Professional photographers enjoy a prestigious and creative life, with many different outlets for their talents. As a professional photographer, you may work in one or more of the following fields:
- Wedding photography
- Portrait and studio photography
- Fashion photography
- Advertising photography
- Magazine photography
- Event photography
- Digital photo art
- Fine art photography
- Landscape photography
- Architectural photography
As you can see, the options are many and diverse! If you are interested in pursuing a career in professional photography, your best bet is to look for art schools or photography schools that can provide you with the technical instruction that you need.
You may be wondering if attending art school is a pre-requisite for a career in professional photography. A few short years ago, it seemed nearly anyone with a camera could parlay their skills into a career. This is no longer true. The technical aspect of photography has exploded with the digital photography boom. Not only do you need to learn all the artistic angles of setting up and shooting a photograph, you also need to learn how to produce that photography in its best possible light on a computer.
With digital cameras, anyone can shoot a photo—but not everyone can shoot a good photo, and not everyone knows how to turn what they’ve shot into a professional quality picture. There is so much to know about digital enhancement that it would take years to learn on your own. Doesn’t it make more sense to attend a concentrated program, taught by professionals so that you can learn all you need to know in a relatively short amount of time?
Fortunately, there are many reputable art schools teaching photography today. During your course of study, you will not only learn all of the technical aspects of professional photography, you will also study art history, the history of photography, color theory, and composition. Most art schools and photography schools also include courses in business practice, in order to get you up and running in your new career as soon as possible.
You will also receive assistance in creating your own portfolio to show to prospective customers. Most art schools also aid their graduates in job placement and career counseling. After all, it is to their benefit to help their graduates find jobs, as that is the point of the programs.
You can see that the best way to pursue a career in professional photography is to enroll in a photography school. Start your research into photography schools today, and before you know it you’ll be enjoying a new career.
Is Photography School Right for You?
Do you have an eye for detail? Do you feel that your creativity is being caged by a 9 to 5 job? Are you getting a little tired of being restricted to the four walls of a room or to a desk? If so, photography school may be the right choice for you.
Photography has become more than just a hobby. It is now a full-fledged career of capturing, processing and manipulating images. Today it is perceived as a rewarding career. A young enthusiast would need to have some amount of technical skill combined with a creative flair. Going to photography school will teach you how to unleash your creativity from behind a lens.
Career Options in Photography
Professional photography offers a variety of options. You can be employed in a corporate office or media center and work as part of a team. However, if you would rather be your own boss and have flexible working conditions you can choose to be a freelance photographer.
With growing popularity of visual communication and digital technology, employers are always on the look out for talented photographers. Some of the well known options available are:
- Still photographic applications
- Wild life applications
- Travel photography
- Advertisement applications
- Sport photography
- News photography
- Industrial photography for catalogue and corporate presentation applications
- Scientific and education related photography
- Fine art applications
Degree in Photography
Similar to any other profession, photography also has its share of stiff competition. It’s not enough for you to be talented in this art. You need to back your talent with proper training. With the advent of digital technology, it has become relatively easy for an amateur to learn the ropes. However, professional training is required to reach industry standards.
Photography degrees and certificates are offered at most photography schools and are structured to train students to apply their basic creativity and imagination in a productive way. These courses are designed to bring out your hidden talent through systematic training and practice.
Several high quality art schools offer degrees in photography with specialization in digital photo art. These courses differ in duration and depth. An easy way to research these programs and request more information is through an online art directory.
Most photography schools offer a course that start with the basics unless you have opted for an advanced level. The basics will give you a firm foundation on which to build your experience. They will teach you techniques and concepts so you can then experiment on your own. By working with professional photographers, you will be able to learn from their experience. They will teach you how to combine artistic talent with technical skills to produce an effective photograph.
Basic courses expose students to areas such as:
- Brief history of photography
- Photo composition and types
- Camera use
- Exposure controls
- Photo processing
- Creative controls for depth and motion
- Lighting and flash use
- Practical applications
- Types of cameras and their applications
- Technological development in photography
- Exposure to career options
- Projects and competitions for skill development
Many photography schools also offer specialized career oriented courses to train and equip you in a particular field or niche area. For example, the rising popularity of digital photography has paved the way for digital photo art.
These specialized areas can be broadly classified as:
- Professional photography
- Visual communication
- Visual journalism
- Video production
Photography as a Career
If you want to pursue photography as a career, you have two broad options:
- Full time photographer
- Freelance photographer
Full Time Photographer
So what do you need to do to become a full time photographer? It starts with compiling a good portfolio. A portfolio should feature your best work in a very organized and professional manner. You’ll want to create a unique portfolio based on the position you’re interviewing for so that it contains photographs that are relevant to the job. For example, if you are applying for a still photographer’s vacancy, then your portfolio should contain photographs of close-up shots, covering every detail with sufficient depth and clarity.
However, if you wish to pursue a career in digital photo art you should prepare your portfolio in digital form and place it in a prominent website for wider coverage.
Photographers are recruited on the basis of their portfolio. Fresh recruits are often selected by business houses as trainees and placed under experienced photographers. The training period is highly crucial as it will give you an opportunity to groom your skills and learn on-the-job.
To be a freelance photographer you need to have sufficient expertise and experience in the chosen area. Further you need to have a good list of contacts. Professional photographers who have been in the business for a while branch out on their own to freelance on their own terms. This works well as they have built up skills and experience to handle their own clients independently. It also offers more freedom when it comes to the method of working and fixing pay rates.