Photography Careers

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Students with the right combination of education and experience can pursue careers in photography.

Photographers capture images for commercial, private, industrial, fine art, and journalistic purposes. Most photography degrees also emphasize digital photography skills for the technology age, along with business, computer, and interpersonal career development coursework.

The following guide explores all facets of pursuing careers in photography.

KT images / Getty Images

Why Pursue a Career in Photography?

Students with innate artistic ability and technical skills can thrive as photographers. Since more than 60% of photographers are self-employed, the field attracts personable professionals with excellent customer service skills and acute business sense. Most photography programs develop skills in marketing and communication.

While some fine arts programs incorporate traditional film-based photography, the majority of photography degrees train students in digital photography techniques. As such, most programs emphasize advanced computer and technical skills. Students may aspire to a particular career with a photography degree in a specialization such as wedding photography, photojournalism, or fine arts.

Photography Career Outlook

Photography careers vary in terms of salary and job outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), photographers earn a median annual salary of $36,280. However, specialized careers in photography can yield a higher salary.

Similarly, while the BLS projects negative job growth for photographers overall between 2018 and 2028, the bureau also projects a 10% growth rate for self-employed photographers during the same period.

As the declining cost of digital cameras and a surge in online stock photo services in recent years have contributed to a diminished demand for traditional photographers, the BLS projects lucrative opportunities in new technology, especially in commercial and drone photography.

Source: PayScale

Skills Gained with a Photography Degree

Photography degrees provide a distinct combination of creative and technical skills, enabling students to practice photography as an art form. The best photography programs teach students business, interpersonal, and computer skills.

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Technical Ability

While capturing an image requires more than just technical ability, technical skills are critical for students entering the profession.

Whether an aspiring photographer chooses traditional (film) or digital processes, they must thoroughly understand how to operate a camera and use photographic equipment. Although most photography programs focus on digital techniques and forego traditional development processes in the darkroom, many degrees include training in aperture, exposure, and shutter speed.

As most students who pursue an education in photography have innate artistic ability, most coursework in a photography degree is designed to expand on this skill set. Students learn to consider creative aspects of photography when choosing the subject, composition, and lighting of their images. Students also learn to be resourceful and adaptable.

Business Sense

Basic business courses for photographers train students to manage their clients, schedule, and finances, while also preparing students for portfolio development, marketing, and self-promotion.

Computer Skills

Aspiring photographers need computer skills to capture and process images using a digital camera, as well as for storing and editing digital images. Basic computer skills are also critical for professional interaction with clients, employers, and media publishers.

Interpersonal Relations

Aspiring photographers with advanced interpersonal and communication skills enjoy better job opportunities. Whether a student plans to work directly with clients, multiple media outlets, or a single employer, photographers should be personable and professional, especially those who aspire to be self-employed, work freelance, or manage their own small business.

Photography Career Paths

With a degree in the right specialization, students can pursue their choice of careers in photography. While each program provides its own unique career path in photography, the following represent some of the most popular specializations.


Also called news photographers, photojournalists capture images of current events to accompany human interest stories for print news and broadcast outlets. Photojournalists may photograph people, places, or events.

Portrait Photography

Portrait photographers take pictures for a variety of clients. Some portrait photographers, such as wedding, newborn, and school photographers, travel to a particular site to take portraits, while others who specialize in editorial or fine art portraiture may work from their studio.

Fine Art Photography

Fine art photographers often develop their own distinctive method of creating images and aspire to publish or exhibit their photos to build their portfolio.

Commercial/Industrial Photography

Commercial and industrial photographers capture images of subjects such as buildings, merchandise, landscapes for clients like engineering firms, catalogs, and real estate companies. Some photographers in this field may specialize in drone or aerial imaging, both of which require training on special photographic equipment.

Fashion Photography

Fashion photographers take photos for marketing campaigns, fashion shows, and editorial projects. They work closely with designers, advertisers, and magazine editors to develop a cohesive brand identity. Fashion photographers may work out of their studio or on location.

How to Start Your Career in Photography

With broad applications in fine art, media, and communications, careers in photography suit creative professionals with an entrepreneurial side. Regardless of specialization, employers and clients typically value professional photographers with education, experience, and a strong portfolio.

While not all photography careers require a formal education, associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees provide students with the skills they need in the industry.

Graduates of an associate program can pursue careers as freelance photographers, photojournalists, and camera operators. Bachelor's degree-holders can graduate to art director, graphic design , and multimedia artist positions.

Photographers with master's degrees may qualify for careers as college professors. Many large media outlets favor highly experienced photographers with an advanced degree for leadership positions.

Associate Degree in Photography

As the minimum requirement for entry-level positions, an associate degree in photography prepares students for careers as freelance photographers, including wedding and portrait work and technical positions like camera repairer or camera operator.

Associate programs typically introduce students to the art of photography, training them to operate a traditional or digital camera and consider elements like composition, exposure, aperture, and lighting in creating an image.

As many photographers aspire to become freelancers or self-employed, most associate programs also include coursework in customer service, client management, and computer skills.

What Can You Do With an Associate in Photography?

Freelance photographer.

Freelance photographers take pictures for private clients or publications. These professionals often specialize in portraiture or event photography or sell their photographs to media outlets. While no formal education is required, earning an associate degree provides students with both the creative and business skills needed for a freelance career.

Salary : $42,500

Wedding Photographer

Wedding photographers need advanced customer service skills. These professionals are typically hired to capture images for weddings, including portraits and candid shots. Some photography degrees offer concentrations in wedding photography.

Salary : $45,000

Portrait Photographer

Common subjects for portrait photographers include students, couples, families, and pets. Portrait photographers may earn a general photography degree while building experience and developing their portfolio.

Salary : $36,280

Camera Repairer or Technician

Students can expand on the technical training provided by an associate degree in photography to become a camera repairer or technician. As part of its foundational photography curriculum, an associate degree teaches students to operate and maintain various types of traditional and digital cameras and equipment.

Salary : $39,080

Camera Operator

Photography employers often value experience over education; however, professionals with an associate degree in photography may hold an advantage over competitors for these coveted jobs. Many photography students aspire to become camera operators for large media outlets or the film industry.

