I am originally from Kansas City, Missouri. I have grown up always dreaming of going to the Kansas City Art Institute. I did not go there because of finances (and a scholarship to Missouri) but it is amazing school and I can not think of a better school for photographers.
The school is really top notch and I mean they have people like Walt Disney and Dennis Hopper have went there. Any school that is good enough to Walt Disney is good enough for me. Enough said.
Kansas City Art Institute & Photography
While the school does not have staff in love with HDR photography (What school does?), it is amazing staff that know commercial, portrait, fine art, and even landscape photography. It is important to push yourself in every area of the art you can. Learning about commercial photography can open the door for some amazing HDR images as well. The more knowledge you have, the better your images will become!
The other thing is you are working with people who are there for one purpose: be a world renowned photographer. That common push does wonders for forcing your creativity to new levels. People that will not let you ride on yesterday’s amazing shot. Every day is a new photographic challenge!
The faculty in the photography is some of the greatest shooter I have ever met as well. Most of the staff is practicing photography professionally locally and nationally. I am talking about having projects in galleries, art shows and doing some amazing commercial projects for some big names like Sprint and H&R Block!
The other thing to consider is that you are in Kansas City, the city of a thousand fountains. It is a city of art. Everywhere in the city is a form of art. It is part of the culture in the city.
The problem: Tuition is robbery!
I am not going to lie: the school is frecking expensive! I really it is insane. That is why most people do not go there. I did not go there partly because of it. It just is unrealistic for most people. Let’s establish that.
It is currently costing a whooping $36,000 a year to go to school there. That puts an education at $144,000 and that is hard to make that much back within the first few years of starting your own studio. It would be a hell of a lot of prints sold, I will say that.
Most people just can’t get enough scholarship and grants to make it happen. The debt would simply be too much. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that is why most people do not go to the Kansas City Art Institute. It is why I did not go!
Art School or better gear?
The question for many becomes, “I can get alot of gear, including a Phase One medium format camera for $140k.” That is a legit question and it is very valid.
However, there is a flaw in that thinking. Having a medium format camera and being able to actually use it fully is two different matters. My Nikon D810 in my hands gets a very output that if my mom had it in her hands.
In the end, you have to make that decision for yourself. I understand that you could get alot of gear but the knowledge you would gain from a school like Kansas City Art Institute is worth something at the end of the day.