Introduction to Photography Degrees

If you have an artistic eye and a creative passion to tell stories through pictures, pursuing a degree in photography is likely a good fit for you. From commercial to art and even science and forensics, there are many types of photography to get into. You will not only learn techniques such as lighting and retouching, but these programs will also provide you with a foundation in business as well.

The Best Online Photography & Art Colleges

While amateur photographers abound, professional photography requires a high degree of knowledge and skill that can be gained through online learning. Currently, only the Art Institute of Pittsburgh offers an online photography degree (more details below). But many other colleges offer related online programs like graphic design.

Full Sail University — The BS in Graphic Design offered by Full Sail University focuses on honing the skills of established artists through classes in photography, design, and other forms of art. Students of this online program will work closely with a mentor. Many graduates pursue the Master of Fine Arts degree upon graduation.

Art Institute of Pittsburgh — The Digitial Image Management Certificate from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh will help you to create thought-provoking imagery. If photography is your passion, then this is the place that can help transform you into a professional photographer. You will develop the skills that will allow you to compete with some of the best photographers around.

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What is Online Photography College Like?

Online photography courses are becoming more common and more popular because they are a convenient way to learn about photography without attending conventional classes. A lot of photography education is learning how to do things and being hands-on with techniques, which means a student can read about photography and then apply that knowledge to projects.

Online photography colleges offer certificates, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in photography. For those who have a passion for photography, online photography college can give you the education you need to take your work to the next level. You can major in photography, but other closely-related majors can be used for a photography career too:

You’ll learn everything from editing to enhancing photographs with digital effects. Photography is tech-related now; gone are the days of sitting in the dark room trying to manipulate an image. Commercial photographers now use computers to do everything from heavily edit photos to networking to reach potential clients.

A key element in taking online photography classes is that you’ll create work that will eventually become part of your portfolio. A portfolio is essentially a photographer’s resume. For some, it will make or break opportunities, so it’s imperative you learn the tools of the trade to present your work in the best possible light; everything from placement to format matters when creating your portfolio. Online photography courses will also help you interact with other aspiring photographers to get a feel for what’s out there.

One thing to consider when choosing an online photography program is what software you will be using. Most design and photography students use Mac computers. This is the norm in the industry and will most likely be the norm for anyone taking online photography courses. If you are not familiar with a Mac computer, it would be wise to become accustomed with using one for a few months before you start your courses. If purchasing one is not in your budget, you should look around for college campuses, libraries, or other facilities where you could potentially have access to computers to work on. Mac computers are fairly easy to adjust to, but they do operate differently than a PC, so part of finding your groove is using the computer. You do not want to run into any technical hiccups once you start your photography courses simply because of the learning curve.

Job Possibilities for Online Photography Graduates

Photojournalist

This position focuses on photography used to capture events as they occur. Action shots and editing are primary areas a photojournalist deals with on a daily basis. You will also learn how to manage and maintain your equipment and how to travel with it should you find yourself in unlikely places (common for a photojournalist). While a degree or certificate in photojournalism can lead to a lucrative career, it is an area that usually takes years of working your way up the ladder. While still in a photojournalism program, you can work as an intern for local photographers who work around the city for newspapers, magazines, or websites.

Though photojournalism is an exciting field, it is an area of photography that has slowed down in recent years. With so many acquiring their news on the Internet, photojournalists are still needed, but do not seem to be as in demand as when print publications ruled the news world. Photojournalists should also be tech savvy as they now use computer programs and technology to edit and proof photos before submitting them to editors.

Portrait Artist

Portrait artists are often self-employed. If you have a large clientele or work for a studio, you will take photos of people and attempt to capture their essence and who they are at that time in their life. There are different styles of portraits, so don’t think you’re limited to someone taking a seat while you snap their picture. There many types of portrait artists; the key is finding your niche so you become have a signature technique that clients flock to.

Photo Re-toucher

This is often a freelance job where you’re contracted by websites or companies to re-touch photographs they give you. A re-toucher may also work to restore old photographs for people using the latest technology. Believe it or not, people who have professional photographs taken, who end up not liking their pictures may send the images to someone who specializes in re-touching.

Sports Photographer

A sports photographer focuses on action shots and captures the spirit of the game. It typically includes a lot of travel, as sports photographers are looked at as beat sports writers who are assigned a team and travel with that team for a season. This position is on the rise thanks to online sports coverage, but it can be difficult to get your foot in the door. Building a portfolio by capturing local sports (even at the high school or middle school level) will help hone your craft and show off your skills once you present your portfolio to a potential employer.

While not all sports photography gigs pay big bucks, they are needed at many levels, including minor league sports and high profile high school sports (such as football in Texas). A newspaper or local website will have multiple photographers on staff and a select few will specialize in sports photography. Many sports photographers start out as general photographers or photojournalists and move exclusively to sports as a position becomes available.

Fashion Photographer

Like sports photography, this is a field where you must network and find opportunities. Fashion photography is a cut throat industry where the scene is constantly changing. Fashion photographers should be familiar with fabric, models, and stylists, and work well in a team environment. There are many people on a set with fashion photography, so it’s imperative to listen to others and have strong communication skills to effectively work with your team.

