While anyone can buy a camera, creating memorable, clear poignant images is a skill, one that requires a little aptitude and a little training. Fortunately, there are a number of schools that offer top-notch training for photojournalists online and offline. Online courses have the benefits of no commuting time, not having to lug your camera equipment to and from class and, in many cases, being able to do your coursework at a time that fits around your family, job and civic responsibilities. Bricks and mortar courses offer more structure and motivation as well as the opportunity to learn from the other students as well as the teacher.
Where to look for Photojournalism courses
If you’re searching for a good photojournalism course, one that will help you get started on an exciting newspaper, magazine or freelance career, we suggest you begin with the following resources:
1. New York Institute of Photography Photojournalism course. This is a 150-hour, four-unit course of study that you can complete at your own pace in a period of up to 24 months with no deadlines or other time limits. The syllabus includes the history of photojournalism, photography and photojournalism genres, professional tips and techniques, tips from the trenches, getting the story in photographs and extreme photography. Each student is assigned a “mentor,” someone who is already working as a professional photographer and who can help you get the most out of the course. There is also a student forum for sharing ideas and challenges among students.
Benefits of this course include a risk-free, 14-day trial period, where your tuition is fully-refundable if you decide the course is not right for you. This school also has flexible payment options, including a monthly payment option.
2. The Arts Institute — photography course. This renowned San Francisco arts school offers both an online photography program and a classroom program. The online course covers such topics as digital photography, color management, studio photography, location photography, the business of photography and the digital darkroom.
3. Colorado State University – Global Campus. If you are looking for a degree program in photojournalism, then the Colorado State University global campus program in photojournalism may be just what you are seeking. The course is offered 100 percent online and is completely accredited. You go at your own pace and earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication at the end of the course. In addition to basic journalism, coursework includes course on leadership, mass communication, social media and project management.
Bricks and Mortar Photography Schools
1. California Institute of Arts — Photography School. Founded in 1961, the California Institute of Arts is home to one of the world’s top photography programs. This accredited institution, located in Valencia, California, offers Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degree programs in photojournalism and other disciplines within photography. This school is considered by many to be one of the top five photography schools in the world.
2. New York University — Photography degree program. New York City’s New York University offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with emphasis in photojournalism. This four-year program “is designed to teach students how to see, think and take creative risks while finding their own voice.”
3. Ryerson University — Photography degree program. This Toronto university also offers a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography, with coursework available in photojournalism. This course, which combines theory and practical studies, is one of the finest in North America.
4. Speos Photographic Institute. Not all of the best photography courses are located in North America. One of the finest, and one of the newest, is located in Paris. Speos, founded in 1985, is accredited by the French government and offers a one-year, English language master class in photojournalism. The school is considered among the top five photography schools in the world by three, different ranking sites.
Free online courses for Photojournalism
1. Documentary Photography and Photojournalism: Still Images of a World in Motion. This free online course, offered by prestigious MIT in Cambridge, MA is a great resource for budding photojournalists. The four-week, 12-hour course requires a basic knowledge of photography and covers such topics as what photographs do and do not mean to us, doing documentary work and telling stories with photographs
2. Poynter’s News University. This Florida-based journalism school offers several free online courses that may be of interest to photojournalists just learning their trade. Among these are “The Best of Photojournalism: What Makes a Winner?” , “The Language of the Image“and “Freedom of Information,” a look at the First Amendment, the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and copyright laws around the globe.
3. The Open University. This virtual learning center features a full range of free courses. Among those of interest to photojournalists are “Reading Visual Images” and the “Audiovisual Production Learning Club.”
As you can see from this list, there is no “one type” of photojournalism course. The school or course you choose depends on your individual vision, you current skill level, your ability to travel and your budget.