Are Photography Schools A Good Investment?

Photography schools are on the minds of a lot of people who have an artistic bent, but find that they aren’t good at painting, sculpting, or any of the other ways of expressing a physical expression of their take on reality. Being a photographer would allow them to give voice to their inner artist, and possibly change the world in the process. However, learning photography is a bit different than developing other talents, such as painting or drawing. With painting or drawing, an artist can go to school for training, but in most cases there was an innate talent that the education builds on. In other words, a person should be pretty good at drawing or painting before they think about going to school for it. Art school can show them how to take their basic talent and greatly improve upon it, but it usually can’t instill the talent when it’s not there to begin with. Photography schools are different. But are they a good investment?

Well, when it comes to photography, there’s really no such thing as a natural talent for it, simply because it is so technical. No one is born with the ability to instinctively know which lens is best, or what shutter speed, or how to light a scene. It’s true that they don’t necessarily have to get training or instruction on such aspects of photography, and they can experiment, using trial and error until they get these things right, but that’s far different than being born with the ability. So when it comes to taking photos, some instruction is clearly necessary. That doesn’t necessarily mean that going to photography school is a good idea, though. In fact, for most people, photography schools are probably a bad investment.

Why is that? Well, it’s because for most people it simply isn’t necessary to plunk down thousands and thousands of dollars to become skilled in photography in the age of the internet. Just as the internet has radically changed the television and publishing industries, and is continuing to do so, it has also made learning certain skills, such as photography, much easier. There are an abundance of sites where a person can acquire professional level photography training for a few dollars a month, choosing which areas they want to focus on. There are formal courses offered on the internet for a fraction of the price of a degree in photography. And these are just the paid options. The amount and quality of free photography instruction on the internet is truly staggering. There are thousands of free instructional videos on YouTube alone. So, for most people, photography schools are a poor investment. If someone simply can’t learn on their own, or is interested in a certain, unusual technique, photography school can be worth it. Everyone else, though, can find the training they need on the internet.