• Prof. Development

Travel Photography Internships and Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

Robin Van Auken | Hands-on Heritage

By Robin Van Auken

Volunteer Forever - Travel Photography Internships

Updated for 2023-2024

Do you take great photos? Do you write amazing stories? Are your friends and family constantly complimenting your artwork and articles? Maybe it’s time to turn your hobby into a career. Hit the “digital streets” on a photography and journalism internship abroad.

If you have a camera and are willing to travel, you can use this opportunity to create a unique portfolio – one that no one else in the world has! An internship in the field also provides a way for you to evolve from being a hobbyist to being a professional.

You’ll learn to work as part of a team, researching and producing content with an end-goal, whether that’s with a PR agency in Bangkok, an events management company in Bali , or a conservation program in Africa. And if you think about it, your skill with the video camera could help save endangered species, such as lemurs and sea turtles in Madagascar.

If you want to get someone’s attention – and keep it – show them a gorgeous, colorful photograph or film. In 1911, newspaper editor  Tess Flanders  suggested that journalists and publicists “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Since then, the phrase has been quoted and misquoted, but it still rings true.

There are reasons why we need professionals in the visual arts field. People are  hardwired to respond to photographs and video . Your brain makes sense of the world primarily through vision, and 20 percent of your brain is used for that purpose. Along with vision comes the ability to see color, which increases recall of information by up to 82 percent! There are photography internships for high school students, volunteer opportunities for the practiced artist, journalism internships for college students, and more. One of the most exciting opportunities to check out is African Impact’s   photography volunteer projects , which places you on safaris near amazing animals such as elephants, lions, antelope, and more! This is an excellent opportunity to develop your skills in landscapes and animal portraiture and increase awareness of conservation.

If you’re currently a college or grad student, you’ll definitely want to check out the internships offered by  Intern Abroad HQ . From  media and communications in Greece  to  event management and PR in Bali , they offer cutting edge internships worldwide for students and young professionals who want to take their career to the next level.

If you’re a high school student or teen, consider a trip with Global Leadership Adventures. This organization includes a hands-on learning experience with professional photographers on its community service projects. You’ll attend lectures, take part in workshops, and shadow photographers while abroad. Opportunities with this organization take you to Cuba, Peru, or India.

While we love animals, it’s people where we really connect. As babies, the first things you focus on are the faces of your family. This is because the brain has a circuit for recognizing faces called the fusiform face area. In fact, you have  brain cells that react to celebrity faces , lighting up when you see photographs of your favorite movie star! When you join Global Nomadic in Argentina or Thailand, you’re working one-on-one with people in busy cities, where there are ample opportunities to capture candid photographs of people at work and play.

Or, if you’re into sunsets and beach scenes, consider an adventure internship with Frontier. These placements take you to Belize and Madagascar where you can work underwater or stay on dry land. Imagine the videos you’ll take of vividly-colored tropic fish at the world’s second-longest coral reef! This kind of internship combines video with blogging – vlogging – and will have you capturing content and producing videos of volunteers working on conservation projects that help to save threatened sea turtles and other fragile ocean life.

Whether you’re looking to be a volunteer photographer, journalism intern, or even fashion design and reporting intern, take a look at the volunteer programs and internship opportunities below and find a destination and subject that suits your interests – then challenge yourself with an adventure abroad!

Great Programs for Aspiring Travel Photographers

Intern abroad hq.

Volunteer Forever - Travel Photography Internships

With affordable international internships in Central America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe,  Intern Abroad HQ (the sister organization of International Volunteer HQ) focuses on experiential learning and community engagement. Interns gain hands-on experience while building relevant skills for a successful career – and whether you’re passionate about business, health, conservation, law, education, engineering, or economics, Intern Abroad HQ offers flexible, entry-level opportunities for personal and professional development year-round. Internships include a resume-boosting reflection program to build skills that are universally transferable across employment settings.

Marketing & Media Internship in Bali

Travel to the beautiful island of  Bali, Indonesia , where you will have the wonderful chance to work in marketing and media for an NGO, tourism agency or resort, a tech firm, a startup, or another local organization. Through intern abroad HQ, you will be able to pursue an internship that relates directly to your education and your career path. If you are interested in travel photography, this could be an amazing experience not only to hone your photography skills but also to learn about marketing and communications. A few activities that you may engage in during your internship include photography, creating graphics for social media, developing event materials, designing marketing proposals, and much more. Be sure to let Intern Abroad HQ know that you specifically are interested in photography so that your placement suits your goals! This program starts for eight weeks – learn more here!

Event Management & Public Relations Internship in Bali

Another wonderful placement that brings you to Bali places you in the field of  event management and public relations . This is another flexible and customizable internship with a wide variety of opportunities to learn and work with different entities in Bali based on your interests and your skillsets. A few activities that you may engage in during your internship include communications campaign brainstorming, managing social media, competitor analysis, communication strategies, and much more. If you are interested in photography as a career path, this is a great way to learn about event and festival photography, and how it ties into greater marketing and communications efforts. This program lasts a minimum of eight weeks –  learn more and apply here!

Media, Communications & Public Relations Internship in Greece

If you are passionate about environmental issues and you are interested in travel photography, then check out  this placement in Greece  with Intern Abroad HQ! Through this program, you will help with environmental education activities, including creating educational materials, posters, leaflets, animations, documentaries, and much more. You will work with an NGO to assist with all areas of their media, communications, and public relations activities. Through this internship, you will have the chance to focus in on your interests and skills in photography to make a real difference in protecting the wildlife and the natural habitats of the Aegean Sea. This program lasts a minimum of four weeks.  Learn more and apply here!

African Impact


African Impact is an award-winning, responsible travel organization that offers volunteer and internship opportunities in 7 countries across Africa. It was founded in 2004 and has since hosted over 35,000 volunteers. African Impact has over 20 different projects, ranging from teaching in Zambia to marine conservation in Zanzibar. The organization is known for its long-term objectives and measurable change. It is also recognized as a trusted specialist on volunteering and interning in Southern Africa. African Impact offers internships, as well as group, family, and high school projects. The minimum age requirement for their projects is 16, making African Impact a great option for teen and high school volunteers. 

Wildlife Photography Volunteer Project

Join the creative experts of African Impact and  gain practical experience photographing wildlife, people, and landscapes in the Greater Kruger Area of South Africa. This volunteer project supports wildlife initiatives in South Africa, while you work alongside professional photographers to develop and enhance your skills.

African Impact’s photography projects allow you to build a brilliant portfolio of photos that showcase your talent and increase awareness of conservation. You’ll gain experience in pre-visualization, production, and editing of photographs. You’ll also learn about South Africa’s animals, their behavior, habitats, and challenges while on this project, as well as its people. Photography is only one part of your work – you’ll also spend time editing the best of the photos you’ve taken and tweaked that award-winning picture.

You’ll stay at a spacious, thatched lodge just minutes from the world-famous Kruger National Park. Located on 18 hectares of land, the property is home to impala, warthog, bush pig, nyala, and a great diversity of birdlife. You can relax with other volunteers and staff, watching movies or playing board games at the lodge, and cool off in the large swimming pool. Spend weekends on a day or overnight trip to nearby attractions, including the world-famous Blyde River Canyon. The cost of the project varies depending on the length of stay . Learn more and sign up here!

Volunteering Solutions

Volunteering Solutions has many volunteer and teach abroad programs

Founded in 2007, Volunteering Solutions has hosted more than 17,000 volunteers to date. The organization is known for affordable, high-quality and impactful service projects, 

With 150+ projects across 27 countries, Volunteering Solutions has a variety of programs , including internships that will improve your photography skills. For instance, you can volunteer on the Sun Bear Conservation Project in Malaysia and use your photography to help with monitoring, data collection, and conservation efforts.

Below are two more internship abroad programs offered by Volunteering Solutions that will enhance your photography resume.

  • Note : Before you book a trip, be sure to check out Volunteering Solutions’ travel insurance. It’s only $12 per week.

