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The Complete Guide to Starting Photography Teaching Jobs

By Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > The Guide to Teaching Photography

If you have a taste for the arts, why not become a photography teacher for beginners and start online tutoring jobs? You don’t necessarily need any degree, a photography tutor is a job for those simply wishing to pass on a passion. In a few sessions, your student will be able to take pictures like a real photo professional.

Follow the guide to becoming a private photo tutor!

Finding Students for Your Photography Classes

In the US, thousands of students are looking to learn photography and could be happy to hire you to improve on and discover the basics of photography!

your-dreams In just a few clicks, you could find the students of your dreams!

Teaching digital photography, image processing, or studio portraits requires some work beforehand. First and foremost, a private tutor in the making must take a few minutes to target his or her audience.

Indeed, the tutor has only just a moment to attract the eye of his or her potential students. His ad must be clear and concise!

To find students, the professional photographer or the private photo tutor can:

  • Post an ad in the shops of his or her city,
  • Use word of mouth with his or her other students,
  • Post an ad in newspapers,
  • Post an ad in specialized magazines,
  • Post an advertisement in a photo school or art school (such as Fine Arts or Applied Arts),
  • Create a tutoring profile on a tutoring site (Superprof).

Many students choose to become a tutor during while they are learning themselves to become a photographer. This type of education is particularly appreciated by other students, mostly because of the lower rates of tutor-student courses.

Landscape photos, studio photos, portrait photos, or macrophotography: no matter what your field of specialization is, you will have no problem finding a student wanting to master his or her SLR camera!

Take out your tripod, your best lens diaphragm, and your focal length and get started with photography lessons in order to finance your studies or supplement your salary as a professional photographer!

Being a Photography Tutor

How can you become a photography tutor?

What if you started a career as an in-home photography tutor?

Become a private photographry tutor and offer courses in food photography, photojournalism, or animal photography…

tutor-in-photo Supplement your salary as a photography tutor!

Most people are looking to take private lessons to learn photography in the United States.

Indeed, few art schools are looking for photography teachers. To teach in a school, you will not only need state diplomas, but also substantial experience in your community (selling photos to individuals, exhibiting in galleries, participating in photo exhibitions, etc…).

Beginners are therefore more likely to look for private lessons – especially online classifieds!

The final step before becoming a photo tutor is to create a profile on Superprof. Once you find your students, they will contact you directly to discuss the modalities of the lesson.

Whether they are looking to study white balance, the history of photography, shutter speeds, or still photography, you will reach thousands of students who are possibly interested in your skills!

Creating an Ad

In recent years, the private tutoring market has exploded in every subject matter. To find his or her place in this competitive market, the tutor will have to stand out thanks to a cool ad!

On his or her ad, the tutor must imperatively specify:

  • His or her diplomas,
  • His or her experience as a professional photographer,
  • His or her rate,
  • His or her possible packages,
  • His or her type of teaching (small group courses or individual courses),
  • His or her options, such as “online photo course”,
  • The contents of his or her photography class,
  • The duration of the photo lesson (4h photoshoot, shorter photo shoot, etc…).

Do not forget to include a profile picture to catch the attention of as many students as possible, or even to upload your own photographs to give an overview of your work.

To become a private photography tutor, you should also consider taping your first photography class: this will help you build a solid reputation on Superprof!

Determining How Much a Photo Class Will Cost

The Average Rates for Tutoring Photography

You want to start tutoring in photography but aren’t sure what to charge?

increase-rate If you have significant training in photography, you can increase your rates!

On Superprof, it is the tutor and he or she alone who decides on his or her own prices when it comes to teaching photography, wedding photography, or film photography. The price is usually the first thing a student looks for when looking for a tutor. Don’t have rates that are too high, but also do not underestimate the risk of not being taken seriously by students if the rates are too low!

Here are some average rates for photo courses on Superprof:

  • NYC photo course: 30 USD,
  • Los Angeles Photo Course: 26 USD,
  • San Francisco photo course: 24 USD
  • Miami photo course: 23 USD,
  • Chicago photo course: 23 USD,
  • Boston Photo Course: 16 USD
  • Philly photo course: 24 USD

The geographical location of your course will therefore be the first criterion to take into account when setting the price of your classes. As a rule, New York photo tutor are significantly better paid than their colleagues; you can nevertheless inflate your prices according to the content and specialty of your lessons.

