Photographers take and process pictures of people, places, products and events.Job Category:
What you will do:
In your daily tasks you may:
- discuss a project with the client and agree the ‘brief’
- find and prepare the location for the photo session
- choose the right equipment and set up lighting
- compose and take photos
- use industry software to edit and process images
- check accurate colour match and image quality
- choose the best images for the client to use online or in print
- promote and run your business
- knowledge of the fine arts
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
As well as:
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
- the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
- to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (leadership skills)
- the ability to work well with your hands
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- visual arts
- commercial photography
- art and design
You could take a college course. In the UK, for example, courses include:
- Certificate in Photography
- Level Photography
- Diploma in Photography
These may help you to find a job as a photographer’s assistant in a studio.
You could gain some of the skills and knowledge for this role on a Photographic assistant advanced apprenticeship, following the assistant photographer pathway.
This apprenticeship typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job study.
You could start as a photographer’s assistant and work your way up. It’s normal to specialise in one kind of photography, like fashion, advertising, wildlife or photojournalism.
You’ll need a portfolio of your work to show your skills, interests and experience in photography. It’ll also help you to get noticed if you post examples of your work online.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 39-41 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays as customers demand.
You could work in a creative studio. Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.
Career Path & Progression:
Many photographers are freelance and you could do a mix of contract work and following your own interests.
You could extend your range into other areas of photography like product, property, aerial or corporate work.
With training, you could work as a press or police photographer. There are opportunities for photographers in the armed forces. If you do specialist qualifications, you could find jobs in medical photography or illustration.
Starting your own business
You may decide to become self-employed and set up your own business. Photography is very competitive, so you’ll need creativity and technical skills to make money. You’ll also need finance for equipment, a space to work in and some business and admin skills. You could increase your income by selling your images independently.