What Does it Take to be a Professional Photographer?
There is a big difference between just taking pictures for fun and deciding to become a professional photographer. Understanding that professional photographers make the images that define how we see the world is both exciting and humbling. Everywhere you turn the images you see have been crafted by professional photographers working with advertising agencies and graphic design firms. Every wedding image and family portrait hanging on the walls of a homes throughout the world was taken by someone with a passion for making images. Photography is experiencing a renaissance unlike any other during it’s nearly 175 year history, and now is a great time to decide to become one of the image makers of the 21st century.
What Will I Study?
The photography curriculum is broad enough to expand your horizons, yet allows for each student to gain a strong voice which can be expressed through their work. Topics ranging from foundational technical classes to art history and design courses help the photography student deepen your skill set as you progress through the program. During the last year you will work on a Senior Project, portfolio, and website marketing materials to make sure you are ready for the competitive marketplace.
What can I do With a Photography Degree?
Photography is the most democratic of all art forms. Because of this it is used in innumerable ways, many of which can be turned into a career as a professional photographer. The biggest areas in which to make a living is in commercial photography and in the portrait/wedding industry. Many of our graduates have worked in editorial, medical, architectural, and fashion as well. We have a great list of websites for you to peruse if you want to see what kind of work our graduates make.
How can I Serve God?
As a faculty we collectively believe that God is the originator of the creative spirit, and because of this we fully embrace using our skills for the betterment of society as a whole. One of the areas we focus on in our curriculum is serving God through making images that highlight mission work and other socially conscious projects. Many majors take a year off to work as student missionaries and most of these use their skills to help spread the good news. Recently students have worked in Thailand, Lebanon, Korea, and Peru just to name a few. Something to keep in mind is that if you desire to serve God, doors will open and He will use you and your God given creative talents to benefit others.
Why Andrews University?
The opportunity to learn how the business and art of photography mesh can be found here at Andrews. Deciding to become a professional photographer and to pursue a serious education in learning the nuts and bolts of the business and art of photography is a big decision. We understand that. Andrews University has the longest running photography program with a proven track record of successful graduates.
Will I Get a Job?
Historically our graduates have been as well prepared as any young emerging photographers in this highly competitive market. Our graduates have worked for companies like Whirlpool, Florida Hospital, Loma Linda, Maranatha International, ADRA, and many more top companies. We have a growing network of successful graduates that we connect to our up and coming students so that there can be potential for a mentoring relationship that goes far beyond the BFA experience. Being successful in photography requires a commitment to excellence in all things, and that extends to marketing, networking, and branding of your visual identity. Making photography a career is not easy, but it can be one of the most rewarding paths for the self motivated entrepreneur.
What About Transferring From Another School?
Many of our graduates have found their passion for photography while enrolled at another institution. Our experienced advisors will work with transfer students to get the most out of previous education experiences so that the maximum number of transfer credits apply towards a degree at Andrews.
My college endeavor began at Maryland Institute College of Art where I pursued a BFA in Photography. Although this college was the top 4th fine arts college in the nation, I was not happy with the limited digital program, the eccentric teachers, and the narrow-minded students. I was determined to transfer to another all arts college or drop out all together. Upon learning that Andrews offered a BFA in photography, I was able to get a spontaneous 2-hour tour of the photography department by Dave Sherwin. I was taken back by the quality of the students work and how superior the facilities were at a Christian university over an all arts college. The friendliness and knowledge of the faculty and students, as well as the caliber of work being produced by the students, was a major deciding factor for me. This is now my third year at Andrews University pursuing Photography and Web Design, and I can happily say that I have had the best years of my life here. Nina Marie Rambo.
~ Nina Marie Rambo BFA 2014