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  1. #1
    panchromatic's Avatar
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    Photography Schools:

    (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,
    --Ryan

    "The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance." ~Ansel Adams

  2. #2
    Shinnya's Avatar
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    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
    ----- P R O J E C T B A S H O -----
    Re-introducing Photography to Philadelphia
    Summer '11 Photography Workshops

  3. #3

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    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. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by panchromatic
    I would love to go to Uarts but it is 24K per year, which is kinda high, but not out of the question...
    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. #5
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    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. #6
    rbarker's Avatar
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    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.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  7. #7

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    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. #8
    darr's Avatar
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    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.
    darr almeda
    Recent Work

  9. #9
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    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. #10
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    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....
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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