Career Development

What Does a Photographer Do?

Find out what a photographer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a photographer.

Photographers are responsible for taking pictures of people, places and things. They have a wide range of subject matter to choose from, but they’re usually hired to capture specific moments or events.

Photographers must be able to think quickly on their feet and react to changing circumstances in order to get the best shots possible. They also need to be creative and have an eye for composition, lighting, color, etc.

Photographer Job Duties

Photographers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Making sure that any legally required disclaimers or notices are included in all published photographs
  • Shooting digital images using digital cameras or film cameras
  • Editing photos using computer software such as Photoshop or Lightroom to adjust contrast, color saturation, and other properties to improve appearance
  • Taking pictures of people, places, products, or events for publication in magazines, newspapers, brochures, or other media
  • Shooting pictures using digital cameras or film cameras to capture images that tell a story or convey an emotion
  • Preparing camera equipment for use on location shoots, including setting up lights and adjusting settings on the camera
  • Maintaining a detailed record of all shoots, including client information and details about the shoot itself
  • Selecting backgrounds and scenery that will best showcase the product being photographed
  • Developing film when needed and printing photographs using computers or special equipment

Photographer Salary & Outlook

Photographers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of photography they do.

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)

The employment of photographers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Digital photography has made it easier for people to take and share photos, leading to increased demand for professional photographers. However, the widespread use of smartphones also has reduced the need for some types of commercial photography.

Photographer Job Requirements

There are a few basic requirements for becoming a photographer, which include:

Education: Photographers need at least a high school diploma or GED. Some photographers choose to pursue a two-year associate degree in photography or fine arts. These programs teach students the technical and artistic skills they need to succeed in the field. Some programs offer students the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of photography, such as advertising, fashion or fine art.

Training & Experience: Photographers can gain training through internships or by working in entry-level positions in photography studios. Photographers can also learn about photography techniques and technology by taking classes or seminars.

Certifications & Licenses: Photographers need to earn a photography license to sell photography services in their region. The process varies depending on the location, but all require students to complete a photography course and pass an exam.

Photographer Skills

Photographers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Creativity: Photographers use creativity to develop new ideas for their work and to find new ways to tell stories through their images. Creativity can also help them find new ways to improve their work, such as by finding new ways to use their equipment or by finding new locations to shoot.

Technical skills: Photographers use technical skills to operate and maintain their equipment. This includes knowing how to use different types of cameras, lenses and other equipment. It also includes knowing how to properly store and transport equipment.

Communication: Photographers use communication skills to interact with clients, models and other people on a set. They also use these skills to explain their vision for a shoot and to give direction to models and other people involved in the production of a photograph.

Organization: Photographers use organizational skills to keep track of their work and client information. They also use these skills to keep their equipment safe and in good condition. Photographers use organizational skills to plan their work and keep track of deadlines.

Problem-solving: Photographers use problem-solving skills to find solutions to challenges they may encounter during a shoot. For example, if a model is sick and can’t continue a shoot, a photographer may need to find a replacement model or adjust the shoot to work around the model’s absence. Similarly, if the weather conditions aren’t ideal for a shoot, a photographer may need to find a new location or adjust their shooting style to work around the weather.

Photographer Work Environment

Photographers work in a variety of settings, including studios, offices, and on location. They may be required to travel to different locations, both domestically and internationally, to get the best shots. They may work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to capture the perfect photo. The work can be physically demanding, as photographers may have to carry heavy equipment and set up and take down lights and other equipment. The work can also be stressful, as photographers may have to work under tight deadlines to get the right shot.

Photographer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how photographers work. Photographers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of Drone Photography

The rise of drone photography is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity among photographers, as it allows them to capture unique and stunning images from new perspectives.

As more and more people begin to use drones for photography, photographers will need to learn how to use these devices in order to stay competitive. This includes learning how to fly the drones safely and understanding the best ways to utilize their features.

More Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly popular in the photography industry, as photographers are beginning to see the benefits of using this technology.

By using AI, photographers can automate many of the tasks that they once had to do manually, such as editing photos or searching for content. This allows them to focus on other areas of their business, such as marketing or client relations. Additionally, AI can also be used to create digital versions of physical objects, which can be useful for product shots or catalogs.

Better Collaboration Between Photographers and Designers

Photographers and designers are now working together more than ever before. This is due to the fact that both professions require a deep understanding of each other’s work in order to produce the best possible results.

As photographers and designers collaborate more often, they will develop a better understanding of each other’s roles and what is needed to make a project successful. This will lead to a more efficient and productive work environment for everyone involved.

How to Become a Photographer

A career as a photographer can be incredibly rewarding. It offers the opportunity to travel, meet new people, and see new places. It also provides the chance to create beautiful images that will last forever.

To become a successful photographer, you need to have a strong portfolio of work. This means taking lots of photos and editing them carefully so that only your best work is included. You should also learn about different types of photography and techniques for lighting and composition.

You should also build relationships with other photographers and industry professionals. This will help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in the field.

Related: How to Write a Photographer Resume

Advancement Prospects

Photographers who have a strong portfolio and are able to market themselves effectively can advance quickly in their careers. Many photographers start out working as assistants to more experienced photographers. As they gain experience, they may be given more responsibility and eventually may be able to work independently. Some photographers may open their own studios, while others may choose to work as freelance photographers.

Similar Jobs


What Does a Business Development Manager Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Site Engineer Do?