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Also known as:
Advertising Photographer, Aerial Photographer, Industrial Photographer, Marine Photographer, Medical Photographer, News Photographer, Newspaper Photojournalist, Photojournalist, Portrait Photographer, School Photographer

Video transcript

The subjects vary, and so does the equipment. Photography is a business in transition from the old ways - with35-millimeter film developed in chemicals - to the new digital imaging that is more immediate and can be manipulated with computer software.

Photography us an art form, but very few photographers who specialize in fine art make enough money to support themselves solely through their artwork. But there are several ways to make a living as a photographer.

A portrait photographer takes pictures of individuals or groups of people in a studio or at weddings and other formal events. Commercial and industrial photographers focus on subjects such as buildings, models, merchandise, landscapes, for use in books, reports, ads, and catalogues. News photographers, also called photojournalists, shoot for news publications.

Many photographers are self-employed. The most successful license their work and are represented by agencies. To get started, subscribe to photographic newsletters and magazines, seek employment at camera stores, and consider taking courses in photography at a university, community college, technical institute, or trade school.

New media outlets and a growing population will be demanding more images and portraits, but employment for photographers is expected to increase more slowly than most occupations in the years ahead, because of an overall decline in the newspaper industry. So along with creativity and technical skill, you need good business sense to make photography a lifelong career.

Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects. May use lighting equipment to enhance a subject's appearance. May use editing software to produce finished images and prints. Includes commercial and industrial photographers, scientific photographers, and photojournalists.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Adjust apertures, shutter speeds, and camera focus according to a combination of factors, such as lighting, field depth, subject motion, film type, and film speed.

Test equipment prior to use to ensure that it is in good working order.

Perform maintenance tasks necessary to keep equipment working properly.

Set up, mount, or install photographic equipment and cameras.

Use traditional or digital cameras, along with a variety of equipment, such as tripods, filters, and flash attachments.

Review sets of photographs to select the best work.

Perform general office duties, such as scheduling appointments, keeping books, and ordering supplies.

Direct activities of workers setting up photographic equipment.

Create artificial light, using flashes and reflectors.

Estimate or measure light levels, distances, and numbers of exposures needed, using measuring devices and formulas.

Determine project goals, locations, and equipment needs by studying assignments and consulting with clients or advertising staff.

Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.