What type of education do you need to be a photographer?

Capturing the special moment is every photographer’s dream shot. But, without a doubt, it is a skill. Quality training in the field of photography is a must because you may only get that one instant to capture the all-important right moment; it’s best to know what you’re doing. If you are serious about photography as a profession, perhaps you may be interested in what type of training is available to you. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

A focus on photography may have sparked your interest as a child. Once a process, such as having a roll of film developed, is easier than ever with the Smartphone technology that we all now carry around in our pockets today, we snap the picture and go on about our business. But for a real photographer, just the casual shot from a phone for our Instagram page is not enough.

A real photographer is a creative type. They often photograph their subject as they experiment with light, camera angles, and just the right vibe; all things that the casual Smartphone camera user doesn’t give a second thought to. A real photographer is skilled in their craft and lives to get just the right shot!

What Education Do You Need to Become a Photographer?

Photographers create images to record events visually. Using technical skills and creativity, photographers often play a critical role in selling a product or capturing life events that make a lasting happy memory. Although there are no standard education requirements for many photography careers, formal training or education can increase job opportunities and salaries. A degree program in photography can help develop the technical and artistic talents of photographers. 

A career as a photographer can be an exciting avenue for creative expression, as photographers have the opportunity to work in many settings and meet diverse people. It is also a technically demanding profession, so those interested in becoming photographers must consider the training they will need before committing to this career path. It is also essential to know how photographers compare to similar careers in terms of education requirements, average salaries and projected job growth rates. Choosing the right wedding photographer in Melbourne to capture every moment on your wedding day.

Will you make a good photographer?

What type of education do you need to be a photographer?

So, not everyone is cut out to be a photographer. First and foremost, you must have a genuine interest in the field of photography. As most look at a photograph and think it’s pleasant or pretty… photographers are fixated on what the photo communicates to them. They focus on the logistics and how the shot makes others feel as well. 

A photographer must know about what they are doing. In some instances, you only have one chance to capture the moment, such as needed in action shots; however, depending on your expertise, such as still photography, you can adjust your subject accordingly. In whatever instances you have been hired to photograph, you must be creative and imaginative. Artistic ability is a must!

Unless your photography skills are limited to inanimate objects, you typically will need to have a genuine interest in people, the critical events in their lives, as well as the best way to capture them. Customer service skills are a must as you work closely with others to determine their vision and implement your ideas and expertise. 

Being a photographer takes organisation. It would help if you also were detail-oriented. Before a shoot, you must have all of the equipment that one could need available to you, and sometimes backups, just in case of a malfunction. You must have a dependable appointment system, as well as a sound management system for notes, files, and bookkeeping. 

Speaking of bookkeeping, as most photographers are self-employed, you must be a good office manager, too! It demands excellent business skills, as well as good computer skills to succeed. Computers are used for photo-editing and digital portfolios. You will be responsible for advertising and marketing your services, scheduling appointments with future clients, and scouting venues for photoshoots. 

Can a grumpy photographer get the right shot? No way! Your excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with others will be critical to your success, no doubt. To get the desired image, most people will react positively to your kindness and concern as you guide them in photographing precious moments that they will cherish forever! 

Formal Education

Generally, depending on your end goals, formal education is not required to be a photographer; however, employers will require a certificate or a bachelor’s degree in some situations. Self-employed photographers can work in various fields, such as in the field of journalism, fine arts, or field of science.

Photographers are tasked with capturing images with quality cameras and editing the images using special software and, if you are truly serious about a career as a photographer, earning your online Bachelor’s degree in photography will give you the complete scope of training while providing you with the credentials that will put you ahead of the competition.

At the associate degree level, you will learn about the importance of proper equipment and sharpen your technical ability. Your education, at this level, will help you get your foot in the door at a variety of positions to help you at the beginning of your career.

Most employers require at least a high school diploma for photography jobs. Some industries, such as photojournalism and science, often require a bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to their industry. Some educational programs offer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in photography.

Coursework includes photography, lighting and darkroom techniques, technical and computer applications related to photography and its history. Wild Romantic Photography has the best range of services of wedding photography Yarra Valley. Check them out here.

Essential Information

While an eye for detail is necessary for a career in photography, many positions also require photographers to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in photography. Colleges and universities also offer graduate degree programs in photography geared toward students looking to advance their skills or teach at the college level.

Education Requirements

While some photographers lead successful careers with only experience and skill, many pursue formal career training through undergraduate degree programs. This is especially true for those in specialties such as industrial photography, photojournalism or scientific photography. Even photographers specialising in freelance and portrait photography often gain technical expertise through college degree programs.

