How To Become a Photographer The Top 10 Trade Schools for Photography in 2021

Becoming a Photographer is an exciting field you can really sink your teeth into. Why do you ask? Well, have you ever looked at a picture and got emotional… either happy or sad? Most people, around 65%, are visual learners. What exactly does that mean? It means a picture can provide emotion, information, instruction, pleasure, memories, or just a giggle. There are so many aspects to photography!

We can learn by looking at pictures or simply enjoy the beauty of a photograph for what it’s worth. If you are interested in the field of photography and have a sense of creativity and attention to detail, you will do very well. Find out below more about it and where you can receive your training.  

Related Article: The 10 Best Online Accredited Trade Schools

Table of Contents

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why should I consider a career in Photography?

Are you ready to see EVERYTHING through the lens of your camera? Because that’s what most photographers do! Being the creative type, every part of life, the good and the bad, is a photo opportunity. 

Becoming a photographer gives you the chance to share your creativeness, teach others, participate in community events, and make a living. 

What does a photography career consist of?

Photographers take pictures that capture images, while the main goal is to tell a story. In this field, you can use a wide variety of techniques to bring your photos to life. In addition, you will use lighting options to enhance your photos, be responsible for advertising your services, and provide a portfolio of your work to potential clients. And, of course, with all self-employment, a certain amount of clerical/accounting skills will be required.  

How do I become a Photographer?

Many photographers are self-taught; however, you will want to enhance your qualifications with continued education as technology evolves and as you progress in the field. 

Typically, locating a trade school that offers photography classes is ideal for general photography skills. In addition, earning a bachelor’s degree is also an option, especially if you intend to pursue a career in photojournalism and the like. 

Another excellent way to gain valuable training is to become a photographer’s assistant or locate an internship where you can work closely with a mentor. 

What types of Photography should I consider?

Do you enjoy photography? But don’t know which branch to pursue? You’re not alone. As this field provides many opportunities, you may want to begin with what you are sincerely passionate about. 

Here are a few suggestions of the types of photography to consider to get you started: 

  • Portrait 
  • Landscapes
  • Journalism
  • Still Life
  • Editorial
  • Fashion
  • Sports
  • Architectural
  • Wedding
  • Wildlife
  • Commercial

What kind of salary can I earn as a Photographer?

Your salary will be dependent upon many factors, such as your experience, education, employer, number of hours worked, type of photography you specialize in, and the area of the country in which you work. 

However, the BLS reports the average salary for a photographer as $41,280 per year, or $19.85 per hour, as of May 2020. The upper 10% earned $41.76 per hour. 

If you eventually become self-employed, your earning could increase exponentially, of course. Freelance photographers can make upwards of $78,000 or more annually.

Where can I get a job as a Photographer?

The answer to this question depends primarily on your specialization. Photographers are hired by companies that sell products, services, or food items. They can also find jobs with real-estate agencies, digital media companies, or travel resorts, and many more. 

Your most significant possibility with the widest variety of opportunities and perhaps the most fantastic pay is being self-employed, so you can choose the jobs that best fit your personality and creativity. 

METHODOLOGY

Let us help you find the best Photography school program that fits your educational requirements for starting a new career, a job promotion, or simply meeting your personal goals. Our researchers at PremiumSchools.org utilize these indicators of excellent academic standards to locate exceptional Photography school programs designed just for you. 

The following schools are listed in random order. As each and every school displays its own unique qualities and strengths, you should search our list based on your needs and career aspirations.

The following factors were considered: 

  • Offers on-campus or online classes for flexible or convenient attendance without compromising hands-on training,
  • Exhibits rigorous, yet engaging and innovative training in the field of Photography coursework that takes into account the readiness of students in taking the next step to their budding career,
  • Taught by outstanding faculty consisting of experts in the field of Photography,
  • Held in high esteem among academic agencies, industry organizations, and journalistic resources,
  • Displays stellar reviews and feedback from school alumni and students,
  • Offers a convenient application process,
  • Provides exceptional Student Career Centers, Resource Departments, and easy-to-use Learning Management Systems, where applicable, 
  • Ensures the proper certifications in accordance with academic standards in the field of Photography.

If you would like to learn more about our selection process, feel free to see our Methodology page! 

