Photography training?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Badonkadonk, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. Badonkadonk

    Badonkadonk TPF Noob!

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    Hi! This is my first post here. I'm not experienced in photography AT ALL, but I have a photography question, so I thought I'd ask a bunch of photographers!

    I've been going to school for a little while, but I have to change my major. I'm looking for a career that I will enjoy, but I also want to be able to find a job. I've narrowed my choices down to 2 areas, one being photography. The degree I'm looking at is a Commercial Graphics Associate Degree, focusing on Photography. Here is some information on that particular degree, if anybody wants to know about it:

    http://academics.tridenttech.edu/mediaarts/Programs/VA_Associate_Photography.pdf


    So back to my real question.... Will an associate degree do me any good? The school website says I could find a job in a commercial studio, at a magazine or newspaper, or other opportunities. Is this realistic? Will a degree give me an advantage over someone who is self-trained but doesn't have a degree? I think I'm pretty smart and will do well in whatever program I choose. I've always been interested in photography, I just haven't ever seriously considered getting into it until now. Thank you all for any help you could give me!

    Sarah
     
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I don't want to discourage you from photography as a career choice, but it's not what most people think it is. Especially a commercial studio photographer. I haven't had a lot of personal experience with it, from from talking to those that have, a lot of the time is spent on planning, set-up, etc., and a very minor portion of the time is behind the camera.

    I think it would be good to ask yourself a bunch of questions:
    Why do you want to be a photographer?
    What is it about photography that you would be happy doing it every day?
    I'm sure others here can come up with some other good ones. The answers will help you decide if it's right for you, and to narrow down what area of photography you would like to be in. A wedding photograher is very different than a commercial studio photographer.

    Personally, I'd spend more time behind the camera before you made it your choice in major, but I guess you don't have that luxury at the moment.
     
  3. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

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    I think if you are passionate about it, go for it xx
     
  4. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    Photography is kind of like Music Performance or Writing - For 99% of us, even though we love it and are passionate, it should stay a hobby, not a career. There are far more people who want to be photographers/musicians/etc. than there are jobs for said positions, leading to fierce competition and no guarantee of any reasonable employment. Plus, when you have to spend so much time on something people often find it's not quite as fun as when it was just a casual thing.
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Basically I have been in Photography and the Graphic Arts my whole life. It has taken years to get in a financially comfortable position. In all honesty I would not trade it for anything. Of course there were tough times. Passion made me persevere. The field is simply exciting to me.

    Sales or being a Mason or whatever is certainly comfortable. Do you want comfortable? The question may be your commitment to the arts. If it is less then 107% you should reconsider.
     
  6. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    First, good move on getting the degree. Any degree.
    However, let me make a point about something that few people think about.
    I graduated from HS in 1985. I got my associates in 2004.

    When I decided to pursue my AAS in 2001, I thought that it would be the start of a college carrier to ultimately achieve a masters in Architecture.
    Because I didn't take the SAT or ACT, I had to start at a community college. This was fine, but it meant I would have to start with Drafting. My AAS is a Professional Degree in Architectural/Engineering Drafting. It has opened a whole lot of doors that I previously had closed to me. Many more doors are yet to be opened. A BS, or MS would open such doors. My income has also increased substantially from my pre-AAS days. (Almost by twice!)

    I wanted to work with Architecture, or structural drafting.
    I am now making maps for the BIA.(Cartography)I also had open to me jobs doing layouts of shopping centers, mines, even working for companies that make oil rigs. So the possibilities are endless.

    With that said, keep this in mind. just because you want to do photography, or graphic arts does not limit you to one or two specific job fields.
    As a holder of such a degree, new opportunities are open to you. Including product photography, portrait, Architectural, military/DoD jobs, Private investigators, Police, media outlets including radio/TV stations, Insurance, Medical Examiner's office, Real Estate, Engineering, Site Photography, Evidence, environmental, etc. the list is endless as much as any other field.
    The key is to first learn what you want, then expand on it. DO NOT limit yourself to a studio only, or a newspaper. One filed that makes GREAT money is Photogeomentry. This is where you take aerial photos of the ground. Using airplanes or satellite imagery. Digital Orthographic imaging is good money for people interested in such fields. But it takes an understanding of the world of photography and a bit of civil engineering.
    So any field you follow, follow it with your heart. pursue it, and especially ENJOY IT! Good luck.
     

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