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How to Transition from Hobby Photographer to Professional Photographer
A woman is holding a camera

How to Become a Professional In Photography

If you enjoy capturing life’s amazing moments digitally or on film and you have seriously considered becoming a photographer for a living, attending a photography school may be the right choice for you. Many are surprised at the amount of work and salary available for a professionally trained photographer with a great eye for detail and the ability to capture a perfect moment in time.

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What Degree Does a Photographer Need?

There are many options out there today for those looking to enroll in a school of photography. You can find a photography course in just about any community college offering classes either on site or online, or you can sign up for classes with a local professional photographer. While you can learn a lot by just diving in and taking lots of photos, getting a formal education in photography will help to increase your understanding of the technical and artistic elements involved.

In-class programs at top photography schools can be costly, but you may be able to find free photography school tutorials online to get you started. However, while free photography schools will offer some basic foundations of photography, you will likely suffer from the lack of hands-on instruction. After all, the purpose of photography art school is to learn about the nuances of the art, and these are more easily communicated and understood when you have direct contact with an expert artist.

The right education helps you learn about the use of lighting, different camera techniques, color and composition to create terrific images. Photography schools also cover history and editing techniques for both digital and film formats. Business essentials are also taught so that graduates know how to ensure they have copyright protection of their work, as well as how to find and deal with clients while building their own photography portfolio.

Armed with this knowledge, not only are photography school graduates well-versed in what they need to know to take unforgettable photographs, but they’ll also have a base on which to start their own photography business if they so choose. A career in photography is fast-paced and full of technological change—digital photography has made it easier than ever to share your work with the world or have your work stolen from you. A comprehensive photography education will show you how to maximize the potential of the digital medium while protecting yourself from exploitation.

A Career in Photography: Finding Your Niche

Graduates of a recognized photography school with a strong portfolio have many options available to them as a professional photographer. These careers include photo journalism, portrait photography, wedding photography, glamour photography, fine art photography and photo advertising. Many professional photographers can command salaries of $100,000 a year or more.