Journalism Internship in Chiang Mai, Thailand

A perfect intern abroad program for media and journalism students, this project in Chiang Mai offers you a role in one of the following areas: 

  • Editorial 
  • Multimedia design
  • Print media designing

You’ll get to work in a cross-cultural environment and learn Thai as you improve your reporting and travel photography skills. Plus, Chiang Mai offers a ton of nature and cultural activities during free time. 

Fees start at just $1400 for 4 weeks ($2300 for 8 weeks). Click here to apply .

Wildlife and Environmental Protection in Greece

Make your way to the majestic Mediterranean and help restore the ecosystem of the region. As a conservation volunteer, you’ll put your photography skills to good use while monitoring wild cats on the Ionian Sea, mapping seaweed, looking after monk seals, and more.

While not a standard photography internship, this volunteer project will enable you to use your talent for environmental initiatives. This will certainly build your resume.

Fees start at just $1228 for 4 weeks ($1960 for 8 weeks). Click here to apply .

Projects Abroad

Volunteer Forever - Travel Photography Internships

Projects Abroad  was founded in 1992, and currently sends more than 10,000 travelers overseas every year. As a large and established organization, Projects Abroad volunteers and interns have the opportunity to assist with a very wide variety of programs including agriculture, teaching, sports, archaeology, and much more, with projects open to teens, gap year travelers, university students, and professionals. Projects Abroad works with more than 600 staff to support volunteers in 27 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the South Pacific.

Journalism Internship in Mongolia

The Journalism internship in Mongolia is a unique opportunity for journalism students to gain practical work experience, build their portfolios, and boost their journalism and marketing skills. You can choose from three specializations: print, radio, or television, and actively create content; the print and television specializations will definitely appeal to photographers!. The program runs throughout the year, and you can join for a minimum of 4 weeks. You’ll work with experienced journalists and have a supervisor to guide you. You’ll have the opportunity to pitch story ideas, conduct interviews, create and edit content, and learn from professionals. The internship is located in Ulaanbaatar and you’ll live with a host family during your stay. Use your free time to explore the city and the surrounding areas.

Journalism in Romania for Teens

Open to high school students aged 15 to 18 years old, this program brings you to  Bucharest, Romania to learn about what it takes to pursue a career in journalism. This two-week experience places you at “The Village” magazine, an English and Romanian language publication for expats and locals. A few assignments that you might take on include conducting interviews, writing articles, reviewing events, taking photos, and more. This program costs $3,605 for two weeks – learn more here!

The Intern Group

Volunteer Forever - Travel Photography Internships

The Intern Group  offers professional development placements for travelers throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Founded in 2011, this award-winning company has a mission to develop an innovative and culturally sensitive new generation ready to address the issues that affect the world today and tomorrow. It works with students and other individuals to develop customized internships with renowned NGOs and more than 1,000 leading employers globally. With more than 2,000 placements annually, the Intern Group selects only the top applicants from a field of 30,000. It’s been featured in Forbes, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and CNN. The organization provides assistance with visas, developmental workshops, career training, social and cultural events, quality housing, and in-country support.

Photojournalism internship in Madrid, Spain

Explore the world as a photojournalist on a  journalism and media internship in Madrid . Gain hands-on, professional experience and get your photography noticed in this industry, which is experiencing rapid growth and change. On this placement with the Intern Group, you can work for Guidepost, Madrid’s leading magazine focused on the large international community within the city. Take time to learn a new language, visit hidden gems within the city, and train with the best as you work alongside media industry professionals. While in Madrid, take day trips to museums, cinemas, and restaurants. Enjoy dinner and a Flamenco show, and attend an event at the Real Madrid Stadium. Make time to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Toledo, known for the medieval Arab, Jewish, and Christian monuments in its walled old city. This placement lasts six weeks to six months, with a program fee beginning at $4,558. Keep reading and apply here!

Television & Film Internship in Medellin, Colombia

Improve your practical skills and grow a network of international contacts as a  television and film intern in Medellin, Colombia . This opportunity with The Intern Group is an excellent way to break into this popular industry and open your eyes to a brand-new professional culture. You’ll be inspired to learn how your photographic work can be transformed into multimedia as you learn more about casting, production, writing, directing, prop management, and cinematography. Improve your Spanish-speaking skills while in Colombia, as you work behind the camera at a company like Telecinco, a production house in Medellin. Spend free time on a walking tour of the city, learning about the culture and history of this mesmerizing country. Enjoy a day trip to el Peñon de Guatape, a landmark rock formation in Colombia. Take in cinemas, museums, restaurants, and more. Fees for this placement start at $3,620 for six weeks. Click here to read more and apply!

International Fashion Internship in Hong Kong

If you’re interested in photographing fashion, check out this  international fashion internship in Hong Kong . As this industry changes, it needs people with initiative, passion, and a creative mind. The Intern Group can pair you with a company that lets you explore fantastic opportunities and develop your skills as you learn the ins and outs of this dynamic industry. Interns learn all aspects of fashion including design, merchandising, buying, showrooms, fashion week organizations, and fashion public relations. While in Hong Kong, you’ll spend a day in Macau, the “mini Las Vegas of Asia,” and take a tour of Lantau Island. Dine at The Peak, and enjoy a panoramic view of Hong Kong. You can stay four weeks or longer and program fees start at $4,919.  Read more and start your application today!

Art, Photography & Graphic Design Internship in London

Think outside the box and bring your innovative ideas and creativity with you when you travel abroad on an  art, photography, and graphic design internship in London . Sign up with the Intern Group and choose to work with magazines, fashion companies, or marketing firms that will jumpstart your innovative career. Learn creative styles from an international team and gain valuable experience that will let you stand out in this competitive industry. While in London, enjoy cultural events such as Afternoon Tea service, a cruise on the River Thames, and climb high in the London Eye Ferris Wheel. Spend the evening in the West End at the theater, grab a pint at a pub, or wander Piccadilly Circus. Program fees begin at $4,852 for six weeks, with stays up to six months. Learn more and apply here.

Global Leadership Adventures

Volunteer Forever - Travel Photography Internships

Global Leadership Adventures provides meaningful volunteer opportunities abroad to teens and high school students, including many photography volunteer opportunities. Its service-learning adventure methodology combines community service with adventure and hands-on learning, immersing young people in topics of social and global issues and teaching them personal leadership. Founded in 2004, Global Leadership Adventures sends thousands of travelers to 23 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America every year. Its five-point safety system ensures students’ safety and health and provides parents with peace of mind. With more than 2,000 references to the impact of its programs, Global Leadership Adventures is a trusted international organization, and its co-founder was even recognized by President Barack Obama for making a positive impact in Africa.

Volunteer in Cuba: A Culture in Focus

When you join Global Leadership Adventures in Cuba, you’ll  go on photo tours  in Havana, exploring hidden gems and reveling in the colorful street scenes. This program helps you develop skills as it places you in photography workshops and lectures, and gives you feedback on your snaps by local photographers. Learn how to take landscape photos and create work for a photo contest – a great way to get feedback for photography jobs abroad.

Beginning in 2015, travel restrictions for Americans were eased, and  Cuba is becoming an excellent destination  for travelers interested in gaining an immersive experience to learn about Cuban history, culture, and day-to-day life. At present, the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issues general licenses for 12 categories of travel to Cuba, including journalistic activity, educational activities, and support for the Cuban people.

While in Cuba, you’ll take part in a community service project, learning about restoration and social projects in Old Havana, where an art organization has transformed a struggling barrio into a People’s Art Gallery. You’ll also travel to the countryside and volunteer at a social enterprise that’s a part organic farm, part family-run restaurant. Don’t forget the adventure part of the placement! While in Cuba, you can take salsa dancing lessons, go snorkeling and play volleyball in the Cuban Keys, and go horseback riding. All cultural activities, lectures, and weekend excursions are included, as well as secondary medical and travel insurance. Lodging and meals are included as well, and you’ll stay at a safe, restored, locally-owned hotel in Havana with roommates. Share an ensuite bathroom and enjoy community meals. This placement lasts 10 days with a tuition of $3,999. Click here to sign up !