Salary : $45,290

Source: BLS, PayScale

Bachelor's Degree in Photography

While an associate degree prepares students for careers in freelance photography, earning a bachelor's degree qualifies students for related jobs in graphic design, art direction, and multimedia art and animation. Additionally, many graduates of a bachelor's program in photography choose to become fine artists or photo editors.

Aspiring fine artists often pursue studio-based programs through a BFA. Meanwhile, a BA in photography develops a student's innate artistic ability and also provides technical training for careers in graphic design and animation.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Photography?

Art director.

Art directors design the layout of images and overall style of print and digital media publications and advertising campaigns. Entry-level jobs typically require at least a bachelor's degree in art or design and work experience.

Salary : $94,220

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers are responsible for most of the visual communication in the world, especially in advertising and print and digital media. While many jobs require a graphic design degree , some employers hire artists with a photography background and work experience.

Salary : $52,110

Fine Artist

Fine artists specializing in photography often aspire to exhibit their work in a gallery or museum setting or sell to private collectors. This career suits photography students seeking the freedom of a self-employed lifestyle. These professionals must have the business sense to find their niche. Most fine artists hold a bachelor's degree.

Salary : $48,760

Multimedia Artist or Animator

Some photography majors take an interest in incorporating other artistic media or setting still images in motion. Becoming a multimedia artist or animator is a common career choice among photography students. Most employers require a bachelor's degree in art or design, work experience, and a strong portfolio.

Salary : $75,270

Photo Editor

Photo editors review, edit, and select images for print and online media, including magazines, catalogues, and advertising campaigns. They typically perform tasks like color correction and airbrushing. Most employers require at least a bachelor's degree in photography or photojournalism.

Salary : $49,610

Master's Degree in Photography

Widely considered a terminal degree for photographers, a master's degree qualifies students to become postsecondary photography teachers. While not all jobs in photography and photo retouching require a master's degree, many employers prefer candidates with experience and a strong portfolio for senior positions.

Many schools offer students the choice of an MA or MFA in photography. A master's degree typically includes multiple specialization options, such as art education, biomedical photography, and digital media.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Photography?

Postsecondary teacher.

Due to the rarity of doctoral photography programs, earning a master's in photography is widely regarded as a terminal degree and prepares students for positions as photography teachers at the college level.

Salary : $79,540

Senior Photographer

While requirements vary by employer, photographers with a master's degree often qualify for more senior positions and higher salaries than entry-level photographers. National media outlets and well-known publications often prefer senior photographers with years of experience and an advanced degree.

Salary : $62,110

Photo Retoucher

Photo retouchers need a unique combination of artistic and technical skills to enhance images for print/digital publications, advertisers, and real estate agents. Most employers require at least a bachelor's degree in a related field and prefer experienced workers for senior positions.

Salary : $58,110

Scientific Photographer

Scientific photographers take pictures of scientific and medical data and specimens. These professionals typically need special training in using photographically enhancing software and capturing microscopic images.

Drone/Aerial Photographer

Similar to scientific photographers, drone/aerial photographers need unique career training. Aerial photographers must learn to operate a gyro stabilizer camera to capture high-quality aerial images. Drone operators must also undergo training on unmanned integrated devices and obtain licensure through the Federal Aviation Administration.

How to Advance Your Career in Photography

Regardless of education and experience, professionals can always seek out ways to advance their career in photography. Some states require professional licensure for photographers who sell their work, although most states offer licensure as an optional resource to photographers.

Many photographers pursue others paths toward career enhancement through continuing education units (CEUs) and networking opportunities. Students can gain an edge over competitors and increase their earning and advancement opportunities by enrolling in CEUs and joining a professional organization in their area of expertise.

Certifications and/or Licensure

Each state determines licensure requirements for professional photographers and related occupations. While most states do not require photographers to obtain a license to own and operate a photography business, some states do. Students should consult the business division of their individual state board for more information.

Photographers may also pursue the certified professional photographer (CPP) credential through the Professional Photographers of America. CPP certification demonstrates to clients that a photographer meets the highest industry standards of professionalism and expertise.

Photographers specializing in drone imaging must hold licensure in unmanned aircraft operation from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Continuing Education

Students can advance their photography career through continuing education. Learners may return to college at any time to earn a higher degree; however, many employers seek out photographers with extensive work experience for senior positions.

As programs increasingly move online, students can earn a certificate in specializations like digital photography or image editing software. Sites like Coursera and EdX also offer free online courses in photography, art, and design. Many students gain industry experience through internships and fellowships in their area of photographic expertise.

Whether a student plans to begin their career immediately after completing a photography degree or transition from another field, the next steps toward entering the industry are critical. Many students pursue continuing education through a fellowship or internship to gain work experience and develop their portfolio.

Students can also benefit from networking at this phase of their photography career, both independently and through membership in a professional organization like the Professional Photographers of America or American Photographic Artists. These organizations offer annual conferences, job boards, and group meetings.

How to Switch Your Career to Photography

As most entry-level photography jobs only need an associate or bachelor's degree, aspiring photographers with a degree in a related field such as fine art, design, or communications can easily transition to a similar photography program. Some of these professionals pursue employment as assistant photographers to gain work experience.

Freelance and self-employed photographers may decide to focus on a different specialization later in their career. For example, a photographer might transition from photojournalism to wedding photography to work locally instead of traveling. Likewise, multimedia artists sometimes transition to photography as their primary medium after experimenting with other practices.

Where Can You Work as a Photography Professional?

Equipped with education and experience, photographers can begin lucrative careers in print and broadcast media, publishing, and motion pictures.

Radio and Television Broadcasting

Photographers often pursue entry-level jobs in radio and television broadcasting as camera operators or production assistants to gain experience. Experienced photographers in this industry may qualify for senior positions as camera operators in larger media markets or as directors of photography for high-level projects.

Average Salary : $52,020

Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers

Recent graduates of a photography program often begin their career by submitting freelance photographs to news media outlets, while more seasoned photographers may qualify for full-time positions as photojournalists or at a publishing house.

Average Salary : $52,820

Motion Picture and Video Industries

Some students aspire to become still or set photographers in the motion picture industry, while others seek industry experience and additional education to pursue a role like director of photography.

Average Salary : $71,670

Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers

Many photographers seek freedom and autonomy through creative pursuits. Most jobs in the fine arts value experience over an advanced education, enabling photographers to enter their choice of nontraditional occupations in the creative sector. Students often become self-employed as freelance photographers or explore photography as an art-making practice.

