the best photography schools in the world??!!

Discussion in 'Education' started by martin_jameson, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. hi,

    the last two weeks I've been looking like crazy for a good
    photography school to make a bachelor and eventually a master
    degrees. it's so difficult to choose the right one, there are so
    many!! which one are the really good ones? rhodes island photography
    school or brooks institute of photography or the one in new york - or
    is it anyway better to study it in europe?? please help me.

    thanks alot, roger
  2. i've been doing the same thing, anyone been to Art Center in Pasadena, i heard it's better than brooks?
  3. What kind of photography are you primarily interested in doing for the first few years
    once you have this degree-- weddings & portraits, photojournalism, "art", or commercial /
    advertising photography?

    Not all photography programs at all schools have the same balance of interests.
  4. R.I.T (Rochester Institute of Technology) in New York or SVA (School of Visual Arts) in New
    York; depending on your area of interest and your location.
  5. Also consider doing a full summer internship at either the Maine photographic Workshops
    or the Santa Fe Workshops if you are willing to work hard but are unsure of what direction
    you wantto go in.
  6. Also make sure you do your homework in fully researching your school choices, especially ones that get the majority of their income from your Federal loans. Brooks Institute of Photography for example, is owned by Career Education Corporation which is currently under SEC investigation for fraud. This not to say that there is anything wrong with Brooks, but it's fashioned on the same career/technical school model that relies entirely on your Federal loan and saddles you with huge debt without any real guarantee of employment.
  7. I'd suggest you have a look at Speos in Paris,, and peruse their prospectus.
  8. thanks for all your responses,

    I am doing mainly fine art photography, but want to have a great foundation education in photography, and a degree that could open doors (a school with good reputation, worldwide)

    do you guys know the reputation of american schools compared to europeen ones?

  9. One of the best was Vevey, in Switzerland. Unfortunately, the (good) program has been closed down and replaced with a (very, very) bad one.
    One of the options over here is Lausanne (ECAL), which although competing is of an excellent level.
    You might want to have a look at Dusseldorf, in germany, or Kent's contemporary/visual arts program and the London College of Printing in GB.

    if you'd like more details on what went on in Vevey, which I attended for 4 years before everything was destroyed through administrative stupidity, there's intel, some of it in French though, on

    former students have their diploma work up on
  10. I dont know what the worldwide reputation is, but Concordia University in Montreal, Canada has both a BFA and an MFA program in fine art photography. The school is certainly well respected here in Canada, but in the end, its your portfolio that will make or break you, not the name of your school.

    Frank / BFA Concordia 1997.
  11. I am at Hallmark in Western Mass, and if you can handle stress, you'll get your money's worth here for sure.
  12. brooks is not an art school, so dont come if you like doing everything your own way. this school gives you the tools and resoucres to know how to do anything and everything in photography (including the parts you may not want to have anything to do with). brooks is a great school if you like commerical, underwater or industrial photography. The location is awesome (sunny and 70 year around), but costs way too much. my three bedroom house is 2150 a month (which is a steal compared to some), split between thre people. If you want to do commerical work in LA, then brooks could be the place for you.
  13. Hello Roger, I'm in the same boat at the moment! I've done a little bit of research on The School of Visual Arts in New York, The Brooks Institute, and the Art Institute of Seattle and have come to the conclusion that they're all too expensive. I recently attended the open house at AiS and found that the photography program there seems quite in depth and that the instructors seem well experienced, educated, and eager to share their passion with willing students. I had a brief chat with a career services guy there and he said that the market is tough, of course, and that the problems incurred with finding secure employment (depending on what field of photography you're in to) arise mostly from graduates that seem unmotivated and almost uninterested in pursuing their career. Surprising considering they just spent 44,000 dollars obtaining their education. He mentioned that if you have a strong desire and passion for this type of work you can make it happen in Seattle, degree or not. As was mentioned above it mostly comes down to your portfolio and how you present it AND yourself. I haven't gotten that far yet (building a suitable portfolio and following up on marketing myself) but I have a strong belief that it can be done without formal education. However, I was extremely excited to be in the college atmosphere surrounded by people who have the same passion for photography. That alone is a huge motivation booster.

