Photography Career Information

Here's some photography career information that will help you decide if a job in photography might be of interest to you.

 Photography, of course, is an interesting subject because it involves not only technical aspects of how to take good pictures but also involves creative and artistic skills, as well as people skills, for certain types of photography careers.

A portrait photographer will need to have good people skills and be at ease when interacting with clients, as well as have a good eye for creative approaches to both traditional and modern portrait styles.

Information about photography careers includes an example of a portrait photographer posing his subjects.
Image © iStockPhoto/smartview27
A portrait photographer directs his clients to
find the perfect pose for a casual portrait.

If you're going to be a photojournalist, however, you need to be able to assess a situation that you're photographing, find the news value and document the details carefully, and then also capture some compelling photographs of that event, person or place that accurately reflect the story.

On the other hand, a photography job in the medical field may involve very little creativity and instead focus more on the technical aspects taking good quality images that meet the technical needs of what could be a life or death situation.

Photography Career Statistics

So, how many photography jobs are available in the United States or in other locations around the world?

Let's look at some basic statistics as we take a deeper dive into photography career information.

According to the United Stated Department of Labor, there were 152,000 photography jobs in the United States in 2008. This number is expected to increase by 12% to almost 170,000 jobs by 2018.

One of the most interesting aspects of photography career information found in the publications of the United States Department of Labor is that over half of the US jobs in photography them are filled by people who are self-employed.

You are just as likely to have a photography career by being a self-employed photographer either running your own photography business full-time or part-time or serving as a freelancer. As a freelancer, you would sometimes work on contract for companies, but still would manage your own time and be responsible for your own equipment, accounting, taxes, and so forth.

That's very different than being an employee of a company and having a job in photography where someone pays you a salary and provides the equipment you need.

Photographer salaries

You may wonder what type of salary a photographer can expect to earn. Of course, that is very dependent on the type of photography as well as your skills and experience. Photographers with years of experience may be able to command a much higher salary than someone fresh out of photography school or with no educational credentials at all.

According to the US Department of Labor, the average photographer salary in 2008 was $29,440, with the middle 50 percent of photographers earning from $20,620 to $43,530. The top 10 percent of salaried photographers had earnings of over $62,000.

But what about self-employed photographers who were not working in a salaried position?

Those numbers are not clear from the Labor Department reports, but their estimate is that salaried photographers usually make more, because of the costs of equipment, insurance, studio costs, and more that self-employed photographers would have to pay themselves.

Education & Training

Some photography careers may require formal photography education from a college, university or fine arts school. If you are planning to be a self-employed freelancer, you might think a photography degree is not required.

However, you might find that a photography degree would be a door-opener for you with certain potential clients, and having the degree would always give you an advantage in applying for photography jobs you come across.


Related Articles

For more photography career information, visit these helpful articles:

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