Average Salary : $46,170

Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

This sector often includes photographers with specialized skills, such as scientific photographers who capture microscopic images or drone camera operators. Additionally, some students earn an advanced degree to become postsecondary photography instructors.

Average Salary : $41,040

Source: BLS

Employment rates and average salaries of photographers vary by location. California employs the highest number of photographers (6,600), followed by Florida and New York.

While California houses the most photographers in the U.S., the District of Columbia pays photographers the highest average annual salary ($89,310).

Beyond location, employment also depends on a candidate's education, experience, and artistic ability.

Interview With a Photographer

Corporate portrait photographer.

Portrait of Michael N. Meyer

Michael N. Meyer

Michael N. Meyer runs Picture More Business® , a New York City-based corporate portrait photographer studio focused on the needs of professional services firms. His clients include a long list of law firms, financial services firms, nonprofits, and media companies. He is also the host of the Legal Marketing Studio, a podcast devoted to exploring trends in legal marketing. His fine art projects have been exhibited and published internationally.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in photography? Is it something that you were always interested in?

I borrowed my father's Nikkormat in sixth grade to take pictures for my class's yearbook. After that I was hooked and couldn't imagine doing anything else. Around that time Nikon was running advertisements that romanticized the life of a working photographer. The journalistic mode they depicted isn't where my career has gone, but those ads certainly led to my early interest in pursuing photography.

How is a photography program different from other college majors?

Photography as an area of study can be many things: a technical skill set, a commercial trade, an artistic practice, a historical progression, or a theoretical or conceptual framework or support for practices in other fields. Programs at different schools will balance these competing photographic possibilities in different ways. When looking at studying photography, a prospective student should look closely at whether or not their idea of photography matches a school's idea of photography.

What was the job search like after completing your degree?

My path after graduating was slow and meandering. For the first year I jumped between odd jobs (teaching photography at a summer program, working retail at an art supply store, designing collateral for a small non-profit) before landing a job managing a photographer's studio.

In this position I spent most of my time keeping up the books and doing portfolio drops but also learned how to produce high-end corporate, editorial, advertising, and music shoots; negotiate contracts; and run a business. This first job in my field came through an introduction in my school's alumni network.

Is photography a versatile degree? Or one that has a clear career path?

Photography can be a versatile degree depending on which "photography" one studies. I would encourage students to look at photography as one would any liberal arts major: as a means of learning how to think critically. Technical skills are the easy part, but they are not enough by themselves to build a career upon. One wants their studies to illuminate what one has to say about the world and, to a lesser extent, how to turn that into a viable career (or more likely into a viable business).

Whichever "photography" one studies, photography ought to sit at the center of a constellation of other topics. Subjects like history, philosophy, anthropology, or literature will help with learning what to say, while subjects like business, accounting, or marketing will be useful in building one's career.

There isn't a clear career path in photography in the sense that there are many paths within the field. I can only speak to my own experience as a corporate photographer. In the commercial space, most photographers are freelancers who work for many clients and have to solve different problems every day. One doesn't have a job so much as one runs a business. While a corporate shooter's business will look different than an advertising shooter's, the career path will likely be similar: years of assisting and building experience before moving out to build one's own business.

As a commercial photographer, this was more or less my path. Over time, my business evolved as I honed in on a niche that was best served by my particular skill sets and engaged my core interests. In the end, by recognizing a particular kind of photography I was good at and building a network of relationships within a potential client base, I've managed to garner a steady flow of corporate projects.

Is your career path typical of someone who graduates with a photography degree?

I wouldn't say that there is a typical path for someone who graduates with a photography degree. Among my friends in the field, we have followed many different career trajectories.

Most of the folks I know are commercial photographers who specialize in shooting business portraits, architecture, advertising, or advertorial content. A few have glamorous careers (or so it would seem from their social media) as fashion photographers or fine art stars. A handful work as journalists or documentary photographers. A couple shoot personal events. I know still others who teach or have support roles in university settings or have become photo editors, retouchers, printers, curators, designers, and archivists. I also have many friends who have moved into other fields but continue to shoot as their passion moves them.

Many of us wear multiple hats within photography. As an example, I make my primary living as a corporate photographer but also teach as an adjunct professor and exhibit my fine art projects.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job? The most challenging?

The most enjoyable aspect of my job is the variety of people who I get to interact with on a daily basis. On one day I may be shooting executives for an international conglomerate, and then on the next working with volunteers at a local nonprofit. Each of my subjects has a fascinating story to tell. This constant engagement with people in the world has been what I've enjoyed most in my career.

The greatest challenge is that I spend far more time promoting my services and doing administrative tasks than I do actually making photographs. I think this is a common complaint among commercial photographers. However, I've also taken it as an opportunity, as it allows me to balance my client work with my own personal projects that continue to drive my passion for the medium.

What advice would you give to students considering a degree and career in photography?

The best advice I could give is not to study photography with an eye only towards finding a job. Photography is a process of finding understanding of oneself and of the world. Study it with this in mind and the world will open up to you. If one is looking for a clear career path, study accounting.

Resources for Photography Majors

The photography industry offers several professional organizations for photographers, artists, and editors. Membership can provide unique networking opportunities, industry news, and job advice. Many organizations attract students and recent graduates with discounted membership rates.

Professional Organizations

Photographers often rely on referrals and professional networks to gain new clients and find projects. The following professional organizations can help you get more direction when it comes to technical advice, job leads and educational resources.

Some of these organizations host annual award ceremonies and competitions, which can give students and professionals the opportunity to challenge each other for academic funding and prestige.

Professional Photographers of America : Since its founding in 1880, the PPA has gained over 26,000 members in 54 countries. Photographers can study for and take the CPP exam to earn a professional credential that shows employers that their skills meet certain standards and ethics.

National Press Photographers Association : This organization was established in 1946, when the first issue of the National Press Photographer was launched. The NPPA is dedicated to professional advocacy and continued education for photographers that work in journalism. Members gain exclusive access to insurance and product discounts, are listed in the "Find a Photographer" database, and get a subscription to News Photographer magazine.

