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Jun 30 2016
by Jade Miller

8 Things You Can Do with a Photography Major

By Jade Miller - Jun 30 2016
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So, you've just gotten to college. You've decided to be a photography major. You've started telling people because you're really excited. Then, you hear the dreaded question by someone at your school: "What can you even do with a photography major?" You may draw a blank, but why not have a few ideas in your back pocket? Here are a few things you can do with a photography major to answer those questions:

1. Commercial Photography

This is often photography that you see in magazines or catalogs, sometimes even stores (like Target, H&M or Forever 21). This can also be put into real estate or locations for tourists as well. Think about those Hawaii brochures, that would be a good example of location commercial photography. 

2. Aerial Photography

It's exactly what it sounds like. Aerial photographers take photographs from a plane or helicopter to get a birds-eye view photo. Often the equipment that is used is meant to counteract instability of being in air. 

3. Sports Photography

One of the most common forms of photography seen today, this is fast paced, quick shots. The photographs taken are often taken from the sidelines of a game, like football, soccer or baseball. Timing is super important in this field, which is why the equipment used is often the type that has a fast shutter speed so that they can capture lots of shots to make sure that they do actually get the perfect shot. 

4.  Graphic Design

Believe it or not, this is a possible profession for photography majors. A graphic designer works on a variety of products and activities, such as websites, advertising and magazines. They basically work on corporate communications and corporate identity, i.e. giving organizations a visual 'brand'. 

5. Medical Illustrating

This is a profession that is currently getting more traction and is leading to some really cool stuff. They're employed by hospitals, medical schools, research establishments and specialist publishers. They're involved in delivering visual records of conditions and treatments. A popular photography job in this department of the medical world is to specialize in bereavement photography, which is photographing babies that have been stillborn or have died shortly after birth, or forensic photography, which is photographing non-accidental injuries.

6. TV Camera Operating

Less related to photography, but still requires visual skills. These operators will offer advice on how to shoot a scene based on visual impact, and will also plan shots for filming, especially in situations like explosions or a crazy dramatic scene. They will also work on finding solutions to technical or practical problems as well. 

7. Digital Marketing

With a new generation coming in, this is a profession that is becoming more popular as well. It's sort of split into multiple categories, such as social media marketing (creating an online presence), pay per click campaigning (sponsored online advertising) and mobile marketing (app-based marketing). So, this is kind of combined with a marketing major, but a good example would be any email you get from a retail store like H&M or LOFT, telling you about sales or new items. 

8. Visual Merchandising

Merchandisers develop, deliver and communicate visual concepts and strategies to promote retail brands, products and services. This will take place not only online, but in store and in catalogs. They could also work in museums or galleries during event planning to create visual concepts. This doesn't really use the major, but does take parts of the major - like placement, lighting, props, Adobe, etc. - into account when creating something interesting for a customer. A good example of this would be when you walk into a store; how is it set up? What do you lay your eyes on first? How does the lighting effect how you see an item? I like to think of Hollister compared to LOFT, how Hollister is dark, but LOFT is light, and it follows their color schemes. 

So, next time someone asks you, "Can you really do anything besides photography with your major?," you can answer confidently, "YES." The truth is, you can do so much more than just photography (there are plenty of types), but don't be afraid to open that horizon a little bit more to see if there's another opportunity for you out there, taking the skills you have and applying them somewhere else!

Lead Image Credit: Pexels.com


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Jade Miller - University of Rochester

Jade Miller is a sophomore at the University of Rochester double majoring in Business and English Literature. She is a Junior Editor for the Fresh U national site. She is a member of the sorority Gamma Phi Beta and also a coxswain for UR Rowing. She loves dogs, reading, and having a single this year in her res hall. Follow her on Twitter @jade_miller_

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