Volunteer in Peru: Service through the Lens

Refine your photography skills and storytelling techniques on a  volunteer adventure trip to Peru , and experience a thrilling trek to mystical Machu Picchu with Global Leadership Adventures. While in-country, you’ll be able to photograph the daily life of the indigenous Andean communities and participate in workshops with award-winning photojournalists. You’ll take day hikes to the Inca citadel in the Sacred Valley, surrounded by snow-capped mountaintops. Spend hours photographing the people in their colorful traditional garb, and interviewing them as they perform everyday tasks such as farming and weaving. One community service project you could partake in is creating a school yearbook, collaborating with your peers on taking portraits of students. There’s also a community development project that you can be a part of.

You’ll enjoy the hands-on learning aspect of this trip when you shadow professional photographers at work, tour a photography studio in Cusco, and take workshops. Your ongoing assignment is to continue refining your vision, learn how to use camera gear, and explore lighting and composition with your photos. At the end of the program, display your best work in an expo. Break a sweat during your adventure days, when you go on a hike from the Moray ruins to the while salt ponds of Maras. Enjoy off-road bike rides and a day hike to Machu Picchu, walking ancient pathways to this cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed in the 15th century, Machu Picchu was most likely an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472), according to archaeologists.

Recreational and cultural activities and excursions, as well as workshops and lectures, are included in the program fee. Secondary medical and travel insurance, lodging and meals also are included. You’ll stay at a community-built and operated hotel in the Sacred Valley with shared rooms and communal meals. Tuition begins at $3,899 for two weeks and $5,399 for three weeks. Click here to learn more and to register !

Volunteer in India: Capture Their Story

When you travel to India to  capture their story  with Global Leadership Adventures, you’ll immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of the spice markets, the rolling landscapes of the tea gardens, and the ancient Himalayan monasteries that echo the prayers of the Tibetan devotees. You’ll live in Dharamsala at the foot of the Himalayas, and your community service portion of the trip will place you as a volunteer at an underserved kindergarten to advocate for education.

Gain hands-on experience as you learn about photojournalism, ethics, and getting published by industry experts. You’ll visit rural and urban areas not frequented by tourists, capturing a unique view of India. Throughout your stay, you’ll develop your own body of creative and editorial work for a capstone project. While in Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama, visit the city’s spiritual sites. Learn how to dance Bollywood-style, and take an Indian cooking class. Tackle Hindu lessons to connect with its residents. Trek to Kareri village to meet the semi-nomadic Gaddi people, and view the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Wrap up the trip with a visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world!

Lodging is in the summer residence of the King of Kangra, located in the foothills above Dharamsala. You’ll share same-gender rooms with other volunteers and enjoy home-cooked meals. All educational materials, cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions are included. Students also receive secondary medical and travel insurance. The tuition begins at $3,699 for two weeks and $4,999 for three weeks. Learn more and sign up here!

Agape Volunteers

Volunteer Forever - Travel Photography Internships

Agape Volunteers is a registered UK charity that offers high-quality, low-cost travel experiences throughout Africa. This organization specializes in volunteering, tourism, and development work in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, and Maasai-land. For 10 years, AV has supported humanitarian efforts and environmental conservation – projects range from medical volunteering to teaching, to volunteering with wildlife, and program costs include registration and administration fees, as well as travel insurance, in total making Agape Volunteers the lowest-cost option if you want to volunteer in Africa.

Wildlife Encounter in South Africa

Grab your camera and travel to  South Africa for a wildlife encounter in the spectacular landscape of the Marakele National Park. This wildlife conservation project invites you to get up close and personal with some of Africa’s iconic Big Five, as well as its big cats! Combine your passion for photography with your love for wild animals in the Marataba section of the park, renowned for its natural beauty. Work side-by-side with naturalists who support endangered species, and gain hands-on experience as you contribute to the protection of lions, rhinos, elephants, leopards, cheetahs, buffalos, and hyenas. Your duties may have you monitoring game, patrolling fences, or even conducting invasive plant removal, restoring roads, removing the trash, and bush clearing. Other tasks include a major tracking project that has you checking and recording animal sightings with camera traps. Spend your Sundays relaxing or sign up for the optional microlight to observe and photograph the reserve from overhead. Duration and costs start from two weeks at £1,530.  Read more and sign up here.

Volunteer Forever - Travel Photography Internships

Frontier  provides inspirational internships, volunteering opportunities, and  gap year  placements in 60 countries worldwide. Since 1989, Frontier has partnered with NGOs to offer 400+ capacity-building programs that combine community development with conservation. Frontier’s origins are in scientific and conservation research, and it works in ecosystem protection to save endangered wildlife and build livelihoods for under-resourced communities.

Media & Journalism Internship in Madagascar

Define your journalistic career with a  media and journalism internship  in Madagascar. Work with Frontier’s NGO partner as a field journalist, integrating yourself in day-to-day reporting and documenting the work and cultural activities of volunteers and staff onsite at this remote location. Depending upon your skills and qualifications, your tasks will include:

  • Article production (written and online journalism)
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Graphic design
  • Blogging or vlogging

Madagascar is a dramatic country with forest landscapes and gorgeous coastlines, and is home to species found nowhere else on Earth! You’ll see lemurs, chameleons, and turtles, and immerse yourself in the Malagasy culture. Bring a laptop and camera/video camera with you to highlight projects taking place here, both through written articles and photography. You’ll also film and produce videos, highlighting interesting aspects of life on the project.

You’ll live on the idyllic beach camp of Ambalahonko on the island of Nosy Be alongside other Frontier volunteers and staff. Camp life is simple and fun, sleeping in communal, local-style dwellings, known as “bandas.” Bathing requires only a bucket of water and you’ll cook your meals over an open campfire. Volunteers run the day-to-day camp activities, taking turns to collect firewood, purify water, and perform other camp maintenance duties.

Spare time gives you opportunities to swim in waterfalls, play football and beach volleyball, and socialize around the campfire. Play board games and cards, or just relax in a camp hammock and stargaze. You can also sign up for scuba diving courses and take river rafting sojourns. Fees start at $2,595 for eight weeks.  Read more and register here !

Media & Journalism Internship in Belize

Spend a summer or longer on a  media and journalism internship  in the Caribbean with Frontier. Travel to Belize, the biodiversity hotspot of Latin America, where pristine subtropical forests are a refuge for exotic wildlife, and conceal ancient Mayan ruins. You’ll spend part of your time documenting the volunteers who help to conserve the world’s second-longest barrier reef and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – renowned for its spectacular snorkeling and diving. Immerse yourself in authentic Belizean culture at the beach camp on Caye Caulker, and gain professional journalism experience and references.

You’ll need to provide a resume/CV of your skills and qualifications for this placement and bring your own laptop and camera/video camera. You’ll spend your time interviewing and reporting on the activities of the volunteers and staff on the project. Duties include writing articles, taking photos, capturing video, and posting content on the internet.

You’ll live in a beach camp alongside other Frontier volunteers, at a research station with living space, toilet, shower facilities, and communal living and cooking areas. Camp life is unsophisticated but fun. You’ll sleep indoors on roll mats or hammocks. In your spare time, you’ll be able to swim and snorkel, play beach volleyball, watch the sunset, and spend your nights learning the constellations. On weekends, visit San Pedro, Caye Chapelor, and the wider area of Belize City. Scuba dive at the famous Blue Hole, learn to kitesurf, windsurf, and sail, or take sunset boat tours. Internship fees start at $2,595 for eight weeks. Learn more here !

Volunteer Forever - Travel Photography Internships

Since 2006, GoEco has offered affordable volunteer abroad programs and internships in over 45 countries throughout  Africa ,  Asia ,  Australasia ,  Central America ,  Europe , the  Middle East ,  North America , and  South America . With more than 170 different programs, GoEco is a great organization to check out if you’re looking for a variety of impactful trips to choose from, from  wildlife conservation  to  teaching English . GoEco was recently recognized as the  Top Volunteer Abroad Organization  from GoAbroad, Top Eco-Enthusiast by Greenmatch, and has been recommended by Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and more. As a volunteer, you will have 24-hour support from the GoEco team, from start to finish.

