stressed that what is important is your portfolio, and who you know. you will definitly walk away from nesop with a great portfolio. considering how hard they work us, i cant see how you could not. its alot of hard work, you DO have to absolutely LOVE photography because its all youll do for the two years youre there. and in regards to the who you know aspect, nesop offers all sorts of opportunities to meet people in the industry, in addition to the fact that most of the faculty are also working photographers.

    NESOP is also accredited, so im pretty sure that if you wanted to continue your education, you can transfer your credits.
     
  8. Zoolfoos

    Zoolfoos TPF Noob!

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    That is a good thing. I will do some research into that as well. And you have a point about the whole portfolio/connections thing. I've spent this year trying to build up my resume... it had better do SOMETHING for me. ;-)
     
  9. Surround yourself with creative people, the technical skills are easily acquired. The right environment will continue pushing you, and the creative thing is harder to find than the technical.
     
  10. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I'm speaking from experience here from 2 different Photography/Art schools:



    You want technical, go to the Art Institute, they'll teach you what makes money.

    If you want conceptual, ask any student at the "fine art college'" you can find who is in the photo program and ask them to tell you off the top of their head, what's 3 stops tighter than f/22.

    If they can't give you the answer at all, or have to really think about it, you'll know the photo program is sub-par, and you won't learn squat about photography.
     

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