Do You Need a Photography Degree?

If you’ve ever wanted to be a fine art photographer, you may have wondered whether you should get a formal degree in photography or not. This is a question that crops up over and over again, and I will try and explain why or why you may not need a degree in photography.

  1. You Need a Degree If:
  • You have no knowledge of photography and want to learn in a formal way that ensures the development of your skills.
  • You want to learn a very specific kind of photography in a lot of depth. For example, if you want to learn film photography and want to take that up as a career choice, then it may do you well to get a formal degree which focuses on film.
  • You need to establish yourself in the market and cannot do that on your own. A very big advantage of good photography programs is that you get in touch with industry leaders and professionals. This means that you can get your work out to the masses and get exhibitions etc. more easily than doing it all yourself.
  • You thrive in a formal learning environment and find learning from experience and online more cumbersome than useful.
  1. You Don’t Need a Degree If:
  • You already have a degree in a related field. For example, if you have a fine art degree then you already know a lot about composition, the effect of light on a subject, framing, conceptualization etc. A lot of this can help you in your photographic endeavors.
  • You have already been practicing photography for a few years and know about different techniques and camera settings. There are many websites like that not only provide easy-to-use editors to help you with your fine art work but also have tutorials that are easy to understand.
  • You have good social and marketing skills. Commercial photography of any kind requires a lot of hard work to get your name out there. People need to see your work to commission new projects to you. But if you do have good skills to market yourself and get your work in front of people’s eyes, or if you are already set in that department and have a clientele, you may not need a formal degree.