Greater Kruger Area Wildlife Photography and Conservation

Another wonderful adventure that you can embark on with GoEco brings you to  South Africa , where you will help with a program aimed toward raising awareness of conservation efforts and preserving the African environment. As a participant, you will help contribute to vital conservation efforts through creating a photographic database to be used as an educational tool and for animal identification. You will start with the three-day wildlife photography course, and can even take basic Zulu language lessons if you’d like. In the first four weeks of your stay in South Africa, you will learn how to improve your photography skills while working alongside professional photographers, take pictures of wildlife on game drives, learn to identify different types of plants and animals, assist with creating a photo database, raise awareness in the community about conservation, and much more. You also can choose to stay on the project for an additional two to four weeks. This program starts from $3,100 for four weeks, and you can sign up here .

Global Nomadic

Volunteer Forever - Travel Photography Internships

Founded in 2009,  Global Nomadic  has placed more than 10,000 people on meaningful volunteer programs, internships, TEFL courses, and research projects in 40 countries worldwide. This organization offers projects that range from environmental conservation and wildlife rehabilitation to human rights and social sustainability. Global Nomadic specializes in helping young professionals develop internships and research projects that enhance and further their careers. Check out their different summer photography internships and journalism internships.

Photography & Journalism Internship in Thailand

The creative arts industry is booming in Southeast Asia, and this  photography and journalism internship offers you an exciting place to launch your portfolio and even your career! Join Global Nomadic in Bangkok, Thailand with a leading PR agency that will give you valuable hands-on experience in a multicultural city. Ideal for journalism and media professionals, this is a serious internship that targets Asian creative markets and offers you additional advantages such as Thai language lessons, luxurious accommodations, access to exclusive business networking events, and more.

You’ll start with a one-week language course to prepare you for the phrases you’ll use during your placement, and for life in Thailand. Next, you’ll begin working on important skills for photojournalism internships. You’ll assist in the photo department, preparing photographic material for campaigns. You’ll select subjects and equipment, review photos that were taken, and edit pictures with Photoshop. You’ll also write professional articles, and be encouraged to write creatively. You’ll work in collaboration with the company’s sales team, getting to know the content production process, from customer acquisition to pitching ideas.

Upon arrival, you’ll be escorted to your high-standard accommodation, with its fitness center and a pool. Be prepared to live and work in a city that never sleeps! Bangkok is a huge metropolis where historic temples and buildings are juxtaposed next to modern Western-style architecture. There are endless opportunities for creating your photographic portfolio here. On weekends, travel out of the city for a relaxing day at the beach, or discover the rural areas north of Thailand. Duration is two months or longer and internship fees begin at $940.  Learn more and apply here !

Journalism & Photography Professional Placement in Argentina

Join a dynamic NGO in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to gain hands-on experience in communications and marketing. This  Global Nomadic internship  is perfect for art and journalism students who want to work in a community-based organization, researching, producing, filming, and editing videos and photographs.

Intermediate knowledge of Spanish is required for their journalism and photography internships, and lessons are available through Global Nomadic. You should also have previous experience and knowledge of video editing software and photography. Bring your own camera and laptop for editing, as well as enthusiasm and interest in the project. You’ll work around 20 hours per week as part of a team with your coordinator and fellow volunteers in the communication department. You’ll perform a variety of tasks, including:

  • Producing videos, conducting interviews, editing photographs, translating texts
  • Updating and maintaining a YouTube channel
  • Visiting all NGO projects to collect info and photos, and to create videos
  • Interviewing other volunteers to document experiences
  • Managing publications and references in digital media
  • Organizing meetings and get-togethers for other volunteers

Stay in a newly-built guesthouse where you’ll have access to the internet, a communal kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, library, and more. There are housekeeping services, and you’re close to local transportation. Explore Buenos Aires in your free time, sightseeing the exquisite architecture and local sights. Buenos Aires has an exciting and varied nightlife, a rich musical and arts scene, and world-renowned cuisine. Program fees start from $790 for two months, or $1,710 if you require accommodations. Read more here !

Launch an Adventurous Career

A career as a photojournalist is an exciting way to share your creative expression. You’ll travel to exotic destinations, meet diverse people, and learn a technically demanding profession. Photography is in demand because people are visual creatures with appetites for information. Photographers are needed in areas of portrait, commercial, scientific and industrial, aerial, and fine arts.

It can be a lucrative career when you consider that photographers work in nearly every industry, from aerospace product manufacturing to medical and diagnostic laboratories, from motion picture and video industries, to scientific research and development. These are the top-paying industries  for photographers today, with annual salaries topping at nearly $80,000!

Internships are an opportunity to engage in workshops and fieldwork, allowing you to explore the technical and creative aspects of photography in a studio or on location. Pick one today and launch your new career!

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Robin Van Auken · Writer

Robin is a researcher, writer, and a registered professional archaeologist, a skillset she uses every day as a cultural communication specialist with Hands-on Heritage . Her projects connect communities with an emphasis on interpretation and education and conserve cultural and environmental legacies.

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Top 5 Photography Schools and Programs

ASO Staff Writers

Contributing Writer

Learn about our editorial process .

ASO Rankings Team

Updated September 20, 2023

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Learning to Capture Art Through a Camera Lens

The world of professional photography is full of creativity, challenges and excitement. However, it is a very competitive business, and a number of successful photographers have gone to school to hone their talent, build their portfolio and learn the technical skills needed in the industry today. There are several degree options for those pursuing an education in the field of photography, and finding the right school can be a big job. Explore the different types of photography schools and what they have to offer, find out which type of degrees will be the best fit based on your location, needs, and special interests, and learn what jobs might be available to photography school graduates.

San Francisco has been home to many iconic artists and photographers, including the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and famous photographer Annie Leibovitz. Both attended the San Francisco Art Institute, which was founded in 1871, making it one of the oldest and most prestigious art schools in the country.

Many famous photographers started out as painters before making their name in photography, including iconic artists Edward Steichen, Man Ray, Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Annie Liebovitz and Cindy Sherman.

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) which was founded in 1877, consistently ranks as one of the top fine art schools in the U.S. and has been recognized as one of the top schools for photography internationally. The photography school at RISD has had some famous faculty members: Photographers Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind and Diane Arbus all taught in the photography department there.

Photography Schools and Programs

Professional photographers work as freelancers, contracted employees or as staff members. Many enjoy the flexibility of being self-employed as wedding and portrait photographers, or working for magazines and advertisers doing food, architecture, product or fashion photography. Other examples of career options include science, aerial, real estate photography, photo journalism, documentary or fine art. Some professional photographers go on to become teachers, studio managers, photo editors or art directors. Whatever career path they choose, photographers start out with raw talent, but must also have the technical skills to stay competitive in the industry. A firm grasp of lighting, a strong working knowledge of equipment and photo-editing software, business skills and good communication with clients and subjects are all key factors to success. There are many different types of photography schools located all over the U.S., and finding the right school will help you gain these skills as well as give you a leg up on the competition.

  • Art Schools: Most art schools are private and typically offer AAA (Associate in Applied Arts) degrees or BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degrees in photography, although some do offer graduate degrees, such as a MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in photography. The majority of the curriculum will be focused on photography, with the emphasis of these degrees varying from fine to commercial art, with students choosing an area of specialization. The advantage of choosing an art school for photography is the possibility of internships, making connections in the industry, having access to state of the art equipment and developing a dynamic portfolio.
  • Community Colleges: Some community colleges offer AAA (Associate of Applied Arts) or AAS (Associate of Applied Science) degrees in commercial photography, as well as certificate programs related to photography. These degrees focus primarily on commercial and digital photography, and are designed to get students working as professional photographers upon graduation and into entry-level positions. This can be a smart option for students wanting to turn their AAA degree in photography into a BFA degree by transferring to a four-year college, as some community college credits may be transferrable.
  • Four-Year Schools: University and four-year colleges are typically for students wanting to get a general education in fine art with an emphasis on photography. These schools typically offer BA or BFA degrees. Some photography students in this setting may choose to go beyond the four-year degree for graduate work, possibly earning a MFA in photography. Students will get to experience a more typical campus life at a university, as opposed to being in a smaller environment and in direct competition with others going for a more commercial degree, as in an art school setting.
  • Photography Schools: Some schools are dedicated only to photography. These type of schools rarely offer degrees, but will most likely offer a certificate of completion. These are small private schools typically structured like vocational schools, and are geared towards students wanting to work as professional photographers. They usually offer courses in a specialized area of photography such as weddings, portraits, fashion, advertising, travel, documentary, editorial and corporate photography. They may also offer fine art courses and various workshops for current and former students, or people looking to expand their photography and digital imaging skills.

