Thursday, July 30, 2009

What You Need to Do to Teach Photography

I was recently sent this article, and I found it interesting enough (and accurate enough) to post:

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What You Need to Do to Teach Photography

It’s not a career that most people would choose to do, but there are some who are more passionate about teaching the art to others than practicing it themselves. And to do this, they need to be skilled in two disciplines, the one they hope to teach, and in teaching itself. This makes teaching photography a more challenging job than just practicing it and making money out of it, so if you think you’re up to the task, here’s what you need to do to be qualified to teach photography:

• Learn: While some institutions require a doctoral degree to allow you to teach, others are ok with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts or Photography. You need to have been a good student with good grades. Besides this, importance is given to the amount of experience you have, in both teaching and proving yourself as a reputable photographer.
• Do: The more impressive your personal portfolio is, the more likely you are to gain a position at one of the top art and photography schools. If you’ve proven yourself as an experienced and talented photographer who is naturally creative and skilled, you may be considered worthy enough to mould young minds into becoming some of the best photographers in the business.
• Apply: You need to be able to apply the knowledge you have about photography into valuable lessons for your students. It’s no use of being exceptionally brilliant, yet not being able to teach others what you know. Most professors are brain-heavy, but when it comes to application of their knowledge in the classroom, they’re reduced to the status of mere knuckleheads.
• Perform: The true meaning of being a teacher is to make your students experience and imbibe the passion you feel for the subject. It’s a job that must be undertaken with conviction and enthusiasm than one that is performed as a matter of duty. It’s hard to sustain enthusiasm for a job as the years go by, but good teachers find ways to keep themselves and their craft from becoming stale.

Photography is not a subject that most people wish to learn by going to college and spending two or four years of their lives for the process. Those who are naturally talented are always on the lookout for positions as interns with established photographers, career opportunities that offer them scope for advancement and gigs of their own in the future. So if you’re keen on teaching photography and are unable to secure a position at a reputable institution for some reason or the other, you can use your credentials and qualifications as a photographer to teach willing students who work for as well as learn from you.

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of photography colleges. Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:


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