Photographer of the Future
RIT's new 'visual media' program paves a thoroughly modern career path for photography students. Employers should take note.
Computer technology is driving swift changes in the photographic industry. Rochester Institute of Technology is responding to this trend by introducing a groundbreaking academic program designed to enhance the industry's evolution.
'Visual media' is the newest BFA (bachelor of fine arts) program within RIT's School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. In addition to the study of photography, visual media incorporates elements of graphic design, print media, and management.
With the overarching use of computers in imaging applications today, photographers are becoming much more involved with final image usage, far beyond the basic aspects of image creation.
Photographers are now working more closely with art directors, designers, and print media specialists. The computer has become an effective integrating tool for what had been narrowly focused career tracks.
When photographic images were first seen on the computer screen, photographers were skeptical of their potential impact on the future. As the digitization of imagery became widely accepted, photographers were better able to share information and data with collaborators.
Those colleagues were designers, printers, and artists worldwide. This broadening base of image users relies on the computer as the common vehicle for management, manipulation, transmission, and communication.
The computer brought these once related but disparate industries into a common arena. Professionals in each career field are now using the same tools for communication and production.
As a result of this creative cross-pollination, employers are looking for graduates with a strong base in photography, as well as the ability to work efficiently and effectively across multiple disciplines.
RIT's new visual media program enables photography students to expand their skill sets to include graphic design or print media, if not both. After completing the first two years of intensive photographic arts courses, students can decide to focus their studies on the visual media discipline, as opposed to one of our long-standing programs in advertising photography, fine art photography, or photojournalism.