A great photograph tells a story. It grasps your whole attention and it makes you wonder: “What happened here? What story caused this scene and how did life continue after it?” But it doesn’t leave you just with questions.
A great photographer gives you the answers, too. The hints are in the eyes, the position of the arms, the cringe, the colors, the sky… the entire composition. Can anyone achieve that level of artistry in a photograph? Let’s be honest: capturing an impressive photograph by chance is a rare occurrence. This hobby requires an investment not only in equipment, but in education and practice, too.
A college degree would be great, but it’s not necessary. Taking a course at one of the best photography schools can be a good starting point. We’ll list both independent photography schools and colleges with photography programs.
Best U.S. Photography Schools
1 – New York Institute of Photography
If you’re looking for an online learning option, you should definitely check out the courses offered by the New York Institute of Photography.
You can take a general Professional Photography Course, but you can also get more specific with courses in portrait photography, Photoshop, photojournalism, wedding photography, nature and landscape photography, and more.
2 – MoMA
Those who are interested in learning about photography rarely consider MoMA as a source of instructions. But this is not just a museum where you can see great photographs. It’s also a learning resource.
MoMA offers an excellent course through Coursera: Seeing through Photographs.
3 – New York Film Academy
The NYFA offers numerous courses and workshops for photographers at all levels. This is a serious photography school, which offers BA and MA degree programs, as well as shorter workshops for those who don’t want to commit to long-term education.
4 – School of Visual Arts
The School of Visual Arts offers high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs in Photography and Video. Some of the courses were recently made available online, so the students can continue with their programs while the social distancing policies last.
5 – School of the Art Institute of Chicago
This is a private university with art-dedicated education. It’s a serious school, which is heavy on research projects. The programs may be pressuring enough for you to rely on a proficient research paper service, but it’s all for a good goal.
The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in photography, as well individual seminars hosted by renowned photographers.
6 – Michigan State University
Michigan State University made several photography courses available through Coursera. You can take them for free if you’re not interested in a certificate or a degree. You’ll still gain the knowledge and skills.
7 – UCLA
If you enter this program, you’ll benefit from the experience of talented instructors. You’ll work not only with photography, but with video and installation art as well.
8 – Yale School of Art
Yale University holds the first position in the US News Rankings under the category of photography. The MFA program provides you with technical instructions in digital image production, non silver processes, color and black-and-white photography.
9 – Parsons School of Design
If you want to study any artistic discipline in the USA, Parsons will definitely be an option. It offers an BFA and an MFA program in photography.
10 – Rochester Institute of Technology
This research university offers excellent undergraduate programs:
- Advertising Photography Option – Photographic and Imaging Arts
- Fine Art Photography Option – Photographic and Imaging Arts
- Photojournalism Option – Photographic and Imaging Arts
- Photographic Sciences
- Photographic and Imaging Arts
- Photographic Arts and Sciences Exploration
Make Your Choice
Options are not a problem. There are great schools that offer photography courses in the USA. You can take a short-term course to cover the basics, but you can also go for a full-blown degree program that will turn you into a pro.
Text: Elizabeth Skinner loves photography, but still doesn’t feel confident enough to share her work with the world. Until she learns as much as possible, she’ll stay limited to her Instagram feed. Elizabeth loves education, so she believes that every skill can be learned and mastered.