• Matthew Brooks

Do you need to go to Uni to learn photography?


Straight to the point with this blog. You do not NEED to go to university and have a degree in Photography.

For anyone reading this who has gotten married, did you pick your photographer based on how much you liked their pictures or whether they had a photography degree? Did a situation arise where you thought "this photographer is amazing, but I can't possibly hire them as they don't have the essential 'BA(hons)' after their name". I'll guess the quality of the photos for your budget were the only factor.

THE only thing that you really need is a passion for taking pictures and capturing moments also a naturally artistic eye for visually pleasing compositions. The rest you can quite easily learn from online courses an you tube videos. Because at the end of the day it is the knowledge that you are after. So does it matter that you are not spending thousands of pounds on tuition fees, its the same knowledge. The one thing that you will be missing out on are the useful contacts and influencers that you meet during university.

I did my courses online with Shaw Academy. They do plenty of different photography courses. The classes were live webinars, which had live chat to ask questions. It did give a certain feel of a classroom to it. There were hundreds of people per class from all over the world so sometimes questions got lost amongst the many which were going through to them. I got plenty of reminders to let me know the time of the webinar but if I couldn't make it the lessons are recorded and you can just watch the recording instead and download all the lesson slides. Which is something that you cannot do in University, if your not there you miss the lesson completely. Also you get a recognized diploma when you complete the course and successfully complete the final assessment. For me this worked very well.

One of the best free sources of learning these days is the university of YouTube. There is sooo much useful photography content on there. At the same time there is just as much junk info on there. I suppose the only caveat is that you have find the useful information for yourself. I posted a blog about my favourite YouTube channels which you can read HERE. I have actually subscribed to many more since posting that original blog but however these few still remain the ones I watch the most when it comes to wanting to actually learn something. So I would definitely recommend these channels to anyone.

What I'm not saying is rule out university completely. If you really are not the sort of person who can study at home then University may be for you. As we all know there are many distractions at home, family, tv, games, phones, cooking. So if you really need an environment which is a dedicated to learning with tutors that you can directly converse with when a question or problem arises look at more formal study routes.

So whether you decide to go to University or learn at home, pick up your camera and go and take some photo. It is great having all the knowledge in world about photography but actually practicing and enjoying photography is what you need to do. As you learn new things go and try and test them out. Slowly you will see your photography improving and progressing. One day you may be in a position where you can do it as a job. Even then though, you should keep on learning and keep on trying to improve and progress. As the learning doesn't just stop when you reach your first goal. Set a new goal and then another.

If you do decide to learn photography good luck and bye for now.

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