National Association of Photoshop Professionals : The NAPP was created by the Kelby Media Group and is based in Oldsmar, Florida. Subscribers gain access to professional software tutorials, exclusive member forums, Photoshop User magazine, webcasts, and an online photography helpdesk.

American Photographic Artists : The APA has three primary missions: advocacy, continued education, and setting professional standards for photographers within the United States. Members gain access to discounted business insurance rates, exclusive APA newsletters, training manuals, and discounts. Based in San Francisco, the APA operates six regional chapters across the U.S.

Open Courseware

Open Courseware are free, online courses offered by some of the best higher education institutions in the U.S. The following courses explore the fundamentals of photography and photojournalism.

Introduction to Photography : This MIT course is comprised of video lectures, example photography projects put together by the Fall 2002 class, and computer lab work. Topics include digital imaging, lighting, color processes, and several other technical photography skills.

Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing : This course explores the fundamental tools and methods used to produce and process digital images. Students learn still and video imaging techniques, including enhancement, editing, and manipulation for various artistic, scientific, and commercial applications.

Seeing Through Photographs : This course encourages students to turn a critical eye to photographs in the MoMA collection. Topics include the difference between photographs and photographic images, how the context of an image informs its creation, photography as a mode of communication, and historical storytelling through photographs.

Cameras, Exposure, and Photography : This course introduces students to all aspects of traditional and digital cameras, equipment, and accessories. Instructors help learners select the right camera to produce the images they seek.

Publications - Open Access Photography Journals

These open access journals allow you to get in-depth analysis and insights into photographic theory and technique. Photographers submit their own work to these publications to gain artistic exposure.

Trans Asia Photography Review : This international publication is edited by faculty from Hampshire College, the University of Wellington, and Jamia University. New issues of TAP appear twice a year, covering photography in Asia. Previous articles have included commentary on Ai Weiwei's work, explorations into the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts in New Delhi, and a description of archival collection processes used by Harvard University .

Philosophy of Photography : This international publication includes articles that focus on the theory, techniques, critical approaches, and philosophy of photography. This periodical is published twice a year, with an editorial board hailing from multiple academic institutions across the globe.

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism : This publication highlights the importance of photography within new media. Authors can submit research papers, commentary, case studies, book reviews, and opinion pieces that pertain to mass communication and journalism. New issues are released every other month. The editorial panel consists of professional journalists and educators based in Rome, Egypt, the UK, and several U.S. states.

Open Arts Journal : This journal showcases essays, reviews, and research pertaining to visual arts. This publication is released twice a year, with an editorial board that consists of several faculty members from The Open University.

Publications - Photography Books

The following books are highly regarded by students, academics and practicing professionals within the fields of art photography and photojournalism. They can help you hone your craft and produce high-quality shots, even if you do not have the best equipment or technology. Many of these guides focus on photographic composition and shooting techniques.

Slightly Out of Focus : Photojournalist Robert Capa survived five wars to record combat in stunning detail with his photographs. This is his memoir, chronicling his experiences during World War II as a professional documentary photographer.

Learning to See Creatively : This immensely popular volume by Bryan Peterson emphasizes how individuals have dramatically different views of a situation. Your sight can be a rich field of ideas -- you just need to know how to look. Peterson's book shows you how to infuse your work with creativity.

Photographic Composition: A Visual Guide : This popular textbook was written by Professor Richard Zakia and author David A. Page. It covers the fundamental process that occurs before you take a photo. Topics include framing the scene, choosing a vantage point, considering proximity, controlling light, and using post-processing effects in Photoshop.

Photojournalism: The Professionals Approach : Professor Kenneth Kobre of San Francisco University explores the techniques, equipment, and ethics of effective photojournalism. This guide comes bundled with a DVD, which shows footage of photojournalists on the ground, capturing events as they unfold.

Publications - Online Photography Magazines

Digital magazines are a perfect medium for showcasing photography, since high-resolution images can be displayed in multiple sizes without print degradation or cost. The following periodicals can help you keep up with modern photography trends. Equipment reviews can also help you make informed tech purchases.

British Journal of Photography : This is a multimedia resource that collects articles on gallery showings, photography equipment, noteworthy photographers, and academic developments. This publication does have a print periodical that is published on a monthly basis; however, the digital version features news that is updated several times a week. Mobile users can also purchase subscriptions formatted for iPhones and iPads.

F-Stop : This digital publication showcases contemporary photographs from all around the world. It features new artists and group exhibitions that focus on a specific theme. Previous F-Stop themes include "The Natural World," "True/False" and "Juxtaposition." Each photograph is presented in a high quality digital format with a dedicated slideshow feature built into the F-Stop interface.

LensCulture : This Paris-based online magazine is known by professional photographers for its prominent annual award ceremonies, such as the LensCulture Student Photography Awards and the LensCulture International Exposure Awards. This magazine accepts photo submissions in dozens of categories, including fine art, urban, alternative process, still life, festivals, and portraits. The magazine also publishes book reviews and interviews with professional photographers.

Nature Photographers : This is the official publication of the Natural Photographers Network, a professional organization dedicated to nature photography. This magazine showcases galleries in the following categories: flora, avian, environmental photojournalism, wildlife, and human interactions with nature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is photography a good career.

It depends. Photography careers can be lucrative and long-lasting, especially for self-employed workers, and drone and commercial photographers.

What kind of jobs are there for photography?

Photographers can specialize in many different fields, including wedding photography, commercial/industrial photography, and photojournalism. Photographers tend to gravitate toward self-employment through freelance and contract opportunities.

What is the highest paid photography job?

Commercial photographers are among the highest paid workers in their field, typically earning a starting salary of $35,000 and as much as $55,000 with nearly 20 years of professional experience.

Is a degree in photography worth it?

It depends. Creative students with an entrepreneurial streak often benefit from photography degrees.

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SNHU Graduate Caitlyn Carey working on a laptop. With the text Caitlyn Carey '15

Associate Degree in Photography Online

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Earn an AA in Photography Online

  • $330/credit (60 credits)
  • Transfer up to 45 credits
  • 100% online instruction
  • Work with professional photographers
  • Learn essential business skills
  • No application fee or SAT/ACT scores required

Associate in Digital Photography Online Program Overview

Photographers capture our world in singular moments in time. And the images they capture can record the indescribable beauty of our world, trigger a flood of emotions or cause the downfall of governments. Take your creative eye and love of visual storytelling to new heights with an Associate of Arts (AA) in Digital Photography degree from Southern New Hampshire University.

