Society & Culture & Entertainment Photography

Do You Need to Go to School to Land an Internship in Photography?

Is school necessary? If you're interested in photography like I am, the first question you usually ask yourself is what ways can I make a career out of Photography.
After some research most common answers are a job.
In order to get your foot in the door there is an alternative, which is a photography internship.
I believe landing an internship in the photography field is the best way to gain experience and make connection.
The next step is to figure out what is required in order to land an internship in photography.
Most people ask me whether or not you need to go to school in order to do so.
From my personal experience the answer is NO, you do not need a formal education to get an internship in photography.
Rules? Now depending on where you live, there are different rules & laws for internships that create barriers to entry.
This is an indirect result of employers who abuse labour laws such as free wage and exploitation of interns for the purpose of profit.
Yet wherever you live whether its Canada, U.
S or Europe they might have different names for 'internships' but they usually mean the same thing, which is 'working to gain experience'.
I suggest you research the labour laws and conditions of internships in your city, state or country to make sure you know your rights and are within the law when approaching opportunities.
Paths to Internships When it comes to internships; especially in arts such as photography there are many ways to get in the door.
Here is a list I have compiled from the least to most effective ways to go about landing an internship in photography.
Least effective: Applying for internships through media sources such as the Internet, newspaper jobs ads or asking friends or family (word of mouth).
(Most internships are unadvertised) Some what effective: Applying for internships through your school whether it's a trade school, college or university.
(Too much competition) Most effective: Networking with other photographers, building rapport with HR/recruiters on a first name basis, researching companies and having a strategic approach.
(What I call "creating opportunity") Yes, going to school is a mediocre way of landing an internship in the field of photography, but by no means is it the best approach.
There are some companies that ONLY hire through local colleges and universities, but don't be discouraged.
There are plenty of ways to work around this such as networking, changing the criteria from 'internships' to 'volunteering' and many others.
Remember the main purpose is to gain experience in your field and sometimes it's the unconventional ways that get you the best results.
So good luck with your search in the exciting field of photography and I hope this was much help.

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