    I met with a few wedding photographers while I was down there and one of them introduced me to The Photographic Center Northwest. This school gives you the option of studying photography on your own terms. They don't offer any degrees, only certificates, but I've heard that it's well worth the time and money. It's a school that specializes in photography and only photography so supposedly you can get educated in the field of your choice without having to worry about "outside" classes that you may have no desire to put yourself through. I've made the decision to move down to Seattle, study at this school, network as much as I can (I've been told that Seattle is a very art friendly city, many people willing to help you on your way and having spent only a week there I agree) and hopefully make a good life for myself. Good luck to you!

    One more thing. I have a brother who has been through this whole process (college, debt, world experience) and his advice is to forget school and the mass amounts of money it requires. He's motivated me to take my school savings and buy an around the world plane ticket (building a portfolio along the way) stressing that I would learn so much more about life, myself, and what it all means. Besides, photography is all about taking pictures right? Well, that's what I plan to do.
  14. Check out Saint Martins and London College of Fashion in London. They take 3 years, have 3 terms (2 months each) very compressed and hectic. Saint Martins for art and LCF for Fashion. I am a student at LCF doing fashion and its well equiped with photographic stuff and such. Also check Parsons in NY if you feel like, although $25,000 said everything too me about not going there. Practically though, the expensive London life for 3 years comes cheaper than 4 years in NY with $25,000 on tuition alone.

    Portfolio Center in Atlanta I think. People has talked good about this place. Ringling in FL and also Rhode Island SAaD are also well known. Decide what you want to do and then choose. I love fashion so I came to London because of the school and because this is where fashion is and breaths. If you like art, you pretty much have a broader choice in places to go. If you like journalism or reportage, then ICP will be the place for you in NY.

    Up to you, best of luck.
  15. HI. I live in Canada and I am currently searching for more training in photography. I have a BA in Theatre already and I have some training in photography from The Maine Photographic Workshops (great place!!!!). I have searched the web and found that most schools are 2-4 years. And a few that are 10 months but so expensive. I am wondering if anyone can recommend a school, or person, or even an online program that teaches photography. I have purchased a SLR digital camera and am looking to master it. I am looking to start my own buisness (already sell cards with my photos on it).

    CAn anyone help me??


