Photography Careers

Make a living AND make a difference.

Fine Art Photography: A fine art photographer creates original images for sale, museum and gallery exhibition, print and commissions. Although technical aspects of photography are important, fine art photographers’ goal is to generate artistic work of lasting quality. Typical work activities include:

  • Developing a recognizable practice and style;
  • Exploring potential subjects for themed work;
  • Producing high-quality prints, using a variety of methods and techniques;
  • Negotiating with galleries and museums, generating opportunities for exhibition work;
  • Seeking public funding for own or collaborative projects;
  • Undertaking commissions for private or, more usually, public buyers.

Photographer will study lighting, learn darkroom skills and process for black and white film. In addition, photographers, learn to work on computer software tor photo manipulation.

Almost all fine art photographers are self-employed. Many also teach research or write about photography. They also may engage in a commercial photography practice to supplement their income. They may also work in other media, such as painting or video. A degree in fine art or art history, or a photography degree with a fine art emphasis, may be an advantage.

Advertising Photographer: This photographer works with an agency art director to fulfill the demands of a layout for the advertisement. The layouts may be for a proposed magazine or newspaper page. It indicates all-important details so the photographer has guidelines to create the finished photograph. The photographer hires models, finds locations for the photographs or helps design sets when necessary. Lighting, props, costumes are also essential parts of his/her responsibility. The technical and artistic skills to take the photograph are, of course, the major responsibility.

Fashion Photographer: The fashion photographer arranges and photographs fashion merchandise displayed on a model or in a still life situation. The most prestigious and imaginative work is done for fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, etc. where pure fashion is often shown. Other work is done for department stores and advertising agencies to sell everything from cosmetics and clothes to fabrics and fashion furniture.

News Photographer: Newspaper work is highly pressured. The photographer must be able to work under extraordinary conditions. For example, in scenes of human tragedy, and still maintain the objectivity necessary to spot a good shot and get it. Technique must be second nature so that the photographer can reach for the right camera and film in sometimes chaotic situations.

Product Photographer: The product photographer specializes in taking a picture of a product for a client in such a way as to make it dramatically appealing. At the same time, the purpose of the product must be made clearly understandable to the audience. The photographer may work for a magazine or for an advertiser; he may work in a studio or on location.

Architectural Photographer: An architectural photographer photographs buildings and interiors. Contacts are usually made through architects. The photographs are used for annual reports and trade magazines. Architects often need photographs of work in progress from all angles. Magazines like “House Beautiful,” House and Garden”, etc. often publish photographs by architectural photographers.

Salary Information

Median annual earnings of salaried photographers were $26,170 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,680 and $38,730. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $56,640. Median annual earnings in the industry employing the largest numbers of salaried photographers were $22,860 in the photographic services industry. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Pricing Fine Art Photography Resources

Employment Outlook:

Employment of photographers is projected to grow at 10%s over the 2006-2016 period. Barriers to job growth is the increase in digital technology, the falling prices for digital equipment for amateurs photographer and an increase in competition for jobs

Websites for further research

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