First of all, let’s start by saying that you should always study photography, developing yourself, finding out about different artists etc. I just mean, don’t go to school for it. Having studied photography myself, here are some reasons why I feel like you shouldn’t study photography.
1. It’s not like becoming a doctor.
I would never go to the hospital knowing I would get helped by a doctor who learnt everything on his own. But I don’t think anyone cares whether an amazing photographer actually got his master for Photography. Even though art school is great for contacts and experience, for photography you simply don’t need a diploma to be able to work. Many photography jobs only require experience and a very nice portfolio.
2. Experience is learning.
While studying photography, I found out that what I was doing I kind of knew already, or that I could find it out on my own. There were new things of course. But when I was learning, I felt like they were just solutions to a problem I hadn’t faced yet. What I love about photography is that I am learning while doing it. The mistakes I made on my own have helped me so much and have motivated me to find out how to take better photos all the time.
3. You could use your money better.
I was lucky enough that my parents helped me paying my photography study, because alone, I would have never been able to. But beside this, for my study I needed a new laptop, a camera with preferences that fit the study and a harddisk of 1TB (which in that time, was A LOT). Right now I don’t study photography. I just shoot around and only buy the things I need for what I want to do. So I’d say, keep on practicing and save the money for whatever you need later.
4. Allowing yourself to create your own style.
Actually, becoming inspired or learning about different styles isn’t that difficult anymore. You are very lucky to be in a time with Instagram and Youtube which makes it really easy to learn or to get inspired. Besides, the fact to find it out on your own will allow you to create your own style and more important, to stay inspired. You will soon enough know what you like, what inspires you and what you are good at. These things will make you you. Which I think in photography is super important.
5. Everything you learn at school, you could do at home.
With everything, I mean everything. I have never felt that what they showed me at school I could not do alone. Even with subjects like developing your film or how to put the lights, these kind of things you will learn eventually on the way. Like I just said, living in a time with internet is actually the best reason to find it out yourself. Any question you will have has probably already been asked and like this you will learn on your own pace. I actually can’t think of a better private school than that.
6. School is school.
School is school and there is something boring about it. It’s the thing on your To-Do-List and I feel like photography doesn’t deserve to feel that way. I understand it seems perfect since you will study your hobby, but it will end up being the other way around. Your hobby will feel like school. To succeed becoming a photographer you’ll need to work hard and to have a lot of patience and passion. It is not 4 years of studying the same your classmates do and then you’ll have the job. It’s something you will have to want so much that you wouldn’t care to learn or read about it. It’s something you will have to enjoy instead.