Any good schools for photojournalism? : LUSENET : Photojournalism : One Thread

Hello, i am a junior in high school, and want to go into the profession of photography, and photojournalism sounds like an interesting way to get into it, but i don't know of any schools that have any photojournalistic study courses. If there are any i would be very thankful if you would let me know what they are. Thanks Jon Potter

-- Jon Potter (, December 01, 1998



I think you've asked a VERY broad question. Let me try to go piece by piece....

As for going into photography professinally, if you read over on some of the career/business forums on, you'll see quite a few people looking into pursuing photography as a profession asking if they need to go to school and get a photography degree to succeed....and the answer seems to be a resounding, "not really". If you do get a degree, great, you should be MORE than technically capable of shooting (and printing) in a lot of situations. If you get a degree in something else, thats fine too. (Ask friends who've got degrees how many of them work in the field that their degree is in).

See, what to stress is learning photography and all the technical aspects and quirks that you can. Yes, this can be accomplished through a degree. But it can also be accomplished by jumping wholely into photography, investing a few thousand in film, equipment, and then have a local pro help you learn (by being an assistant, and having them as a mentor). Another (possibly more pleasing option to your parents), would be to get a degree (in whatever you wanted to), and take photography classes as electives. Also, investigate into the existence of a photography club at your school, and surely look into shooting for the yearbook and/or newspaper.

Photography is a huge profession. In that, I mean there are MANY different avenues that you can take. Portraiture, photojournalism, advertising, stock, editorial, fine art, commercial....and the list goes on. You said, "and [I] wnat to go into the profession of photography, and photojournalism sound like an interesting way to get into it..." It doesn't sound like you REALLY know where you'd like to head as a professional in a few years...but thats ok!! My best advice here is to go out and meet local pros, assist for them if you can, and get a feel for each of the different "fields" or specializations in photography. You don't have to limit yourself to just one as a pro, but it certainly helps to do things that are related in some way. If you decide to get a photography degree, sure, a photojournalism degree will get you (again) the technical training, but you might find that you don't like photojournalism. A degree that is in fine art photography is the same way, you'll learn a lot (maybe more) techinical stuff, but you might not enjoy it. So I'd say, before you commit to a program or style of photography education (if you decide to go that route), get a better feel for your interests and what you like to shoot.

You're still a've got time to make this decision. A degree in photography isn't really necessary to get a job, its your portfolio that will get you jobs! (which is an aspect of marketing yourself, which is why a lot of pro's recommend marketing and other business courses for would-be-pro's). Decide if you want a degree. If not, investigate somewhere like Speos; you'll walk away with a great portfolio and the confidence that you can produce the images you need to get the jobs you want. If you do want a degree, two of the most famous schools are RIT (Rochester Institue of Technology) and The Brooks Institute. Here, you'll walk away with a degree, and some knowledge, but not quite as good of a portfolio (because you take other classes than JUST photo classes).

I'm sorry if this is at all confusing....if so, e-mail me and I'll explain more or clarify things.

Good luck!! -Jason Fobart

-- Jason F (, December 28, 1998.

If you want to be a photographer, just get yourself a camera and go do it. You're website is a little vague, you want to shoot portraits? study the great portrait photographers like Karsh or Herb Ritts. wildlife? Get books from Frans Lanting or Art Wolfe. Wilderness? Galen Rowell. Underwater, try David Doubilet. See what the masters of the craft can do and then develope your own style. Photojournalist? do you like to write? Then major in journalism. Or just go out and do it. think of a story, take pictures and write about it. Submit it to a local newpaper or even a major magazine, most take outside submissions. Even from non-professionals. Remember, this is show business. Lots of people want to do it and very few are able to. Prove your worth. Be better than the rest. Don't take no for answer. If you want to take pictures in a war zone or similar conflict people won't like it. Well, it doesn't matter. You take the picture anyway. You don't want to take pictures of people seeing their loved ones getting crushed by the twin towers? it doen't matter that's your job. National Geographic photographers have a tradition of carte blanch. That is, no matter how long it takes or how much money is spent they get the picture. Which simply means, there is no excuse not to get the picture. Some photographers thrive on this life others prefer going to a comfortable studio everyday. You'll have to choose which photographic life you want.

Pete Hemming

PS: Don't forget to take the lens cap off

-- Peter Hemming (, February 15, 2002.

Hey man, good luck ... Ohio University - School of Visual Communications is a good one. I went to Rochester Institute of Technology and got a very broad (and technical) education ... it was good, should have gone to OU because I now work as a news photogrpher in the mid-west ... one of the other posters felt a degree wasn't realative to a news job ... there are tons or really talented photogrphers out there WITH degrees, so ask yourself why they should hire you ... I also believe that a degree shows a prospective employer that you can be taught ... I think its that simple ... that you can learn new stuff that they toss out ... good luck and its not too late to get a police scanner and start chasing a fire or two and selling em to the local paper (if they do that) ... call the photo editor at the local paper and ask if they use freelancers to shoot ... you're gonna have to show him some stuff so have it ready on a disk or prints mounted for show (no dust marks and neat) ... let us know how it goes ... later. bill

-- Bill Kennedy (, November 03, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