Top 10 Trade Schools for Photography in 2021

The Photography Institute

Online Photography Course

The Photography Institute - United States

This up-to-date photography course is offered by The Photography Institute. The comprehensive modules can be completed within 24 weeks… or you can take up to 12 months if that’s what your schedule allows. It is offered entirely online. 

Your distance learning experience with The Photography Institute will be convenient, friendly, and informative; taught by George Seper, a top freelance photographer. You will have access to 24/7 Student Support and tutor mentorship. And, don’t think you will miss out on meeting like-minded peers… join their special Facebook Group specially designed for TPI students.

Programs offered: 

  • Photography Courses (12 Modules)
  • Advanced Modules are also available

Don’t put off turning your hobby into a career any longer! Check out The Photography Institute’s online photography course today!


Stratford Career Institute

Photography Distance Learning Course

Stratford Career Institute | Online Certificate Training

Are you just beginning your career in photography? Or, perhaps you think you would like it but you’re not yet sure? The Stratford Career Institute offers an excellent program in photography for beginners and especially if you want to turn your hobby into a career. 

SCI offers classes in the fundamentals of various styles of photography, such as portrait, film, or digital shooting. If you are so inclined, this course is wonderfully designed to help you succeed in freelance photography. And… SCI provides up-to-date materials and equipment for your training. 

Programs offered: 

  • Photography
  • Art
  • Video Game Design

Take the leap… and give it a try! Learn more about Stratford Career Institute’s online Photography course! 


Santa Barbara City College

Online Graphic Design & Photography Certificate

gradfest | SBCC Campus Store

Santa Barbara City College provides their students with a unique opportunity: A combination of graphic design and photography coursework designed to help you become an art director, graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, and much more. 

Begin your education with the basics of design, drawing, and art appreciation… and then add in innovative technology. Learn how to create projects using all types of techniques and methods using electronic media. Photography courses will help you sharpen your skills in fundamental use of your camera, scanning and printing, how to use lighting, color management, and building a portfolio, and much more. 

Programs offered: 

  • Graphic Design & Photography Certificate
  • Applied Photography, Associate in Arts (AA)
  • Applied Photography, Certificate of Achievement (C)
  • Graphic Design & Photography Associate in Arts (AA): Graphic Design Concentration

Take a look at what Santa Barbara City College has to offer. Learn more about their online Graphic Design & Photography Certificate program.


Savannah College of Art & Design

On-Campus or Online Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Photography

Savannah College of Art and Design | Film Ally

The Savannah College of Art & Design offers several undergraduate and graduate degree options in the field of photography. Also, they have several campus locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, as well as an online learning option. If you aspire to study abroad, no problem… They offer opportunities in Lacoste, France, and others. 

Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree will sharpen your skills while you tap into your creativity with your own personal style. Classes include visual literacy, color and composition, in addition to, how to build your portfolio, and much more. Learn how to hone your skills in shooting and post-processing with the latest and most innovative technology now available. SCAD encourages participation in internships to add to your real-world experiences. 

Programs offered: 

  • B.A. in Visual Communication
  • B.F.A. in Photography
  • M.A. in Photography
  • M.F.A. in Photography

Are you ready to get started? Check out Savannah College of Art & Design’s Bachelor & Master’s degree programs today!


Academy of Art University

On-Campus Photography Certificate & Online/On-Campus Degree Programs in Photography

Academy of Art University Paints a New Vision for Student-Centric IT

The Academy of Art University’s School of Photography offers online and on-campus instruction in the art of taking photographs. (Their certificate program is offered only on-campus in San Francisco, CA.) If you choose to take your degree class online, they can provide the same quality instruction as on-campus students through their Learning Management System (LMS) as they provide materials through live streams, video, interactive slides, workbooks, and audio. You will be able to share your work through the online studio and gallery. You can learn at your own pace. 

The photography certificate program will take four years to complete. Upon completion, you will be well-trained with various skills, a portfolio, and ready to go to work. So, get ready to tap into your creativity as you concentrate on the many aspects of photography.

Programs offered: 

  • Certificate (On-Campus only)
  • Associate of Arts (AA) Degree
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree
  • Master of Arts (MA) Degree
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree

Learn more about the Academy of Art University’s School of Photography certificate program. 


