Capturing still images on camera is perhaps one of the most compelling art forms that has captivated people over the years. Even with the incredible leaps technology has taken in the last decades, there’s still something magical about a still, perfectly coordinated image that no amount of techno-wizardry can surpass. Be it color photographs or the pure, almost ethereal quality of a black and white image, the art of photography has, and continues to this day, to capture the attention of the human race and is likely to do so for many years to come. If you yearn to make your living in this highly competitive industry, taking a degree in photography will give you the very best grounding possible.

What’s it all about?
Photography is so much more than just capturing an image. Photographs surround us on an almost constant basis, and even without us even realizing it they evoke emotional reactions and are a powerful means of communication. This art is used in almost every aspect of business; from advertising through to leisure, and in the world of the corporate boardroom down to the smallest of one man businesses. It’s about context, shape, shade and color, along with placement, marketing and distribution. A degree in photography will educate you not only in the finer aspects of the art, but about how this phenomenon fits into today’s fast-paced lifestyle and the role it plays in society.

What will I learn?
Learning takes place through both theoretical and practical learning. Although each university differs slightly in their presentation of the curriculum you can expect to cover the following:

  • Principles and fundamental photography skills.
  • Photographic equipment – both in the past and right up to the current day
  • The scope and nature of photography as an art form
  • Digital imaging and studio lighting
  • Professional photographic practice and contextual skills
  • Subject matter and photographic themes
  • Comprehensive understanding of shade, shape and form
  • Research, observations and personal interest as subject matters

How will I learn?
Expect your learning to take place in a variety of ways. These might include lectures, seminars, workshops where you get a chance to handle and use various different pieces of equipment and concepts, tutorials and one-on-one tutorials. Your course will use a mixture of both practical and theoretical education, all the time encouraging you to experiment and explore the boundaries of photography to discover your own particular style. Creativity will be encouraged and you can also expect plenty of self-directed learning – especially in the latter part of your university degree. Assessment is likely to be on-going, with plenty of project work where you’ll be judged not only on the content of your work, but the understanding of concepts and presentation as well.

After gaining my degree, what options are open to me for employment?
Once qualified, there’s a multitude of different career pathways you might choose to follow. These include art directors, freelance photographers, magazines and journalism, digital artists, picture researchers, lecturers and studio managers to name but a few. Many people often move onto related fields where their photography skills give them a distinctive advantage. These include, but are not restricted to, PR, project management, technical support, branding, marketing or museum curatorial.

Of course, no-one’s going to say that a career in photography is going to be all plain sailing. In today’s ever competitive job market you need to ensure that you give yourself every advantage possible to stand out from the crows. And that’s why gaining a degree in photography is so vitally important. Today, more than ever at any point in the past, holding a degree in your subject of expertise is virtually expected if you want to be taken seriously. Sure, there are people who don’t follow this route, but it’s a fact that salaries and job prospects for non-degree holders are lower than those who’ve gone through the trouble of gaining a degree.