[Picture] The Difference Between Those With An Art Degree And Those Without

I Just ran across and funny picture on 9gag.com. I didn't go to school for photography so it's easy for me to pick on the system. What do you guys think? Is paying to go to school for 4 years to learn photography worth it?

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Patrick Hall's picture

ha and not to mention the overhand grip!

The overhand grip is the worst!

Nyaj Timautes Yaaj's picture

yes i agree

Kenn Tam's picture

When shooting with heavier systems/lens combinations where a vertical grip isn't present, I often use an overhand grip.  It's easier on my fragile asian wrist.  :)

Pre-college I absolutely hated the education system and didn't see any need for me to get a liberal arts education. Now with graduation a semester away, I can't thank myself enough for sticking through it all. Words cannot express how important the experience has been for me, and has shaped my art in ways I couldn't even imagine. School isn't right for everyone, it's pretty damn tough on me, but studying the humanities, art history, and the world around me has taught me more than any graphic design or photography class has.

Basically an inquisitive nature and self reflection are all you need to grow as an artist from what I've seen, school is just one method of unlocking those things.

I don't regret going to College at all, it was the time of my life. But I learned 99.9% of everything I use for my career once I got out of school and into the real world. 

I think you went to the wrong school.

Same. Only after I got out of college did it hit me how little I know about my profession and what I'm doing.

James Robertson's picture

One's right...

the other's acute.

Michael's picture

Why isn't she falling over? Or do they teach anti-gravity in art school...

Levy Moroshan's picture

You're better off investing the school money in some gear and working your butt off.  I've got assistants that went to a very well known photography schools and still put out mediocre work.  It's more about determination and persistence.  BTW - I have a degree in biology and never went to photography school.  And I still shoot big name clients. :)

Unless you're going to free-lance, you pretty much need to have a degree to get any job paying more than $10/hour (in the US). Do you need to go to art school to shoot weddings or senior portraits? No way.

Not commenting on the main issue, that picture is misleading. If the girl were 5 inches shorter, she wouldn't have to bend like that to get that angle, would she? I could take the same picture of a professional photographer who just happens to have the right angle standing at a 90-degree right angle snapping a shot and write "tourist," couldn't I? 

The point should be that the art student is adjusting to find the right angle for the shot she wants. This picture is making it seem like the angle of her body is what is relevant. It should be showing what she is doing in relationship to the subject, not focusing on the angle of the photographer's body. A shorter subject might have to stand on a stool to get that same angle.  

David J. Orozco's picture

haha It's a joke Paul.

Ah, I must have missed it. In my experience, jokes are supposed to be funny. ;)

Cody Wayne Bridges's picture

I never went to school nor do I ever feel the need to. What can a school teach you that the internet cant these days, as well as networking and talking with other photographers. Most photographers that we admire never went to school for it as well. In fact most of them got a degree in something completely different. School can teach you the tech aspect, but you cant teach art! You ether have the eye for it, or you don't. Photography skills are gained by experience and situations we learn from. I even have graduates coming up and asking me for help as if they never learned a thing. So in all you can put yourself in debt paying off school loans and spending hours on end at school, or you can put yourself in debt investing in your craft and spending countless hours putting yourself out there and making yourself noticed! The End.

Geoff Lister's picture

I'm at a major research university and have taken exactly one fine art course. I will never take another (the school's focus is on the cutting edge/performance art, it's weird).

I'm plodding through a business degree part-time now, working at the school paper full-time. I have learned more about business and management working for the paper.

To be fair, I never would have pushed myself into sports photography and photoj without going to school, never would have learned design or how to work a 60 hour week, go to class, study and keep up on a Friday night.

Without University, I'd recommend it to anyone, but not in photography. Go get a poli-sci degree.

Anto Vega's picture

Not so smart post.

Talent can not be taught and some people here can not recognize a joke..

Brian's picture

I went to school for Image Arts (New Media - there was about a year of photography) and I find this hilarious.

Relzlife Ho-Shing's picture

first of all, they're both standing on their feet... FAIL!!!!!!!

James Robertson's picture

Guys, stop analyzing the shit out of the photo, you're starting to sound like art majors...

Faisal Ahmed's picture

Going school or college is like a holding a hand of your father.

Once you get in practical life you on your own.
How many of people here implement those which u learn from school or college ? 

Scott Mains's picture

To be fair. I am doing my second year of Photography at university. While most of the first year was technical practice this second year is about the marketing and the business side of things. I believe the real difference between those with a degree and those without is the "Terms & Conditions" of a contract. To many amateurs still thinking they can get casual work and risk losing a lot without having the paperwork to support it. 

I took courses like this in college as well but now looking back it seems like I could have just asked a photographer that I was working for to look at his contract and that would have been sufficient. I have no doubt that your courses are better than mine though, as I didn't actually go to school for photography. 

David J. Orozco's picture

Personally I don't think it is. Your better off finding a mentor or photographer you admire and pay him to assist him for 4 months and I would be willing to bet that if photography is your passion, and you have a talent for it that you will learn more assisting than anything. Otherwise your better off not "investing the money in good gear" but saving it and buy an old 35mm film camera, a 50mm lens, and film and shoot for at least a year with only that to learn basics and also patience. Disclaimer: I am not an "old film fart" just a 20 year old who loves film.

I started to earn my "bread and butter" from photography after 3 years past since I took my first camera in my hands. But in my country to earn serious money (above average) you must to have "a paper" (Diploma of Higher Education). Unless, of course, you are wedding photographer who takes "sweet" pictures... So, right now I am final year photography student in one of the most respectable art academy in my country and after all those three years I learned almost nothing that I didn't known already. But since you (in most cases) can't fight against "system", you do what you have to do...

People get so caught up in their own pompousity and self-worth when it comes to their oh-so-damn-important 'degrees' that they forget that it's supposed to be about *education* and not *qualification*.  You go to college to learn, not just for a silly little hipster piece of paper to waggle over your head to proclaim your brilliance to the masses of have-not's.

I happen to work in a somewhat rare & highly desirable IT niche -people are always asking me about what qualification will get them in to the industry and in to a job like mine. I have to keep telling people that it's not about qualifications - it's about ability and experience, and if you have to work for free as an apprentice or intern to get the experience, then THAT'S where you should be spending your precious four years.

Who would you chose to shoot your wedding? A first time shooter with a piece of paper and no real experience, or a first time shooter with 4 years of experience as a photographers assistant? 

BLK PXLS's picture

I went to school for graphic design.I wish I had saved that money and bought  all the gear I needed using books and magazines on my own.  You cant teach creativity. Thats why we have a lot of people with "creative"degrees who cant find jobs because their portfolio is filled with copies of the current trend. They are not artists, they just went to art school. 

BLK PXLS's picture

If you look close the "Art graduate" is shooting on auto mode.... LOL

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