New York Institute of Photography

Online Photography Courses

12 Best Online Photography Courses, Schools & Degrees - Online Courses  Review

Are you interested in photography but don’t know where to start? Check out the New York Institute of Photography! Their all-inclusive photography course can be taken entirely online. If you’re not sure which type of photography fits your personality… The course offers instruction in wildlife and nature, portraits, weddings, or still life photography, and more. 

Through this online format, you can submit your photos to be reviewed by photography professionals. Upon completing NYIP’s photography coursework, you will have the skills to turn your hobby into a full-time professional photographer. It should take you approximately 18 months to complete your coursework. 

Program offered:

  • Professional Photography Course
  • Fundamentals of Digital Photography
  • Portrait 
  • Wedding
  • Nature & Landscape
  • Graphic Design
  • Business for Photographers
  • Travel
  • Photoshop
  • Photojournalism
  • Video Making

Check out the wide variety of New York Institute of Photography’s online certificate classes today!


Southern New Hampshire University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Digital Photography

Apply to Southern New Hampshire University

For the professional looking to enhance their skills and receive an undergraduate degree in the field of photography, check out the Southern New Hampshire University’s BA in Digital Photography degree. If you need additional training in handling your digital camera, as well as learning about lighting and editing, this is the degree for you.

In addition to the foundational principles, you will learn how to build your brand, build a portfolio, all about marketing, and how to excel in social media and business applications, and much more. SNHU’s courses will prepare you for careers in commercial, portrait, aerial, news, science, or events photography, to name a few. 

Programs offered:

  • BA in Digital Photography
  • AA in Digital Photography
  • BA in Graphic Design & Media Arts
  • BA Game Art & Development

If you aspire to excel in a photography career that will require a bachelor’s degree, check out Southern New Hampshire University’s online BA in Digital Photography program.


Arizona State University

Online BFA in Digital Photography

ASU Logo.png | Student Success Center

Are you ready to tap into your artistic ability? If you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in digital photography for your job, you’re in luck. ASU’s BFA degree program will allow you to express your creativity. Its primary goal is to focus on developing visual literacy and creative sensibilities, which will help you in any career you choose.

Although the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Digital Photography can be accomplished online, you will have plenty of feedback from fellow students as you work remotely sharing your images. You will learn how to express your creativity through photography and how to use your digital camera to its fullest. They offer other art-related undergraduate programs you may be interested in as well.

Programs offered: 

  • Online BFA in Art (Digital Photography)
  • BS in Graphic Design
  • BA in Museum Studies
  • BA in Digital Culture

Check out Arizona State University’s online BFA degree in Digital Photography program to learn more.


Otis College of Art & Design

Photography Certificate

Otis College of Art and Design Is Hiring A Full-Time Faculty Member In The  Fashion Design Program (Los Angeles) - Fashionista

Are you ready to become a professional photographer? The photography certificate program offered at Otis College of Art & Design will provide the necessary skills to work in the commercial or the fine art field, or both. Through your keen photographer’s eye, you can obtain employment at art galleries or studies, as well as sharpen your own photography skills.

Through Otis’ program, you will focus on getting to know your camera, lighting, editing, aesthetics, presentation, along with marketing and promotions for whatever specialization you desire. Try them out… take two classes and if you like it, apply and reap the rewards! 

Programs offered:

  • Photography
  • Animation
  • Digital Imaging & Illustration
  • Graphic Design
  • Surface Design
  • Fine Arts

Learn more about the Otis College of Art & Design’s Photography certificate program… and many other courses catering to the artistic individual! 


Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Photography 

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design - Best Choice Schools

The Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design offers an opportunity for you to earn a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Photography through a distance-learning format. They encourage uniqueness, creativity, innovation, resourcefulness, as well as independence, and ingenuity.

If you are interested in sharpening your professional skills in photography, earning your Bachelor’s degree is a wise decision. Program highlights include digital imaging, lighting, photojournalism, cinematography, drawing, and commercial photography.

Programs offered: 

  • Online Bachelor’s Degree in Photography
  • BFA in Graphic Design
  • BFA in Animation
  • BFA in Game Art
  • BFA in Fine Arts

Take a look at Rocky Mountain College of Arts & Design’s online Bachelor’s degree in Photography program today! 

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