Photographic committee
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  1. #1

    Default Photographic committee

    Hello all!

    I would like to petition everyone for assistance. I am a
    professor at a local collage here in Los Angeles. We are currently in
    the process of setting up a brand new Bachelors degree in Photography.
    We are planning on having our first students start in mid 2009
    although much preparation must be done before teh first student is
    enrolled.

    The reason I am petitioning the forum is that I am setting up a
    Professional Associate Committee [PAC] or a board of advisors. This
    is a group of active industry professionals that will meet originally
    to discuss the general direction of the program and give an
    opportunity to voice opinions on how upcoming assistance and future
    colleges should be trained and educated. These meeting are normally a
    lot of fun and your time commitment would be minimal. The initial
    meeting lasts about 4-5 hours and dinner and gift bags are supplied
    for your time. After the initial meeting if you're would like to
    remain involved in the program and an active adviser the meetings will
    be held bi-annually and normally last for about 3-4 hours.

    If you would like to be a part of this exciting new venture please let
    me know.

    This is a great opportunity to have an influence in the future of our
    industry.

    Ideal candidates would be
    #1 have a great body of work
    #2 No full time teachers
    #3 live in the Los Angeles area
    #4 have an opinion of the skills and education needed for a student
    exiting art schools

    Thank you for your time and consideration. Please let me know if you
    would like more information. There is no need to reply to the entire
    forum to be considered you can contact me directly through
    wspiderweb@charter.net.

    Jeff Weber
    Instructor of Photography

  2. #2
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    Default Feedback ...

    Good morning Jeff;

    When I am approached by high school students asking where to go to study photography, I first tell them to NOT go to college but rather to a full time photography school studying nothing but photography.

    With that said, if yours is a serious quest, than I recommend studying the set up for top notch photography schools like Brooks Institute (http://www.brooks.edu/degrees_ba.asp ) and Antonelli Institute of Art & Photography (http://www.antonelli.edu/ ). Look at the course of study and who the instructors are. One problem I have seen for many decades, with college grads having majored in photography, is a lack of working knowledge which would be attractive to a studio looking to hire. All I've ever talked to confirmed that their course of study was geared more towards nice amateur photography. So, if you want a succesful transition into making your course viable for turning out photographers who can step right in and work in a studio, then you need to study lots of succesful photography schools. You also need to gear it towards almost solely photography study and very little in the way of supercilious classes.

    I hope my comments will help make for a top knotch course of study in photography at your institution.
    Last edited by D._Craig_Flory; 05-16-2008 at 02:04 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you Craig

    your thoughts here are helpful and already part of the development. I am alumni of Brooks and I am including much of the ideals that the professional commercial schools have in the program. Although I am increasing the business side of the program to better prepare the students to be a photographer/businessman.

    Thank you again
    JEFF

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Weber View Post
    Although I am increasing the business side of the program to better prepare the students to be a photographer/businessman.

    Thank you again
    JEFF
    Hi Jeff,

    Showing them how NOT to end up being starving artists is so important. Look at how much emphasis PPA has today on the business side of photography!

    Having a well rounded education is important (imo). Taking them beyond just photography and showing them how to enjoy what they are passionate about but also how to make a living at it is very important.
    Don
    M.Photog., Cr., CPP, D.C.Ph.

    www.donchick.com

  5. #5
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    Default

    Tell them to take accounting, marketing, creative writing, and abnormal psychology.

    <g>

    -e

    (and even though I'm smiling, I'm only a tiny bit joking about the abnormal psych part!)
    Liz Vance, Cr. Photog, CPP
    oh baby photography
    bellies. babies. beautiful.
    www.ohbabyphoto.com

    A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there--even if you put them all end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity. - Robert Doisneau

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by D. Craig Flory View Post
    One problem I have seen for many decades, with college grads having majored in photography, is a lack of working knowledge which would be attractive to a studio looking to hire. All I've ever talked to confirmed that their course of study was geared more towards nice amateur photography.
    Hey Craig,

    Love ya, but have to disagree to a degree. That would be true with grads from some small schools, but there are some really great schools, other than the two you mentioned, putting out first rate shooters.

    My alma mater- RIT, Hallmark Institute (a 10 month school with some of the best facilities and instructors anywhere), there's a Ohio Institute of Commercial Photography (don't remember the exact name), The School of Visual Arts in NYC (Katrin Eismann started their graduate program bringing in some incredible instructors from the industry) and even some of the community colleges I've visited.
    The art school in Savannah, GA puts out incredible talent. The Art Institute in San Francisco pairs up their photo students with their art students as art directors for projects. Fantastic for commercial photographers, because that's real world.

    And yes, as you said, there are some bad ones doing exactly what you say. But many of us that teach around the country, marvel at what is coming out of the schools these days and how they now emphasize business education.
    It's very different than it was 10 years ago.

    It really comes down to the individual school. If the administration is committed to turning out prepared students, it'll happen.
    And they'll have a better foundation than just assisting. I believe you need a combination of both to have a good view of what's what.

    You can assist a mediocre photographer and learn bad photo habits and bad business practices.

    There is no one way, but I'd never discourage anyone from getting a good college education, even in photography.

    I got my 4 year degree, a BFA in photography from RIT and then assisted for 5 to 6 years for some really great (and some not so great) photographers here in NY.

    Anyway, dems my thoughts.

  7. #7
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    Default All good schools ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Reznicki View Post
    Hey Craig,

    Love ya, but have to disagree to a degree. That would be true with grads from some small schools, but there are some really great schools, other than the two you mentioned, putting out first rate shooters.

    Hi Jack;

    I totally agree with you about Rochester Institute of Technology and the others. I was alluding to not going to a school like Penn State for Photography. R.I.T. is the best for technical photography!

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by D. Craig Flory View Post
    I was alluding to not going to a school like Penn State for Photography. R.I.T. is the best for technical photography!
    Yeah, if it's a school that "sort" of has a photo program, then I agree, assisting would be a better way to learn then. The instructors in those schools just don't know the business side.

  9. #9

    Default

    Jeff,

    If you are talking about a 4 yr bachelor's program, I expect that there would be strong integration with some basic business course (accounting, marketing) as well as graphic design, and basic art course (like drawing or painting).

    My assistant has a couple of years of college, plus degree from Hallmark. It certainly has boosted her photographic and Photoshop skills. But if she had some basic understanding of painting, it would make the learning curve for Corell Painter so much less. If she understood marketing more, she'd have a better idea of what it takes to be successful as an independent studio owner. And if she had more experience in dealing with the public, she wouldn't be so shock at what they do and their behavior as clients.

    My daughter goes to the University of Michigan, School of Art & Design. One of the main reasons we love that place is she had to learn a variety of art forms she never had any experience with before. So today she can develop black&white film and print in a darkroom (old school, but she can talk to old timers), cast bronze, use a blow torch to work with metal, woodwork, as well as paint, draw, sculpt. Point is a photographic program should do the same so they get experience, somehow, of working with babies, working with commercial jobs, working with pets, working with seniors, working with families, working with business headshots, working volume events, working with fashion. And still have time for those business classes.

  10. #10
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    Default well....

    It's really important to separate the business part of the degree.....the inside stuff, accounting, database, workflow and the outside stuff, marketing, sales, customer service. Too many colleges barely touch on the outside stuff and that's the difference between success and another one bites the dust....the advantage of interning (with someone successful) is you have the opportunity learn a variety of work on the job. Until you have that screaming 2 yr old angel in front of you, you really don't know the joy of what we do. Combining an internship program with the degree might be a good idea....

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