What simple qualifications are worth acquiring?

Are there any photographic qualifications worth acquiring?

I recently looked at photography classes, many of which seem to be aimed at beginners or a completely prohibitive (by anyone) full time degree worth £ 20,000.

Looking forward to part-time study, maybe distance learning, I'm not a beginner so my main reason for looking is to get a recognized qualification - which leads to a career switch to photography.

Just for the record - I'm 29 and live near Derby in the UK.


In the UK, I would look at the BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography) certification. Like other large national professional associations (PPA in the USA, PPoC in Canada), full membership is judged and requires both photographic competence and sound / ethical business practices. Training is available when you want it. Individual certifications in a genre are based on a juried work in this genre and are by no means automatic.

BIPP membership and certification mean more to publications and licensing agencies than to the general public. However, the plaque on the wall, the sticker in the window, or the logo on the website can also be an important differentiator if you are aiming for an upscale clientele. Typically, as a member of one of these national organizations, the photographer has a number of other advantages, such as: B. Legal and insurance resources, breaks in rental fees, easy access to "professionals only" services, and great networking opportunities.

Address the question from this point:

which leads to a career change in photography

A photography career isn't really about photography, that's exactly what you produce. A career is either getting a job from someone else. In this case, you must have knowledge of self-marketing, networking, and luck, or you must start your own business. Good luck to be successful.

None of this is possible without good photography skills, but where you get those skills from is largely irrelevant and measuring the cost effectiveness of the learning process is highly subjective.

Edit, wanted to add about a degree: when you go to college to get a degree, you have the opportunity to hang out with a group of people and make friends who will be your cohorts. This is why the "noble" universities are so expensive, because you meet a more influential class of people. Without that opportunity, a degree isn't worth that much on paper, especially an arts degree, which used to be what kids did when they didn't have any other skills or interests (though I'm a bit mean here, I have to admit).

Another change: if you had to invest $ 20,000 in a photo business, what would be the biggest profit? Premises for six months / year, a huge bunch of marketing, wages for up to a year, a load of equipment, or a degree?

I know you are in the UK but you mentioned the potential for distance learning.

I personally watched this course as a couple of my friends rave about. The institute is located in Australia but can do everything through an online course.


It's pretty cheap (at least by Australian standards) so I wanted to check it out and think about it.

Good luck!

I don't think anyone should hire or develop a preference for it because the photographer has a degree / certificate, should do their job for them and the greatest certificate would be experience.

You have at least 2 areas that you need to be knowledgeable about. Running a small business with all that it entails and learning the craft of photography.

A good photography course will walk you through the different areas you need to be familiar with, but it won't make you a businessman. Also, keep in mind that 75% of your time in business is spent on activities other than what you are supposed to be doing in business.

I would look for courses in both areas, you are looking for the scope and quality of the teaching not just a certificate.

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our website, to show you personalized content and targeted ads, to analyze our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from.

By continuing, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies and affirm you're at least 16 years old or have consent from a parent or guardian.

You can read details in our Cookie policy and Privacy policy.