Undergraduate Programs

There are two joint degree programs to consider: 

  • Bachelor of Arts in Art (BA in Art) degree  
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree

The Bachelor of Arts degree program in Art is probably the most popular degree; however, it is not as intensive as the BFA degree program. Within a BA program, you may experience coursework in Art, marketing, and the foundations of business, and of course, you will have essential photography coursework. Coursework can include art and design history, art therapy, art criticism, along with gallery and museum studies. Your well-rounded degree will teach you how to market your business, too.

Through a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, you will earn the most prestigious degree in the visual arts through a large focus on photography. BFA programs, which consist of more photography credits, may also emphasise drawing or painting. 

Undergraduate degree programs in photography and related fields may be available at art schools, colleges, and universities. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography programs generally focus on hands-on instruction in visual Art’s technical and creative aspects. Courses may include photography techniques, studio lighting, colour theory, graphic design, digital photography, and artwork critique.

Upper-division courses may include studio classes in which students use advanced techniques, including lighting and digital photography. These courses typically allow students to experiment with their photographic skills. Many photography degree programs culminate in a senior project. These projects help students to build their portfolios and transition to a career as a professional photographer.

What will I learn with a Bachelor’s in photography?

Through both types of online Bachelor’s of Photography programs, you will be instructed on the technical aspects of using your camera, taking photos, in addition to the history of photography and photography theory. You will learn about photographic composition, digital photography, colour, along, black and white photography and studio photography. Students also learn how to master digital technology through lighting, angles, and lenses to enhance photos and properly store photographs. For graduation, students are expected to use their knowledge in the required studio time to gain hands-on experience and build a portfolio of their work.

Just as there are various types of schools to pursue a photography degree, there are also many degree levels. Photography certificate programs vary by school and can either be offered as entry-level programs requiring anywhere from six to 10 classes or four-year programs. Associate degrees in photography usually take two years to finish and are roughly 90 credit hours. They provide a more vital photography and arts background than certificate programs and are more technical. Bachelor’s degrees are four-year programs of study and an average of 173 credit hours. They provide more in-depth knowledge and can give job candidates a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Graduate Programs

Photographers interested in further developing their skills and advancing their careers may consider earning a master’s degree. While some colleges and universities offer Master of Fine Arts in Photography programs, which typically take 2-3 years to complete, studio courses and independent study are the backbones of such degree programs. Students utilise their advanced knowledge of photography to complete various projects while pushing their creative abilities boundaries.

Students generally develop their curricula according to interest areas and complete visual and written thesis projects based on their graduate studies. Thesis projects may be displayed in university exhibitions. Completing a master’s degree program in photography may qualify graduates for teaching positions at community colleges and some four-year colleges. Some programs prepare students for careers in postsecondary education by incorporating teaching courses.

Where will a Master’s degree in photography take me?

At the Master’s degree level, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of Art. You will experience a more hands-on practice of photography, including all types of lighting to set up a photo shoot, how to create a mood and how to connect with your subject, how to integrate the element of surprise, as well as to visualise and creating backdrops to portray a story. Through the Master’s program, you will learn how to be a true professional, personally and in business, and understand the importance of effective communication to translate the client’s thoughts into an interesting photograph.

A master’s degree program is typically a two-year program that includes 36 credit hours. It is an advanced program that can lead to management positions such as art director or senior photographer.


What type of education do you need to be a photographer?

Many vocational schools, community colleges and art schools offer photography training. A variety of photography classes are offered from these types of programs, and students have the option to obtain a diploma or certification after successful completion of training. These programs generally cover basic photography techniques, as well as the business and marketing side of photography. Because photographers create visual images, many programs also train students to develop a portfolio to showcase their work to potential employers and clients.We have an exclusive range of wedding photography Mornington Peninsula services. Check them out here.

Is an internship necessary?

How’s the best way to gain valuable experience? That’s right… a photography internship! As an ambitious photographer, you will benefit from internship opportunities that will help you focus on the type of photography you are interested in. 

How’s the best way to locate an internship? In most communities or larger cities, established photography studios or self-employed photographers are readily available and are willing to share their love of photography with others. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and offer your services in exchange for experience. If possible, show them some samples of your work, your educational credentials, as well as your enthusiasm for learning. 

Are there other ways I can benefit from an internship? Absolutely! Internships provide a great way to chronicle your work. They also offer great networking opportunities.  

