Although artistic talent and flair are important, technical abilities are also vital in producing high-quality images. Bachelor's degrees in photography can hone the skills of aspiring professionals. As a photographer, you can seek work in many different fields, from family portraits to photojournalism to scientific photography.
Coursework for bachelor's degrees in photography
Bachelor's degrees in photography can be earned at colleges, universities, trade schools or even online. Photography programs delve into an array of techniques, methods and skills as well as subjects like control of depth of field, focus and perspective. Basic courses in photography cover:
- Editing techniques
- Equipment operation
- Film processing
- Studio techniques and lighting
Studies are likely to focus on high-tech tools of the trade and software applications; computer skills are a must for editing digital images. Although digital cameras are widely used, you should also have a familiarity with developing film and the use of a film camera.
Entry-level positions in photojournalism and industrial or scientific photography generally require a college degree. You can further your education by entering a master's degree program, to help you develop a refined and professional style through classroom critiques and art history courses.
Career outlook for photographers
Advertising companies, fashion houses, hospitals, government agencies, media organizations and other businesses employ photographers. You might work in a studio or travel to take shots of merchandise and various locations. As a portrait photographer, you would work with people, making them feel comfortable in their surroundings. Photojournalists sometimes work in dangerous situations and require quick reflexes to capture the news in one shot. Forensic photography may interest you if you have a strong constitution.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that photographers earned a median annual salary of $29,130 in 2010, with the top 10 percent earning $63,400. Employment is expected to grow by 12 percent between 2010 and 2020.
There is a better than average chance that you will be your own boss in this field, according to the BLS: About 63 percent of photographers are self employed. If you are self-motivated and independent, you are also a likely candidate for an online degree program, where you can manage your own class schedule. College courses, whether web-based or on campus, can help you build a portfolio to show off your print and digital images.