Photography Degree

Photographers are professionals that tell a story through images. Whether the story is personal or journalistic, the photographer must be highly skilled and creative while having the technical expertise to capture the moment on film or digital media. Beyond capturing the moment, photographers process, manipulate and edit images into finished photographs.

Career paths range from wedding, fashion, portrait and travel photography to news, advertising, commercial, scientific and crime photography. While many photographers work in studios where they have greater control over their subjects, most photographers spend a good deal of time on location.

No matter which photography career path you choose, you must master the complexities and artistry of photography. On the technical side, working with cameras and camera equipment, lighting, filters, effects, dark room equipment and photo editing software is a must. On the artistic side, you must master composition, color, light, design and the aesthetics of photography. Technology and creativity collide in this exciting career.

Photography Degrees

Photojournalism, scientific and industrial photography jobs generally require a college degree such as a photography degree or a degree related to the specialty. For example, a photographer specializing in scientific photography might have a biology or chemistry degree. Fashion photographers must understand marketing, fashion, merchandising and makeup in addition to the technical aspects of their art. A photography degree coupled with coursework in graphic design, fashion or business leads to an impressive portfolio.

Photography Fields

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for photographers is expected to be about average through 2016 with a projected job growth of 10 percent for the decade spanning 2006 to 2016. More than half of all photographers are self-employed. Below is a sample of popular photography careers.

  • Wedding Photographer

    Wedding photographers specialize in wedding photography, often taking pictures of brides and grooms from their engagement through the wedding itself. In addition to shooting photos, these professionals work with couples to create photo montages and presentations for display at the wedding.

  • Fashion Photographer

    Fashion photographers take photos of models and products ranging from swimsuits to high-end sports cars. These professionals often have assistants who help with lighting, makeup and props. Their work appears in magazines, advertisements, brochures, catalogs, books, presentations, billboards, and Web sites.

  • Wildlife Photographer

    A wildlife photographer is a visual artist specializing in photographing animals in their natural habitats. The main objective of a wildlife photographer is to use creativity and expertise to capture and share images of wildlife in natur

  • Photojournalist

    A photojournalist is a news photographer who specializes in capturing images of important people and events for news agencies, magazines, newspapers and other forms of media. The main objective of a photojournalist is to use their photography and reporting skills to communicate stories and ideas through pictures.

  • Commercial Photography

    When it comes to photography, do you appreciate pics that capture just the right angle and focus? Are you on a quest to find the perfect light in a certain location? If so, why not put your expertise to use and get paid to do it for a living?

  • Digital Photography

    Do you see the world in pictures? Are you constantly searching for the ideal light and conditions to produce the “perfect” snapshot? If so, why not put your expertise to use and get paid to do it for a living?

  • Film & Digital Production

    You watch movies with a critical eye and a sense of awe, wondering how the director managed to create an entire world on film. You appreciate both the subtle and the in-your-face effects that bring stories to life. Does this sound like you? If so, we’ve found an area of study you just might love.

  • Photographic Imaging

    Pictures paint a thousand words — but only if they’re well-taken photographs. And what differentiates a blurry travel snapshot from photographic artwork? If you’re serious about photographic imaging, learn more about design, composition, color, lighting, technique, focus, production and many more details in this exciting degree program.

  • Photography & Design

    You always bring a camera with you anywhere you go, sometimes even two. In fact, you probably have a tripod, light meter and an external flash unit — and could spend an entire day shooting photos. If this sounds like you, then you may want to consider turning your passion for photography into a full-time career.

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