How do you get the photography merit badge?

The Photography Merit Badge is an award the Boy Scouts of America offers. This badge is designed to teach Scouts the art of taking photographs, including camera functions, composition, and darkroom techniques. Scouts must demonstrate their understanding of these topics by accepting and printing photos and completing other projects. Upon completion of all requirements, Scouts receive the Photography Merit Badge.

Definition of Photography merit badge

The Boy Scouts of America award a photography merit badge to Scouts who complete a series of requirements related to photography, including taking photographs, developing film, understanding the basic principles of light, and editing photographs. Scouts must also complete a project demonstrating their understanding of the photographic process.

Overview of Photography Merit Badge

The Photography Merit Badge is a Boy Scouts of America badge that encourages Scouts to explore the art of photography. Scouts must complete various activities and assignments to earn the badge, including learning the basics of photography, understanding the principles of composition, and exploring different photographic techniques. The badge also encourages Scouts to use their photography to help others, such as volunteering to take pictures for community events or donating photos to charity organizations. Scouts must also demonstrate an understanding of digital photography and the ethical considerations associated with taking pictures.

In addition to completing the merit badge, Scouts must also complete a service project related to photography. It could include teaching a class on photography or creating a photo exhibit. With the help of a merit badge counsellor, Scouts can use their service project to gain a greater appreciation for photography while also giving back to their community.

Requirements Photography Merit Badge

1. Describe the qualities of good photographs.

2. Explain the essential operation of the camera you use.

3. Describe the qualities of good photographic composition.

4. Explain the difference between black-and-white and colour photography.

5. Do ONE of the following:

a. Visit a gallery or exhibition of photographic art. Please discuss the photographs you saw with your counsellor and explain why you find them exciting or significant.

b. Look through photographic magazines, books, or other printed materials. Please discuss the photographs you saw with your counsellor and explain why you find them exciting or significant.

6. Describe the types of lighting and the effects they create.

7. Discuss the principles of shutter speed and aperture and their relationship in making good photographs.

8. Describe the difference between raw and JPEG files.

9. Discuss the methods of storing and preserving digital images.

10. Do TWO of the following:

a. Take a series of pictures to illustrate a story or event.

b. Take a single photograph to illustrate a concept.

c. Take three pictures to illustrate the same concept using different lighting.

11. Discuss with your counsellor the types of digital photo manipulation programs available and their uses.

12. Do ONE of the following:

a. Create a digital image by combining two or more photographs.

b. Enhance a digital image by correcting colour, sharpening, or adjusting tonal range.

13. Discuss with your counsellor the ethical considerations of photography, such as manipulating, using photographs without permission, and invasion of privacy.

Completing the Badge Photography Merit Badge

1. Understand the importance of safety when taking photos:

-Read the camera’s safety manual before using

-Make sure your equipment is in good working condition

-Wear appropriate eye protection when shooting

-Be aware of your surroundings and potential hazards

-Do not point the lens at the sun or other bright light sources

-Do not take photos in locations that may be dangerous

-Be aware of copyright laws when using photos

2. Understand how digital photography works: 

-Understand the basics of digital photography, such as pixels, resolution, and file types

-Learn about the different types of digital cameras and their features

-Understand the camera settings such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and white balance.

-Learn how to use photo-editing software to adjust and enhance photos.

3. Understand composition and the elements of a good photograph:

-Learn the basic principles of composition, such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing.

-Understand the importance of light, focus, and contrast.

-Practice using different angles and perspectives to create compelling images.

-Learn to use lighting and colour to create different moods and effects.

4. Understand how to store and share photos:

-Learn about different file types and compression.

-Understand the importance of backing up your photos.

-Learn about online photo-sharing sites and how to use them.

-Learn about digital photo printing services and how to order prints online.

5. Understand the importance of copyright and ethics:

-Learn about basic copyright laws and how they apply to photography.

-Understand the importance of respecting other people’s work and privacy.

-Learn how to give credit properly when using other people’s photos.

-Understand the importance of not altering or manipulating photos in unethical ways.

6. Understand the history and different types of photography:

-Learn about the evolution of photography from the early days to the digital age.

-Understand the different genres of photography, such as landscape, documentary, and portrait.

-Learn about the different types of cameras and equipment used in photography.

-Explore the work of famous photographers and learn from their techniques.

7. Understand how to market and promote your photos: 

-Learn how to create a portfolio/website to showcase your photos.

-Understand the basics of SEO and how to use it to promote your photos.

-Learn how to use social media and other photo marketing platforms.

-Understand the basics of pricing and how to create a pricing structure for your photos.

Examples of worldwide most popular top 10 Photography Merit Badge persons

1. Ansel Adams –

2. Henri Cartier-Bresson –

3. Helen Levitt –

4. Gordon Parks –

5. Diane Arbus –

6. Robert Capa –

7. Sebastião Salgado –

8. Alfred Stieglitz –

9. Edward Weston –

10. Annie Leibovitz –

Photography Merit Badge
Photography Merit Badge

Benefits of Earning the Photography Merit Badge

1. Develop a greater understanding and appreciation of photography and its impact on people’s lives.

2. Strengthen skills in composition, lighting, and editing.

3. Learn how to safely and responsibly use photography equipment.

4. Gain the knowledge and experience needed to pursue it as a career.

5. Develop a portfolio of photographs for college applications and job interviews.

6. Develop new creative outlets and explore new artistic ideas.

7. Connect with other photographers and learn from their experiences.

8. Become a more confident and booming photographer.


The Photography Merit Badge is a great way to explore and express creativity. It teaches you the skills and techniques necessary to take beautiful photographs and lets you learn more about the art form. It encourages you to take risks, try something new, and appreciate photography’s beauty. Taking this badge can open up a world of professional and personal opportunities.

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