What Can I Do with a Photography Degree?

Having an education degree for any type of business is important. It shows credibility and competence in your field of business. Well, the same goes for photography, it is actually very important. In recent years, marketing thru photography has been the focal point of many industries. That is why having a degree in the field of photography can open up many fascinating options moving forward. So, what can I do with a photography degree?

If you have a degree in photography, you can easily have a job as a photographer in any media such as the press (newspaper or magazines) or advertising. You may also have a job waiting in any industry such as sports, science branches, travel, or fashion. Additionally, when running your own photography business it will give you some credibility in front of your potential clients.

Related: What Is the Best College for Photography?

Jobs in the Media

Sports Photography

Sports Photography

These are the people you see on the sideline during sports events such as basketball and football games. If you are lucky, you may find yourself in worldwide events such as the World Cup or, better yet, the Olympics. In addition, some teams hire photographers to cover team events.

It is an exciting option if you are a sports fan because you can either work for mainstream print or news media. They can send you to different sporting events around the world, or work for sports websites, which are quite abundant nowadays.

News Photographer

The photographs that these individuals provide are normally used by newspapers and magazines for their publication. Although, there are also others who provide images that news networks use during their news reports. There are long-term opportunities available, but recently the news companies have been opting for freelancers rather than hiring someone full-time.

Magazine Features Editor

Magazine Features Editor

It may not seem like a photographer’s job but a degree in photography will separate you from others when applying. Someone in this position will be overseeing all the activities that go on behind the publication of a magazine including the layout and the artwork that is going to be used. Moreover, you will be overseeing all of your staff including proofreading articles written by your writers and attending photoshoots.

Advertising Photographers

Photographers may not consider it, but a career in advertising is a good option if you are looking to be a freelancer. You basically provide images that companies can use to endorse their products, either in print media or on the internet.

Going Beyond Mass Print Media

Science Photographers

Photographers who choose to be in this profession must have knowledge in various branches of science or medicine. Or at least have an interest in any of the two because by working with researchers and medical staff, you will be recording loads of medical data in some occasions, the outcomes of procedure especially with surgeons. Not being queasy may be an added bonus.

Portrait Photographers

Portrait Photographers

This is a good option if you have a good eye for capturing the beauty of specific special events such as weddings and anniversaries. Recently, this has been a lucrative industry especially if you are associated with an event planner. Again, this is a good direction to take if you look to be a freelance photographer.

Related: Portrait Photography Tutorial: How to Do Portrait Photography the Right Way

Travel Photographer

Another lucrative option, if you have the right connections. Images taken by travel photographers can be used by travel companies including airlines and travel agencies to advertise flights and destinations that may intrigue the traveling public. If not, photos can be sold to any print media that may find a use for them.

Related: 23 Easy and Practical Travel Photography Tips

Film Director

When creating a film, a creative vision is a must, and having a degree in photography helps because, that means you will have a creative image in mind, and with the help of your crew member (actors and production crew), it is just a matter of executing it in on a more dynamic level.

Film Editor

An important job during the post-production process, a film editor is responsible for splicing and combining various footage, creating a cohesive film. Normally, this involves working together with a director, and just like him, a creative vision is also needed, and a degree in photography can help, in a way.

Related: How Much Does It Cost to Do Photography School?

Things You Learn with a Degree in Photography



Knowing how to Photoshop is vital in photography. That is why, when completing a degree, they make sure that retouching photos are part of the course because the jobs with bigger paychecks are those which requires you to edit pictures, giving them a new life. Specialized Photoshop courses are also available, but normally, that would be an entirely different class.

Related: Do Photographers Edit Their Photos?

Purposeful Photography

This is taught in photography courses mainly to teach you when to take a picture. It is important because every shot you take should have a story, especially if you are looking to take on a career in journalism, regardless of the story you are covering.

Rules of Photography

These are mainly guidelines that you can use in order to create a photo with a subject that is beautifully placed. For example, the rules of thirds, leading lines, or balancing elements are just a few rules that photography courses tend to teach their students. However, there are times when these rules can be broken. It is just something to keep in mind.

Related: What Are the Elements and Principles of Photography?

Understanding Cameras

Understanding Cameras

Cameras are not made equally. That is why being able to familiarize yourself with the different cameras is a huge advantage, and being able to highlight that familiarity in a resume can be the edge over the others.

You need to understand, however, is that a photography course is normally comprehensive. Meaning, when you enroll, you should be learning photography skills from the basics, down to the most advanced of its skills that will eventually help you with any job that you are looking to have in the future. As we mentioned above, only in-depth knowledge about certain photo-editing techniques, and possibly tools, should be taken separately.

Related: 8 Tips on How to Use DSLR Camera for Beginners

Equipment You Will Need to Complete a Photography Course

Just like any course, a course in photography will require you to own certain equipment that will be essential for your journey to become a well-educated and well-trained photographer. A photography student is nothing without his gear.



The single most important tool for you to start and finish a degree in photography. However, when choosing a camera to use during the course, make sure to use a digital camera. They allow you to shoot in full manual mode, which is far easier than you think. In addition, it should also allow you to change lenses, connect an external flash, or shoot in RAW.
If you are unsure whether or not your camera is capable of any of these things, you can check DSLR cameras from Canon or Nikon, because most of their cameras do.

Related: How to Choose the Best Camera for Your Needs – 7 Step Guide


It is not advised to immediately buy the more expensive tripods if you do not know what kind of photographer you want to become. As a student, it is better to start with a cheaper tripod. Later, as your skills develop, you will know which ones are better suited for the kind of shots.

Related: Best Tripods for Photography in 2019

External Flash

This is an equipment that you attach to your camera. If used correctly, it will give you so much control over the creative outcomes of each shot you take. Along with proper lighting techniques, you will master the world of photography throughout the duration of your course.

Light Modifiers

These are the tools that you turn to when you want to have a more professionally captured image. In addition, this easily gives every shot more creativity.

Photo Editing and Management Software

Management Software

As mentioned above, editing and managing photos are a huge bulk of the work. You will be doing this not just during the course, but also when you become a professional photographer. That is why, it is an essential part of the course, and having a photo editing software that you can become familiarized with is a huge bonus once you complete your course. That way, you do not have to start from scratch.

As a new photography student, it is understandable that you are excited. Sometimes, as a result, you tend to opt for equipment that might be too pricey without even considering if they are appropriate for you in the long term. It is important to remember that you do not have to buy the most expensive tools yet. Take it slow, you don’t even know what kind of a photographer you are going to be.

In this day and age, anyone can turn a passion into a profession. Photography can be turned into a career, and that is why it is very important to have an edge. A degree in photography can separate you from other photographers in your city.

With so many people trying to take a piece from this lucrative industry, even having a simple advantage such as having a degree in photography can go a long way. Especially with everything that you will learn throughout the process of completing the degree.

Related: How to Start a Photography Business on the Side?

What Can I Do with a Photography Degree?

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