Bachelor's-level photography programs usually seek applicants with a 'good eye' for artistic expression, imagination and creativity. Students gain an understanding of photographic lenses, along with basic camera operation, lighting and photo-editing software. They may also customize their degree through elective courses that allow them to specialize in different genres, such as advertising, photojournalism or fine art. Students also receive hands-on experience in studio classes. Prerequisites for a bachelor's degree in photography include a high school diploma or equivalent.
Bachelor's Degree in Photography
The curriculum of an undergraduate photography program covers the basic processes, equipment and techniques used in the industry. Many courses require studio time that provides students with hands-on practical experience. Sample courses include:
- History of photography
- Color photography
- Black and white photography
- Digital photography
- Photographic composition
- Studio photography
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 3 out of 5 of all photographers were self-employed in 2014 (www.bls.gov), photographers with formal training can also find salaried positions with portrait or commercial photography studios. Career options include:
- Commercial photography
- News photography or photojournalism
- Fine art photography
- Portrait photography
- Industrial photography
- Scientific and forensic photography
After completing their bachelor's degrees in photography, many photographers will take refresher courses and continuing education classes throughout their careers to stay up-to-date with technological advances in equipment, editing software and image processing. Individuals wishing to teach photography at technical schools, colleges or universities should consider enrolling in a master's or Ph.D. program in the field.
A 4-year bachelor's degree in photography gives up-and-coming photographers the formal education needed to work in the field. Student learn basic photography processes as well as gain the business skills for working as a professional photographer.