If you have a gift for summing up life in a single snapshot, a career in photography might be the perfect choice for you. This career takes talent and skill – but fortunately it doesn't have to take years of college to land your dream job.
Today, many community colleges are offering photography programs that can be completed in just two years or less, saving you both time and money on your college experience. Peruse these options for photography training programs and get ready to launch a creative career in a field you love.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Photographers produce and preserve images that paint a picture, tell a story or record an event." Photographers work in a wide range of venues, from photojournalists who get the pictures of the big stories of the day to fine arts photographers that create photographic masterpieces with their own unique flair. You might find photographers in the field of science, snapping pictures of procedures and medical records. Photographers also produce images for catalogues, technical manuals and even commemorative events like graduations and weddings.
A photographer must be creative, but knowledge of technology and photography equipment is also essential. While you might bring raw talent to your craft, you need technical skills to translate that talent to a published image. This is where community college training is paramount to a successful career in photography.
The BLS also predicts that competition for positions in the photography field will remain high. Thankfully, the right training can give you the edge you need to land that first position in your desired industry.
Training and Qualifications
Most people pursue a career in photography because they boast creativity that helps them see the most desirable snapshots and illustrations of a particular event or setting. However, an artistic flair is not enough to be successful in this field. According to Career Overview, successful photographers will also hold a broad knowledge of composition, design, techniques, processes and equipment. Most community college programs will cover all of these elements, producing experienced, well-rounded photography graduates ready to launch a successful career right out of school.
In addition to the basic training involved with photography, Career Overview also lists a few innate characteristics that will come in quite handy in the industry:
- Good coordination
- Artistic ability
- Keen eyesight
- Good interpersonal skills
If you believe you possess these characteristics, and you would like to spend your professional life sitting comfortably behind a camera lens, a community college photography program can help you make your dreams a reality.
Community College Programs
Many community colleges are offering photography programs today, making it easy to find a school in your area that can answer your needs. One such school in the south is Austin Community College, located in the heart of Austin, Texas. This college program prepares graduates to work in commercial advertising, private studios or as photographic lab technicians, according to the college website. Photography degrees are earned in just 71 credit hours, while those interested in becoming photography assistants can get the necessary training in 26 hours or less.
In North Carolina, Randolph Community College is also training future photographers through their associate's degree program. This program has been going strong for nearly five decades, and it prepares students for careers in all types of professional and commercial photography. Students can specialize in four different areas of photography, including:
- Commercial photography
- Portrait studio management
The curriculum is revised regularly to ensure it keeps abreast of current industry changes and trends. Students from all over the area come to Randolph for this in-demand photography program.
Out west, Californians can enjoy the benefits of the photography program offered at Santa Monica College. The school provides a range of courses, including image creation, digital video production, and even photography business classes to help students become successful entrepreneurs after graduation. The program takes two years to complete, with 36 required major units and 36 additional elective courses. The college has been one of ten colleges across the country to be selected by Bogen Imaging for a valuable equipment gift for students to use while attending school.
A career in photography can be fun, rewarding and lucrative, particularly with the right training under your belt to get you started on the right foot. With a degree in photography from a local community college, you instantly become more marketable and geared toward success in your desired field. If you dream of living life behind a camera, and making a living doing so, peruse the community colleges in your area to find the perfect photography program for your needs.