Photography Associate's Degree Programs
Photography associate's degree programs last two years and teach the use of cameras and related technologies. Topics include darkroom development, digital imaging, lighting techniques and color theory. An associate's degree program focuses on both the artistry and technical requirements to succeed in the competitive field of photography.
Associate's Degree in Photography
An Associate of Art or Associate of Science in Photography is typically offered through a school's art department. Programs are heavily inundated toward hands-on work, with less than half the curriculum comprised of theory-based classroom work. Students learn 35mm, medium and large formats. They study black and white, color, and digital photography. Lessons in Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver and PowerPoint allow professional photographers to digitize and manipulate their work. Photographic history, design principles and photography aesthetics are addressed.
Applicants seeking an associate's degree in photography must have passed the GED or obtained a high school diploma. They should own a camera and be proficient with PC and Macintosh computers.
In an associate's degree program for photography, general education supplements field-specific courses; students should be prepared to take basic liberal arts, math and science courses. Classes commonly cover:
- Digital photography
- Website design
Popular Career Options
This program prepares graduates for entry-level photography-related digital art positions. Some places of employment include magazines, commercial studios, ad agencies and newspapers. Positions may include:
- Graphic artist
- Product photographer
- Fashion photographer
- Freelance photographer
- Portrait photographer
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Median annual earnings of photographers were $29,440 in May 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Associate's degree program graduates will typically qualify for entry-level salaries, which are approximately $16,920 per year. Salaried photographers tend to earn more than self-employed freelancers, mostly because freelancers are required to buy their own equipment, which can be expensive.
Those who hold an associate's degree in photography may go onto earn their bachelor's degree in a related discipline at a university or art school. Bachelor's degree programs may include business courses, which allow students to compete professionally and potentially self-employ or start their own photography companies or studios.
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