What does a Photographer do?

A photographer works closely with clients to capture photos of people, places and things through the use of creativity and technical abilities in photographic equipment and photo manipulation software. To ensure that desired results are obtained, photographers have to communicate effectively with clients regarding expectations to meet standards and deadlines of projects. Other duties include recommending creative ideas and solutions to achieve desired results and maintaining a professional image.

Although a high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum educational requirements to be a photographer, industry leaders express a preference for associate's or bachelor's degree holders. Good candidates often possess natural artistic flair backed by detailed knowledge and understanding of photography art and lighting science. Excellent communication skills are also required as photographers typically interact with clients to understand their desired outcomes. Most photographers are required to stand for long hours at a time and the job often demands flexibility to travel to locations for shoots.

What responsibilities are common for Photographer jobs?
  • Take professional pictures in a studio or on location
  • Work closely with clients and colleagues to produce high-quality photographic images
  • Use different techniques to enhance the photographs as required
  • Use photo manipulation software such as Adobe Suite to get desired results
  • Recommend creative ideas to exceed expectations of goals and objectives
  • Use artistic knowledge to enhance and compose photographs
  • Review sets of photographs and select the best results
  • Operate various photographic equipment such as single lens reflex cameras and film or digital cameras and lighting
What are the typical qualifications for Photographer jobs?
  • Associate's or bachelor's degree in photography art preferred
  • Proven experience as a photographer in a competitive industry
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Detailed knowledge of photography art and lighting
  • Strong creative presence and artistic flair
  • Customer focus with a desire to over deliver on quality
  • Able to follow instructions clearly to achieve desired results
  • Able to stand and move around for long periods at a time
  • Flexible to travel to locations as required of the job
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.3 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Photographer make?

Confident
$62,218 /yr
Total Pay
$41,046
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$21,172
 /yr

Additional Pay

$62,218

 / yr
$31K$146K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Photographer Career Path

Learn how to become a Photographer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Photographer
$62,218/yr
L3
L4
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
13%
2 - 4
64%
5 - 7
2%
8+
21%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Photographer Insights

Read what Photographer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
JessopsJessops
Photo
Apr 14, 2020

“Working with my store team was great and working with customers isn't all bad.”

Kevin’s Photography
Lead Photographer
Apr 1, 2021

“Kevin makes a great mentor and I have really learned my craft from working with him.”

HomejabHomejab
Real Estate Photographer
Apr 16, 2022

“I was able to set my own schedule and pay was reasonable for job demands.”

PhixerPhixer
Photo Editor
Mar 10, 2021

“It had the best quality/ service to offers for the client compare to others and had a great colleagues.”

LifetouchLifetouch
Photographer
Feb 7, 2020

“Management needs improvement for better understanding on how to run something if Someone was to work alone”

CarDataCarData
Car Photographer
Nov 12, 2021

“Good job to work at if you have a flexible schedule & don’t mind an inconsistent schedule sometimes.”

Portrait  InnovationsPortrait Innovations
Photographer
Dec 17, 2019

“Certain members of the team truly tried to deliver the best shoots that they could despite the disorganized management.”

PhotogenicPhotogenic
Sales Associate/Photographer
May 12, 2022

“This is a good hit for a high school student or maybe a college student looking for a summer job.”

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Photographer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of photographers

Photographers use creativity and communication to capture, edit, and produce images for different industries, like advertising, weddings, and family photos. They have knowledge of lighting, photography techniques, art, and editing software. In addition, they communicate closely with clients to fulfill an artistic vision.

Yes, photography can be a very fulfilling career for creative individuals. The best part about working as a photographer is that this career provides opportunities to work at a variety of venues including weddings and special events, and in industries such as art, advertising, fashion, and news. Photographers can choose to work in a studio or on location, and photo editing can be done at home.

There are a few difficult aspects of the work. When considering becoming a photographer, keep in mind that photography can be physically demanding and require long hours on your feet. Many professionals work nights and weekends and may need to devote more time to editing when on tight deadlines.

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Photographer Jobs