Once you have developed your basic skills as a photographer, you can think of doing it professionally. But, how can you find the door you are looking to make your photography career? We have listed down some specialized photography jobs as well as some generic ones, which will guide you towards the steps you need to take to fulfill your passion.
Before you look for the various jobs that a photographer can do, you need to know that a photographer is selected based on how strong their portfolio is. Entry-level photography jobs are scarce, and therefore a photographer has to develop work in the area they are interested in. If you have built a portfolio to show, then first make an online portfolio.
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Here are the different types of photography jobs that you can take up:
These unique photography jobs are dependent on the genre you want to work. Some of them may be more demanding than others. So it is recommended to do proper research about the type of photography you are interested in pursuing.
1. Film Set Photography Jobs
Photographers are hired for shooting movie posters, promotional materials, and other such things on a film set by film making companies. For a photographer to get hired, one has to join a union first, which is very tough and challenging to join. If you are looking to work in a film set for the long term, then you have to fulfill some requirements and improve your skills.
2. Pet Photography Jobs
Pet photography is another lucrative area we one can make serious money. Pets are closely attached to their owners, and therefore, the owners would like to have photographs to keep memories with them. Although an exciting area, but pets are hard to handle. A photographer who is good in handling pets can think of entering in this field. More often than not, people will ask you to take photographs of them along with their pets, so you have to be good at portrait photography as well.
3. Insurance Claims Photography Jobs
Insurance companies hire photographers who can depict the accident scene accurately. Insurance claims photography can be challenging, but the pay is good.
4. Forensic Photography Jobs
A forensic photographer is a photographers job, where one has to take photos of the crime scene. If becoming part of the team that solves crime is an exciting option for you, then you should get into forensics photography as your photos could be presented as evidence in the court of law. People who have more than three years of photography experience and have studied forensic science, criminology or law enforcement are generally preferred.
5. Military Photography Jobs
A military photographer has to cover training events, news conferences, and travel to different places in the world do criminal photography. A military photographer has to follow the same rules and regulations as that of a soldier but doesn’t have to be involved in the fighting. Advanced technical training is provided, and you are allowed to improve your skills while you are working there.
6. Photography Teacher Jobs
A photographer can take up the job of a photography teacher since many schools and colleges are now offering courses on photography. The benefit of doing this job is that you can learn from the fresh perspective of students regularly, as well as you can learn by updating your skills often. Check the requirements from the colleges and see if it matches your skills.
7. Photojournalist Jobs
A photojournalist has to cover news events which can range from political to sports or culture. A photographer can work under news agency, magazines, etc. as a photojournalist. The jobs are quite limited as a photojournalist, but with the right skill level and perseverance, one can enter this field. A photographer has to showcase a portfolio, which has to be developed by freelance work or work in other agencies to get the job of a photojournalist.
8. Photo Editor Jobs
A photo editor/ picture editor is not directly involved in photography but has the role of collecting, choosing, and reviewing images for the publication. These publications can be a newspaper, magazine, website, book, art gallery, museum, etc. A photo editor has to be involved in getting the photoshoots done by hiring professional photographers and includes roles such as location scouting, networking, handling the legal aspects, getting the images edited and organizing things to get the shoot done.
9. Funeral Photography Jobs
A funeral photographer captures all the moments that take place during the event of a funeral. A bereaved family likes to remember this important event and therefore hires a photographer to do the job. A funeral home can also supply a photographer. Not everyone may be willing to do a funeral photography job, but due to constant demand, this can be an excellent earning opportunity. Check out with funeral homes or companies in the funeral industry, if they want to hire a funeral photographer. You can also work as a freelance funeral photographer. A professional funeral photographer should know how to capture the event while respecting the sentiments of the people and of the ceremony that happens.
10. Industrial Photography Jobs
An industrial photographer has to shoot the workers and machines and the process of the industry. Businesses use these photos to show their customers and other business their industrial strengths. A photographer usually has a wide area to cover while doing industrial photography. Companies can hire a photographer in-house who covers all their photography needs, or such jobs can be given to freelancers who work in this genre.
11. Medical Photographer
Medical Photographer or Biomedical Photographer is someone who takes anatomical photographs which help physicians to understand diagnose and treat illnesses. They also keep track of operations and procedures through pictures. Medical photography jobs include photography to support documents such as medical reports, research papers, textbooks, etc. A photographer needs to have a bachelor’s degree in photography or medical illustration where they learn the basics of biology such as anatomy and physiology along with photography principles and concepts. Other topics which a photographer has to study are scientific, forensic, ophthalmic and surgical photography; visual arts, design and drawing, scientific visualization, etc. To certify as a medical photographer, one also has to take the certificate from Bio-Communications Associations Board of Registry.
12. Travel Photography Jobs
If you think you can get a full-time travel photography job after you have finished your photography degree, you are most likely wrong unless you are fortunate. To work as a travel photographer, you need to find a client that will hire you. These clients can be a governmental tourism organization, NGO’s, Commercial Organizations, and Media.
