How to Choose the Best Photography School?


A true photographer should have artistic taste and vision and thoroughly understand the technical aspects of photography. The theory of photo is much more difficult to study than it might seem, and not everyone, even talented people, can figure it out the first time.

Comprehending all aspects of a photo is a difficult and persistent job that not everyone can handle independently. That is why photography schools, courses, and workshops organized today in all parts of the world are so popular. Best photography schools help structure, facilitate, and enhance photos and create a photography portfolio. Thousands of people annually take training courses in photography schools, someone just wants to learn how to make good and correct snapshots for themselves, someone is led by ambitions and a desire to become a professional in-demand photographer, and someone seeks to improve existing skills or in-depth study new types of the snapshot, for example, landscape or fashion photography portfolio.

Depending on your goals, it is important to take photography studies college seriously. It is worth remembering that there are many such courses and academics, but not all of them will be able to give you exactly the knowledge you need. So, here is a list of the best photography schools in the world, each of which has its specifics and is focused on certain aspects of the snapshot.

What are the benefits of courses for photographers?

Who will benefit from the courses? General education courses will be useful for aspiring photographers. In the classroom, they will learn:

  • understand the device of your camera;
  • shoot in different modes;
  • take pictures according to the laws of classical photography schools;
  • work with light;
  • process images in Photoshop or Lightroom;
  • create high-quality pictures.

Advanced amateurs and professionals will benefit from narrowly focused lessons and masterclasses in wedding snapshots, photographing elderly models, or subject retouching.

How and where can the acquired knowledge be applied? The practical skills and theoretical knowledge gained in the courses will help:

  • create photos for social networks, advertising;
  • make a profit from selling on photo stocks, conducting photo sessions (family, wedding, children's);
  • improve in the art of snapshot;
  • participate in prestigious competitions and photo exhibitions.

While each of the following colleges for snapshot programs is the best globally, they all vary in size and structure. It's essential to choose a program that suits not only your career goals but a program that offers opportunities to advance your vision.

For example, while some photography schools emphasize the importance of a global perspective by offering internships abroad and demanding courses in art history and photography, others are interested in new digital technologies.

You should also consider studying online or remotely. Online education is a flexible and affordable way to advance your education and career.

What can you do with a degree of photography? The essence of art is nothing more than awakening the viewer with a certain feeling. And visual cues have proven to be the most effective way to do this.

While a degree in the snapshot can easily lead you to a creative career, there are also several other industries and professions in which this title is highly applicable. For example, commercial photography includes everything from weddings to nonprofits and more.

And you can even break the traditional boundaries of cinematic and digital photography by pursuing a career in:

  • Film and video production;
  • Media planning;
  • Digital marketing;
  • Journalism;

Whichever path you choose, be sure to use for four years of photography studies college. Design a very neat photography portfolio that showcases your versatility and skills.

photography school 2

What are the requirements for a degree in photography? 

Depending on the type of photography school you are attending, you may be able 

  • to spend the first two years of your four-year education in basic education. However, some academics like CalArts provide you every four years to explore various aesthetic fields and media.In any case, you can count on at least two years of concentrated studies in photography and theory. 
  • Most employers require at least a high academy diploma to work in photography.
  • Some fields, such as photojournalism and science, often require a bachelor's degree in a discipline related to their sector. Meanwhile, some educational programs offer an associate’s or bachelor's degree in photography.

Basic courses will provide you with the basic concepts of color, light, and shape and practical instructions on topics such as darkroom techniques. From there, you can develop your specialization with unique and minor options.

Finally, most of these programs require practice or portfolio synthesis, or both.

What do they learn in the courses? In the classroom, they learn the best techniques and methods, thanks to which your photograph will become alive, the pictures will acquire expressiveness, and with proper practice, they will help form your style.

For each cycle of lessons, its program has been developed that meets its goals and objectives. Example outline of a basic course for beginners:

  • Types of cameras, devices, and settings. Crop factor. RAW and JPG formats.
  • ISO, white balance, shutter speed, exposure.
  • Types of lenses, characteristics, and their meaning. 
  • Basics of composition. Visual dynamics.
  • Types of light. Working with different light sources.
  • Portrait, landscape photography.
  • Photographing in the studio.
  • Macro.

The best photography studies colleges

Here are some great educational institutions if you intend to become a photographer.

