Today a camera in your pocket is the norm, but it takes a skilled photographer, with technical knowledge and artistic vision, to capture poetry in a visual image. These professional artists use technical equipment and software to create quality photographs. Expertise with digital cameras and photo-editing software is a must, whether they shoot weddings, portraits, or breaking news stories. About 60% of photographers are self-employed. These photographers often need to advertise and attract new clients. This makes networking and maintaining an online portfolio essential for marketing their work. Independent photographers are also responsible for recordkeeping as well as purchasing and maintaining equipment. Photographers work in news, portrait studios, and commercial studios. They may specialize, for example, in scientific, aerial, or industrial photography. Working for a news outlet can mean long and irregular hours, exposure to dangerous surroundings, and frequent travel. Most photographers stand or walk for long periods while carrying heavy equipment. Many positions require only the skill and expertise needed to capture the images an employer wants, although a bachelor's degree in photography or a related field may be required for work in photojournalism, or specialized fields. While a career in photography takes commitment to the craft and artistic discipline... it's worth it to get the perfect shot.
What they do:
Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects, using digital or film cameras and equipment. May develop negatives or use computer software to produce finished images and prints. Includes scientific photographers, aerial photographers, and photojournalists.
On the job, you would:
Use traditional or digital cameras, along with a variety of equipment, such as tripods, filters, and flash attachments.
Determine desired images and picture composition, selecting and adjusting subjects, equipment, and lighting to achieve desired effects.
Adjust apertures, shutter speeds, and camera focus according to a combination of factors, such as lighting, field depth, subject motion, film type, and film speed.
sales and marketing
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
Arts and Humanities
music, dance, visual arts, drama, or sculpture
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
create new and original ideas
come up with lots of ideas
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
People interested in this work like activities that include creating, designing, and making your own rules.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
Video creation and editing software
Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects
Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.