Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2012 that photographers have median earnings of only about $28,000, a career in photography can be creatively rewarding. Moreover, a few photographers become wildly successful and are able to make large incomes. If you're contemplating a career in photography, several high school classes can help you gain basic skills and prepare you for college or an apprenticeship.


Journalism classes focus on every element of journalism, including photojournalism. If your school has a good journalism program, you may even learn how to develop your own photos. Because many photographers become photojournalists, journalism classes can give you the basic media background you need and may even teach you some additional skills you can use to supplement your photography income.

Film Studies

Film and photography are closely related. Learning about the angles from which famous movies were shot and the emotions directors aim to convey can help you master the basics of conveying emotion in your own photos. Use your course in film studies as a chance to contemplate the power and effect of a single still from a movie, and then think about ways you can imitate this in your photography.


Art courses can include courses in photography if your school has a sufficiently large and diverse art program. Even if it doesn't, though, taking art courses can help you develop a good eye and a creative approach to photography. Art classes will help you master color composition and enable you to convey emotion and meaning with a single image.

Computer Skills

Photographers need to be able to edit their work, change the file extension on photos and even create their own photo books. Basic computer skills courses can help you master these challenges. If you can take a course on graphic design, you'll also know the basics of how to design a photo book or advertisement. And if your school offers classes on Photoshop or photo editing, be sure to take them.