If you’re a trustfund hipster who has an interest in photography, stop wasting your money on skinny pants and go to photography school. The best schools are Brooks and the Hallmark Institute. Once you graduate, you’ll have a whole new way to be pretentious.
If you’re like everyone else who loves photography but doesn’t have 60-100k to drop on school, check out your local community college. Community colleges may get a bad rap, but the professors and facilities are typically top notch.
With today’s shifting economy for visual media, taking a couple of years of community college to learn the fundamentals followed by a few assisting jobs is the smart move.
A lot of people will tell you to skip school and just “shoot,” but I don’t agree. Here are 7 reasons why it’s a good idea to go to photography school.
Your mom and the lemmings on Flickr may love your photos, but are they really any good? When you have to place your work alongside others and receive an oral evaluation, you’ll quickly begin to understand the difference between average and great work.
2. Learn Teamwork
Photography can be a solitary activity, but in photography school, group projects are a big deal. Just like on a commercial set, the people supporting the photographer can make or break a shoot. Photographers who are jerks and don’t play nice with others fail.
3 Get exposed to different work
The photography world is vast and a great professor can open your eyes to a whole new way of seeing.
4. Learn to use film and print
Film may be dying, but it’s still an invaluable learning tool for understanding how tonal curves work. Nothing breaks the Photoshop crutch like having to optically print a black and white negative.
5. Push your work out of the box
Most people seem to shoot the same junk over and over again. Photography school forces you to do a variety of assignments outside your comfort zone. I may not shoot sports, but I can do it because of school.
6. Learn from certified professionals
Unlike the self-proclaimed experts on the internet, a college professor has a vast amount of knowledge and has been thoroughly vetted. Why waste money on a 2 day workshop when you can learn from a true professional over the course of a semester?
7. Photography school network
A network of friends and fellow photographers is invaluable. As you step out into the professional world, you’ll always be able to rely on your network for honest critique and a free helping hand when needed.
Go Take A Class -NOW!
If you’re one of those photographers who’s always on the net obsessing over gear instead of shooting, go take a class! Nothing will help you more than actually learning how to use your camera.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, the Glendale Community College photography program still has a few spaces available in their summer session. The professors teaching the classes are the best of the best so if you love photography and have some free time this summer, sign up!