Some photographers choose the team they will work with (most everyone on the team will be freelance and contracted to the job at hand), but in the beginning stages, it is often a makeup artist, hair stylist, or wardrobe stylist that puts together a team. A model is able to do this too, since all of the above are looking for experience and building a portfolio. Because of this, it’s important to network with others in the fashion industry. Fashion photographers usually intern at a magazine, website, or individual photographer’s studio to learn the lingo and how a fashion shoot operates. Fashion photographers also work runway shows and should be experienced with action photography as models move quickly and you’re trying to capture the clothing in a clear manner.

What is Online Photography College Like?

Online photography courses are becoming more common and more popular because they are a convenient way to learn about photography without attending conventional classes. A lot of photography education is learning how to do things and being hands-on with techniques, which means a student can read about photography and then apply that knowledge to projects.

Online photography colleges offer certificates, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in photography. For those who have a passion for photography, online photography college can give you the education you need to take your work to the next level. You can major in photography, but other closely-related majors can be used for a photography career too:

You’ll learn everything from editing to enhancing photographs with digital effects. Photography is tech-related now; gone are the days of sitting in the dark room trying to manipulate an image. Commercial photographers now use computers to do everything from heavily edit photos to networking to reach potential clients.

A key element in taking online photography classes is that you’ll create work that will eventually become part of your portfolio. A portfolio is essentially a photographer’s resume. For some, it will make or break opportunities, so it’s imperative you learn the tools of the trade to present your work in the best possible light; everything from placement to format matters when creating your portfolio. Online photography courses will also help you interact with other aspiring photographers to get a feel for what’s out there.

One thing to consider when choosing an online photography program is what software you will be using. Most design and photography students use Mac computers. This is the norm in the industry and will most likely be the norm for anyone taking online photography courses. If you are not familiar with a Mac computer, it would be wise to become accustomed with using one for a few months before you start your courses. If purchasing one is not in your budget, you should look around for college campuses, libraries, or other facilities where you could potentially have access to computers to work on. Mac computers are fairly easy to adjust to, but they do operate differently than a PC, so part of finding your groove is using the computer. You do not want to run into any technical hiccups once you start your photography courses simply because of the learning curve.

Job Possibilities for Online Photography Graduates

Photojournalist

This position focuses on photography used to capture events as they occur. Action shots and editing are primary areas a photojournalist deals with on a daily basis. You will also learn how to manage and maintain your equipment and how to travel with it should you find yourself in unlikely places (common for a photojournalist). While a degree or certificate in photojournalism can lead to a lucrative career, it is an area that usually takes years of working your way up the ladder. While still in a photojournalism program, you can work as an intern for local photographers who work around the city for newspapers, magazines, or websites.

Though photojournalism is an exciting field, it is an area of photography that has slowed down in recent years. With so many acquiring their news on the Internet, photojournalists are still needed, but do not seem to be as in demand as when print publications ruled the news world. Photojournalists should also be tech savvy as they now use computer programs and technology to edit and proof photos before submitting them to editors.

Portrait Artist

Portrait artists are often self-employed. If you have a large clientele or work for a studio, you will take photos of people and attempt to capture their essence and who they are at that time in their life. There are different styles of portraits, so don’t think you’re limited to someone taking a seat while you snap their picture. There many types of portrait artists; the key is finding your niche so you become have a signature technique that clients flock to.

Photo Re-toucher

This is often a freelance job where you’re contracted by websites or companies to re-touch photographs they give you. A re-toucher may also work to restore old photographs for people using the latest technology. Believe it or not, people who have professional photographs taken, who end up not liking their pictures may send the images to someone who specializes in re-touching.

Sports Photographer

A sports photographer focuses on action shots and captures the spirit of the game. It typically includes a lot of travel, as sports photographers are looked at as beat sports writers who are assigned a team and travel with that team for a season. This position is on the rise thanks to online sports coverage, but it can be difficult to get your foot in the door. Building a portfolio by capturing local sports (even at the high school or middle school level) will help hone your craft and show off your skills once you present your portfolio to a potential employer.

While not all sports photography gigs pay big bucks, they are needed at many levels, including minor league sports and high profile high school sports (such as football in Texas). A newspaper or local website will have multiple photographers on staff and a select few will specialize in sports photography. Many sports photographers start out as general photographers or photojournalists and move exclusively to sports as a position becomes available.

Fashion Photographer

Like sports photography, this is a field where you must network and find opportunities. Fashion photography is a cut throat industry where the scene is constantly changing. Fashion photographers should be familiar with fabric, models, and stylists, and work well in a team environment. There are many people on a set with fashion photography, so it’s imperative to listen to others and have strong communication skills to effectively work with your team.

Some photographers choose the team they will work with (most everyone on the team will be freelance and contracted to the job at hand), but in the beginning stages, it is often a makeup artist, hair stylist, or wardrobe stylist that puts together a team. A model is able to do this too, since all of the above are looking for experience and building a portfolio. Because of this, it’s important to network with others in the fashion industry. Fashion photographers usually intern at a magazine, website, or individual photographer’s studio to learn the lingo and how a fashion shoot operates. Fashion photographers also work runway shows and should be experienced with action photography as models move quickly and you’re trying to capture the clothing in a clear manner.

Find an Online Photography School

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