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The Best Photography Schools and Colleges

The following colleges rank as the top five photography schools and colleges of 2021. Each school holds national or regional accreditation , and some also hold accreditation from photography or art-specific accreditation agencies. Accredited schools and programs meet rigorous third-party standards for education.

Relevant accrediting agencies for our ranking include:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE)

We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

#1 Top 5 Photography Schools and Programs

Brigham Young University-Provo

Brigham Young University-Provo, a private college, is located in Provo, Utah. The college's photography program provides students interested in a photography career with a world-class education. Students can benefit from the program's collaborative nature. Degree-seekers can also pursue research projects and other learning opportunities while enrolled.

Enrollees can pursue fully online learning or attend classes on campus. Students seeking academic and career guidance can benefit from the college's many resources, such as career services and academic advising.

Brigham Young University-Provo at a Glance:

Total Academic Programs: 310

Number of Online Programs: Data not available

Admission Rate: 67%

Graduation Rate: 78%

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 71%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: Data not available

Percent of Students Awarded Loans: 14%

Average Amount of Loans Awarded: $5,743

Average Price After Aid: Data not available

#2 Top 5 Photography Schools and Programs

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Champaign, IL
  • Online + Campus

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a public college based in Champaign, provides competitive educational opportunities to learners from all walks of life. The college's photography program provides students with transferrable skills and knowledge necessary for the photography field. Enrollees benefit from rigorous coursework and opportunities to collaborate with faculty through research and more.

Students can complete the photography program in person or online. Approximately 9% of the college's programs include online options. All degree-seekers can access institutional resources and receive personal and professional guidance.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at a Glance:

Total Academic Programs: 372

Number of Online Programs: 33

Admission Rate: 59%

Graduation Rate: 85%

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 64%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $15,442

Percent of Students Awarded Loans: 35%

Average Amount of Loans Awarded: $5,737

Average Price After Aid: $14,660

#3 Top 5 Photography Schools and Programs

State University of New York at New Paltz

  • New Paltz, NY

State University of New York at New Paltz is a New Paltz-based college supporting academic programs in dual modalities. Students seeking flexible study in photography will benefit from the college's photography program. Degree candidates complete rigorous coursework and collaborate with faculty.

Depending on their needs, students can complete the photography program in person or online. Enrollees can access numerous campus resources throughout their studies, ranging from academic advising to career services.

State University of New York at New Paltz at a Glance:

Total Academic Programs: 104

Admission Rate: 45%

Graduation Rate: 77%

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 82%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $9,513

Percent of Students Awarded Loans: 52%

Average Amount of Loans Awarded: $6,362

Average Price After Aid: $15,496

#4 Top 5 Photography Schools and Programs

Bennington College

  • Bennington, VT

Bennington College is a private college located in Bennington, Vermont. Students seeking robust study in the photography field will benefit from the college's photography program. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework, gaining a well-rounded education preparing them for the demands of the photography field.

Degree-seekers can complete the program on campus or online. Enrollees can access numerous campus resources throughout their studies, including academic advising and career services.

Bennington College at a Glance:

Total Academic Programs: 134

Admission Rate: 61%

Graduation Rate: 76%

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 96%

Percent of Students Awarded Loans: 50%

Average Amount of Loans Awarded: $6,184

#5 Top 5 Photography Schools and Programs

Rhode Island School of Design

  • Providence, RI

Rhode Island School of Design is a private college located in Providence. Its programs, such as the photography program, foster learning through a robust curriculum and supportive learning community in person and online. With a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, enrollees benefit from personalized study. Learners can pursue collaborative opportunities such as faculty-driven research projects.

With the college supporting in-person and online study, enrollees can complete their studies at their own pace. Degree-seekers benefit from access to campus resources, such as career services and academic advising.

Rhode Island School of Design at a Glance:

Total Academic Programs: 33

Admission Rate: 26%

Graduation Rate: 89%

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 48%

Percent of Students Awarded Loans: 34%

Average Amount of Loans Awarded: $5,954

Photography Schools and Programs Must-Have List


Choosing an accredited college is important. It comes into play especially when pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. An accredited school will adhere to the guidelines set forth by the accrediting body, financial aid may be easier for students to obtain based on the credentials, and it may be easier for students' credits to transfer to another institution. There isn't a specific accrediting organization for photography, but for art schools and university art programs, the NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art and Design) and the WSCUC (WASC Senior College and University Commission) are two to look out for.

State of the Art Equipment

Having state of the art equipment is very important when choosing a photography school. In order to work as a successful professional photographer, students must learn technical skills using the newest equipment available. This applies to both digital photography as well as traditional photography processes. Students should have access to modern lighting equipment, computers and darkrooms, all in excellent working order.

Part of a photography student's success is based on the teaching staff. Students should seek out photography schools and programs that are staffed by photographers and artists who are active in their field. Not only does this inspire students, but photography teachers should have a current working knowledge, connections in the photography and art community, a current portfolio and body of work, and be up on all the latest trends and technology.


Most photography schools offer students the opportunity to gain work experience while still in school, and an internship is an excellent way to do this. It provides students with a chance to gain work experience prior to graduation, make connections within the photography community, meet potential employers and help students gain confidence. Some internships may be paid, which provides students an opportunity to bring in some income while gaining experience in the real world, all while obtaining credits towards their degrees.

The end result of photography school will be a portfolio, which is a collection of your work that will show potential employers what your visual style and technical ability is. This is what will get your foot in the door, and it is important that the school you choose will help you build a cohesive body of work that reflects who you are as an artist, showcases your photographic talent and technical abilities, and sets you apart from other photographers.

Photography Degrees and Certificates

Figuring out what level of education in photography you want to pursue is the first step in finding the right school. Post-secondary schools can vary significantly on what they offer for photography degrees. Depending on the photography school, they may offer certificate programs, undergraduate and/or graduate programs. A certificate program can take anywhere from one to four years to complete. An AAA or AAS degree in photography, which typically takes two years to complete, will require about 65 credits, and will primarily focus on commercial photography. A four-year degree will result in a BA or a BFA, will usually require about 120 credits, and can have a commercial or fine art focus. A MFA will be about 60 additional credits and take at least another two years to complete. PhD programs are rare, but it is possible to pursue this degree in photography.

Photography Certificates

Some photography schools offer entry-level certification programs teaching the fundamentals of photography, while others offer specialized courses such as wedding, portraiture, photojournalism, travel photography, and digital imaging. These programs are designed for novices or working photographers looking to expand their skills. They take between one and two years to complete and are typically found at private art schools, community colleges, online, and in extended studies programs at universities. Programs vary in the amount of credits or units required. The following shows examples of typical courses that might be offered in a fundamentals of photography certification program.

  • Introduction to Photography: Introduces fundamentals of photography from both a technical and an artistic point of view. Students will learn basic camera functions and image composition while exploring their creativity and critical thinking.
  • Introduction to Lighting Techniques: Introduces students to lighting techniques using natural light and studio lighting, light temperature, filtration and lighting ratios using a variety of equipment and cameras.
  • History to Photography: Explores the history of photography from the nineteenth century to modern day, including the social, economic, political and cultural implications of photography. Students will become familiar with influential photographers in history as well as photographic processes and technology used throughout the years.

Photography Associate Degrees

An Associate degree (AAA or AAS) in photography mainly focuses on the commercial side of the photography business, and can typically be found at private art schools and community colleges. These programs are designed for students wanting to work as professional photographers as soon as possible, whether they be right out of high school, or older students seeking a career change. An average associate degree will take about two years to complete, requires about 65 credits, and depending on the school, may be transferable to a four-year college. Basic pre-requisite classes are required, but the majority of the curriculum will focus on the technical and business aspects of photography. Here are some examples of classes:

  • Digital Imaging I: An introduction to imaging software for creating and manipulating images. Students will learn the basics of digital image capture, processing, output and storage.
  • Professional Business Practices: An introduction to small business development and management for the professional photographer. Students will learn about marketing, accounting, copywriting, pricing and negotiating as it applies to professional photography.
  • Retail Photography: Students will learn portrait and wedding photography lighting techniques, marketing materials, presentation, pricing strategies and time management in retail photography.
  • Portfolio I: Students will begin to work on their portfolio, producing traditional and computer generated images for both physical and web-based portfolios. Students will also create a resume and explore various marketing materials for self-promotion in the photography field.

