Study Photography in the USA

Do you dream of finding your photos in publications of the world top media publishers? Would you like to own your private photo studio one day? Fancy having a career which would allow you travelling the world and capturing the most mesmerizing places and events? Your answer “yes” to any of these questions means you should consider studying photography in the US. Below you will find information to help you make the best decision.

Gaining a Degree in Photography in the US

In the US, students can choose from hundreds of educational establishments to pursue their degree in photography. Such schools as Art Institute of Chicago, Bowling Green State University, San Francisco Art Institute among others offer their services to students from all over the world. Parsons (NYC) is a pioneer in creating educational opportunities for students in the US. Here, similarly to other schools in the country, you can enroll both in graduate and undergraduate program to get a photography degree. The instructors at Parsons are experienced and distinguished professionals. The photography degree program is supervised by Simone Douglas, an artist from Australia, and George Pitts, who worked for Vibe magazine.

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Choose Your Own Photography Path

The primary goal of undergraduates doing a degree is to gain as much knowledge about photography as possible. However, you may want to focus on a specific track, like fashion, tourism, or photojournalism. Many schools in the US offer such programs. While each of them affords different opportunities, you will be able to focus on the course you are most passionate about and learn its peculiarities in depth. So, for those who are fond of fashion, fashion photography would be a logical choice. The course also gives a chance to complete an internship program at a fashion studio and work with professional models and designers. Those who like travelling could try studying travel photography to be able to capture all impressive discoveries skillfully. You can also consider photojournalism or documentary photography. This rewarding career would give you a chance to share thought-provoking pictures with the rest of the world and tell the stories that matter. Students who are yet to find their own path in photography are welcome to learn several types of photography as many colleges and universities offer such a possibility. This option is the best for those still in the process of discovering their preferences and talents.

Internship Programs in Photography

Similar to other undergraduate programs, photography course requires you to participate in internship. This part of your studies is vital because it provides you with valuable practical experience. You will get a chance to work with professional photographers in photo studios, galleries, newspapers, etc. Apart from providing you with relevant experience, internship enables you to build up a network of useful contacts. In addition, you can ask for reference letters, which you will need when looking for a job. However, do not get too stressed when thinking about future employment. Schools in the US normally help their students find their first employment.

Pursuing a Graduate Degree in Photography

To gain a Master’s degree, you will have to study for two or three years. This time will be different from studying at college. You will not spend much time with your fellow students during classes and in lecture halls. Instead, you will work on your own, being counseled by a professor/advisor couple times a week. You will also have to complete a MA thesis and present it so you could be awarded a degree. All degree programs are different; however, there are some common characteristics they share:

  • Working individually and with faculty advisor. Students study their areas on their own, though they are supervised by an advisor. Students have meetings with their advisor several times a week. At the end of a semester, a student’s progress is evaluated by a special committee.
  • Seminars/lectures from guest speakers. Photography students discover current issues in visual arts. Some semesters are dedicated to certain topics. Visiting professors teach students about contemporary issues in the sphere, as well as provide a feedback on their progress.
  • MA thesis. Right before getting a degree, students have to present a thesis they have been preparing while working with their faculty advisors. Thesis defense is an oral presentation of your exhibits.

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Regardless of the university choice, all students participate in the activities similar to those outlined above. To obtain a graduate degree, a student must exhibit his/her portfolio after months of individual work, participation in faculty/peer critiques, etc.

What Do You Do with Your Degree?

Once you have obtained the degree, you can start building the career of your dream! The knowledge and experience, as well as the contacts you have acquired while studying will be of great help at this stage. However, be ready for changes and constant learning. Photography is closely linked to technology, so it develops just as fast. The knowledge and skills you have accumulated at the university will help you face all challenges the future may present. Pursue a photography degree in the US and delve into the world of endless possibilities.