|photo by evan johnson|
There’s always an eyebrow raised when you tell people you earned your degree online, but there are some times when an online education is more advantageous than enrolling in a regular college. You get to balance work and study, you can earn as you learn, you don’t have to commute to school everyday, and you can set your own study schedule. While photography is a discipline that’s best learned hands-on, there are times when you’re forced to take an online course in the hope of furthering your career. You can make the whole experience worthwhile if you’re careful about your school choice. Here’s what you must look for when selecting an online course:
- The right credentials: Any school you choose must be accredited, as must the degree you’re opting for. Make sure you check out the credentials of the institution before you send any money – ask around, browse the Internet, contact the school itself – just make sure that your time and money are not wasted.
- Challenging assignments: Try and get your hands on the course curriculum before you enroll, and make sure it includes challenging assignments that test your skill and mettle. It’s not just enough that you pass your course, you need to come out with a full-fledged experience in photography and all its affiliated disciplines.
- Hands-on training: Online courses are not known for their practical side, but photography is an that is mastered only with continuous practice. And practice comes only with practical lessons. So look for a school near you because you need easy access during the hands-on training sessions.
- The specialty you’re interested in: You may want to focus on one area of photography, so choose a school that offers comprehensive instruction in the specialization of your choice.
- Enough free time for yourself: You need to make time to practice what you’ve learned, so ensure that your course does not focus too much on theoretical details that are really not necessary and that you have enough time on your hands to practice the skills you’ve learned. It takes years and years of experience to become a great photographer and there’s no harm in getting a head start while you’re at school. Digital cameras have made it cost effective to use a trial-and-error method to refine your skills and pictures, so use them to your advantage.
This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, she invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.