So, you’ve decided to try your hand at school photography and branch out your business? Good move, as school photography can be lucrative and rewarding in equal measure. But what certifications or qualifications do you need to kick-start your new career direction?
It goes without saying that schools will want to make the most of their budget and ensure that they’re working with someone qualified and professional, so it’s worth assessing whether you have the expertise and experience to work in a challenging school environment before your try. Read one of our most popular blogs on: How to Stand out from other School Photographers
One of the most important checks that you’ll need to undergo before working in a school with children is a DBS certification. This is a Disclosure and Barring Service check which is an intelligence procedure that checks your criminal record for convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings and any police intelligence that’s held against your file.
This helps to assist clients in making a recruitment decision, which is especially important for schools when choosing photographers. You must have a DBS check when working in close proximity and interacting with children.
There are lots of specific qualifications and accreditations that help to bolster your skillset and improve your photography knowledge. Depending on the equipment and software that you use in your business, there are various courses that you can complete to enhance your technical skill with certain equipment.
Clients will want to see a certain degree of experience or qualifications to support your CV. If you’re unsure where you can gain more qualifications then take a look at the British Institute of Professional Photography or the British Academy of Photography for more information about moving forward with your career. You can complete accredited courses with BTEC and Edexel .
It’s not imperative that you have a university degree in the photography business, but it can give you a solid grounding to build your career. You can learn lots of different skills and specialise in certain areas under the guidance of experienced and skilled teachers.
A university degree will immediately communicate to a client that you have a theoretical and working knowledge of photography and it could set you apart from other competitors. Don’t worry too much if you don’t have a degree, as years of experience will be just as, if not more, attractive to a client. Take a look at some of the universities that offer photography courses if you want to improve your knowledge bases or learn about some new perspectives.
Taking a good shot is just one part of the photography process – being able to edit your photos properly is essential. There’s a wide range of editing software that you can use to perfect and modify hundreds of school shots. Photoshop is just one of the many editing suites you can get to grips with and Adobe has its own set of qualifications that you can complete, so you can ensure that you’re using the correct tools and techniques to make your job more straight-forward.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to school photography and you can have a mixture of experience and qualifications on your CV. Make sure that you have a quality portfolio to show school clients, with some technical expertise to back up your claims.