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Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Everyday is different!
  • Flexible: This is not a 9 to 5 job. You set your destiny. You are your own boss.
  • Creative and inspirational
  • Tell a story through pictures
The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities
  • Market and advertise services to attract clients
  • Analyze and plan the composition of photographs
  • Use various photographic techniques and lighting equipment
  • Capture subjects in commercial-quality photographs
  • Enhance the subject’s appearance with natural or artificial light
  • Use photo-enhancing software
  • Maintain a digital portfolio to demonstrate their work
  • Archive and manage imagery     
Skills Needed
  • Artistic and creative ability
  • Technical ability with a wide range of photographic equipment and technology
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Good communication and people skills
  • Good time management skills with the ability to meet tight deadlines
Different Types of Photographers
  • Product photographers takes pictures of products for marketing collateral and a company’s website. With more and more companies selling their products online, there is more need of product photographers.
  • Portrait photographers take pictures of individuals or groups of people and usually work in their own studios. Photographers who specialize in weddings, religious ceremonies, or school photographs may work on location.
  • Commercial and industrial photographers take pictures of various subjects, such as buildings, models, merchandise, artifacts, and landscapes. These photographs, which frequently are taken on location, are used for a variety of purposes, including magazine covers and images to supplement analyses of engineering projects.
  • Aerial photographers travel in planes or helicopters to capture photographs of buildings and landscapes. They often use cameras with gyrostabilizers to counteract the movement of the aircraft and ensure high-quality images.
  • Scientific photographers focus on the accurate visual representation of subjects and therefore limit the use of image manipulation software to clarify an image. Scientific photographs record scientific or medical data or phenomena. Scientific photographers who take pictures of objects too small to be seen with the naked eye use microscopes to photograph their subjects.
  • News photographers, also called photojournalists, photograph people, places, and events for newspapers, journals, magazines, or television. In addition to taking still photos, photojournalists often work with digital video.
  • Fine-arts photographers sell their photographs as artwork. In addition to having technical knowledge of subjects such as lighting and the use of lenses, fine arts photographers need artistic talent and creativity. Most use traditional film instead of digital cameras.
Different Types of Organizations
  • Freelance/Independent
  • Magazine
  • In-house company: e-commerce company who needs product shots
Expectations/Sacrifices Necessary
  • Will probably have to do unpaid work until you create a portfolio of work.
  • Long hours and weekends
  • You have to drum up your own business unless you work in-house for a company.
Current Industry Trends

Some photographers use drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, to capture shots. The drones are equipped with an integrated camera to capture 360° imagery of buildings, landscapes, scenery, or events.

What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were young...
  • Taking photos!
  • Making videos
2016 Employment
2026 Projected Employment
Education and Training Needed
  • High School diploma
  • No undergraduate needed. It's all about experience and your portfolio of work.
Things to do during high school/college
  • Shoot frequently
  • Shoot in different lighting and spatial conditions
  • Browse the work of other photographers
  • Set goals: Is there a particular camera or program you want to master?
  • Shadow or assist (un-paid) a professional photographer
  • Take online classes: Creative Live, watch YouTube videos
How to land your 1st job
  • Must have a portfolio of work. Have different portfolios for different clients (product, wedding, landscapes...etc)
  • Assist other professional photographers
  • Network!
  • Attend photography workshops
  • Put your work on Flickr, 500px, Behance and your own website.
  • Have a social media presence - Instagram.
  • Apply to in-house photography gigs that has the type of work you want. Once you have enough experience/network, you can go freelance and then get an agent.
What it really takes to make it and succeed
  • Perseverance.
  • Hustling! It’s all about who you know.
  • Constantly learning. Technology changes all the time. You need to be up to date with all the new tools and equipment.  
Recommended Resources


  • CreativeLive offers free online seminars and classes.
  • Photographer’s Connection
  • Click it Up a Notch
  • Digital Photography School

Business and Marketing

  • MailChimp: With MailChimp you can create email marketing campaigns and send up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers free of charge.
  • JotForm: If you want to be able to let your clients complete their registration for sessions online, you should look at JotForm. They have templates that you can customize or you can create your own. Clients can complete the forms and send them over to you completely online.
  • StudioCloud: StudioCloud is a free online software that can help you organize your business. Part of the free features are scheduling appointments, event reminders, generating invoices, and a lot more.
  • Defrozo: Defrozo is a new platform that allows photographers to create a website, manage their workflow, create galleries for clients, and more from one account.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is very popular with photographers. Many have created boards showcasing their images and provided links to galleries and have used it not only to display the image, but to drive traffic to their websites.It’s not only a place to find inspiration, but you can use it as a marketing tool for your own business.
  • Squarespace: Easy to build website to showcase your work.
Words of Advice

“As an artist and photographer, it’s very common to get rejected. But don’t let that bring you down… It’s not a personal rejection, it may be that you are not the right fit for a specific client. So my last three points of advice to you guys are don’t be afraid to ask questions and reach out to people that are more established than you are. You never know, it may turn into a job, or assisting another established photographer on a shoot, or just learning something from them and their years of experience. Another thing is to keep on being curious, keep on wanting to learn and to hone your craft, because the learning never ends. New technology comes out, new cameras come out, styles are always evolving, and you just have to change with the times. Lastly, the most important thing is to keep on shooting.” Alicia Cho, Food and Product Photographer, Alicia Cho Photography


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Source: Interviews

Online Courses and Tools