Photographers use a combination of cameras, films, lenses, filters and lighting, as well as their own creativity, to produce images. There are opportunities for photographers in the corporate world (scientific, industrial or commercial photographers), in journalism and in small business commercial endeavors. The differences between opportunities lie in the subject matter, work environment, pay, necessary equipment, design knowledge and overall variety of creative abilities.

Employment Outlook

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) collects data about the state’s workforce. These data include information about the number of people employed in the field, job outlook, and wage information. The California EDD predicts for the period 2008-2018 the number of openings for photographers to increase modestly and art directors to increase by over 6%. For more detailed information about positions in photography and related disciplines, check the California Occupational Guide for the occupations listed below:

  • Photographers (SOC 27-4021)
  • Art Directors (SOC 27-1011)

Necessary Education and Skills for Career Success
Close-up of a female photographer with camera

The basic skills involved in photography are the same for digital and conventional imaging—a solid understanding of camera operation, lighting and composition. Other skills, such as darkroom procedures, are specific to conventional photography. Experience with computers is recommended for digital and conventional photography alike; computers and digital imaging software are widely used for altering and manipulating all kinds of photographs.

General Info About the Program

De Anza College offers short- through long-term certificate and degree programs to help individuals prepare for employment or further education in photography. With state-of-the-art traditional and digital lab facilities, and experienced faculty, De Anza College provides an excellent education in photography fundamentals and theory. The programs also give students the opportunity to gain exposure to related artistic disciplines.

Photographic Arts and Professional Photography Certificate and Degree Programs

Certificate of Achievement

Associate Degrees (A.A.)

For more information contact the Photography Department:
Creative Arts Division
De Anza A4
(408) 864-8832

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