Before organizing an introductory photography workshop in your workshop or in a photo studio, you should take a second to analyze the competition in your field. You’ll be noticed more if you have a price that corresponds to who you are and to your class!

Adjusting your Rates According to What Kind of Photography Tutor You Are

To determine the price of your photo class, you must not only take into consideration the average price of other tutor, but many other criteria, too.

First of all, a novice photo tutor will, logically, be paid much less than an experienced photography tutor. The photography tutor-student must make sure his or her rate is quite low for a basic photo training course.

But it is especially specialty and experts in a certain photo technique that will have higher rates. Anything from:

  • Depth of field,
  • Long exposures,
  • Photo touch-up in post production or post treatment,
  • Black and white photo,
  • Mastery of sharpness and soft focus,
  • Manual mode or automatic mode,
  • Nature photos,
  • Family photos,
  • Digital SLR, etc.

If you have advanced knowledge in any particular field, you are likely to stand out and have a higher rate.

Our advice: agree to give courses online to reach a wider audience. The rarer the discipline, the higher the price. Indeed, a photo specialty will attract more advanced students, who are more inclined to pay more in order to improve and learn to take beautiful pictures like famous photographers.

Finally, if your specialty requires specific camera equipment, you can inflate your rates.

In short, to make a good living thanks to private photo lessons, bet on the originality of your course while keeping it both educational and fun!

Giving Photo Classes Via Webcam

Take advantage of the digital age to find students looking for quality photography training online!

camera-choice Teach students to take beautiful pictures with the camera of their choice!

In recent years, the practice of online teaching has become increasingly common. If this formula appeals quite a bit it is thanks to the popularity of digital tools. The vast majority of students and tutors already have the necessary equipment it takes to organize an online photo course, which saves them precious money.

Here is a list of equipment to acquire if you would like to offer an online photo tutorial:

  • A laptop or desktop, Windows or Mac, depending on your desired post production software,
  • A quality webcam, preferably not your computer’s (count between 20 and 30 USD for a webcam of sufficient quality),
  • A microphone built into your computer or webcam, or a microphone via headphones,
  • A good internet connection (DSL is recommended),
  • Instant chatting software with screen sharing (Google Hangouts, Skype…),
  • Photo editing software for post production.
  • The webcam course is particularly recommended for photography tutors just beginning!

This type of teaching tends to severely take stress away from both the student and the tutor. They can easily get in touch with instant messaging apps, which makes light of the overly serious side of in-home private lessons!

But, before you leave, don’t forget these important pic tips from PetaPixel:

1. Get in close

It was the famous photojournalist Robert Capa who once said “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” He was talking about getting in amongst the action. If you feel like your images aren’t ‘popping’, take a step or two closer to your subject. Fill the frame with your subject and see how much better your photo will look without so much wasted space. The closer you are to the subject, the better you can see their facial expressions too.

2. Shoot every day

The best way to hone your skills is to practice. A lot. Shoot as much as you can – it doesn’t really matter what. Spend hours and hours behind your camera. As your technical skills improve over time, your ability to harness them to tell stories and should too. 
Don’t worry too much about shooting a certain way to begin with. Experiment. Your style – your ‘voice’ – will emerge in time. And it will be more authentic when it does. — Leah Robertson

3. See the light

Before you raise your camera, see where the light is coming from, and use it to your advantage. Whether it is natural light coming from the sun, or an artificial source like a lamp; how can you use it to make your photos better? How is the light interacting with the scene and the subject? Is it highlighting an area or casting interesting shadows? These are all things you can utilise to make an ordinary photo extraordinary.

4. Ask permission

When photographing people, especially while in countries with different cultures and languages, it can be hard to communicate. In certain countries if you photograph someone you are not ‘supposed’ to photograph, it can get ugly and rough very quickly if you are not careful. So out of respect you should always ask permission. 

I have started shooting a series of school children in Pakistan. These are all posed portraits and they are looking down the lens. My guide helps me with the language and I limit myself to smiling, shaking hands, giving ‘hi-five’ and showing them the image on the back of my camera once it is done. You would be amazed how quickly people open up. — Andrea Francolini

So, why not start teaching photography lessons now?

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