Photography Bachelor's Degrees

Bachelor degrees in photography will vary slightly depending on the institution. Typically, a BFA is offered at private art schools and BA degrees at universities. Both degrees are designed to prepare students to become professional photographers, and the focus depends on what the student wants to accomplish. With a BFA, students will complete a core curriculum, then choose their area of study, such as commercial, editorial, fine art or documentary photography along with electives. With a BA in photography, students will get a more general photography education, and will choose a minor degree. A bachelor degree takes about four years to complete, and requires about 120 credits.

  • English Composition: A core requirement class that teaches basic writing skills through reading, research and writing activities such as journaling and essays.
  • Visual Design: A core requirement class teaching basic design, layout, typography and color theory to communicate specific ideas. Explores aesthetic issues in professional photography.
  • Lighting Theory: An introduction to lighting techniques, color theory and the science behind artificial and natural light and how this is applied in photography.
  • Documentary Photography: This course examines the history and practice of documentary photography and allows student to work on their visual story telling skills, with the final project being a photo essay on current affairs, social issues, or everyday life.
  • Senior Portfolio: A continuation of portfolio development, students will work on a cohesive presentation of their current body of work. Physical and web-based portfolios as well as self-promotion materials will be produced, showcasing the student's vision and talent.

Photography Master's Degrees

Following a BFA or BA degree, an MFA (Master of Fine Art) in photography can be earned in about two-years, requiring an additional 60 credits. Students must apply and submit samples of their work in order to be accepted. These programs can be found at private art schools and universities. Depending on the school, the MFA may be an interdisciplinary degree or will focus only on the photographic arts. Typically, the curriculum will include core requirements and electives along with intensive photography courses, along with a thesis project, further developing the student's personal vision and technical skills. MFA photography students often take part in a MFA exhibition of their work upon graduation.

As a photographer, your portfolio is who you are. This is your personal vision, and this is what will get you hired. All the pieces in your portfolio need to have the “wow” factor... anything less does not belong in your portfolio. Melissa Wilson
  • Graduate Seminar: Graduate students will develop and execute a long-term project, which will be critiqued by others. Students will work at developing better articulation by speaking and writing about their projects and others' work.
  • Graduate Thesis: Graduate students are required to define and develop a photographic body of work supported by a written thesis, students will check in periodically with advisors to discuss progress, refinement of ideas and the students' personal vision.
  • Photographic History and Theory: An in-depth look at the history of photography and critical theory, with exploration and critique of visual culture.
  • The Portrait: Explores the social and political issues of portraiture from the nineteenth century to the present.

Photographer's Toolbox

In the world of photography, more than just raw talent is needed to be successful. The following is a list of some things to have in your toolbox to help you to shine as a student and become a successful professional photographer.

Ability to Multi-Task

Students are required to be working on several projects at once, and expected to juggle it all, and it's no different once they are out on their own. During a photoshoot, there is usually a lot of activity going on, with many details and variables to consider. There may be numerous people on the set, malfunctioning equipment and uncooperative light. Commercial photoshoots tend to be very fast paced, and can have strict time constraints, so it is very important to work on multi-tasking skills and develop the ability to pull all the variables together to get the results both the photographer and clients desire.

Good Communication Skills

Photographers are visual communicators, but in order to communicate effectively through images, they must be able to communicate in other ways. They must be able to give and receive instructions, criticism, and feedback. At times the photographer will be required to communicate to several people on the set, such as clients, stylists, assistants and the subject, and working conditions may be less than ideal. In order to get the job done well clear and effective communication is key.

Professional photographers absolutely must have a working knowledge of the latest technology and techniques in the field of photography. Ideally, students will have the opportunity to work with the newest technology and equipment, while also learning about photographic processes and equipment prior to the digital revolution. Having the right equipment-cameras, lighting equipment, props, and digital tools (mainly Photoshop and a good computer) will help you be successful in this very competitive field.

It is necessary to have both a web-based portfolio and a physical portfolio. With the latter, presentation is of upmost importance, in addition to having very strong images. Many photographers will have several portfolios tailored to what jobs they are going after. A portfolio is a work in progress, and should not contain outdated images, but dynamic, well-executed photographs showcasing the photographer's talent.

Work Experience

There are many opportunities for students to gain work experience while still in photography school. This may be the most valuable tool to have as a student getting ready to graduate, because it puts you one step ahead of the competition. An internship or working as an assistantto a photographer are both excellent opportunities for students, and can turn into jobs once the student has graduated. This type of experience will help build confidence in abilities and technical skills, give a real life view of different working environments, and is a good opportunity to build connections in the photographic community.

Photography Specializations

All photographers must have a basic set of skills, mainly a working knowledge of natural and artificial lighting and other technical abilities, from the camera to the dark room or computer. An eye for detail and composition, organization skills, flexibility, and trouble-shooting skills are also important to be successful. Students will learn and develop these basics skills while in photography school, but may be presented with opportunities to focus on and excel in more specialized areas of interest. Depending on the school, students can branch out and pursue a specialized area of photography based on their interest, passion, and talent. Some photography schools offer a general commercial photography education that encompasses many different genres of photography, while at other schools, students will choose an area of focus and the curriculum will be based on the area of specialization. Here are some examples of areas of specialization in photography:

  • Fashion Photography: Working on location or in a studio with models, clothes, and accessories and producing photos for advertising or fashion magazines.
  • Architectural: Taking photographs of interior and exterior structures for builders, real estate companies, magazines and other publications, which can often involve travel.
  • Weddings/Portraits: This is considered retail photography, and includes weddings, special events, pregnancy and birth photos, and senior and family portraits. Some retail photographers only do weddings or portraits, while others do it all.
  • Food/Product: Most of this photography is done in the studio or very controlled environments and is usually for advertising purposes, retail websites, or stock photography.
  • Documentary: Documentary photographers record historic events, social issues, and snippets everyday life. Documentary photographers often work as photojournalists or produce photographic essays or images for publications, providing a visual account of events, people and places.
  • Fine Art: Fine art photographers can work as commercial photographers, and vice versa, but most fine art photographers prefer to sell and exhibit their work to make a living. Their main focus is photography as art and personal expression.

After Photography School: What's Next

After photography school, some photographers will specialize in one particular thing, while others will cross over and work in several different genres of photography. A lot of newly graduated photographers will start out as assistants to other photographers to gain confidence and valuable work experience. The duties of an assistant vary, but equipment storage, maintenance, help with cameras and lighting while on photoshoots, computer work, and even running errands are typical. As a freelance photographer, you may need to rent studio space, travel to various locations on assignment or to photograph events, meet with clients, retouch and store photos, and invoice your work. Some photographers prefer to work as staff photographers and are considered employees with benefits. Catalogues, websites, magazines, and portrait studios may hire photographers on as staff. Some photographers eventually decide to teach photography, or take on non-shooting roles such as stylist, location scout, photo editor, art director or studio manager.

Photographer Salaries & Job Growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports photographers' annual salaries for 2020 as follows:

Source: BLS

The five top-paying states for photographers as of 2020 were:

  • District of Columbia: $91,720
  • New York: $73,110
  • Massachusetts: $66,120
  • Minnesota: $60,630
  • California: $60,150

The BLS projects employment for photographers to decline by 4% from 2019-2029, contrasted with the projected 4% increase in employment across all occupations.

  • As of 2019, there were 133,500 photography jobs in the U.S.
  • The photography field should lose 4,800 jobs from 2019-2029.

Related Degrees: Salaries & Job Growth

Fashion designer.

