Photography is never as simple as taking a picture. Skill and knowledge of using a camera are required to make a grandiose landscape or even the most elementary of objects look like a work of art.
If you have the passion in photography and want to work in this industry in the future, then you must dedicate your life in improving your techniques and know-how of practicing photography the right way. This can be achieved by attending any of the best photography programs and receive education that will prepare you to a career in photography.
To learn the different photography programs in college that’s best for you, below is a list of the well-reputed college courses and what people think about them.
Click on the links below to go straight to the opinions about the specific photography programs.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Rhode Island School of Design
University of New Mexico
Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
San Francisco Art Institute
Yale University (CT)
School of Visual Arts (NY)
SAIC’s photo program is hardcore conceptual based. HAAAAARD core. I met with them at NPD, and while I received a warm reception from other schools, the SAIC representative tore me apart. Haha. But then I got a letter in the mail saying that I had been strongly recommended for admission…SO. — click here for source
I decided on SAIC!!!!!!!!! best facilities ever, especially for photography. they just renovated their photo facilities. plus, it’s considerd to be one of the best art schools in the nation (with RISD and Yale… but those two are too conservative). — click here for source
RISD is basically major-blind when it comes to admissions. Freshmen frequently switch their declared majors, so they do not really take intended major into account while reviewing applications.
As far as I know, if your submitted portfolio is solid, you have nothing to worry about. One guy I know was admitted with a portfolio that was primarily blown glass (and his drawing isn’t that great). Someone else I know was admitted with a portfolio of textiles – again, drawing isn’t her main focus. If drawing isn’t your best, try to fill your portfolio with the stuff that is, and your work should speak for itself.
As for the home test, just do your best and have fun with it. I don’t know who this was, but someone my year submitted a page full of triangles for the bike drawing. If there was a representational bike in there, I couldn’t find it. Of course, I have no idea what their portfolio was, but I’m just saying that all bike drawings don’t have to be the same technical, representational study. — click here for the source
What RISD does best is prepare students with a strong foundation as well as strong training in their major discipline and exposure to several others. Interestingly, my daughter is finding that her skills in graphic design (GD) are at least as important as her skills and interests in industrial design (ID) on the market. Obviously, the two go hand in hand in some respects when one is preparing and selling/promoting designed goods. One of her best friends from RISD who now is a roommate in NYC and also majored in ID, is specializing in photography now. So students do pick up a variety of (marketable) skills at RISD. — click here for the source
University of New Mexico has a consistently top 25 ranked art and art history dept. (Art & Art history includes photography). The MFA in photography is consistently a Top 10 program and its undergrad program is very well regarded with an emphasis on art photography. (Students mount shows in both ABQ and Santa Fe galleries every semester.) —click here for the source
UNM has some excellent programs. Architecture is well regarded and their photography program is ranked in the top 5 nationally. UNM also has a well regarded environmental bio program (esp in evolutionary psych), a newly nationally certified (as of 12/2009) program in medical/health physics (one of only 43 in the US) and a respectable engineering school. — click here for the source
RIT is a fantastic fine arts school. Many of the programs are top ten nationally or better. The glass program is the #2 program nationally. Photography is ranked #3. The fine arts program as a whole is ranked 21st nationally among masters level universities.
Socially, I doubt there would be an issue. While RIT certainly has students that match particular stereotypes, it is also one of the largest private schools in the country. There are almost 20,000 students, so I doubt your daughter will have a problem finding friends. — click here for the source
RIT also has some interesting majors that you won’t find elsewhere such as printing, photographic sciences,New Media Design, New Media Printing etc. They are very tied in to Bausch and Lomb; thus, anything to do with photography is especially strong.
RIT also has a very strong co-op program where you get real world experience and get well paid for this work. Supposedly one-third of the students who particpate in co-op get full-time job offers. This is one factor that clearly distinguishes RIT from other institutions. — click here for the source
I was actually seriously considering SFAI for a short period of time for photo. It has a pretty good reputation as an art school. They hardly consider grades/SAT scores, so it’s pretty easy to get into academically, but the real question is the quality of your portfolio.
I know some sites say it has like a 24% acceptance rate and others say it has an 86% acceptance rate or something like that. I’ve never quite figured out which is correct!
I visited the campus. It’s very small and really quite lovely. It’s a great location of San Francisco.
As for the tuition, I can’t recall how much general ed the school requires to graduate. I know a lot of the students go to a state school (usually SFSU) or community college for the first couple years to save money and get gen ed out of the way, then transfer to work on art for the last 2 years. — click here for the source
What I know about Yale: a) their graduate school for the arts is basically the best in the nation and b) some of the residential colleges have studio space/darkrooms.
What I heard about Yale: a) the graduate school tends to work really closely with the undergraduate art students and therefore b) the arts program is really good.
As for the graduate school, the artist I intern with went to Yale’s Graduate School for the Arts and he really, really liked it there: the people, the experience, etc. — click here for the source
SVA started out as a school for illustration (mostly comic books) and then became very well know for their graphic design program. My daughter feels that SVA has become one of the top art schools in the country because with so many working artists and professionals teaching at SVA, the school tends to be on the cutting edge of the new trends out there. She started thinking she would concentrate on sculpture but now feels that she wants to be able to integrate sculpture, photography, painting, and video. She has interned with artists, hopes to do work-study in a gallery, and spend afternoons at the Guggenheim. Her friends are film students and photographers and she is constantly exposed to new ideas. She is quite happy with her choice. That said SVA, like most art schools, is notoriously stingy on financial aid and NYC is outrageously expensive.
I know that SVA breeds its photo majors to be industry professionals in the editorial/fashion/documentary fields. The program has the very latest up-to-date digital photo technology/scanners/labs, etc. and has both black & white film developing AND color film developing facilities and classes, which is relatively rare. All of the professors at SVA are practicing artists, as well, which is useful for students who desire to really get his or her foot in the door in the harsh art/advertising/design/print world that is NYC. I think the school has something like 700 professors. This is obviously a huge number, and it is very different from the traditional college professor experience. The huge majority of professors are part-time. — click here for the source
SVA’s photo program is one of the best kept secrets in the photo/illustration education world. One can’t beat the internship opportunities available in NYC as well. SVA has regular internships with Annie Leibowitz, Steven Meisel, Craig McDean, and many other Art & Commerce represented photographers. — click here for the source
How about you, dear reader – have you attended any of the photography programs listed above? Would you recommend these college programs to high school seniors interested in taking up photography? Are there schools that you would also like to recommend that weren’t mentioned in the list above? Share your thoughts by commenting below!