Bachelor of Photography: Degree Overview

Oct 09, 2019

Bachelor's degree programs in photography teach students the fundamental conceptual and technical aspects of producing photographs in order to develop their technique and prepare them for professional photography careers.

Essential Information

Bachelor's degree programs in photography prepare students for work as professional artists. In addition to learning how to operate analog and digital camera equipment, students in photography programs study the theory behind the production of photos and also work to develop their individual styles. Concentrations may be available in areas such as fine art or commercial photography. Programs awarding a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science typically provide students with a broad overview of this field, while Bachelor of Fine Arts programs often include additional photography course requirements.

Bachelor's Degrees in Photography

Bachelor's degree programs in photography typically accept students according to general admissions requirements, which include a high school diploma or its equivalent. Photography curricula at the bachelor's level include a variety of components that go beyond classroom study to offer hands-on experience. Photography students typically participate in internships and art shows as part of their program, and may also be required to develop professional portfolios. Common courses include:

  • Black and white photography
  • Analog photography
  • History of photography
  • Computer applications for photographers
  • Photojournalism
  • Studio photography

Popular Career Options

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals starting a career in photography may initially work as assistants ( Those interested in working on a freelance basis can find clients by networking or developing a portfolio to showcase their personal styles. Photography program graduates may also choose to start their own businesses or to work in fields that include:

  • Commercial photography
  • Fine arts photography
  • Photojournalism
  • Advertising

The BLS expects the employment of photographers to decrease by 6% from 2018 to 2028. In May of 2018, the BLS determined that the mean annual wage of photographers was $42,770.

Continuing Education Info

Students who complete photography bachelor's degree programs may be interested in pursuing graduate degrees. These are usually offered as Master of Fine Arts programs that allow students to prepare for photography teaching careers or hone their skills through studio sessions and workshops. Master of Arts programs are also available.

Students who earn a bachelor's degree in photography learn about studio photography, black and white photography and photojournalism. Upon graduation, students can pursue jobs in fields such as advertising, commercial photography and fine arts photography.

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