Work in retail, theater, manufacturing, and the fashion industry, designing clothing, accessories, and footwear Median earnings, 2020: $75,810 Outlook: -4% from 2019-2029 Education required/available: Bachelor's degree

Graphic Designer

Creates visual concepts by hand or computer using composition, images, typography, space, and color for packaging, publications, websites, and ads Median earnings, 2020: $53,380 Outlook: -4% from 2019-2029 Education required/available: Bachelor's degree

Interior Designer

Designs interiors of rooms and buildings based on function, aesthetics, and clients' needs Median earnings, 2020: $57,060 Outlook: -5% from 2019-2029 Education required/available: Bachelor's degree

Fine Artist

Create art using various medium and techniques for the purpose of sale and exhibition Median earnings, 2020: $49,120 Outlook: Little to no change from 2019-2029 Education required/available: Formal education recommended


News reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts working for various media outlets delivering local, national, and international news and events Median earnings, 2020: $49,300 Outlook: -11% from 2019-2029 Education required/available: Bachelor's degree

Photography Degrees and Career Resources

American society of media photographers, photographer's forum, professional photographers of america, scholarships.com.

Accredited Schools Online strives to use reputable sources, such as government entities and primary research. We avoid using tertiary references. Learn more about our content standards and processes by reading About Us .

  • https://www.bennington.edu/
  • https://designdept.byu.edu/
  • https://www.risd.edu/
  • https://www.newpaltz.edu/fpa/
  • https://www.bls.gov/oes/home.htm
  • https://www.bls.gov/ooh/
  • https://art.illinois.edu/

Recommended Reading

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10 Summer Photography Classes For High School Students

Do you love to see aesthetic photos on your social media accounts? Right from these adorable photographs to the natural wallpapers you use on your phones, every angle has so much to say! What if you can turn the passion of photography into your profession? This is your time to utilize your summer break and enhance your photography skills by opting for summer photography classes. Photography is one of the booming career options where you can indulge in wedding photography, wildlife shots, or street art photography. 

If you are willing to discover the do’s and don’ts for capturing shots, it is crucial to acquire knowledge and learn from industry experts. Photography summer classes offer lively sessions, hands-on experience, and education on photography software too. Moreover, you get to utilize your summers and build a great portfolio for future career and job opportunities. In this article, you will find interesting and worthy photography classes across the country to unleash your creativity in an absolute manner.

Interesting summer photography classes to help you capture and click

With summer photography classes, you get to learn about the basic tips and techniques to elevate your photography skills. Such classes also enable you to participate in photography competitions in high school. The below-mentioned summer photography classes are a perfect way to elevate your skills, decode the technology, and familiarize yourself with the equipment.

1. TISCH Summer High School Photography and Imaging Program

TISCH Summer High School Photography Program is a combination where you can learn how to handle the camera and go into digital imaging. The summer camp focuses on empowering you to learn the necessary software skills and outdoor photography. It is a four-week camp that addresses your vision and voice to capture the best shots.

Additionally, you are exposed to different camera models along with their usage in the industry. The class includes private training, exposure to the studio, group discussions, and digital printing sessions. Along with this, you can connect with industry professionals, indulge in portrait photography, and visit different places for the shoot.

2. NYFA Photography Summer Camp

NYFA offers an interesting photography summer camp opportunity to learn about photography in an intensive manner. It is a 4-week class where you are exposed to different aspects of photography in an elaborate manner. You also get to learn from professional photographers about digital photos, editing, and refining

The summer camp is a blend of software and hardware learning as it provides knowledge on different software too. You are constantly inspired to think of unique ideas and understand the subject as a great career option too. Various equipment are used to teach the essence of light and shadows. The summer camp also includes field trips for practical learning.

3. PHOTOUNO Photography Summer Camp

PhotoUNO Photography Summer Camp is designed to unleash the creativity in your photography skills. It is a 5-day summer camp that includes private classes, outdoor sessions, and connecting with industry professionals. You get to learn the operations of a camera and how to get done with the basic functions of the equipment.

Additionally, you are certain to acquire skills in setting the aperture and shutter speed. These features allow you to practice night photography and set the motion of pictures. The camp also teaches lighting, exposure, focus control, and manual mode options. Since it includes field trips, you can also capture perspectives of nature and people around you.

4. Creative Photography Workshops

It can be confusing to fully understand just the camera with so many buttons, flashes, and lenses. Creative Photography Workshops organizes summer photography camps where you can learn everything from zero to a hundred! Yes, it teaches you the usage of buttons, adjusting the lens, focus control, lighting, and motion control.

Here, you are taught to use the camera to tell your individual vision through pictures. The sessions introduce you to basic principles and awareness of the equipment. It also includes class and outdoor sessions. The camp accustoms you to handling the camera and using natural light through practical learning opportunities.

5. Photo Camp

Here is a great opportunity for you to enroll in a Photo Camp organized by National Geographic. This unique photo camp during summers is the one that helps you know the world and its emerging issues. Moreover, you get an opportunity to connect with the photographers of National Geographic and learn the skills of creativity.

The photo camp teaches you the basics of photography along with angle setting, natural lighting, and telling stories through photos. It is more about capturing perspectives and letting your pictures speak an elaborate tale. Along with private classes, it also includes field trips to surrounding areas.

6. PhotoSprouts Summer Photography Camp

PhotoSprouts is the right photography summer camp if you do not have any equipment handy. They are excellent at teaching photography skills and also offer cameras and other equipment needed for the class. It helps you explore photography, creativity, storytelling through photos, and in-depth knowledge about capturing perspectives.

It is a 5-day photography camp which is a combination of classroom sessions and outdoor trips. You also get exposure to Adobe Lightroom and other tricks for clicking pictures. Along with this, you can network with other students, discover new ideas, handle the lenses, and learn the basics of memory cards and printing photos.

7. The Art Shack

The Art Shack offers an interesting photography summer program that teaches you everything from beginning to end. It includes the basics of photography where you learn about the camera, lens, holding the equipment, and various aspects of it. The intensive program also includes connecting with experts and going outdoors for practical learning.

The camp just does not end here. You also get to learn about lighting, color combinations, and how natural light plays an important role in photography. It exposes you to creativity and allows you to tell stories through pictures. Moreover, The Art Shack also provides discounts if more than 2 members of the family join the camp.

8. SOCAPA Photo Summer Camp

SOCAPA Institute is one of the top-rated options for choosing photography summer camps. It arranges various one, two, and three-week-long photography camps to make you accustomed to the click-and-capture mode. The camp focuses on imparting practical knowledge along with essential software for editing.

The camp focuses on teaching Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop to help you learn to master photo editing. You also get an opportunity to create your online portfolio which is further helpful for career as well as scholarships. Along with this, most camps organize outdoor tours to enhance photography skills wherein you can learn from the experts.

9. PERSPECTIVES Photo School

As the name suggests, photography skills here are directly linked with the perspectives of students. You are inspired to think outside the box, capture the essence of nature, and present your perspective with it. Various photography programs offer private lessons and masterclasses for improving skills.

Additionally, the program is designed to provide knowledge on capturing elements and understanding pictures through creativity. You also get an opportunity to head out in nature and click pictures. As you connect with other students and work in a collaborative environment, you are likely to learn and have fun simultaneously.

10. Youth Photography Program

If you are looking for an interesting photography program for free, this one’s for you. The Youth Photography Program is a well-designed photography camp to help you explore various aspects of capturing pictures. It is a three-week program held at the White House Visitor Center. 

This elaborate program takes you through various stages of photography including camera knowledge, angle, shadow, and photo editing. It includes visits to many places along with national parks in the area. After learning and clicking pictures, you might get an opportunity to have your pictures displayed in the White House Visitor Center.

Wrapping Up

Photography classes during summer are perfect to fuel your enthusiasm for capturing nature, streets, and people. With these classes, you get an opportunity to connect with renowned photographers and valued faculty members of different schools.

It truly allows you to be creative, learn about the importance of photography as a career option, and network with like-minded students. As you learn photography skills and take your best shots, you can also go for film-making summer camps to impart this knowledge here.

photography jobs for high school students

Sananda Bhattacharya, Chief Editor of TheHighSchooler, is dedicated to enhancing operations and growth. With degrees in Literature and Asian Studies from Presidency University, Kolkata, she leverages her educational and innovative background to shape TheHighSchooler into a pivotal resource hub. Providing valuable insights, practical activities, and guidance on school life, graduation, scholarships, and more, Sananda’s leadership enriches the journey of high school students.

