Thinking about college for a photography degree?
I learned photography as most people do. As a child, I would play with my parent’s camera and take the odd shots here and there. I’d seriously compose a shot and press down on that big grey button and it would make the loudest clack noise. Really loved it – even though no film was in the camera! That camera was a box brownie. In the sixties, I would play with a Kodak Instamatic camera and that was fun too.
Eventually, I would take a photography course at Santa Monica College and get my degree. It was a really good experience. My teacher was a guy named Don Battle. I was hungry to learn all I could and the experience was invaluable. Without it I could not have started my career in photography. Luckily, I lived in Southern California and being so close to Hollywood found studios and photographers I could assist.
What I found most useful were the contacts I made during college. Our teacher encouraged us to reach out to local photographers both famous and not so famous and ask them to invite our class for a visit. Wow, what an experience. We hung out with or at least meet the likes of Peter Gowland, Carl Furuta, Phil Stern, et al…
So, from my perspective If you are thinking about going to college and getting a degree. Make it happen. It may be the best decision you can make.
Here are some schools that I know about and a recommendation by a friend.
Our professional Photography program is designed to educate all students in basic and intermediate photographic skills. Then as students progress through the program, develop a creative style and visual problem-solving skills while engaging in specialized market areas and techniques. This program also integrates liberal arts, professional business practices and ethics with a core photography and media production curriculum that can prepare students for the creative, business, and technical challenges of a professional photography career.
Within a rich transdisciplinary educational environment, the Photography and Imaging Department is taking photographers into the future. Our strong relationships with industry, long tradition of integrating photography with other design disciplines, and deep experience designing new technologies and applying creative solutions to social impact problems have opened professional doors for countless graduates.
Focusing on a medium with a wide presence in popular culture, students in Photography gain technical and conceptual skills to analyze and make photographic works of art. Students learn analog and digital approaches to the medium, using SLR cameras, medium- and large-format cameras, and scanners. They explore printing in traditional black-and-white, color, and digital forms, as well as mural prints, lightboxes, and alternative processes, and gain a full set of skills in studio lighting and digital applications.
Our Freelance Photography course will take you through the essentials of location shooting and introduce you to the latest techniques and technologies being used in the industry today.
In the Freelance Photography course you’ll learn about commercial and travel photography, stock libraries and photojournalism, as well as the fundamental business aspects of freelancing – negotiating contracts, understanding your audience and the best strategies for marketing and selling your work.