Can experience make up for the lack of a degree, or is having a degree crucial? The age old debate of education vs experience resurfaces each time one seeks out make a career move. To go or not to go to a photography school, that is the question, even for most shutterbugs round the globe.
While not obtaining a formal degree and being gifted by artistic talent can certainly generate a successful photographer, but opting for a degree has its perks too. A photography school gives you exposure to latest technology and a chance to build your portfolio. Not only would you get a professional feedback on your work, the degree you obtain can work a long way in impressing your clients.
However, choosing the right school is very essential as it will be detrimental in honing your photography skills. Listed below are the top photography institutes is the world to cut through the sea of choices.
Leading Photography Institutes
1. NEW YORK INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY (NYIP)
Location: New York City
Courses offered: They offer Five online courses-The Complete Course in Professional Photography, Digital Photography: Photoshop for Photographers, Marketing for Photographers, and the Video Making & Storytelling and The Fundamentals of Digital Photography.
Known for: Focus on creativity and progressive attitude.
Alumni: Matthew Lewis Jr (Got the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for “for his photographs in color and black and white”), Michael Doven ( a close collaborator of Tom Cruise on movies Jerry Maguire, Magnolia, The Firm, A Few Good Men, Eyes Wide Shut, Minority Report, Vanilla Sky, and the Mission Impossible series.) and Paul Gilmore ( Earth's first moon rock photographer).
2. BROOKS INSTITUTE
Location: Santa Barbara, California, USA
Courses offered: Brooks Institute has eight separate academic programs which includes a course in Professional Photography, Film and Video Production, Visual Journalism, Design, Master of Fine Arts in Photography, Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting.
Known for: Its faculty.
Alumni: Douglas Conant (award-winning director of the films Broken and Sleeping.), Javier Manzano (got 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his work in Syria), Mike Sroka (photographer and author of the book "Snowbirds: Behind The Scenes With Canads's Air Demonstration Team") and Othman Karim (award winning Swedish film director and TV personality).
3. FILM AND TV SCHOOL OF THE ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS (FAMU)
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Courses offered: A three year photography programme, Bachelors and Masters Programme.
Known for: Its classical photography techniques with contemporary trends in social media.
Alumni: The school’s alumni include the most influential film-makers and writers in Europe with quite a few of them being Oscar winners and laureates of the best international film festivals.
4. UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO (UNM)
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico United States of America
Courses offered: Various undergraduate and graduate programmes available which offers an interdisciplinary approach to photography including video, film, sound, performance and installation.
Known for: Personal student growth through aesthetics and intellectual development.
Alumni: Brian Jay Jones (New York Times bestselling biographer of Washington Irving and Jim Henson), Melissa Miller (Painter).
5. ISTITUTO EUROPEO DI DESIGN (IED)
Location: Rome, Italy, Madrid and Spain
Courses offered: The courses offered in Visual Communications ranges short summer or winter to bachelors and masters course.
Known for: Considered the powerhouse of creative ideas.
Alumni : Hélène Binet , Natalie Korneitsik amongst others.
6. RYERSON UNIVERSITY
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Courses offered: Bachelor of Fine Arts (Full-time, Four year)
Known for: Photography curriculum here is a combination of theories and practical work, and old and new technology, and it will provide you with tools for turning your photography into art.
7. ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Location: Henrietta, NY, USA
Founded:1990 ( RIT started its first Ph.D. program, in Imaging Science)
Courses offered: Unlike most undergraduate photography programs that offer a more general photo education, RIT offers a variety of different photography majors in specific areas of study. This includes advertising photography, fine art photography, photojournalism and even biomedical photographic communications.
Known for: Course structure and options.
8. HALLMARK UNIVERSITY
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Courses offered: A 10 month course including marketing aspects of photography as well.
Known for: Guest sessions by notable photographers.
9. SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO (SAIC)
Location: Illinois, Chicago
Courses offered: Bachelors and Masters in Fine arts.
Known for: Art and Design.
10. GNOMON SCHOOL OF VISUAL TRAINING
Location: California, USA
Courses offered: One, two, and three-year training options in Entertainment Design and Digital Production, as well as various software workshops, online Master Classes, and the Gnomon Gallery, which was created to showcase art from the entertainment industry.
Known for: Its stress on placements.
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