  • The International Center of Photography (ICP)
  • An expensive treat for ambitious photographers. Museum, photography school, and research center. Photojournalist Capa Cornell founded ICP in 1974. The photo academy opened in 2001. Claims to be one of the largest and most technically equipped photography schools in the world. 
  • There are about 400 different courses in the curriculum. Located in downtown Manhattan, the building covers 2,500 square meters. 
  • The academy is equipped with modern classrooms, laboratories for black and white and color snapshot, a digital laboratory for multimedia, digital photography and video production, and professional studios. In addition, the academy building, designed by the renowned Gensler bureau, has a library and a student exhibition gallery.
  • This academy is uncompromisingly dedicated to photo snapshots only. There are different programs; basically, all of them are designed for one year of study. During the year of study, students learn absolutely everything and technical secrets and advance their careers. The teachers are all working photographers, photo editors; many students help with employment during and after their studies. There are a lot of students from other countries.
  • Icart-Photo academy
  • Recommended for all those who are fluent in French and value an individual approach to learning above all else. The private photography schools, which have been in existence for over 20 years, were founded by Alain Balmeet, a classic of French snapshot. 
  • Provides general, artistic, and cultural education. The duration of study for the undergraduate program is three years. 
  • A prerequisite for admission is knowledge of the French language; it is also necessary to pass a general development test, a critical analysis of a photograph in the form of an essay, and an oral interview.
  • Those who are fluent in English are confident, creative, not afraid of difficulties, and know how to work independently. This is a photography school in which fashion photography is studied. There are three full-fledged educational programs - bachelor's degree (3 years, Bachelor of Arts diploma), master’s degree (1 or 2 years, Master of Arts diploma), and the so-called Foundation Degree (basic degree, FDA diploma) specialized a two-year course in fashion photography and fashion styling, geared towards training a specific profession. 
  • This best photography school offers short courses of varying degrees of intensity. For beginners in snapshots, there is a Foundation preparatory course. They teach skills in working with the camera, the basics of composition, graphic design, and photo post-processing programs. 
  • The training is structured according to a project scheme: students receive assignments and work on them for an agreed time, then hand them over to the teacher. At the undergraduate degree, the emphasis is on the technical component, the master’s course on the creative one.
  • Academy of Fine Arts and Design (Nuova Accademia Di Belle Arti NABA)
  • If you know Italian well, then the prospect of spending a year in the capital of the world of fashion, studying a demanded specialty, and making useful contacts in the fashion world is for you. 
  • Nuova Accademia Di Belle Arti Milano (NABA) is Milan’s largest private photography, visual arts, and design academy. It is located in the historic district of Navigli. The Academy has its own exhibition complex NABASITE, which exhibits works of Italian and foreign artists and designers. 
  • The age of students is from 18 years old, in a group of no more than 20 people. The Academy provides search and placement support for its students. Rented rooms are available only to pre-enrolled students upon special request. In addition, contracts were concluded with real estate agencies, private landowners (including housing owners near the campus), hostels, hotels, residences, etc., technical and research skills. 
  • The master’s program in Photography and Visual Design lasts one year and is taught in Italian. After this year, you will have your photography portfolio.
  • Spéos school

A student-friendly ambitious photography school. Suitable for those who want to get additional education in another country. Spéos academy of Photo was founded in 1985 by French photographer Pierre-Yves Mahe. In 1991, Spéos developed professional courses for companies and photographers who needed new skills due to innovations in photography techniques. The academy is accredited by the French government and has a Level I certificate. Entry requirements vary by program. They are described in special brochures for applicants. But some students receive financial aid from their universities or government and private associations. Short-term summer courses in eight areas and diploma (24-32 weeks) programs and master’s training (14 months; The European Master of Professional Photography) are offered. This snapshot studies college has specialized courses in photojournalism, studio snapshot, commercial photography portfolio, digital photography. Spéos can help students find accommodation during their program. It is compulsory to purchase health insurance (approximately 195 euros) for the entire stay. You need an entry visa; for a stay in the country for more than three months, you need to obtain a student visa and a residence permit. The school helps students with obtaining the necessary documents at the beginning of the semester. On average, monthly spending on vacation, food, and shopping is 450-500 euros per month.

  • Yale academy of Fine Art, USA

Photography school and art at Yale University is considered the best place to study photography in the United States. Studying here is suitable only for those who have seriously decided to devote their lives to snapshot and become professional photo artists. Moreover, to enter this prestigious university, it is necessary to obtain a bachelor's degree in photography or art because Yale academy offers photography training only for the master’s degree.

