What Can Photography School Teach You?

Photography is more in-demand than ever, with everything from bloggers to top-brands requiring photographs for their digital content. Photography is one of the arts that are thriving in the digital marketplace, with opportunities for employment both online and in-house. If you’re looking for a career that will take you to beautiful places and introduce you to interesting characters, it may be time to dust off the SLR and start taking pictures.

You can be a great photographer, but many employers won’t even consider your portfolio without a photography degree. Schooling is going to teach you everything you need to know about the photography field, hone your skills, and help you land a job. In fact, by attending a credited school, you’ll have opportunities to fill your portfolio with graded examples of your work. In order to get the most from your degree, you’ll want to focus on these key areas of learning, all while passing your pre-requisites.


Nearly every photography position is going to require a fair amount of photo-editing. Photoshop fixes photos and if you plan to take pictures of people, you’re going to need to learn airbrush and smudge techniques. So many photography positions require that you have Photoshop skills. These are the skills that pay the bills, but self-learning Photoshop is no easy feat. You’ll want to sign up for a Level 1 Photoshop class and after that’s completed, take a couple specialized classes to learn the finer details of the program.

Purposeful Photography

One thing you’ll learn while enrolled in one of many online photography schools is how to take effective photographs. This is especially useful for journalists, who will need to premeditate when something important is going to happen and be there to catch it on film. A roll of film or a memory card should be like a composition, each photograph telling a story and leading to the next. Knowing when to snap a picture is a useful skill that can be learned from photography professors who have made teaching this craft their life’s work.

Photography Rules

Digital photography students are going to learn a lot of rules in their classes. One example of this is the Rule of Thirds. This simple rule is one of the first things you’ll learn, but something you’ll continue to use the life of your career. According to Ultimate Photo Tips, “The rule of thirds is probably the most often referenced photography rule of composition.  It is all about subject placement within the frame.”

Other photography subjects that have rules include:

  • Balancing elements
  • Leading lines
  • Viewpoint
  • Depth
  • Background

It’s important to keep in mind that these rules will be broken from time to time. Your photography teachers will tell you that sometimes these rules are more like guidelines.

Understanding your Cameras

Not all cameras are the same, nor are they created equally. One of the most important things you’ll learn in school is that there is more than one way to shoot. Hands-on learning with new cameras will get you familiar with all the tools of your trade. You’ll get used to all of the different types of professional cameras and therefore be able to highlight the different equipment you’re familiar with, in your resume. Look for photography rental places and consider renting different equipment to get familiar with a variety of equipment. For example, in the Pittsburgh area? Look for a Pittsburgh lens rentals business or do a search for camera equipment rentals in whatever specific area you’re in to check out the latest equipment you can get your hands on without having to purchase it yourself.

Everything Else

Photography education is comprehensive, so you’ll be learning everything from beginner stuff to advanced techniques. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll find a job after graduation, especially since photographic content is so in-demand right now. You can make your hobby a paid reality, when you take the leap into learning.


1 Comment

  • Robert, I agree with you that self-learning photoshop isn’t easy. Personally I think only one percent people can do that. I learn basic of photoshop by reading ebook and dvd video tutorials, which I purchased from local market. But I learn advanced techniques from Patrick’s video tutorials package. And I purchased Patrick’s tutorials package after reading a review from this site and thank you for this post. Keep going…

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