Many of us have dreamed about a successful career in photography. Whether the dream was of shooting photos of famous models in exotic locations, or capturing images of wildlife in their natural habitat, the idea of an exotic photography job approaches mythic proportions.
In real life, however, the image isn’t always as clear. A career in photography is difficult as the field is very hard to break into. A successful photographer needs not only a keen eye and creativity, but must also be hard working, able to adapt to changing technologies and, in most cases, adept at running a small business. With the right photography degree and desire, there’s no reason, however, that you can’t become one of the successful ones.
The Independence of Photography Jobs
Those who were self-employed held a variety of positions, fulfilling contracts with advertising agencies, magazines and others on project-based photography jobs. Other self-employed photographers run portrait studios or sell their work to stock photo agencies.
Photojournalism is also a large field for those seeking a career in photography. Many photographers who work at newspapers, magazines, television stations and other news-gathering institutions are salaried employees. These people enjoy a career in photography with a steady paycheck and benefits.
Having a successful career in photography can be a catch-22. That’s because the way to get photography jobs and assignments is to have a good reputation and portfolio. But how can you go about earning that portfolio if no one will give you the chance? You might need to start with a photography degree.
You can earn a photography degree at a college or university, or even an online institution. Employers will not only want someone with a good eye for capturing an image, but someone who has a good technical understanding of the field, often including digital photography.
Your photography degree courses might cover elements like:
- Design and composition
- Photography equipment
- Film processing
- Commercial photography
- Fine arts photography
- Liberal arts
- Business courses
If you are more interested in photojournalism, your photography degree will also teach you how to understand a story so that you can properly document it, determine which images are newsworthy and how to sell your work. Choose the photography degree that offers the most classes in the specific area you want to pursue.