Should You Go to an Online Photography School?
Learn about online photography programs to see if one will work for you.
There are a lot of compelling arguments against pursuing a creative arts degree outside of the traditional classroom environment.
But the advent of digital camera equipment and the continuing development of distance education technologies has meant that the field of photography, at least, can be tailored to suit an online learning situation.
If you're considering an online photography program, though, you'll need to make yourself well aware of not only the demands of the program but also your own ideal learning setup.
What Are Online Programs Like?
In an online photography program, you'll be spending a lot more time in the digital darkroom. The art of visual expression and the fundamentals of color and composition will still be an integral part of the curriculum, as well as photography basics like lighting and photo history. However, you'll also spend time learning photo manipulation and digital imaging techniques. Some of the typical courses offered in online photography programs include:
- Digital Photography Basics
- History of Photography
- Portraiture/People Photography
- Digital Printing
- Color Theory/Color Management
- Business of Photography
You can expect to invest a fair amount of money on equipment in any photography program, online or in person. Online degree programs will specify the appropriate digital camera equipment, computer hardware, software and lighting items needed to complete the coursework.
Is An Online Photography Program Right for You?
When evaluating any online degree, you'll need to consider whether the structure of the program suits your learning habits as well as your schedule and finances. When classes are administered in an asynchronous format—meaning you complete them on your own schedule rather than being dependent on preset times—having a lot of self-discipline is key. And some students learn more effectively in a face-to-face situation, especially when studying something as elusive as creative expression. However, there are a lot of benefits to online study, too:
- Innovative learning technologies allow for online lectures and discussions as well as slideshows, chats and other interactive lessons.
- Studies have shown that online and hybrid courses are just as effective as traditional in-person education, sometimes more so because of the more flexible learning time and additional media resources.
- The scheduling flexibility of most online photography programs means that you'll be able to fit classes around the other components of your busy life, and work at your own pace.
- The higher the educational level you attain, the better job prospects you'll have and the greater your earning potential will be—especially if you attend an accredited program.
Photographer Career Guide
- Job Description
- Reasons to Attend Photography Schools
- Choosing a Degree
- Photography Courses: What You'll Study
- Should You Go to an Online School?
- How Far Should You Take Your Education?
- Portfolio Tips
- Photographer Profile