Amateurs may want to volunteer their services at weddings or other events to gain valuable experience while building a portfolio of their work. Joining a photography club will also help you develop skills and make valuable connections with like-minded individuals interested in photography.

Areas of Photography to Consider

If you are serious about a career in photography, you want to learn as much as possible, right? Whether you enrol in a certificate course or college degree program, you may eventually have to answer this question, and that would be, “Which area of photography should I pursue?”

Quite naturally, most would elect to focus on a specialisation that interests them the most. You will have several options, such as the following: 

  • Portrait Photography
  • Fashion Photography
  • Editorial Photography
  • Commercial and Industrial Photographers
  • Food Photography
  • Still Life Photography
  • Aerial Photography
  • Photojournalism
  • Sports Photography
  • Fine Arts Photography
  • Drone Photography
  • Architectural Photography
  • Scientific Photography
  • Forensic Photography
  • Landscape Photography

There are so many types of photography to focus on that you will never be bored or run out of subjects to photograph. For a solid foundation in photography, you can try your hand at several to see which ones interest you the most. If you can master several applications, you can instantly make yourself more marketable! 

Photography Equipment

The correct equipment makes the job easier. Before beginning your coursework, you should be prepared. By now, you probably have a preference in the brand name of the camera you cater to; however, depending on your budget, you can certainly start with the basics and work your way up. Below is a small sampling of a few things to invest in:

  • Quality Camera of your choice
  • Tripod
  • Lighting Equipment
  • Various Lenses
  • Filters
  • Camera Strap, Cleaning Kit and Bag
  • Photography Editing Programs/Computer

Your photography program will let you know before you start what kind of equipment is best for their coursework, and in some cases, your plan may have loaner equipment for you to borrow while enrolled.

Important Skills

Photographers must also possess critical personal qualities to be successful. They are required to have artistic skills to understand how to manipulate lighting, shades and colours successfully. Most jobs in photography require you to work directly with the public, so good customer service and interpersonal skills are essential. Because technology continues to advance in photography, and much of a photographer’s editing is done with complex programs, good computer skills are necessary.

Should I earn certifications to be a photographer?

As you think about trying to impress a future employer or client, what will look good on your resume? Without a doubt, earning certifications are very beneficial. They speak of your knowledge and dedication to the craft of photography. However, not a requirement, certificates (as many as you can earn) are a great way to showcase your talents. 

Photography certificate programs, which are usually offered at community colleges, can often be completed in just a few quarters, allowing students to learn the basics of photography to enter the field as quickly as possible. Below are examples of actual photography certificate classes and the skills and knowledge students gain at this level.

Are there other tips for learning photography?

Sure, there are many ways to sharpen your skills, such as:

  • Buy a book on photography, preferably authored by someone you admire,
  • At first, focus on photographing subjects that excite you the most,
  • Watch YouTube online tutorial videos,
  • Attend art shows,
  • Join a photography discussion forum,
  • Visit local artists and photographers,
  • Set up a social media page for your photos; accept praise, as well as constructive criticism,
  • Begin as a hobbyist and work your way into a professional career,
  • Find a mentor,
  • Enter photography contests,
  • Learn to hone your editing skills,
  • Set high career goals and construct a dream photography shoot list,
  • Attend community workshops or community centre art or photography classes,
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; experiment every chance you get,
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! 

Steps to Becoming a Photographer 

Choose The Right Education

There are photography programs designed to match each student’s career goals and the level of educational commitment. Photography programs are available from the certificate to the Master’s level.

Choose A Focus

There are several types of photography specialties to choose from. Students usually choose to focus on one area, such as Portrait Photography, Commercial Photography, scientific and industrial photography, aerial photography, fine art photography.


Internships provide students with an opportunity to engage in photographic workshops and fieldwork to explore the technical, creative and logistical aspects of photography both in a studio and on location.

Take Exams for Certificates

There are numerous certifications available for photographers, some of which are offered by the Professional Photographers Association. 

Land an Entry-level Job

Most schools have a career centre that can assist with job interview tips and write effective resumes and cover letters. Students should leverage this resource to find a job.

Return to School for Continuing Education or an Advanced Degree

Each educational level provides more academic training and instruction, making the applicant more desirable to potential employers or possible clients. Even students who don’t wish to obtain another degree can benefit from non-degree continuing education options.

If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

Picture this!

As you can see, you may begin your career in photography with a simple certification class from your community college or just by being self-taught; however, if you genuinely have a love for photography and intend to choose professional photography as a career choice, please consider a degree program to ensure your success.