Photography and education

A few weeks ago my brother in law received his highers results (Scottish A levels) via email at about 1am in the morning.

Now he looking to take the next step in his education and this got me thinking about photography degree courses.


I graduated from my photography degree over 10 years ago, having just missed out on a free higher education by 12 months. Back then University fees were greeted with distain but very little rioting. After all, we were only looking at spending and extra £1000 a year which in retrospect was a fair amount to pay.

Next year with fees rising by up to 300% maybe we’ll see a change in what courses students (and their parents) are investing in.


This summer saw over 5000 students graduated from degree courses in the UK with the term photography or photo imaging in the title.

That’s 5000 kids, 10 years my junior, who basically want my job.


Am I worried?


Not really, out of the 30+ students on my photography course less than 10% today are what you might call ‘full time photographers’.

I have a feeling that universities are still churning out ill equipped, business ignorant, ‘photo artists’.

That’s fine with me but there’s only so many galleries in Cork street and art grants are few and far between these days

Photography education is a funny ‘ol game but I can honestly say that my real photography education only really began after I left university.

My advice if you want to pursue a career in photography then don’t waste your time with formal education. There’s plenty of great courses worth investing in and if you’d like to know more then drop me an email.


If you interested there’s an article I wrote a while ago titled An open question to the photography educators of Britain and for a bit more insight into my photography education background you should read Formal Photographic Qualifications


On a more cheery note here’s our picture of the week send in from Ruby! There’s a free photo shoot and 12×8 print voucher for Memory Gate Photography on the way to you now Ruby.


Win a free photo shoot and 12×8 print by sending in your cute baby or crazy kids photos!

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