You’ll learn the technical skills needed to be a successful digital photographer – thematic storytelling, design theory, image composition, how to use light and color to create compelling digital images, as well as post-production editing techniques. These skills are paired with a strong foundation in the humanities, including courses in communication, writing, social sciences, and the business and history of photography. And all courses are online – so you're free to learn from anywhere and at any time that fits your schedule.

This program is for anyone seeking to launch or advance a career in the exciting world of professional photography. You’ll complete this program ready to develop your own personal brand with a unique visual style, powerful creative voice and focused industry knowledge.

Learn how to:

  • Develop professional skills aligned with best practices of the industry
  • Employ industry-appropriate tools and techniques
  • Apply the elements and principles of art and design
  • Communicate ideas and themes to specific audiences
  • Tell powerful stories through your own unique visual imagery

If you're interested in continuing your education beyond your associate degree, you can seamlessly transition to the bachelor's online photography degree program at SNHU.

Digital Photography Career Outlook

Graduates of an associate degree in digital photography can become professional photographers in fields such as photojournalism, portraiture and commercial or product photography. Freelance photography is a field that continues to grow.

In fact, there are many ways to use your associate degree in photography that could lead to a rewarding career. You can apply the credits earned in the associate in photography toward a BA in Digital Photography or an online graphic design degree as well.

While an associate degree in photography can give you a competitive advantage, SNHU understands that the best job candidates have multiple talents and related skills. The accountability and professionalism you’ll learn will serve you well in any career. Creative intelligence and collaboration are also two important skills you’ll develop by studying visual arts. And written and verbal communication enhance your day-to-day relationships with clients and other professional peers. 

Associate of Photography graduate RJ Johns smiling.

Through 2031, photographers can expect to see a jump in employment opportunities: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9% increase in roles – faster than the average of all jobs. 1

Once you complete the online Associate of Arts in Digital Photography program, you'll be ready to work in a number of exciting career fields, including:

  • Portrait photography. Specialize in photographing people, groups or even animals. You may apply your photography skills to documenting weddings or other special events, and may work in a studio space or on location. Strong communication skills, in addition to technical expertise, are helpful here.
  • Commercial and industrial photography. Take pictures of a variety of subjects ranging from buildings and merchandise to models and landscapes. You may work in a studio or on location.
  • Scientific photography. Use your photography skills to document scientific or medical data. You may use microscopes to capture images too small to see with the naked eye. Your strong general education background will be especially helpful here.
  • News photography. Photograph people, places, and events. Your photos might be used for a variety of print or digital media, such as magazines, newspapers or even television. Also known as photojournalism, strong digital photography skills will be especially helpful here.
  • Fine arts photography. Sell your photographs as works of art. This role combines photographic skill, a creative eye and a sound background in marketing and business.
  • University photography. Work as a staff photographer for a college or university. You may produce, edit and present photographs for all manner of university-related events. Your photographs may be used in official university publications, websites, emails and more.
  • Production assistant. A dynamic entry-level role, you'll assist lead photographers in conducting photo sessions at a studio or on site. A high level of technical ability is needed here, in particular with lighting and equipment. Strong communication skills may also serve you well as there is often a customer service aspect to this role.
  • Digital photo technician. Apply your technical skills to scan and manipulate images. Your aesthetic skills would be helpful in this role, as you may work on retouching, sizing and adjusting the color and contrast to create the best images for your clients. Good customer service and communication skills are helpful here as well.
  • Photo editor. A role with a strong management component, you may select and edit photos yourself, though the focus of this role involves managing other photographers by assigning and coordinating their projects. Business and communication skills would be helpful here, because you may negotiate fees and obtain the rights and permissions to use images.
  • Lighting technician. Set up lighting for stages, location sets or studio spaces. A strong knowledge of aesthetics, media, business and design may help you excel in this role. You may work in commercial settings, in television or film production or as a freelance artist.

Colleen Vandenberg with the text "Colleen Vandenberg"

No matter which career you choose, “earning your online degree at SNHU will afford you the opportunity to lay the foundation of being an expert in your craft, and have a deeper understanding of professional photography," said Colleen Vandenberg , photography faculty at SNHU.

Understanding the numbers When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors—like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Digital Photography Degree

The Associate of Arts in Digital Photography degree at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is designed to give you the leading edge for a career in commercial photography.

Associate of Photography online alum Ryan Earheart smiling.

"I felt it was for me," he said. "I did a lot of digging around online, and after a bunch of research, I found that many people loved the photography program at SNHU."

Taught by industry-leading faculty, you’ll enjoy foundational coursework grounded in business and the liberal arts. Then, you’ll focus on courses covering all aspects of digital photography. Lighting, aesthetics, design and communications come together to offer a well-rounded degree.

"Photographers today often are hired on a contract basis and it is essential that they are educated in the successful creation, marketing and running of a photography business," said Sloan Kelly , associate dean of fine and applied arts at SNHU.

Associate of Photography online alum Sloan Kelly.

"Learning how to build and maintain a freelance business and the importance of a brand – and marketing that brand – is essential for students to learn," Kelly said.

Earheart agreed.

"The journalism, marketing and business aspect of the courses is worth it by itself," he said.

Credits earned for the associate degree in photography can be easily applied toward a bachelor’s degree in digital photography, graphic design and media arts or a variety of other liberal arts majors.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

  • General education courses: All associate in photography students are required to take 21 credits of general education courses, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these cornerstone, exploration and culmination courses, you'll learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, providing the edge employers are looking for. This foundation will position you to be competitive in your career and in a future bachelor’s degree program online , or on campus, should you decide to continue on with your education.
  • Major courses: All associate in photography students will earn 27 credits of digital photography, communication and graphic design theory courses. Major courses may include Media Communication and Visual Literacy, Business of Photography, Lighting, History of Photography or Design and Color Theory.
  • Free electives: Every student has 12 free electives to use toward their associate degree in photography. You may use these courses to customize your study based on your interests and career goals.
  • Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments .
  • Hardware and software support: As noted below, you will need a DSLR camera, tripod and lighting kit to complete this program and be successful as a commercial or fine art photographer. Coursework includes instruction on popular photographic software, such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. You'll also learn about hardware and other technical equipment such as scanners, still cameras and lighting kits. You'll cover methods and techniques for creating and editing graphics. And, of course, you will have opportunities for the hands-on practice of your new skills.

