Entering into college with the intention of receiving a photography degree is a wonderful first step for would-be photographers. But what do you do once you are in college? How do you make the most of your new realm to be the best photographer you can be?
What follows is a list of tips for any young photography student looking at a photography degree or for those interested in the field of photography. These tips apply to anyone looking at a new college or for those looking to switch majors. Everything from what type of devices you should have to what college activities you should join as soon as you enter college.
1. No DSLR? No fancy lenses? No problem.
Too often do potential photographers get freaked out about not having the latest and greatest in camera technology. They wander around the park with their basic SLR camera or even a compact digital camera and are instantly intimidated by the long-nosed DSLRs with the expensive zoom lenses and handheld flash. Don’t be.
A photographer is a person who takes photographs. What device you have doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t matter to you. Take pictures and love what you do. Have a basic understanding of photography and apply that to your passion. Photography isn’t about cameras. It’s about photos.
2. Always take photos.
As a photographer, you must always be taking photos. Every moment is worth a photo. You may bug your friends and family, but you never know when your next great photo will come around. This is especially true when you are taking photos for a reason. No photographer has ever got their masterpiece shot on the first try. Photography is a trial-and-error profession and you should never give up until you have the one you like. This may mean taking 200 photos with only one or two that pass the test, but that’s the type of dedication that comes with photography. Never give up! Taking this many photos will also help you build up your portfolio when looking at a photography degree.
3. Look at joining the college newspaper.
Photojournalism is a huge area of work within photography. According to bls.gov, 3% of photographers were hired in the newspaper, periodical, book or publishing areas. Only 29% of the rest were hired at all with 63% being self-employed. Photojournalists cooperate with writers to tell a crucial part of the story with visuals. When you get into college, you should consider joining your college newspaper. Most college newspapers are desperate for good photographers and by joining your college newspaper, you are given an opportunity to test your skills with a wide range of photo ops. You also work with photo editing software and collaborate with other young photography students.
4. Take as many classes as possible.
But not just photography classes. When you are looking at enrolling into college, you definitely need to spread yourself out as much as possible. While you should take every photography class you possibly can, you should expand as well. To become a better photographer, you must understand the world around you. Learn about sports. Learn about fashion. Learn about plants. Learn about people. The more you know, the better photos you can take. Getting a photography degree will force you into photography courses, but there is so much more out there. With an expanded knowledge in a wide range of fields, you are able to make the best decisions when taking photos for yourself, your employer, or your editor.
Those four tips will help any photography student looking at enrolling in college while making the most of their time there. College for any student looking to create art is difficult, but with true passion, you can achieve a degree in photography.
Get information on a photography degree by using the form on this page. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have about getting your photography degree.
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