To work with a government tourism organization, you need first to have worked with travel magazines, newspapers, or any similar organization, not necessarily as a full-time job. And for a travel magazine or newspaper to publish your work, you need to have a lot of experience, a good portfolio and amazing pictures for the story you would be pitching. A government organization in the tourism sector usually works with big travel magazines to supply them with photographs as well as give them publicity through their media.
Start by building a substantial body of work which you can do in your free time. Make a blog where you can share your experiences and build an online portfolio to show your best work. Focusing on a particular aspect of travel photography like food, culture, adventure, etc. will help you even more.
If you are interested in social causes and photography, then working with an NGO might suit you. Start by volunteering in NGOs near you and build good relationships with them. Document their work and build a strong portfolio. Once you have a decent amount of work to show, then you can check with big organizations if they need a full-time photographer.
Another way you can earn money is through selling prints and one medium to do it is through print-on-demand websites. Selling prints is a good option when you are starting in travel photography.
13. Wedding Photography Jobs
You can start by working as a second shooter or an assistant photographer under an experienced professional or a wedding photography studio. A second shooter is paid very less, so have another job along with it to meet your expenses. Learn the tricks of the trade, build a strong portfolio, and work your way up. Nothing happens overnight, so give it a few years before you think of working as a professional wedding photographer.
Companies in the wedding industry like wedding planners hire wedding photographers from time to time. Once you have a decent amount of wedding photography experience and a portfolio, you can look for full-time jobs as well.
14. Real Estate Photography Jobs
For residential and commercial brokerages, photography is a very big part of their real estate marketing efforts. Chances of getting a real-estate photography job is more than many areas of photography. A photographer may find the opportunity to work in a small property listing business or large commercial projects. Businesses are on the lookout to present their property in an appealing way to gain customers. Real Estate photography is mainly done for the properties on sale while architectural photography is done to show the structural qualities of the property. You may also find a job at real estate photography companies who does the business of providing real estate photographs.
15. Nature Photography Jobs
A photographer interested in making a career in nature photography has to start by developing a strong portfolio in your free time first and start by getting photo story assignments by pitching to magazines, newspapers and other media. Some of nature and wildlife magazine even hire a full-time photographer. Start small and don’t think of becoming a National Geographic photographer early in your career. If you can find a way to earn while living close to nature like being a nature guide or forest ranger, that would be the best opportunity to do nature photography. Some wildlife conservation organizations hire a photographer who can document their work. Even if you don’t get a full-time wildlife photography job, you can volunteer with these organizations and try to get photos that you can include in your portfolio. If you have a lot of experience or knowledge in nature photography, then you can earn a living by conducting photography workshops and giving talks. Here is an example of best nature photography portfolio website examples you can check.
16. Sports Photography Jobs
If you are starting your career in sports photography, then volunteering to photograph at a local sports club or events would be a great place. After a while, you can look for assisting a sports photographer in your area and build a strong portfolio. Learn to take portraits of athletes as well so that you have a broader set of skills. Once you have a good collection of work, you can look for a full-time position as a staff photographer in sports publications, or you can pitch them for freelance assignments.
17. Product Photography Jobs
As with other commercial photography jobs, product photography being one of its parts has more opportunities for a product photographer to get a full-time job. Once you have developed your skills, either by working under a photographer or by doing a photography course; you can simply search in job directories to find a job. Many manufacturing industries hire a full-time photographer while others rely on freelancers or studios to get their work done. If you want to do a wide range of work, working with a product photography studio may suit you. Once you have developed the right skills, a strong portfolio, and contacts in the industry, you can start freelancing.
18. Food Photography Jobs
Food photography involves food styling as well as some knowledge of cooking at least. Once you have done your course in food photography, you can work with a studio focusing on food photography or assist a professional food photographer. If you are thinking of doing it freelance, you need to have a stunning portfolio which you can develop at your home also. Earning money as a freelancer depends on your business skills to make contacts and getting orders. Since there are publications which solely focuses on food, you can check with them if they hire full-time photographers. As with other genres, food photographers are hired mostly on a freelance basis.
19. Influencer Photography Jobs
Instagram celebrities, influencers, and bloggers who look for photographers who will capture their daily lives have now photographers available to do it. As these influences find the need to update their lives to their audience continually, photographers can use this opportunity to become personal photographers for them. As a photographer, you can either contact these influencers with big followings and ask them if they need a photographer who can shadow them and be their influencer photographer. Or, you can look for influencer marketing companies near you and contact them if they are looking for a full-time photographer or a freelance photographer. Make sure you have a contract with the person you are dealing with and prefer a long term contract as the work will be continuous.
Photography industry is not an organized industry which produces tons of jobs to keep up with the growing talent. Freelancers fulfill most of the requirements, and the supply of photos is more than it is required. Therefore the opportunities are less for photographers. So, how to get photography jobs even with these limitations? The answer lies in persistence, developing the right photography skills as well as business skills to build a portfolio which stands out. Sign up with Pixpa for a 15-day free trial now.