Explore a plethora of invaluable resources and insights tailored for high schoolers at TheHighSchooler, under the guidance of Sananda Bhattacharya’s expertise. You can follow her on Linkedin

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School Photographer skills for your resume and career

A school photographer's toolkit is not complete without a solid understanding of customer service and photography. You'll need to be able to operate camera equipment, assemble and disassemble photography studios, and use Adobe Photoshop to edit images. You'll also need to have the physical ability to lift and move up to 30 lbs of equipment. Working with kids of all ages, from pre-k to high school, requires strong communication and patience.

Below we've compiled a list of the most critical school photographer skills. We ranked the top skills for school photographers based on the percentage of resumes they appeared on. For example, 39.4% of school photographer resumes contained customer service as a skill. Continue reading to find out what skills a school photographer needs to be successful in the workplace.

15 school photographer skills for your resume and career

1. customer service.

Customer service is the act of providing a positive experience for customers. School photographers use customer service by interacting with parents and school staff to ensure satisfaction. They handle paperwork, collect payments, and provide photography services while maintaining a positive attitude. They also resolve issues and troubleshoot problems to guarantee a smooth experience. For example, a school photographer might travel to schools to take photos, set up and tear down equipment, and handle customer service duties.

  • Motivated customer service representative with over 3 years retail experience in a fast paced environment.
  • Guaranteed customer satisfaction handling large volume of photography, resolving issues with good time management and customer service skills.
  • Shutterfly Jobs (21)
  • Jostens Jobs (19)

Kids are children. School photographers use kids in various ways, such as assisting them with posing and getting them prepared for picture day, taking photos of them, and setting up equipment at schools. They also communicate with school principals and staff to coordinate photography sessions, including graduations and other events.

  • Worked with kids from kindergarten through high school, with a variety of skills and abilities.
  • Assist photographer with posing kids and getting them well groomed and ready for picture day.

3. Camera Equipment

Camera equipment refers to the tools and devices used to capture photographs. School photographers use camera equipment to set up professional studio setups and capture student portraits. They assemble and operate school portrait and class photo studios, including ID card printers and full lighting and camera equipment. They also collect payments and picture orders.

  • Assemble and operate school portrait and class photo studio set, including ID card printer and full lighting and camera equipment.
  • Set up an array of camera equipment while utilizing a DSLR camera to capture student portraits.

4. High-Quality Images

High-quality images are photos that are clear, detailed, and visually appealing. School photographers use these images by capturing them in a variety of settings, such as during events, activities, and daily routines. They then use these photos for both print and online distribution, such as in yearbooks, flyers, and social media.

  • Photographed high-quality images for both print and Internet distribution.

5. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a popular photo editing software. School photographers use it to edit and touch up portraits, ready photos for publication, and promote student participation on social media. They also use it to retouch and lay out images for advertising purposes.

  • Edit portraits using Adobe Photoshop.
  • Offer a range of post-production and image editing with Adobe PhotoShop and LightRoom.

6. Photographic Equipment

Photographic equipment refers to cameras and other tools used for taking pictures. School photographers set up and utilize photographic equipment to capture images of students, including cameras, lighting, and other equipment. They also use computer systems to process and print the photos.

  • Set up and utilized photographic equipment and computer systems.
  • Travel to high schools in District, Set up photographic equipment and registration table.

K-12 refers to schools that serve students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. School photographers use K-12 to photograph students and teachers at various schools. They take photos of kids in their classrooms, during school activities, and during special events like graduation.

  • Photograph students (K-12) at various schools on Maine.
  • Worked with K-12 in school taking photos.

8. School Administration

School administration refers to the management and leadership of a school. School photographers use school administration by maintaining professional relationships, coordinating photograph schedules, and engaging them for photography services. They also ensure a great picture day experience by interacting with school administration, parents, and helpers.

  • Maintained professional relationship with school administration.
  • Ensured a great picture day experience with professional, enthusiastic interactions with the students, school administration, parents and helpers.

9. Transport Equipment

Transport equipment refers to tools and machines used to move goods or materials. School photographers use transport equipment in various ways, including setting up a studio environment and capturing high-quality portraits. They also maintain and transport equipment safely between schools, following company guidelines.

  • Transport equipment to create a studio environment.
  • Maintain and transport equipment in a safe manner between schools according to company guidelines.

10. Student Helpers

Student helpers are individuals who assist with tasks and duties. School photographers use student helpers by providing clear instructions and expectations for them to ensure a positive work flow and/or to resolve issues. They also provide clear Picture Day direction and expectations for student helpers.

  • Provided clear instructions and expectations for school staff and student helpers to ensure a positive work flow and/or to resolve issues.
  • Provided clear Picture Day direction and expectations for parents, school personnel and student helpers.

11. Photo Shoots

Photo shoots are a series of photographs taken in a specific location. School photographers use them to capture images of students and faculty. They travel to different schools, set up equipment and props, and organize photo shoots according to assigned deadlines. For example, they may work with multiple team members to complete a photo shoot within a specific time frame.

  • Traveled to various schools throughout Ohio and set up equipment and props for photo shoots.
  • Worked with multiple team members to complete a photo shoot within assigned deadlines.

Pre-K is a preschool education program for children aged 3-5. School photographers use Pre-K to photograph students, teachers, and staff. They travel to local schools to capture yearbook, ID, and spring portrait photos. They work with children of all ages, from Pre-K to 12th grade, and set up mobile studios to adhere to specific posing guidelines. They also take school photos of students from Pre-K through 12th grade.

  • Traveled to local schools and photographed students Pre-K through Eighth Grade, teachers and staff for yearbook, IDs and spring portraits
  • Position entails traveling to various schools, Pre-K through High School to accomplish the taking of annual School Portraits.

13. Quality Photographs

Quality photographs are images that accurately represent a subject or moment. School photographers use quality photographs by driving to schools, taking photos of students and staff, and printing school IDs. They also provide high-quality photographs for marketing purposes, attend training sessions, and communicate with management to improve their skills.

  • Drive to/from schools in the area, take quality photographs of students and staff, print school IDs.
  • Travel to schools with a team to take quality photographs of students and staff.

14. Studio Equipment

Studio equipment refers to the tools and machinery used in photography studios. School photographers use studio equipment in various ways. They set up backgrounds, lights, and other studio equipment for photo shoots. They also maintain and test studio equipment, like cameras and lighting, and use it to take photographs of students.

  • Set up backgrounds, lights, and other studio equipment in a neat, timely fashion.
  • Maintained studio equipment with knowledge of studio lighting and DSLR Camera adjustments.
  • Operated DSLR cameras and photography equipment.
  • Trained to learn all types of digital cameras from the small point and shoots to the larger more advanced DSLR cameras.

What skills help School Photographers find jobs?

Tell us what job you are looking for, we’ll show you what skills employers want. Get Started

photography jobs for high school students

List of school photographer skills to add to your resume

School Photographer Skills

The most important skills for a school photographer resume and required skills for a school photographer to have include:

  • Customer Service
  • Camera Equipment
  • High-Quality Images
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Photographic Equipment
  • School Administration
  • Transport Equipment
  • Student Helpers
  • Photo Shoots
  • Quality Photographs
  • Studio Equipment
  • Display Set-Up
  • Maintenance Tasks
  • Computer System
  • Graphic Design
  • Computer Programs
  • Private Schools
  • Digital Photography

Updated February 16, 2024

Editorial Staff

The Zippia Research Team has spent countless hours reviewing resumes, job postings, and government data to determine what goes into getting a job in each phase of life. Professional writers and data scientists comprise the Zippia Research Team.

School Photographer Related Skills

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School Photographer Related Careers

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School Photographer Related Jobs

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Cap & Gown - MHS Class of 1964


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    School, all teachers, fast cars, "parties", hunting and fishing. Gripes: School, some people (especially crabby girls), Ideal Mate: Suppressed desire: Run a speed shop, be a hermit and live in the woods and be a beach bum. Wocsomonian - " Cap & Gown " February 7, 1964.