What Training Is Needed for Photography?

Being a photographer is an extremely responsible job. After all, you are the one who has to make sure that only the happiest and most wonderful moments are preserved forever. If you want to be a wildlife or a news photographer, then your job is to show the truth, whether it’s beautiful or ugly… Always remember that a great picture can tell more than a thousand words.

What training is needed for photography? Well, the good news is that you don’t need a specialized degree to become an outstanding photographer. After all, no one can stop you from taking shots simply because you haven’t graduated from a university of some sort. Just like in everything else, if you want to be good at what you love, you have to be ready to invest your time in mastering photography skills.

Related: What a Photographer Needs to Get Started?

Basic Requirements for Photographers

Requirements for Photographers

If you want to be officially employed in a company, then you should take into consideration that most of them require a high school diploma. Depending on the type of photography that you are going for, different employers might also require a bachelor’s degree.

By the way, the degree doesn’t necessarily have to be in photography. If you want to dedicate your time to photojournalism, a degree in some social science will help you pave your way.

What qualifications do you need to become a photographer?

As we have figured out, sometimes it’s just your high school diploma. But some employers might not need even that. However, certificates from various photography classes can be helpful, if you need that official place in a company.

Related: What Can I Do with a Photography Degree?


Personal Skills

What do you need to become a photographer? The truth is that it is not only your professional qualities that matter in this sphere. A photographer should also possess some important personal skills.


  • Artistic Skills

Artistic Skills

Indeed, a photographer is firstly an artist. You need to have a great imagination and be creative if you want to succeed in this sphere. Photographers have to be able to see beauty in the most simple things.

Moreover, you have to be able to create an amazing picture practically out of nothing, using only the objects that you have available around you. But creativity is not only about being able to see a mesmerizing picture in your head. You have to know exactly how you can make it come to life.

A great photographer knows precisely where he needs to put the light, how different shadows affect the whole image and what are the best color combinations.

If you want to be a portrait or a fashion photographer, you have to know how to capture the face of your client in the best way possible. Again, with the help of shadows, different angles, and light.

Related: What Are the Elements and Principles of Photography?


  • Communication Skills

Being a photographer is not quite the right job for introverts. Of course, a wildlife photographer, for example, will be able to enjoy the silence for days or even months. But the majority of photography types will require amazing communication skills.

Meeting with the clients and figuring out what they are expecting is a must. Especially, for an independent photographer. Moreover, you have to be able to act in such a way to help the models, and ordinary people relax in front of the camera. Otherwise, the results will certainly be disappointing.

By the way, dealing with your clients is one thing. But communicating with graphic designers, companies and advertising specialists is a whole other story. So you have to be able to switch to a professional businessman or woman, whenever you need that.


  • Photo Editing

Photo Editing

It goes without saying that a photographer might need to spend hours and hours to get that one perfect shot. But he would need patience and stamina not only during the actual photography process but also during the editing stage.

Editing can sometimes take even longer than taking the shot itself. That’s why a photographer has to be detail-oriented, accurate and disciplined. After all, even the most magnificent shot can be ruined by bad editing. So great photographers make sure to take their time during the process.

Related: Outsourcing Photo Editing Services for Photographers Debunked


  • A Good Eyesight

Unfortunately, you can’t become a photographer, if you have bad eyesight. It is like wanting to become a call-operator without a voice. Glasses can be frustrating and uncomfortable to work with from time to time. So, if your vision is not perfect it is always a great idea to invest in lenses not only for your camera but also for your eyes.


Other Must-Have Skills


  • Computer Skills

Computer Skills

As we have already figured out, photography is not only about snapping a shot. A photographer has to also know how to transfer all the images to a computer, what file formats are appropriate and later how to send the images back to the client. And all that – without losing the quality of the image.

Certainly, the largest portion of your computer skills will be required during the editing process. Nowadays there are a lot of different software programs that are offered to photographers. You might want to choose the perfect one depending on what type of photography you decided to specialize in.

There are some ‘favorite’ editing programs that the majority of professional photographers use, so make sure to do your research before investing in one.

Of course, getting the software won’t help you a lot, if you have no idea how to use it. There are numerous courses that specialize specifically in photo editing. You might want to finish such a class to understand all the options that different editing programs have to offer.


  • Business Skills

Business Skills

You would need outstanding business skills, especially if you are an independent photographer. Unfortunately, photography is not only about creativity, but it is also about making sure that your efforts are able to bring you money. At least that is what you have to be striving for.

Operating your own business is a hard job on its own. Freelance photographers spend a lot of resources on advertising their services on social networks. Moreover, you have to have your own website and be able to manage it.

If you want to work for a specific project or company, you have to have an idea of how to create a business plan and an amazing curriculum vitae. A good photographer has to understand how to write contracts and also keep his financial records.

But this is not where the paperwork comes to an end. Sometimes photographers would need to obtain a license to shoot in specific places. You have to take copyright protection issues into consideration. By the way, sometimes you have to be able to get people’s permission to take their pictures or publish them on your social media accounts.

Related: Starting a Photography Business Checklist


Training & Classes

Training & Classes

What training is needed to become a photographer? What exact courses can you attend? Some companies might require you to undergo some training. But even if you decide to be an independent photographer, different courses and lessons will certainly help you improve your professional qualifications.

Whether or not you want to obtain a professional degree in photography, is certainly up to you. The decision fully depends on your ultimate goals.

There are a lot of online courses that are very specific. For example, if you want to learn more about the technical part of how cameras work. There are even short courses that specialize solemnly on the marketing part of a photographer’s job.

If you are truly serious about your passion, you have the option of obtaining an undergraduate and a master degree.

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


  • Undergraduate Options

Different programs may be available at universities, colleges, and even art schools. To become a Bachelor you would need to undergo programs that focus on various aspects of photography. Lighting, graphic design… You will most certainly end up graduating with a ready-to-go powerful portfolio, as it’s sometimes part of your senior project.


  • Graduate Options

If you want to go the extra mile, you can always earn a master’s degree in Fine Arts in Photography. You will be required to complete different projects that will help you push your creative boundaries. Moreover, the university might give you an opportunity to participate in various exhibitions, and the teachers can help you with useful contacts in the industry.

After becoming a Master, you can choose to teach students yourself.

What classes are required for photography?

The best part of this profession is that you have total freedom of choosing whatever you desire. There are incredibly talented and successful photographers without a diploma, as well as real professionals with a master’s degree.

Related: What Is the Best College for Photography?


When it comes to answering the question “what training is needed for photography?”, you have to bear in mind that the whole educational process depends only on you.

Self-development can be just as helpful as a diploma. If you understand that photography is your true passion, then go for it! Just take your time to choose the path wisely.

Related: How Can I Learn Photography on My Own?

What Training Is Needed for Photography?