Photography Schools:

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by panchromatic, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. panchromatic

    panchromatic Member

    Messages:
    218
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    Lansdale, PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    (not sure if this is the right forum... feel free to move if you feel ness.)

    Ok, its been a while since i've posted, but I need your help now more than ever.

    So i've decided over many months of practically killing myself and feeling I was headed in the wrong direction that I really want to major in Photography. Now I will have a associates degree in Business Admin. In the fall so I will have that, but I want to go to school for photography. My major issue is finding a school. Now I live outside of Philadelphia and am going to look into Temple U's art school, which is Tyler. I also am looking into University of the Arts. I would love to go to Uarts but it is 24K per year, which is kinda high, but not out of the question... Really I just want some suggestions on good school maybe in my area, or at least on my side of the USA. Its kind of hard to find information on this subject via the internet. Basically I'm looking for a good program, that would be cost effective, and offer a reallly good program that both includes film and digital (I know digital is a no no around here, but unfortunitly it is dominating the market, and I should at least know it)

    Thank you in advance,
     
  2. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    567
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ryan,

    Since I am in Philadelphia, I know some people from these programs.

    U of Arts is an expensive option, I must say. Though Tyler is getting more and more conceptual being "art school."

    You really have to know what is "a good program" for you. They, of course, cover both analog and digital in their curriculum. But their photography may be not the kind of photography you want to do...

    You should visit those schools to see what kind of work students are doing. That will tell you the flavor of each program.

    I can ask some people if they can talk to you about their programs. Let me know.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi
     
  3. photobum

    photobum Member

    Messages:
    421
    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Vir
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Seems to me that the only thing a MFA or other high end degree will do is let you teach in a college. That's a good goal, nice pay, respect, steady employment and lot's of time off and access to equipment to pursue your own art photography. I hear it's cut throat getting that job.

    On the other hand making a living in photography requires knowledge of business more than anything. Your Associates should have covered that. A good trade school might help. Have you looked into the Maine workshops? They also offer a degree program. Maine would teach you craft, something lacking in a lot of the colleges.
     
  4. firecracker

    firecracker Member

    Messages:
    1,954
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Location:
    Japan
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you already know how to shoot and make your own prints, save the 24k to start your own business in photography.

    I remember there were at least a few threads in the last six months or so about schooling, but I didn't see any comment that would suggest anything particular.
     
  5. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    5,888
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Also, try to assess what you want to get our of it. Do you want to be a commercial photographer? Or do you want to take a few years and fulfill your inner artist. I find most programs are either very artsy, or very technical. If you want to teach at university level, then the BFA/MFA is the way to go. If yo want to work in a commercial or editorial environmet then a technical certificate program may be the way to go. The Maine Photo Workshops, and New England School of Photography (in Boston) both offer programs designed to get you working in commercial photography. I expect Tyler would take you down the BFA route.

    Good luck with your decision. No matter which route you take, the most important thing is staying committed to it.
     
  6. rbarker

    rbarker Member

    Messages:
    2,222
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Rio Rancho,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    FWIW, I think Suzanne is on the right track - determine your market-segment goals first, and then choose a program that will get you there. That "program" might be as simple and time-efficient as just starting your own local business, as Firecracker suggested. Or, much more complex, depending on what is required to gain entry to the market segment you want to aim for.

    While there is much to be said for the intellectual benefits of a full arts education, it seems to me that little of that experience actually relates to making a living at photography in today's business environment.
     
  7. per volquartz

    per volquartz Member

    Messages:
    454
    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Location:
    los angeles
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Wherever you decide to study...

    - "focus" on art history, litterature, and philosophy.
    Take all the courses you can in design and presentation.

    With the time left over study photography!

    Most people can learn to make beautiful prints.
    Far fewer develop the mental and spiritual skills needed to make unique
    and inspiring images.


    - just my 2 cents...


    Per Volquartz

    -------------------------------------

    "Think more - shoot less."
     
  8. darr

    darr Subscriber

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ryan, I went through a similar time years back. I was living in the Philly area and looked at the two schools you mentioned, and then I went up to NYC and visited Pratt Institute and The School of Visual Arts. I decided on SVA because I wanted to make photography my career. It has been 20 years since I left SVA, and I have had a fulfilling career in the visual arts. If you decide on commercial photography as your career, you need to look into SVA. It is not that far from Philly.
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,440
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you're looking for good art schools on the East Coast, there's RISD and Maryland Institute College of Art. Although it has a bit of a dodgy reputation, I'd look into the Art Institutes schools - they're very commercial, but they don't short the art end either. None of these options are cheap- I believe that Art Institutes are the cheapest of the three. Also, look into doing a part-time/continuing education program at some of the art schools in your area - you may be able to get a certificate in Photography by taking classes at a pace and expense rate that is more palatable. I did this through Maryland Institute College of Art when I lived in Baltimore- one or two courses per semester. The courses were all taught by the same faculty who taught the day school students, but the advantage was that everyone in the class was there on their own dime, and was 100% motivated. You got to work with some very talented people who were always enthusiastic, always showed up, and that pushed you and everyone else in class to perform above and beyond. Also, because the class was not drawn from just art students, you got to see people's work from all different walks of life - one of my classmates in an advanced color photography class I took was a brain surgeon by day. He brought in photos he took in the operating room. Not something an art student would ever photograph.
     
  10. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Montréal (QC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi Ryan, here's a solution that's a tad more involved but worth considering: come to Canada for a student visa. For years we have provided cheap education to American citizens (tuitions of 5k$, CANADIAN dollars, a year instead of 24k$), and given the quality of our schools and low cost of living in cool places such as Montreal, we are responsible for keeping the Americans smart.

    OK, I'm exaggerating, but just a little. Concordia University and UQAM in Montreal are two of the premier undegraduate and graduate art schools in Canada (film, photo, art history). Think quickly because this is a limited offer: the federal government is about to unfreeze tuitions in the coming years, and international students will be the first to pay.

    Plus the girls are nice and speak French....
     
  11. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You may find that using and increasing your business knowledge and keeping photography for a means of escape and personal expression is more satisfying to the wallet.

    Photography as a job does not pay particularly good. Are you going to be satisfied in your photography being bent to what someone else wants or will it be a canker that throbs and tears at your desire to express yourself?
     
  12. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,819
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    Breinigsvill
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ryan,

    I am not sure if it is still the case but the 2 best schools in the US were thought to be Brooks Institute in California and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York State. Of the 2 certainly RIT would be closest to Philadelphia.

    Rich
     
  13. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

    Messages:
    861
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You might want to look into CUNY and NYU too. Both have photography divisions in the Fine Arts departments. Another somewhat farther north of there is Bard College. Gather up lots of materials and information, then try to visit the schools you are considering. Ideally, try to speak with some people who might become your future professors.

    Part of a Fine Arts degree is connections, meaning the the people who will instruct you will become your first networking opportunities to practice your (future) degree as a business. The other aspect of a Fine Arts degree is honing your creative vision; part of that will be self driven, though a great deal will be inspired by your professors and the other students.

    Best of luck in your future endeavours.

    Ciao!

    Gordon