Five reasons why you should become a commercial photographer
Since we gained the ability to capture still images, photography has been both a business and an art. As a commercial photographer, you walk the line between both worlds, making visual art and sending it out into the business world. It’s a practical job, where you create art you can get paid for, getting rid of the old question of how an artist can earn money.
Centennial College can turn you into a professional photographer with its own two-year photography program. In this diploma program, you learn more than just the tools of the trade. You learn about both the business and the art of photography, how to succeed in the industry while capturing the best of the world in still-life format. Here’s why you want a career in the industry, and how we make it happen.
1. There are jobs to be had
Commercial photography specifically means creating visuals for advertising and marketing in fields as diverse as fashion, food and products. Essentially, every bit of still-life media needs visuals, and as a commercial photographer, you’d be the one creating those visuals.
2. You’ll learn about current industry experts and trends
During the program, you’ll look at the history of photography, and study the works of big names like Irving Penn, learning what made them accomplished. At the same time, you’ll also learn about current names in the commercial photography industry, as well as new up-and-coming talent in the photography world, which you’ll soon be able to join on your own.
3. Learn how the business and marketing aspect of the industry works
Some photography programs only teach you the technical skills, and leave the business side out. In Centennial’s photography program, however, we realize that being a photographer today means you need to know the business side, so we teach you that, too.
You’ll learn every part of a commercial photography job, start to finish. You’ll learn to conceptualize and execute a professional photoshoot, do all of the necessary post-production, and most importantly, learn how to quote and estimate a job’s price. Outside of the specific jobs, you’ll also learn how to market your business and compete in the world of digital photography. Not only will you have the technical skills needed to work in digital photography, you’ll also have the business skills to go with it.
4. Learn and work on an artistic, collaborative campus
The photography program takes place at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre, a small but creative campus, that hosts our arts and media programs. Aside from the modern facilities, technology and labs used to create different kinds of media, the campus also offers opportunities for collaboration with other arts and media programs, as well as collaboration with outside clients.
During the program, you can add works to the Story Arts Image Xchange, a stock photography database used by both the college and real-world content creators, meaning you can get your work published before graduation. Speaking of publishers, you can also participate in STORYWORKS, a course which sees you working for real clients during your schooling. You even have opportunities to showcase your work in our Corridor Gallery, as well as other galleries around the city, helped by the Story Arts Centre’s proximity to cultural centres in Toronto.
5. You gain practical experience, even if you know very little of photography
Over the course of the program’s two years, you start from scratch, and learn about how digital cameras work, the different types of lighting and which work best for each situation and a style. You’ll gain experience shooting in a studio, and a studio style set-up on location. You’ll learn the technical side of images (like Photoshop) and the more impressionistic side, like understanding an image through visual literacy. We’ve already mentioned the Image Xchange and STORYWORKS, but most importantly, towards the end of the program, a student will intern with either a photography studio or an individual photographer, with the program’s coordinators matching them with something that fits their interests. Most of all, you’ll learn how to be a competitive creative professional photographer versatile in many areas of the field.
By Anthony Geremia