17 Best Photography Schools to Attend in 2021

By Tata Rossi 15 days ago, Photography Tips

These photography schools around the world can help you improve your skills and gain new ones. Most schools offer post-graduate diplomas, which makes them especially helpful for those who are looking for a job.

Nowadays, many schools focus on different degrees and areas of expertise. In this review, you will find out more about the best places to learn the art of photography and find like-minded people.

Top 17 Photo Schools in the World

Photography schools provide you with an understanding of new techniques and practices. Thanks to them, you will learn how to create a powerful photography portfolio. When choosing a school, focus on your needs. While some institutions have a wide range of courses, others focus on narrow niches.

If you want to gain advanced photography skills, opt for colleges for photography that will help you find a unique approach. The photography style you develop will significantly affect your future income.

1. New York Institute Of Photography (NYIP)

new york institute of photography

Location: New York City

Courses offered: Complete Course in Professional Photography, Digital Photography: Photoshop for Photographers, Marketing for Photographers, and Video Making & Storytelling and Fundamentals of Digital Photography.

The school for photography doesn't have any degree programs. Instead, the New York Institute of Photography offers online multidisciplinary courses and accredited certification programs. Since the main goal of NYIP is to help novice photographers, they offer courses for different budgets. After purchasing a course, you will get 18-month online access to its materials.

NYIP has developed a course that will teach you how to make money as a photographer. This course is great for those who have completed basic photography training. You can find a wide range of creative courses here, from wedding photography to graphic design.

2. Rhode Island School of Design

risd photography school

Location: New York City

Courses offered: Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in digital photography, video, and multimedia production.

RISD is a photography university that offers a four-year BFA and a two-year MFA in photography. The course starts with the basics of editing and film development. Then, students study advanced digital photography, printing, and video editing techniques.

RISD focuses on are the social, cultural, and historical context. They tell students how to correctly understand an image and determine the message artists aimed to convey. There are 30 undergraduate and 15 graduate students in their classes who share a common workspace.

Unlike other schools, RISD does not focus on commercial photography. They offer internships, thus allowing students to meet potential clients and increase their contact base.

3. School of the Art Institute of Chicago

school of the art institute of chicago

Location: New York City

Courses offered: Design, Classic photography.

SAIC has a school for photography with a program that covers the history of photography, analysis, and assessment of current trends. Their classes are conducted by practicing photographers. They teach the theory of various styles and offer students to work on a common project in groups.

The program offers basic knowledge of photography and conceptual thinking. More advanced photographers can work on self-directed projects in pairs with a mentor from the university. The MFA program is more complex since it includes a critical writing course. Students need to give two public lectures about their projects.

4. Ontario College of Art and Design University

ontario college of art and design university

Location: Canada

Courses offered: Fine Art, Design, Advertising.

OCAD U is the best photography school in Canada that has a color and black&white darkroom. The undergraduate program focuses on fine-art photography. During the first year, students study art history, color, and drawing fundamentals. Besides, they can take courses on sculpture, animation, etc.

The remaining three years are dedicated to various photography practices, history, and conceptual development. The university provides a guide to creating a portfolio that meets the main admission requirements.

5. Yale School of Art

yale school of art

Location: Connecticut

Courses offered: Design, Photography, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Film Making.

Yale University is one of the best educational institutions in the world. Students learn how to use various photography media, such as non-silver processes. Their works are thoroughly reviewed every week.

The college offers only a master's program. If you are interested in a bachelor's degree, you should get in only at Yale. With a master's degree, you have a great chance of finding a prestigious job as a photographer. Yale University uses a unique approach to education, students are always engaged in a critical dialogue.

The photography course lasts two years. Only 10 students are admitted per year. Students master black and white photography, color photography, various photo retouching levels, and digital image production.

6. Parsons School of Design

parsons school of design

Location: New York City

Courses offered: Classic photography.

This school for photography offers both BFA and MFA photography courses. During the course, students develop aesthetic and technical skills using analog and digital media. The courses also focus on photography, videos, installations, and design.

Parsons has an integrative curriculum. The students take part in industry partnerships and can study abroad. They spend time at the artistic hub and conduct field research throughout the city. Photographers can start internships to improve their skills when working in non-profit, commercial organizations, and government agencies.

Teachers deliver tips on how to succeed in photography, create and implement various ideas. Parsons is considered to be one of the top photography colleges in New York.

7. Goldsmiths University Of London

goldsmiths university photography school

Location: London, UK

Courses offered: MA Photography and Urban Cultures, MA Photography: The Image and Electronic Arts.

When studying at Goldsmiths University, students can choose from 18 academic departments, including Arts, Humanities, Social Science, and others. Goldsmiths is one of the top five universities for Art and Design, Communication, and Media Studies according to the QS rankings.

The university offers a Master's degree course in Photography and Urban Cultures. The main goal of the course is to demonstrate the relationship between visual representation and urban theory. Students study the practical and theoretical aspects of photography.

8. London Institute of Photography

london institute of photography

Location: London, UK

Courses offered: Professional photography course.

This photography university offers advanced photography courses in London. The training program consists of 10 modules. You can study full-time and part-time. Practicing photographers share their tips with students. At the end of the program, students have to create a website and prepare a portfolio to showcase their photography style and approach.

