Your complete guide to a PhD in Photography

Everything you need to know about studying a PhD in Photography

part of Arts, Design & Architecture

What is Photography?

Photography is a major that explores the way you can show a story, a concept, or a feeling by capturing and editing an image. From using traditional equipment or high-end one to learning about different techniques, by pursuing a degree in Photography, you will be able to shape your unique style as a photographer.

Photography Specialisations

Photography degrees offer a wide range of specialisations: you can think that every little thing that surrounds you can be a specialisation in photography. The most common ones are:

  • Photojournalism,
  • Commercial or Product Photography,
  • Fine Art Photography,
  • Portrait Photography,
  • Nature Photography or Marine and Wildlife Photography.

These specialisations are typical for Bachelor's degree programmes, but some of them can be found in Master's degree programmes, such as Fine Art Photography. You can also specialise in Cinematography, but it is uncommon since not all photography degree programmes offer courses in cinematography.

What will you learn during a Photography programme?

Photography is a good degree choice if you are interested in improving your photography skills by deep diving into a specific category. From fashion to travel photography, you are going to learn about the technical aspects of photography, developing your artistic skills. Some of the skills you are going to learn during Photography courses are either specific to the subject or universal:

  • deep understanding of several types of photography such as portrait, landscape, or documentary,
  • proficiency in different technical skills such as equipment, editing, and lighting,
  • research capabilities,
  • analytical, critical, and critical thinking skills,
  • communication and presentation skills.

Common Photography Courses include:

  • Portraiture: become more familiar with different topics such as studio lighting, retouching, wedding photography to marketing, public relations, and web design.
  • Product Photography: study advertising and commercial photography, advertising principles, visual communication, and digital presentations
  • Photojournalism: analyse the relationship between media and society, and the role of mass media, while developing your photography and editing skills
  • Fine Art Photography: learn about the different perspectives of the history of art and photography, while mixing drawing with storytelling and photography.
  • Marine and Wildlife Photography: you are going to analyse the intricate web of life in a local habitat while learning photography skills and camera techniques.

The skills you are going to gain after pursuing a degree in Photography are not going to limit your career options. Not only you can choose between different specialisations, but with a degree in Photography you can also work in other fields, you can be a web editor, marketing assistant, multimedia specialist, advertising art director, and others.


Skills required for a degree in Photography

To excel in Photography, you do not need to only have good equipment, but you also need to make a portfolio with your best works that can create a compelling narrative. From creative skills to technical ones, your organisational and analytical skills are also crucial since you are going to remake or create photography portfolios during and after your degree.

What can you do with a Photography degree?

A career in Photography is a satisfying one since you can easily find a direction. Not only you can choose from a specialised photographer to a general one, but you can also start your own business. Here are some popular jobs if you have a Photography degree:

  • Photographer
  • Freelancer
  • Art and Photo Editor
  • Graphic Designer
  • Advertising Art Director
  • Producer

With a common specialisation in Photography, such as Portrait Photography or Commercial Photography, you are having limitless possibilities. With a combination of art and science, every day in this industry is going to be a new adventure.

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View all PhDs in Photography. Keep in mind you can also study an online PhDs in Photography.

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