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Photography Design Degree Outlook

A photographer is a person who produces and preserves images that tell a story. Photographers can alter those photographs to produce artwork, or they can become part of a journalistic team and use photographic skills to record an event. To become known as a "professional photographer," a person must learn technical expertise in addition to acquiring and retaining a creative ability. Like an artist, the photographer needs to learn how to compose an image either through the lens or in editing, as well as understand color, balance, rhythm, and all the other elements and principles of design.

This field is ultra-competitive, especially now that digital cameras have become affordable and efficient. Online news venues rely on "iReporters," or ordinary citizens, to become eyes and ears for their studios in exchange for a moment's worth of fame. Photography competitions can weed out the weak photographer, or convince that person to try harder. Online galleries are available for individuals to share family photos, travel journals, and artistic efforts. It may seem at times that this field is rarely worth pursuing because of the competition.

What you might want to remember is that many of these individuals have not studied photography. They may be self-taught, but they haven't laid hands on a manual Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera, nor have they ever worked in a darkroom or worked through the results provided by various filters. They may produce pretty color photos, but they may not have created a series of serious black and white images (which, many professional photographers will tell you, can make or break a photographer's career). This is why a serious education in photography is a plus for anyone who wants to excel in this field.

This means that you can take classes outside of college, as many photography studios and camera stories offer classes in basic photography and offer students use of a darkroom. They also may hold classes in digital photography to help sell their newer cameras. But, be sure that you also take classes in basic design, where you learn all the elements and principles of this craft. This alone will take you light years beyond most photographers who never learn how to compose a shot.

Photographers produce and preserve images that paint a picture, tell a story, or record an event. To create commercial-quality photographs, photographers need technical expertise, creativity, and the appropriate professional equipment. Producing a successful picture requires choosing and presenting a subject to achieve a particular effect, and selecting the right cameras and other photographic enhancing tools. For example, photographers may enhance the subject's appearance with natural or artificial light, shoot the subject from an interesting angle, draw attention to a particular aspect of the subject by blurring the background, or use various lenses to produce desired levels of detail at various distances from the subject.

Photographers who have reached a level of professionalism can create portfolios of their work and apply for jobs in various fields. Some of the opportunities available include work as a commercial or industrial photographer, as a scientific photographer, as a news or journalistic photographer, or as a fine arts photographer. Many photographers who work in commercial fields may develop art photography to enter contests or to try to obtain a gallery show (both online or offline). Many photographers try to earn more money still by selling photographs through stock photography agencies.

These jobs can put the photographer in a position where he or she is working with a studio, a television station or newspaper, a travel magazine, and more. Often, photographers work as freelance artists and are paid on commission. The more time a photographer spends as a freelance artist, the less time that person usually spends behind a camera especially if that camera is digital. Much time is spent on the computer with digital composition, organization, and selling. Some more successful photographers often hire salespeople or agents to represent their work. This allows the photographer more time to spend behind the lens.


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Photography (AS)
  • Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
  • Curriculum focus on preparing students for a creative career by teaching them the fundamentals of advertising and design
  • Students can choose from courses that cover areas such as advertising concepts, art direction, experience design, and online marketing
  • Over 50 locations nationwide, with a student support team dedicated to helping students grow
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
General Applied Photography

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

PhD in Instructional Design and Technology
Keiser University Campus , West Palm Beach

Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience. 

Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design
Boost your career with training from Sullivan College of Technology and Design. We offer diploma and degree programs for careers in the technology and design field.
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
BS - Graphics Multimedia and Web Design

New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit, co-educational technical university offering over 50 Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree programs. As a leader in technical career education in southern New England, New England Institute of Technology (also known as New England Tech or NEIT) is committed to providing hands-on technological programs that prepare graduates for positions of leadership in the technical, industrial, business, and allied health communities. Most of our associate degree programs can be completed in as little as 18 months, and bachelor’s degree programs in as little as three years. Last year, over 3,000 students chose New England Tech for the hands-on laboratory and classroom training that provides the necessary skills to begin their technical careers.

  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Associate Degree-Web Design
  • Features a public spa where massage students can get real-world experience.
  • Honored by the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce as Business of the Century in 2013.
  • New terms start every 10 weeks.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
  • Main campus is located in North Wales, Pennsylvania, with satellite campuses in Phoenixville and Warminster.
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  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Media Arts with concentration in 3-D
Give your career a boost with an education from Southern New Hampshire University. We offer certificates, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in over 100 programs in a wide variety of subjects.
  • Online Courses