Question by Shea: Collage for photography?
I am 17 years old and will be going into grade 12 in September. I would like to be a photographer and wanted to know if there was any collage or university courses for that? It’s been one of my dream jobs since I was little. I am a teen mom, my daughter is 3 months old, and I wanted a job that I would be able to work from home with and make my own hours. I love taking pictures. I know that being a photographer is a job where you can either “make it” or “break it”, meaning you can succeed or fail. Another reason I would like to go through for a photographer is because I’m pretty sure if there is a collage course, I won’t be in it for 3 or 4 years and that was one of my main concerns because I am also a mom, and I don’t want to be wasting the first 5 years of my child’s life in school, but in the mean time, I want to make enough money to help support my family. My boyfriend is already in collage, and will be out by the time I would go. I was also thinking, I could have a part time job as well as photography and work around my part time job.
Answer by Akuseru
You’d be much better off majoring in something like business with photography classes on the side.
Are you taking into account the fact that there is a ton of behind-the-scenes post processing involved with each and every shoot that you would be doing? A photo shoot may not take very long, but there can be 40-60+ hours of editing and processing work that needs to be completed after the shoot takes place. That’s a serious commitment and it’s not always easy to work around the demands that come with having a young child.
You’re going to need to invest in thousands of dollars of equipment if you want to shoot professionally. If you’re going to be doing events like weddings, you’re going to need backup equipment. If you’re going to do it right, you can’t just pick up a camera and start photographing people for money. You need to cover your butt by having that backup equipment in case your main camera fails, and by having legal contracts drawn up to cover the services you’re providing your clients. Starting off by working as an assistant or second shooter for an established local photographer wouldn’t be a bad idea.
As far as going to college goes, it’s not like high school at all. You’re not going to be in classes for the entire day unless you happen to schedule it that way. What you really should do is talk to one of your school’s guidance counselors before school starts and find out if there’s any way that you can enroll in classes at a local community college and get dual credit at the high school. A lot of schools will do that, so you could enroll in a basic class like English 101 and start working toward your degree while meeting your high school graduation requirements. Another bonus of choosing a degree plan from a community college is that they’re less expensive than four-year universities, and they offer associate’s degrees that can be completed in two years. A lot of those credits can be transferred to another college or university later on, so you’ll be that much closer to a bachelor’s degree if you decide to pursue further studies.
One thing you really, really need to do is stop looking at spending the next X years in school as “wasted” time. It’s not. It’s an investment in your future, and you’ll be much better able to provide for your daughter if you focus on earning a degree instead of just getting a minimum wage job to make ends meet. Work toward that goal, even if you only go part time and take a couple of classes a semester. The skills you learn through college classes will be invaluable down the road.
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