In addition to the technical and theoretical photography skills you will learn in this exciting program, your coursework will prepare you for the business aspects of working as a commercial photographer.

Communication, business, critical thinking and internet savvy are all skills that will serve you well for a future career or to move on to a bachelor’s degree. Many of your courses for the associate degree in photography can be applied to a bachelor’s degree, so continuing on with your education will be seamless.

Minimum Hardware Requirements Component Type   PC (Windows OS)   Apple (Mac OS)   Operating System  Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.   Currently supported operating system from Apple.  Memory (RAM)  8GB or higher  8GB or higher  Hard Drive  100GB or higher  100GB or higher  Antivirus Software  Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.  Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.  SNHU Purchase Programs  Visit Dell   Visit Apple   Internet/ Bandwidth  5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency  5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency  Notes:   Laptop or desktop?   Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.  Note:   Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.  Office 365 Pro Plus  is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for  Microsoft 365 plans  for business, education and government.  Antivirus software:  Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.  if (typeof accordionGroup === "undefined") { window.accordionGroup = new accordion(); } accordionGroup.init(document.getElementById('f756dce5bd874c61855f6f6e92d88470')); Digital Photography Technical Requirements Required Photography Equipment: Interchangeable-lens camera (ILC) either DSLR or mirrorless models with manual and semi-auto modes allowing for shooting in RAW and control of the ISO, white balance, aperture, and shutter speed. The camera must have a hot shoe center pin on the top to attach a flash unit and other compatible accessories. Wireless Camera Remote Control Tripod Lighting Kit NOTE: Phone and/or tablet cameras are not permitted for use in this course. They lack the technical functionality to properly complete required assignments. Required Software: Adobe Creative Cloud is required for all students in the digital photography program. Creative Cloud licenses are available at an educational discount directly through Adobe. Adobe’s terms and conditions require a full-year contract for Creative Cloud. System Requirements: Please refer to the requirements for Adobe Photoshop, which demands the most technical requirements of the Adobe Creative Cloud and is used throughout the digital photography program. Given that current system requirements can change without notice from Adobe, it is best to consult the most up-to-date requirements on the Adobe website . if (typeof accordionGroup === "undefined") { window.accordionGroup = new accordion(); } accordionGroup.init(document.getElementById('29363617aa2640fb98b0f25cb1d6ea26')); Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.

We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs No Application Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get an associate degree in photography online absolutely. in fact, you might be surprised by just how easy, affordable and practical earning an associate degree in photography online really is. in an increasingly digital world, it’s crucial to stay up to date on technology. our faculty are current in the field, and they can teach you how to best use the internet plus all of the software and hardware needed to have a successful career in photography. at southern new hampshire university (snhu), we have designed our curriculum around the online experience. this means that every class and every assignment is designed to help you learn how to use all of the tools you need to advance your photography knowledge. we not only provide you with critical foundational courses in general education and business, we teach you how to use current photography software such as adobe illustrator and adobe photoshop. "(snhu is) one of the very few universities that offers online photography, and i am very grateful for the access," said katie haynes '21 . "i loved studying online – the easy access and flexibility was amazing." we cover the history and business of photography. we teach you how to use the necessary tools of the trade such as scanners, lighting and different types of cameras. you may complete this degree armed with the knowledge and hands-on experience you need to be successful in a career such as commercial photographer, fine arts photographer or photography assistant. and you’ll be ready to continue on to a ba in digital photography, game art and development  or graphic design program. what can you do with an associate degree in photography an associate degree in photography can take you places you’ve probably never dreamed of. with coursework grounded in general education and business, and focusing on the technical and theoretical aspects of photography as a practice, you will be prepared to enjoy careers such as: photo editor. make creative and business decisions about which photographs to run with news or editorial pieces in newspapers or magazines. commercial photographer. photograph buildings, outdoor locations or products for advertisement. news photographer. also known as a photojournalist, you may travel the country or the world photographing human interest stories, sporting events and more. university photographer. work exclusively for a college or university, documenting the many events on campus, providing content for the website and creating marketing materials. you’ll also be able to apply your associate degree coursework to a bachelor’s degree and continue with your education as you build your career. is an associate degree in photography worth it we think so. the opportunity to study what you love and prepare yourself for the career of your dreams in an affordable and accessible way sounds pretty good to us. this degree provides the general education, business and, most importantly, photography skills needed to set you apart in a competitive job market. an associate degree in photography can help launch your career in commercial or fine art photography. it can also serve as a launchpad for continued education with a ba in a related field, like graphic design, digital photography or game art and design. what experience do you need to be a photographer while a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for many photography jobs, an associate degree certainly helps. by taking the time to study your craft and learn to apply business and theoretical principles to your work, you can show any employer that you are serious about the business of photography and that you are well-trained in your field. you can also apply your work on your associate degree in photography toward a bachelor’s degree, should you decide to continue with your studies. at southern new hampshire university, we make it easy. you can apply most or possibly all of the credits in your associate degree to a bachelor’s degree in a related field like digital photography, graphic design and media arts or game art and development. there are many business, humanities and liberal arts degree programs  that would be a natural next step from your associate degree as well. because some specialties in commercial photography, such as medical or science photography, deal with science, it can be helpful to build on your associate degree in photography with a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field. as for work experience, a good eye, sense of creativity and design, knowledge of branding and marketing, and strong communication skills, coupled with any practical work experience you have in the photography field, will help you meet your goals. how long do you have to go to school to be a photographer while anyone can pick up a camera and take some images, formal training in a degree program offers instruction in business, marketing and communication as well as the history of and theory behind photography as a profession. an associate degree in photography will help you connect with and learn from our faculty, who have professional experience in the field. the degree not only prepares you to be successful in the business and professional aspects of a career in commercial photography, it sends a signal to an employer that you are serious about your craft. best of all, you can earn your associate degree in photography at southern new hampshire university (snhu) in as little as 18 months. with all courses online, you set the pace. if you want to continue on beyond the courses taught at the associate degree level, consider continuing on toward a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as digital photography. should you have credits you're able to transfer in, the time you spend on your associate degree could be cut down. "i transferred some credits from my time in the military," said ryan earheart '19 '21 . "i started my associate degree in july 2018 and finished it november 2019." because it went by so quickly for him, he moved right into his bachelor's degree, graduating in 2021. how do i start my photography career first, choose the right education. while anyone can take some nice pictures, it takes a real professional to apply skills, artistic and creative training and knowledge of photography as both a craft and a business to enjoy a long and rewarding career. the associate of arts in digital photography degree at southern new hampshire university (snhu) is a great place to start. our program offers a solid foundation in writing, business and social science. you’ll then take major courses that cover topics such as lighting, history of photography and color theory. with most professions, practical experience is important. our associate degree in photography offers hands-on experience through the coursework so you graduate ready to apply your skills to a real work environment. what is the best online photography school any school that includes courses grounded in the humanities and general education and then builds on them with courses specific to photography is tops. look for a curriculum that includes humanities, business and writing courses, plus coursework in lighting, digital imaging, aesthetics and even media communication and visual literacy. katie haynes '21 was thankful for the opportunity to study online – especially after medical issues kept her home and her previous school couldn't accommodate her remote requests. "i found snhu and was super thankful" she said. "what made it even better was that they actually had the degree program i wanted to originally go to school for." southern new hampshire university's online associate degree in photography allows you hands-on photography experience coupled with courses in the humanities, business and both the technical and artistic aspects of photography. we also offer a variety of bachelor’s degree programs that will help you continue to advance your education after you complete your associate degree. consider a bachelor’s degree in digital photography, graphic design and media arts or even game art and development. our online platform pairs expert advising with the flexibility to complete your degree at your pace. our affordable tuition ensures that our degree programs can fit your budget. and you can graduate with more than just expertise in photography. if (typeof accordiongroup === "undefined") { window.accordiongroup = new accordion(); } accordiongroup.init(document.getelementbyid('a952fc2bf3814625921d990b745a1bd7')); university accreditation.

