Careers in Photography

As with most professions, a degree can open the door to opportunity. In the field of photography, degree holders are often considered for jobs as commercial photographers, photojournalists, digital photo editors, videographers, and even educators. Here are descriptions of the most common photography careers.


Photojournalist
Photojournalists photograph newsworthy people, places, and sporting, political, and community events for newspapers, journals, magazines, or television. Some work as salaried staff employees, while others own their own businesses and are known as freelance photographers. Freelance news photographers may license the use of their photographs through stock photo agencies or contracts with other types of clients.


Fine Art Photographer
Fine art photographers sell work to individuals, galleries, interior designers, architects, libraries, community centers, churches, banks, hotels, government and elsewhere on a freelance basis or by commission. Fine art photographers enjoy creative freedom not generally allowed to freelance or staff photographers, but they must also be extremely self-motivated.


Commercial/Industrial Photographer
Commercial/Industrial photographers capture images used for books, advertisements, catalogs, and wide media. They take pictures of a wide variety of objects and subjects, including models, landscapes, buildings, and merchandise. An industrial photographer might take pictures of machinery, workers, and other products that can be useful to workers in analyzing, public relations, and business strategies. Industrial photography takes place at the site of its use.


Studio/Portrait Photographer
Studio/Portrait photographers often work in their own studios, taking pictures of groups or individuals. They often specialize in particular events, such as weddings, religious ceremonies, or school photographs. They also may work on location. Some portrait photographers may own their own business, which requires them to arrange for advertising, schedule appointments, mount and frame pictures, purchase supplies, keep records, bill customers, and possibly hire and train new employees.


Freelance Photographer
Freelance photographers are hired out on a job-by-job basis, which is a nice perk for those who prefer to make their own schedule or to work on a variety of projects. Freelancers do many of the same jobs as staff photographers, without the benefit of a consistent paycheck. Some freelancers specialize in areas such as portraits, aerial photography by plane, weddings or fashion.