How To Enroll in Photography School

People of all ages and backgrounds seek enrollment in photography schools.  Their goals for photography school vary as well, some seeking to become professional photographers and others just seeking a more solid foundation of photographic technique to aid in their amateur work.  Regardless of your skill level, goals and desired time commitment, you can enroll in a photography school.  Here's how to find a photography school that fits your needs.

  1. What's your goal - professional photographer or amateur hobbyist?  If your goal is to polish your amateur photography technique, then you can find many schools online that will satisfy you.  Enrollment in many of these schools requires only that you pay the tuition and fill out some information about yourself.  You can have absolutely no background in photography.  For the photography schools whose aim is to produce professional, career-photographers, admission is stricter and your application must convince them of your passion for the photographic art.

  2. Decide whether to physically attend photography school or enroll in an online photography school.  If you're an amateur and have a job, family or other academic commitment keeping you too occupied to enroll and attend classes in a photography school, you can enroll in a photography school online and take courses through the internet.  This can be particularly appealing if you'd otherwise have to relocate in order to attend a desirable photography school.  But if you choose distance learning, you won't benefit from the kind of attention you'd receive by physically attending a photography school.  Unless you have a darkroom and all the photographic equipment, you won't be exposed to as much as you would by taking classes in person.  This probably will be of less concern to an amateur, but for someone considering professional photography as a career goal, this kind of exposure is necessary.
  3. Do you have a specific type of photography you'd like to study in photography school?  Is it undersea photography that you wish to pursue?  Or maybe you'd rather photograph celebrities?   At many photography schools, you'll have your choice of concentrations and a wide variety of courses from which to choose.  Advertising photography, scientific photography, journalistic photography, portraiture, commercial or digital photography - the list goes on.  But before you enroll in photography school, review the school's offered courses and concentrations to make sure you can begin to fulfill your personal photography dreams there.   

  4. Are you satisfied by the photography school's prestige?  As with application to any school of learning, take some time to review the faculty credentials.  Are they recognized professionals in their field?  Photography is a competitive career and you may find it easier to gain future employment if your photography school was prestigious and its faculty accomplished.  If your goal is to become a better amateur photographer, you'll be more interested in how approachable the photography school faculty is; reputation won't be as important since you won't be applying for any jobs based on your attendance in the photography school.  

  5. Have you considered larger colleges and universities that aren't specifically photography schools?  Many academic centers of higher learning offer photography study programs in addition to their many other academic programs.  As with any school, you'd want to learn about the qualifications of the faculty, the students' access to all equipment and resources, and the available courses and possibility for concentration within the program.  A photography program like this can be found within a larger institution's School of the Arts.


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