It is very difficult to get here because there are more than 20 applicants, while only 100 people are admitted to the course per year. If you nevertheless entered the photography school of Yale University, then get ready for the fact that the training program here will be challenging and intensive, and eminent teachers will be incredibly demanding. However, your efforts will pay off because the university promises all graduates a successful future in the snapshot industry.

photography school

How to choose a photography school?

Best photography schools are useful for both beginners and professionals. Depending on the tasks to be solved, they are basic, designed for a wide audience, and highly specialized.

To choose the best course, formulate a goal that you plan to achieve at the end of the course. Correlate it with what different photography studies college offers. Choose what suits your dream.

Pay attention to the form of training in real-time or online. Online classes are useful for those who live in remote areas but want to learn from professionals.

Choose a course

  • Basic photography schools for beginners a quick introduction to the camera. What buttons are responsible for what, familiarity with the basics of photography.
  • In-depth detailed study of the camera, the art of photography. Carrying out time 6-12 months. They include mandatory work with light, a model, building composition in a frame, giving an idea of artistic photography features, and post-processing of images.
  • Specialized snapshot courses for more in-depth development of a narrow direction (art, portrait photography, etc.). Highly specialized consideration of topics that interest professionals (vintage photography, Newborn, film photography). Assume confident possession of the camera and the availability of expensive photographic equipment.
  • Licensed with the issuance of a state diploma. They have a high cost but are needed if you plan to work as a photographer.

Assess your strength

  • Individual training is expensive, but of high quality. The teacher is at your disposal for the entire duration of the classes. You get the maximum knowledge and practical skills in a short time.
  • Small group classes are cheaper. The optimal group size is 6-7 people with a lesson duration of 3-4 hours. Here, too, enough attention is paid to each student; the teacher will always correct mistakes.
  • Groups of 10-15 people. The low price attracts here. But the quality of teaching suffers. This option is suitable for conducting masterclasses and overview lessons in photography and teaching purely theoretical material.

When you already understand which academies and courses are right for you, you will need to take care of the following issues:

  • Take a close look at the photography school’s list of topics. Clarify what you will learn to do after completing your studies. 
  • If you already possess half of the skills you are planning to teach, then look for a more advanced course or academy. 
  • Another option is to arrange for a lower price to attend the lessons that are right for you.
  • Check if you need any additional photography tutorials and books. Sometimes their cost is already included in the tuition fee.

Best photography school classes where you will receive a lot of new and useful information and master the maximum amount of practical skills.

The best way to assess the quality of an academy is to review the work:

  • the teacher (we estimate the level of his skill);
  • students (assessing the teacher's ability to teach others).

If you like the pictures of the students, there is a noticeable difference in the work before and after the training; then they deserve attention. Check out the testimonials of the trained about photography school itself and the teachers delivering the lessons. The best option is to talk to the course participants in person.

If you graduated from licensed courses or photography studies college and received a diploma, start your career as a professional photographer by working in a private company.


  • What do you need to learn in school to become a photographer?

You need to

  1. Understand the composition
  2. Be Interested in art history
  3. Know the device of a DSLR and mirrorless camera
  4. Understand color and coloration
  5. Possess the skills of working in professional editors.
  • Is photography a good career?

If you have enough experience in different areas of photography and people like your work, then a photography career can be good. It is a dignified and creative profession that brings people the joy of taking photos.

  • What type of photography are the highest paying?
  1. Commercial Photography. 
  2. Fashion Photography
  3. Wedding Photography. 
  4. Portrait Photography. 
  5. Family Photography.
  6. Photojournalist and News Photography. 
  7. Film Set Photography. Presidential Photography.
  • How and where can the acquired knowledge of photography art be applied? 

The practical skills and theoretical knowledge gained in the courses will help:

  1. create photos for social networks, advertising;
  2. make a profit from selling on photo stocks, conducting photo sessions (family, wedding, children's);
  3. improve in the art of snapshot;
  4. participate in prestigious competitions and photo exhibitions.
  • What is it necessary to learn in the photography courses?
  1. Types of cameras, devices, and settings. Crop factor. RAW and JPG formats.
  2. ISO, white balance, shutter speed, exposure.
  3. Types of lenses, characteristics, and their meaning. 
  4. Basics of composition. Visual dynamics.
  5. Types of light. Working with different light sources.
  6. Portrait, landscape photography.
  7. Photographing in the studio.
  8. Macro.

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