The LIoP digital photography course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn photography from scratch or improve existing skills. These professionals offer only relevant tips that help students keep up with the latest industry trends.

9. Royal College of Art

royal college of art photography school

Location: London, UK

Courses offered: MA photography program.

If you are planning to study the Art of Photography in London, we recommend considering The Royal College of Art (RCA). It offers various Arts and Design postgraduate courses to students around the world.

The main course focuses on the art of photography. Students need to create a photographic work and evaluate it critically. They will also learn how to write about still images by using their knowledge about the theories of art, representation, and culture.

10. Paris College of Art

paris college of art photography school

Location: Paris

Courses offered: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography.

Paris College of Art was founded by Parsons School of Design in association with the American University of Paris. This is one of the best colleges for photography that provide free online photography courses. Moreover, they have affordable prices for offline education.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program includes courses on manual techniques and an artistic vision. Since the PCA encourages interdisciplinary research, students can specialize in multiple fields at a time. You can start a photography course immediately or join a general foundation year program. The full program takes 4 years to complete.

11. Spéos

speos photography school

Location: Paris and London

Courses offered: Studio Photography and CGI, Sports and Action photography, Photojournalism, and Fashion Photography.

Unlike the previously mentioned universities and schools, Spéos doesn't have degree programs. At the end of the course, students get diplomas from France’s National Commission for Professional Certification. The university has campuses in Paris and London.

It has courses in English and French. Spéos offers two 5-month programs to choose from. You can either take a general professional photography course or a field-specific one. They also have an advanced specialized program in photojournalism, fashion photography, and sports photography.

Spéos has partnered with multiple worldwide organizations, including Magnum. The school was founded over 30 years ago. It is accredited by the French government.

12. Vevey Vocational Education Center

vevey vocational education center photography school

Location: Switzerland

Courses offered: Design and photography, Business photography.

The Vevey Vocational Education Center is a photography university in Switzerland that has three separate faculties. Students can choose between the vocational school apprentice program, the applied arts full-time program, or the school of professional maturity. The school of applied arts offers courses on photography and design. The course on design focuses on visual communication and photography. The program lasts from 2 to 4 years and includes an internship. You will learn how to shoot photos and create a photography business plan to make money.

The Vevey Vocational Education Center has received the International Photographic Award, a grant for photography projects or initiatives. Students gain access to an extensive library of electronic and print media. The school also offers courses for those who want to work in photographic studios, laboratories, or sales departments.

13. Instituto Europeo Di Design (IED)

ied photography school

Location: Rome, Italy, Madrid, and Spain

Courses offered: Visual Communications BA and MA courses.

Istituto Europeo di Design is a European Design Institute also known as IED. It offers courses in Design, Fashion, Visual Communication, and Management. Students can choose a course in one of 4 languages. IED has campuses in 11 cities, including Milan, Barcelona, Cagliari, Florence, etc.

The School of Visual Arts offers a photography course and has one of the best educational programs in Italy.

The IED collaborates with several academic institutions. Its postgraduate diplomas are accredited by partner institutions. The university program is based on course credits (CF).

14. Tokyo Zokei University

tokyo zokei photography school

Location: Tokyo

Courses offered: Photography Now On: Documentation, Art, and Sociality, Study Documentary Photography, Creative Photography.

Tokyo Zokei University is the best solution for those who want to learn photography and improve their skills. They offer courses on Art and Design.

“Zokei” means “formative design” in Japanese. Graduates have a solid knowledge of photography and design. Students focus on documentary and creative photography. Besides, the teachers tell students how to identify the relationship between the modern world and photography. Students also attend workshops, learn more about archiving, etc.

The courses focus on photography as a visual expression. It allows students to explore their environment while focusing on social problems.

15. Light and Life Academy

light and life academy photography school

Location: Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India

Courses offered: Professional Photography and Travel and Nature Photography along with customized courses.

The Light and Life Academy differs from other similar institutions. It has a well-structured program and combines classroom and corridor studies, theory, and practical education. The school focuses on developing students' vision based on their inner world. The Light and Life Academy is the first professional photography school in India.

16. Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication (SACAC)

sacac photography school

Location: New Delhi, India

Courses offered: 2-month Foundation course in Photography, 16-month PG Diploma in Professional Photography.

SACAC offers several photography-focused programs to help students master their craft. Each course contains theoretical information. Besides, students can practice various genres of photography, including journalism, documentary, editorial, fashion, and advertising. Upon graduation, students can build a career as photographers.

17. Pixel Institute of Photography

pixel institute of photography

Location: New Delhi, India

Courses offered: Advanced Photography, Professional Photography, Commercial Advertising Photography, Fashion, E-commerce, Wedding.

Pixel Institute of Photography is one of the best photography schools. The photographers and experts explore and interpret the world of photography together with their students. The Institute offers a wide range of courses. Students gain technical and theoretical knowledge that helps them keep up with the latest trends.

The institute offers two-month wedding photography classes. You can also take courses on other photography genres and receive a certificate at the end of the course.

Besides, you can choose a four-month advanced photography course to learn more about the art and its interaction with the environment. Another option is a professional 1-year training program focused on studio and street photography, food styling, and processing.

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