Photography Education: What’s Needed

Posted on 10/7/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Fstoppers has reported on a new survey being conducted in the UK to try gather information about the future potential of photography as a career.

The questionnaire is particularly focused on the education and training required to be a successful photographer. One of the questions is: “What would you suggest universities and colleges should do to increase student engagement on Photography courses?”

I would encourage photographers in the U.S. and other parts of Europe to respond to this survey. Help young people interested in a photography career to understand the realities of the current business environment.

Photography is a great avocation and way of expressing oneself creatively. But it has become increasingly difficult -- and will become more difficult -- to engage in photography as a profession, or a career. This is particularly true for stock photographers who create images on speculation. It may be somewhat easier for motion photographers and people working on assignment, but even those people are finding it more and more difficult to get enough work to earn a comfortable living.

There are some staff photography positions with government and private industry. These may pay well, but the work is often mundane and not that exciting and the competition for such positions is fierce.
For more of my thoughts check out Is Studying Photography In College A Good Idea? and Stock Photography Revenue Trends Survey Results.

The last question on the UK survey is: “Do you think, at the current level of £9,000.00 per year, Photography degree courses in the UK provide value for money?” My guess would be that they provide not enough value to justify the expense.

Copyright © 2016 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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