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Should You Pursue a College Degree in Photography?

Are you always the one carrying a camera to all your family functions and friendly get-togethers? Does the sound of a nine-to-five job make you shutter and cringe? Do you consider yourself a creative soul? Then a degree in photography might just be for you.

Do You Have a Strong Passion for Photography?

First, consider and evaluate your affinity for photographs. Studying photography at a college level means building what might have begun as a simple hobby into a full-time career. Just like with any major you choose or job path you seek to follow, you should truly enjoy it and be able to see yourself doing it seriously, regularly, and with full focus. It will be a large part of your life not only for the next four years, but for many years after as well.

Some people prefer to keep separate their pursuits of pleasure and their pursuits of business. This isn’t the case in opting for a photo degree. Passion is a key component necessary in the production process of professional imagery, so be prepared to tap into your creative side regularly.

Can You Manage Non-Traditional Work Hours?

The schedule of a professional photographer is also far from typical. As a professional image maker, you can forget about boring hours spent behind a desk. With photography, the studio is your office, the world your office building. You aren’t bound to a traditional nine-to-five workday and consistent schedules are rare. This lack of structure can be scary for some, but for others it affords a great deal of freedom.

Do You Have a Natural Talent?

You might consider a degree in photography if you think you’ve got the distinct eye for the craft. Sure, ample practice can turn any notice into a know-it-all, but as with any art form, it takes part innate talent and part practiced skill to successfully make it. Ask your friends, your family, and your coworkers for feedback on your work. Submit early and often to contests, galleries, and magazines to get reviews. See if you can get in touch with any local photographers who might be willing to assess your work. Not only will regular feedback improve your abilities, but it can also give you a good sense as to whether or not a photography-based career might be right for you. Don’t underestimate the power of an outsider’s perspective.

When sizing up whether or not a degree in photography is for you, it’s nearly impossible to achieve a “picture perfect” fit. This is true no matter what degree you decide to study. But if you find yourself among the few that find the above enticing and exciting, then you might truly want to consider pursuing photography in college. The next challenge? Finding the right college and program to get you there. Luckily for you, that’s the easy part. There are great schools out there, like the University of Texas and the University of Cincinnati, that offer outstanding photography programs and can help youmake your wildest photo dreams a picturesque reality.