What training and education is required for photography?

Becoming a professional photographer requires not just talent and a good eye, but an understanding of the technical qualities of the medium. Determining which field of photography you wish to pursue will give you some indication of the degree of training you’ll need.

Art photography

Visual artists who intend to employ photography as their main medium should enroll in a Bachelor of Fine Arts undergraduate course in photography, before going on to take their Master of Fine Arts degree.

Commercial photography

Commercial photographers take pictures of products, places, buildings and artifacts for commercial projects. Courses in digital photography will be necessary for understanding the fundamentals of composition.


Those who wish to enter the field of photojournalism will have a tough time getting hired without a Bachelor’s degree. College-level courses in both photography and journalism are necessary.

Scientific photography

If you plan to work in the field of scientific photography, then you will require special training in such fields as engineering, medicine, biology and chemistry.

Portrait photography

Taking portraits requires the photographer to be technically proficient. Training can normally be achieved through taking photography courses or serving as an apprentice to a professional portrait photographer.


Education Portal: Education Requirements for a Photographer

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition: Photographer