A Bachelor's Degree in Photography as a sign of professionalism...
Time and time again I meet new people that ask me if I went to college to study photography. I never really addressed this subject before as I didn't think it was important. I don't feel insecure about not having a degree in photography to be a wedding photographer.
The answer is no, I never studied photography in college. Do I feel like I could have benefited from a degree in college? No. Why, you might ask?
Usually a college degree in photography teaches you... I actually don't know what it teaches you but I do know what it doesn't teach you. It doesn't teach you how to deal with demands of your clients, how to run your marketing, how to build your brand and how to shoot under various aspects of pressure!
Where do I get all of my knowledge from then? I study on an ongoing basis. In fact it's on my daily to-do list - to study! I attend online workshops, read blogs, make notes, purchase online courses and apply everything into practice!
But how did I learn how to use my camera and comply with my clients' demands? A while ago I moved to Moscow just for that. I found a job as a photographer in a water park. It was an 11 hour per day job 4 days a week, during holiday season it was more! In a matter of minutes I could change my camera settings matching a moving child's speed, working in water up to my knees, with clients that were extremely demanding as they came to the pool in swim suits in the first place! Talking about pressure... That was one of the toughest environments you can, and probably should, learn how to become a photographer.
Did I ever consider going to college? Yes I did! But after a few conversations with my fellow photographers I decided not to waste my time and my money. After two or three years in college folks walk away without knowing how to change your camera settings within seconds under pressure! That's insane, three years in college! I want to say that it doesn't apply to everyone.
So if you're ever facing the choice between a photographer that has a degree and the one that hasn't, it shouldn't be a deciding factor! Make sure you connect with them, that you can rely on them and know exactly what to expect from them!
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