A career in photography can be a lucrative and rewarding experience and the choices are many for any budding photographers in today’s modern and digital world. The photography industry covers a wide range of disciplines including:
• Digital Photography
• Editorial Photography
• Fashion Photography
• Advertising Photography
• Photographic Art
• Wildlife Photography
• Fine Art Photography
However, competition is fierce in the photography industry with only the most dedicated making a successful career for themselves. So if you are serious about this career path you need to be prepared to study hard and learn as much as possible about the art, techniques and industry as a whole.
Those choosing to study photography at an academic level will have the edge on other hopeful photographers because they gain all the basic knowledge required and also have the opportunity to network with photography professionals. An education course also enables students to try out many different forms of photography and decide what’s best suited to them.
Choosing the right photography course is no easy task on its own. There is a wealth of photography courses available in the UK alone, from Foundation courses and national diplomas in photography to university degrees in photography. Some of the most widely respected Universities in the UK which run photography degree courses include the University of Westminster, London College of Communication, and the Surrey Institute of Art & Design University.
Would-be photography students should have a look at the UCAS website and see which courses are available at various universities. Then look closely at the course curriculum and decide if it matches their career ambitions. There are many great universities and colleges so it’s important to look closely at each in terms of location and the success rate of their graduates.
One of the major obstacles for photography students and any students today is the cost. Tuition fees have reached record levels in the UK (£9,000 per year in many cases) so this can deter many students from study. However there are other options, cheaper options such as online learning or distance learning.
Distance learning photography courses often come in full-time or part-time format, making it perfect for those already with jobs or perhaps with children that they need to take care of while studying.
The best known distance learning establishment is the Open University which offers a number of photography courses but there are also others who specialise in distance learning such as the Interactive Design Institute who currently offer online photography courses online.
As in any other discipline, the career prospects for photography graduates are not guaranteed in today’s economic climate. However, employment prospects can be improved greatly by networking while at study, and spending time gaining work experience through established agencies or professional photographers.
Once photography students have gained the required experience along with the qualifications, they are then faced with the choice of either working within an agency or as a freelance photographer.
The Internet is a great tool for modern photographers and there are any online communities full of great advice and real life experiences for potential photographers. Portfolios can be shared and reviewed online from peer groups and this can be invaluable for photography students.
Studying for a career in photography is not easy, requires dedication and a lot of hard work for a few years before gaining the position in employment sought by students. But the rewards can be fantastic both in monetary terms and job satisfaction.