6 things to consider when choosing a photography school

Here I am in class, listening to Lindsay Adler a top fashion photographer, blogger, social network guru, Creative Live speaker, blogger, workshop maven and all around upbeat and fun person. She’s teaching us about setting up blogs, websites, and the importance of networking.

Then she gives us our homework:

  • Need two headshots, one that can/is cropped square
  • Need at least 3 images that best represent your work
  • Need to have the website url you want, decided on
  • Need to have logo/branding ready to go
  • Write a bio: 1 sentence, 1 paragraph and 1 longer
  • Write a short post on “Why I wanted to be a photographer”

The plan….class after next we were going to set up a blog/website and get our social networking locked in. Of course I am already halfway there and I’ve already written a post on why I chose to become a photographer, you can read about it in my Making Lemonade post.

When Kita of Pass the Sushi left a comment asking about tips for choosing a photography school, I thought that might be a great post. Here are my top selection criteria, listed in my personal order. What’s most important will be different for everyone.

Location, location, location. If you have family or friends that you want to stay near too, you may want a close location. Also consider what type of photography you like, if you are into wildlife and landscapes New York City schools may not be the best choice.

The all mighty dollar. Can you afford the school? Is financial aid available? Are they VA approved? Scholarships?

Curriculum. Does the school offer courses that you are interested in; for me it was food photography. Are you also interested in video? Portraits? Sports? Is the school more academic or more hands on? Is it career based or art based? You may also want to consider if it’s accredited, if you are planning on working right away it probably doesn’t matter, but if you plan on going too graduate school, it may matter.

Teaching Staff. Are the classes taught by experts in their field? Are the instructors still working in their field? Do they have a variety of instructors? How long have the instructors been teaching?

How long will this last. Schools vary in length, some just a few months while others take years. Look to see how that fits into your life goals. Some schools break it up so that you don’t have to take the entire course at once, find one that meets your needs.

Reputation. Google, research, ask anyone who may have knowledge of the school. Better yet ask a previous student. Ask “is/was this a good school, would you recommend it, is there anything you would change about it, what was your favorite part?” If you get comments like “a total waste of my time and money” you may want to look elsewhere.

Choosing to go to photography school is a big step, it takes total commitment and the equipment is expensive. If it’s something that you are interested in but just can’t make happen right now, try taking workshops or joining a photography club, maybe the school you are interested in offers them.

If you are interested in the Rocky Mountain School of Photography please feel free to contact me or you can check out their website for more information.

I couldn’t post without sharing some photos! These were taken in studio with Lindsay Adler…loved her lighting techniques!



And for those of you who haven’t checked it out already, I have a photography website up and running with my new logo…hooray! Just click on the logo box to go to my website.

Rhonda Adkins Photography

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3 Responses to 6 things to consider when choosing a photography school

  1. Lea Ann October 4, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Congratulations on your photography website!!!!!

  2. Debra October 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Oh no. Another website I have to keep up with. Sounds like you are going great guns! Congrats!

  3. kita October 11, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    My computer seriously shut off right after I left that comment last night on your previous post. This one is awesome and I think it’s great that you posted it. I have been toying on and off again with really wanting to go back to school, but that all mighty dollar scars the crap out of me.
    I think over all the confidence you have when you write about your photography and going to school is the best part. Being able to say, “I am a photographer” with no doubt or question is amazing. Major major kudos to you 🙂
    (PS, I got an email about dropbox, said it was from you??)