Education is crucial in any field, but how about a piece of paper? Will a degree really help you as a photographer?

Is college worth it?

People confess that their diploma is just a piece of paper, and college is a waste of money. Yet we dare to think the opposite.

Everything is subjective based on those who go through it. Experience, social situations and the environment in college are often taken for granted.

How big are your odds of finding a professional photographer willing to teach you at a cafe, for instance? Well, it surely is quite slim. They might charge you for their services or blatantly refuse your request.

But in college, they would gladly teach you with all their might. They allow you to use their fancy gear used in their shoots. However, you technically pay them to do so and might think that it’s not worth it.

Many websites and YouTube videos allow you to study photography for free. There are also mentorship classes that may help you.

But do they provide the experience of studying along with many people that share the same interest?

The sensation of studying with a community that supports each other is crucial to your growth. Online forums stand little to no chance when compared to a college environment. People do have their preferences, but it all boils down to which environment suits best.

No need to feel ashamed, you can freely express how excited you are for a project. College does offer tremendous insight into business managing, ways of viewing and creating art, and many advanced concepts for photographers.

But what about online learning?

Well, I also recommend online learning!

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

In fact, online learning is more favorable to people that avoid paying copious amounts of money for college. Skillshare, YouTube or even Photofocus can be used as a learning material.

Some contents are free, while others are exclusively placed behind a paywall. If you are fully committed to photography, feel free to pay for the premium courses on those trusted websites.

If you are not ready to go all-in, search for websites that supply educational content on photography.

It may be hard to find quality communities since you do not meet them at designated locations. However, social media such as Reddit forums, Facebook groups or even a discord server will help you out!

These communities will help you to find new relations and wide networking. Maybe you will be lucky enough that they will have an online zoom class or even an online seminar! The odds are unlimited but highly dependent on the group’s motive.

The debate will always be hot, with varying opinions on both sides. Yet, many ask about the managerial skills.

How do you exactly run a business and search for a client?

Extra skills to pick up

You cannot be the best photographer if you have never shared, published or had a client. To further enable your success in the photography business, you must learn marketing, pricing and other skills that are closely related.

You could say, “I’m here to make art, not search for clients.” But how are you supposed to make money without clients?

If you want to have the most significant edge against your competitors, you must make sure that you study more and research more in-depth. It keeps you independent, and also provides more skills!

For example, if you produce average results but take in many clients per month, I guarantee that you will become successful instantly! While if you have the best work, but nobody hires your service, your growth will be prolonged.

After claiming your sweet paycheck, you can either proceed to purchase the equipment you need but did not own. You could even use the money to enroll in a university for another degree. The choice is in your hands!

So, is a degree worth it?

A degree will help you expand your horizon and open up new opportunities in life. However, online courses also help you become a successful photographer.

Some professional photographers own a degree, while other professionals have a stunning portfolio to prove their expertise.

Always fully commit to your choice, and pair it with perseverance and grit. Nothing is stopping you, so go out there and give it a try.