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)  as well as several other accrediting bodies.

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Becoming a Digital Photographer: Salary Info & Job Description

About this article

Pros and Cons of a Digital Photography Career

Unlike photographers who develop pictures from film, those who use digital cameras can see their photos almost instantly. While becoming a photographer can be a flexible career, check out the pros and cons to find out if it is right for you.

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information

Job description and duties.

Digital photographers are responsible for creating photo images of a particular subject. A good photographer may choose to shoot from a particular angle, use various forms of light and lenses or focus on various aspects of the subject to get the best shot. Digital photographers use a digital camera that stores the shot on a special disc, such as a memory card or flash drive. The photographer uploads the images onto a computer and employs processing software to enhance the picture using specialized effects, such as color correction, cropping and image modification.

Specializations and Salaries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that photographers made an average wage of $38,350 in May 2014. However, digital photography salaries can vary by specialization. For example, news photographers, or photojournalists, work for newspapers and magazines, capturing newsworthy events, people and even daily life in small towns. noted that as of July 2015, many individuals responding to a salary survey reported earnings of $20,883 to $59,751 annually, which includes bonuses. Photojournalists may have irregular schedules and may be required to travel to get their photographs.

A commercial photographer takes pictures of a variety of living and inanimate subjects for books, catalogs and even company reports. notes that most commercial photographers reported earnings from $25,222 to $68,896 with bonuses as of July 2015. The BLS noted that these individuals may face competition from amateur photographers and may sell their work to stock photography companies.

What Are the Requirements?

Digital photographers require a good eye for detail, as well as a technical understanding of lighting, exposure, lenses, filters and manipulation software. While some freelance photographers may not require a degree, most employers seek workers with some kind of technical training. You can typically find undergraduate and graduate degree programs in photography. These programs explore concepts in digital imaging, editorial photography and photo visualization. You may also gain skills from working as a photography assistant. Additional traits that may be important include patience, attention to detail, good eyesight and creativity.

What Are Employers Looking For?

Employers don't always advertise for digital photographers, although they do advertise for specialized photographers, such as portrait photographers. However, due to the increased use of digital cameras they may request a photographer with skills in image manipulation software, such as Adobe Photoshop. Some employers require a bachelor's degree in photography, although some employers call for associate degrees and experience. Below are some examples of job postings for photographers in March 2012:

  • A Dallas, TX, company seeks a digital photographer with an associate degree or more than five years experience to take and process photographs for marketing materials.
  • A culinary arts school in Hyde Park, NY, wants a photographer to coordinate and execute photo shoots and to take photos for marketing purposes, as well as student portraits. This individual should have training in photo editing and a bachelor's degree in photography.
  • A Springfield, IL-based company is looking for a portrait photographer who can easily speak with and interact with subjects of all ages. This individual should have sales skills and a professional, outgoing personality. The preferred candidate would have a bachelor's degree in photography.

How to Beat the Competition

Join a professional organization.

If you've chosen your specialty as a digital photographer, that's one way to stand out. Another is to join a professional organization for networking or professional certifications. For example, the Art Directors Club offers networking opportunities, as well as awards for general photography in books, calendars, posters and photo illustrations ( ). Additionally AIGA (formerly the American Institute of Graphic Arts) allows photographers to join competitions, network with others and get discounts on equipment.

Obtain Certification

If that's not enough, you could consider earning the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) credential from the Professional Photographic Certification Commission. You must declare your candidacy, complete an exam and submit a portfolio for review. The certification exam covers topics like f/stop exposures, JPEG compression, lighting, color wheels and ISO settings.

Other Career Paths to Consider


If your interest lies not in taking still photographs but with movies, you could consider a career in motion picture camera operations. Professionals in this field are called cinematographers. You'll find that work schedules for cinematographers vary and may require long hours. You'll have options for educational training in camera operation, including certificate programs that examine the tools used in cinematography, differences in film types and use of a variety of lenses to create specific effects. The BLS does not differentiate between television and motion picture camera operators, but indicates that the field is expected to increase by nine percent between 2008 and 2018. In May 2010, most camera operators earned between $20,300 and 81,270 annually. The BLS reported that motion picture camera operators earned an average of $52,380 annually.

