Tips for Selecting a Good Photography School or College
Or perhaps you are a photographer that simply wants to earn a college degree in photography and want to sharpen your skills. But the big question is, "How do I select a good photography school?"
Some design centers and universities offer a bachelor's or master's degree in photography as well as some online colleges.
If a teacher is teaching editorial photography, check and ask where he has worked before. Did he shoot for big name magazines or businesses? How long has he been in the industry? Does he have a portfolio of his work online? Who did he study under?
The same questions can be asked of those who teach photojournalism, industrial photography, fashion photography, or any other branch of photography.
Your teacher can only teach what he or she knows. If they do not have the experience or a strong portfolio to back up their credentials, it's probably a good idea to pass on that college.
Do they provide professional format cameras to use such as 4x5 view cameras, state of the art digital cameras, 35mm and 120mm format cameras and lab equipment for processing black and white prints? Does the school you are considering teach the basics of processing and enlarging photos?
Reputation and Recommendations
When selecting a photography school, ask if there have been any recommendations for the school from photography organizations or professional photographers.
Does the school have a reputation for having a good program? Has the school received any honors or recognition as a good photography school?
Visit the School
A simple visit to the school can be very revealing. Inspect the facilities and labs. Is the equipment up to date? Do you see examples of the work of students on the walls and classrooms? How is the quality?
Speak with a few teachers. Do they seem proficient and thoroughly engaged with photography? For online graphic design school or graphic design colleges, ask to speak directly with a teacher, if possible.
Keep Everything in Focus
Don't be afraid to ask hard questions, and if the college counselor or administrator doesn't have sufficient answers, just keep digging until you are satisfied. If you're not, you still have other colleges that you can look into.