What Does Photographers Do?
Photographers are the people behind the cameras. They work to take the perfect shot of landscapes, food, people and merchandise. These days digital mediums are perhaps most used, but film photography is still alive and well. Photographers either manually develop their film or use software to edit and alter prints. Photographers can be photojournalists or work with scientific and aerial photography.
Photographers Skills and Abilities
Photography is a unique profession because experience and education are significantly interchangeable. While a podiatrist must complete a medical degree in order to gain access to skills and knowledge, a photographer can choose school or the streets for an education. However, these skills and abilities are necessary to be successful:
- Social perceptiveness: As artists, photographers will often be commissioned for a specific task and must create a product that satisfies the client. Picking up on non-verbal cues and knowing what’s trending can be assets in this setting.
- Visualization: In many cases, you will have to know what you want before you set up the shoot. Visualizing how the image will look at every stage of the process helps professionals be more effective.
- Decision making: Creatively, photographers must deicide when to try a new method or idea. Additionally, they will prioritize the artistic inclinations with the need to create a material that sells.
Photographers can be found in a range of industries and working environments. The photographer at your local department store frequently works with a stationary models and large lightening equipment. Conversely, photojournalists rely on high performance hand-held cameras and unpredictable subjects. However, typical duties might include:
- Setting up equipment: Lightening is incredibly important as is keeping the camera steady. From flash bulbs to tripods, photographers will set up their equipment for a great composition.
- Networking: Many photographers work on a freelance or self-employed basis, so it is imperative to establish healthy working relationships with a variety of individuals.
- Sales and pitching: Whether you are in a gallery or trying to convince a company to let you shoot their billboard advertisement, you’ll spend much of you time persuading other to invest in your products or talent.
- Creative thinking: When working with others, photographers are expected to come up with exiting and new solutions to old problems.
Photographers Tools and Technology
Every photographer has a favorite editing software and physical set up. However, standard industry equipment does exist and professionals can expect to encounter:
- Camera flash attachments
- Studio strobes
- Multiple angle lenses
- Specialized printers
- Editing software
- Database interfaces
- Scheduling programs
Many of the above are subject to personal and professional preference; though, you can expect for clients to request the use of certain equipment.
Education and Training for Photographers
If you want to enter this profession, you do not need a college degree, but you should have at least a high school diploma. Approximately 40 percent of field professionals have a bachelor’s degree and around 26 percent have some college. Nonetheless, most employers will look at your experience as the highest indicator of talent and ability.
The average salary for these professionals varies widely, but the national median salary is around $30,500 annually. In Washington, DC, the median wage for photographers is $61,600 while in California the top ten percent in this industry make upwards of $123,300. Salary fluctuates according to the state’s job market and the professional’s experience.
Photographers Jobs by Geography
California, New York and Florida have the high number of working photographers in the nation with over 11,000 jobs each. In terms of market growth, Utah, Alaska and Washington beat the rest with upwards of 18 percent projected growth in 2022. If you don’t mind a bit of networking, photography is a great profession to consider.