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Bachelor Degree Program in Photography Overview

Majors Overview April 16, 2015

Get information about Bachelor of Photography degree programs and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor Degree Program in Photography

Students enrolled in a bachelor of photography degree program are taught the fundamentals of photography and trained to work as professional artists. Apart from being taught about modes of operation of digital and analog camera equipment, students are also instructed on the technical and conceptual aspects involved in the production of photos and helped to develop individual styles.

Schools may offer concentrations in areas such as commercial photography or fine art. Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program are typically provided with a broad overview of the industry, while those enrolled in Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) programs may often have to complete additional photography courses. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework in bachelor’s degree programs in photography includes various components other than classroom instruction. Participation in art shows and internships by students is also included, in addition to the development of professional portfolios. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Photojournalism
•Photography history
•Darkroom techniques
•Studio photography
•Digital photography
•Lighting techniques
•Black and white photography
•Analog photography
•Computer applications for photographers

Career Choices

Entry-level jobs as assistants are commonly sought by individuals starting a career in photography (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Those seeking freelance work can network to find clients or develop a portfolio to demonstrate and highlight their individual styles. Some professionals may prefer to be self-employed by starting their businesses or may choose to work in various fields:

•Fine arts photography
•Advertising
•Commercial photography
•Photojournalism

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rate of 4% have been predicted for photographers (BLS). In May 2014, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $38,350 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who graduate from photography bachelor’s degree programs may opt for continuing education by earning graduate degrees such as a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.), wherein they can train to pursue teaching careers or develop their skills through workshops and studio sessions. Schools also offer Master of Arts (M.A.) programs.

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