  16. I was just accepted to both RIT and SVA. When ever someone talks about schools on the east coast theyre almost sure to mention both of these. Itd be great if an alumni from either of these schools would talk to me and could email me at or get me on aol instant messenger at wearesolids. I have many questions more about SVA but and RIT alumn would be great to talk to
  17. for what it's worth, there was a show, with a catalogue, that drafted 500 photographers from 60 schools and came out with a choice of what three curators liked the best. the book is available here. there's a list of the photographers here. (disclaimer : i'm in that list. i have no other interest in pointing towards the show other than simple fact that the book is an interesting ressource for someone trying to have a look at what people who have been to a lot of different schools photograph, and how they photograph it. and that i think it's a damn fine show.)
  18. i have the same questions and im wondering what is a good photography school for biological photography: nature, landscape, underwater ...
  19. I want to start a career in photography, so i was browsing over the net.. and i found this site!.. wow.. it seems kind of hard to look for a good school!.. so ill keep reading!! and good luck to you :)
  20. i'm surprised that no one has mentioned FAMU yet. it is one of the best film schools in all the world, and it's photography program is very strong also. it's not that expensive, 8.900 euros per year and prague is cheap compared to places like nyc and london, or if you speak czech it's free. i'm going there this year for my bachelors.
  21. Hey, love what you guys are talking about. I'm Shannon, im From New Zealand, but im in Denmark. im 18 years old and i would really love to persue a career in Photojournalism i think. I love street photography. I really have no idea where to go and what to do, can anyone help me out. I want to go to a photography school obviously, where though..... and what to study. i want to have a career in this so id like to keep options open on the style of photography. i need help please. Take a look at my website, this is the type of photography i like BUT is there a career in this. Someone help. If you really think you can help me please contact me :
  22. I have heard that Ryerson University in Toronto is amazing, but don't know first-hand. Does anyone know? I am thinking of going there....
  23. Hey guys what you all have been doing here is really great. I have been searching for photography schools all over the world and couldnt find much but this thread helped me a lot. I want to do my master's in photography, which will be my 2nd master's so i wanted to go to a good school which also gives scholarships. Anyone knows any school which is great in photography and also awards scholarships? any school around the world would do.
    Thanks guys.
  24. Hey guys what you all have been doing here is really great. I have been searching for photography schools all over the world and couldnt find much but this thread helped me a lot. I want to do my master's in photography, which will be my 2nd master's so i wanted to go to a good school which also gives scholarships. Anyone knows any school which is great in photography and also awards scholarships? any school around the world would do.
    Thanks guys.
  25. You need to define what kind of photography you are intending to pursue.
    RISD Rhode Island School of Design used to be tops for the Artsy type and Chicago Institute of Art was heavy on graphic design. Art Center College of Design in Pasadena was tops for those pursuing commercial photography (in other words you want to make good money at it). When I went to Art Center there were at least 3 people who transferred out of Brooks to Art Center. when you leave you will have the best understanding of the technical and a hell of a portfolio to prove it. You are taught by working professionals, not art professors. You do get to explore the creative aspects of photography while you are there but the goal is to have you gainfully employed, or more likely self-employed, after you finish school. By the time you are out of the third or fourth term you have mastered the technical. From there on you are working on concept and adding weight to your portfolio. You can get away with only a 35mm for the first two terms but after that you have to have a medium format and a 4X5. It would also be advisable to have a full set of strobe equipment. The biggest issue with Art Center is the cost. But if you can swing the $$$'s there is no better place to Master photography. Be aware that attending Art Center is like having two full time jobs. 40 hours of class, lab and studio work and about the same amount outside of school doing location work, arranging for shoots, obtaining props and people, etc, etc.
    The reward is being able to get through the door to see the art directors of the major ad agencies since they know you will be able to handle how to get them the shots they need. You will basically be saving yourself about 10 years of self education.
  26. THE best schools, and with ivy league status are RISD Rhode Island School of Design and Yale's School of Art. The negative part is that it is very difficult to get in (and very costly). I was specially amazed by RISD and their creative minds.
  27. THE best schools, and with ivy league status are RISD Rhode Island School of Design and Yale's School of Art.​
    Best for what? And according to whom? That's a pretty big claim to make without including any qualifiers to back up your statement.
  28. I think there is no such thing as THE BEST, because you have to find the program that fits your style, needs and dreams. That being said, I just helped my daughter research and visit a number of schools on the east coast. She has been sure about her college interest in photography for about 4 years now, so we took the search very seriously.
    Early top runners were RIT, Hallmark, SCAD and Intermount. After visiting all of them she still hadn't found what she was looking for. She wanted a true hybrid degree that pushed Web, Video and Publishing as major parts of the photography degree. Quite by accident we stumbled upon King College in Bristol, TN. ( Great academic school (important to Mom!) and a stunning Photography degree (important to daughter). 4 year program…photography shooting classes EVERY semester. Lots of group and collaborative projects. Plenty of travel and internship possibilities. King College Photography is a private school, so the price is a bit higher, but so far it seems like well spent money.
    We have found the entire admission and enrollment experience to be very pleasant and all faculty and representatives to be incredibly helpful. is where we found the important base information. And even more can be found at Very impressed so far.
    I am sure this kind of program is not right for everyone, but it sure feels right for us.
  29. hello, my name is sylwia. and im heading into my senior year of high school. i always come across this site when im researching photo schools, and i was just wondering what you all think about Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design?? that was mainly my first choice, because id like to be close to my family, (i live in Illinois). or do you all have any other suggestions for good school in the Midwest? and also, i am looking into european schools as well, i have citizenship in Poland, and i am not against moving to Europe to go to school there, in fact i kind of encourage it. i was looking in FAMU, but the fact that i do not speak Czech might screw me over. i would also like the schools to have good structured photo programs, and id rather not have to pay a giant bundle of money. the field im looking into is weddings/portraits and maybe some fashion. suggestions and opinions would be greatly appreciated!
    xo, Sylwia.
  30. I am looking for a school about fashion photography.

    Does anybody know anything about Marangoni and IED in Italy?

    Please share with me any information about fashion photography in Europe
  31. I am looking for a BA photography program in Europe. I am looking for something that is in the design faculty and has options for other lens based media and a contemporary approach to image making. Any ideas ?? my research at the moment covers Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, The Netherlands. All advice or links very welcome
  32. I was also looking for a MFA photography school which focus on Commercial Photography. I didn't see anyone mention on the Royal College of Art in London and wonder why.
    Anyhow, I came across this article and though to share.
  33. The one thing I would consider is what happens if you get burned out on photography. If you go to a school that only offers photography then you have few options. Also a school like Yale or University of California offer many other art and art related classes so if you need to change majors then you don't have to start over. I got my degree in Art History and found that this gave me a number of tools that a degree in photography would not have given me. However I did not get the technical instruction I needed. I would suggest a school that can give you both a good education and the skills you need.

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