Monday, March 7, 2011

Degree In Photography?

Hi Clane,

I just received emails from Naomi telling me to get in contact with you. I'm stoked on any advice you have for me. I actually knew who you were before she emailed me so that was pretty sweet to have you end up being the dude she went to high school with.

Right now I'm really still trying to figure out what route to go with photography. I was kinda iffy about getting into shooting stuff like weddings and portraiture as I always saw it as something that limited artistic freedom -- your work and success proves otherwise.

I've been learning as much as possible about using strobes and what not but I get kinda discouraged as I'm not going to school and am never critiqued formally. This has led me to think going to photo school might be worth it? That's sort of a big question I have for you. I just want to make the best pictures possible and I'm willing to do whatever it takes even if that's dumping loads of money into a formal education.

Anyways, I don't want to bombard you with questions or anything but I'm looking forward to hearing back! If you have a minute my flickr page is:

A lot of that stuff is from club photography I've been doing lately and from when I freelanced for small local papers over the last summer. As you can see, I have a lot of growth to do, but I have a strong understanding of the exposure triangle and know my camera pretty well. I'm just unsure how to take the pictures to the next level.

Like I said, any advice you have would be much appreciated!



Hi Erik,
Thank you for your kind words. I'm always up for helping out anyone I can. As far as photography school, I would HIGHLY recommend not going. At school, they teach you how to shoot and teach you what to shoot, rather than openly teaching how a camera works and then letting you shoot what you love. The best way to learn how to use your camera is simply to get out an use it. I've never taken a photography class. I have a degree, but it's in Communication from the UW. When you're completely self-taught, the only limits you'll run into are the limits you set for yourself.

The truth is, don't go into photography for the money. Don't go into any field for the money. Find what it is you love to do, what you love to shoot, and do it. You will be successful if you absolutely love what you do, no matter how much money you make.
Success is doing what you love. Your photos are good, but I feel a formal education will put a limit on the success you can achieve when you are self-motivated and self-taught. The key to success is to simply get out and do it. Feel free to ask any other questions you have.