Graphic Designer

If you're interested in creating the entire advertisement, as opposed to just taking the photographs used in it, you might consider a career in graphic design. You can complete degree programs in graphic design in as little as two years and can work in a variety of fields - including advertising, media production or print. The field of graphic design is expected to increase by 13% between 2008 and 2018. Graphic design pay will vary depending on the industry you choose. For example, the BLS noted that graphic designers working in newspaper and other publishing industries reported average yearly earnings of $42,180 in May 2010, while professionals working in specialized design services reported average earnings of $50,300 annually.

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Digital Photographer Overview

The average digital photographer salary is $41,706. The most common degree is a bachelor's degree degree with an photography major. It usually takes 1-2 years of experience to become a digital photographer. Digital photographers with a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) certification earn more money. Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 9% and produce 11,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

  • Salary $41,706
  • Growth Rate 9%
  • Jobs Number 17,419
  • Most Common Skill Adobe Photo
  • Most Common Degree Bachelor's degree
  • Best State New York

On this page

Digital photographer career paths.

In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what's a career path you ask? Well, it's practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of graphic designer you might progress to a role such as senior graphic designer eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title creative director.

  • Digital Photographer

Creative Director

Avg Salary $137,779

Graphic Designer

Avg Salary $49,450

Senior Graphic Designer

Avg Salary $73,921

Art Director

Avg Salary $88,367

Marketing Manager

Avg Salary $104,550

Marketing Coordinator

Avg Salary $48,326

Marketing Specialist

Avg Salary $54,942

Sales And Marketing Manager

Avg Salary $81,953

Account Executive

Avg Salary $69,618

Information Technology Manager

Avg Salary $119,589

  • Freelance Photographer

Avg Salary $42,949

Avg Salary $52,107

Avg Salary $78,912

Marketing Director

Avg Salary $114,906

Avg Salary $90,334

Average digital photographer salary

What Am I Worth?

Digital Photographer skills and job requirements

Digital Photographer skills

  • Adobe Photo
  • Digital Photography Equipment
  • Customer Service
  • Digital Cameras
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Photo Shoots
  • Camera Equipment
  • Portrait Photography
  • Digital Images

Digital Photographer requirements

  • Proficiency in Adobe Photoshop
  • Knowledge of lighting and camera equipment
  • Ability to edit images with software
  • Understanding of digital photography principles
  • Experience with digital cameras and lenses

Digital Photographer responsibilities

  • Photograph the dog and manage the Instagram and Facebook pages.
  • Manage creative projects from concept to completion; including signs, posters, specialize logos and video documentaries for clients.
  • Compile portfolios for multiple photography competitions/certifications.

Digital Photographer education

Digital photographer majors, digital photographer degrees.



How do digital photographers rate their job?

Digital photographer related careers.

  • Assistant Manager And Photographer
  • Events Photographer
  • Lead Photographer
  • Owner/Photographer
  • Photographer
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  • Photography Internship
  • Portrait Photographer
  • Product Photographer
  • Professional Photographer
  • School Photographer
  • Senior Photographer

Digital Photographer Related Jobs

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digital photography degree jobs

How To Get A Bachelor’s Degree In Photography Online

by Taylor Slattery | October 17, 2023


Getting a Bachelor’s degree in photography online is a great first step for anyone looking to turn their passion into a career. A Bachelor’s photography program will not only give you all of the skills and knowledge you’ll need to start your career as a professional photographer but will also put you in direct contact with people who’ve already done it themselves and can help you along your own journey.

What Does A BFA Digital Photography Program Look Like?

A BFA in photography consists of a mixture of general foundational classes common amongst all creative disciplines and highly specialized photography courses. The foundational classes introduce students to the principles that underlie all creative work. 

The aim of these courses is to provide students with the frameworks necessary to understand the concepts explored in greater depth in future classes. These concepts build upon and are further developed within a photography-specific context in the advanced courses.

The aim of the advanced courses is to introduce students to the various skills and knowledge they will need to navigate their careers as professional photographers. This includes the development of a portfolio, marketing your services, and general advice for owning and operating a creative business.

Additionally, by gaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography online , you can expect to develop the following competencies:

  • Photography
  • Art & Design Principles
  • Photo Editing Technology and Image Enhancement
  • Research, History, and Criticism
  • Building a Portfolio
  • Critical Thinking, Communication, and Writing
  • Professional Practice and Readiness and More.


Do You Need A College Degree To Be A Photographer?

While a college degree is not necessary to become a professional photographer, it will certainly help you to get a leg up on your competition, especially so in the early days of your career. Some of the most difficult challenges to overcome when you first start your career stem from the change in mindset that needs to occur as you make the transition from student to a working professional.

Whether you’re transitioning from student life or making a run at becoming a professional photographer on your own, learning to think of yourself as a business can be a difficult change to navigate. Technical skill aside, this change in mindset is necessary, but without the guidance of others who have been down this road before, it’s easy to feel lost and discouraged.

Participating in a photography Bachelor’s degree program will also help to hold you accountable and help fight off against perpetual procrastination. While at-your-own-pace online courses are flexible and often cheaper, they often lack that deeper level of time-tested guidance and higher expectations from professors who want to see you perform at your highest capacity.

While it’s not impossible to figure things out on your own, a Bachelor’s degree in photography is a surefire way to arm yourself with all of the tools you’ll need to hit the ground running after graduating and actually start working as a full-time professional photographer.


Choose Sessions College For Your Bachelor’s Degree in Photography

If you’re considering pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in photography online , Sessions College is a great place to start.

Our courses take students starting at any level and give them the skills and experience they’ll need to enter the industry as a working professional. You can study at your own pace, so you can fit your photography education into your schedule regardless of what you’ve already got on your plate. But reasonable deadlines will keep you accountable and actually practice what you learn in the real world.

There’s also no substitute for constructive feedback, and having a direct point of contact with working professionals will give you the best odds of long-term career success. Becoming a professional full-time photographer isn’t always an easy journey, but thanks to the help of the expert faculty and professors at Sessions College, you’ll be able to set yourself up for success.

Enroll Today to earn your Bachelor’s Degree in Photography ASAP.

digital photography degree jobs

Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep .

Would you like to take your photography to a professional level? Sessions College offers online Photography Degree  and  Certificate programs. Contact Admissions for more information.

Are you interested in stretching your photography skills? Sessions College offers a wide range of  online photography courses as well as  digital photography degree and certificate programs.  Contact Admissions for more information.

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