PHOTOGRAPHERS use cameras and film, or digital cameras and computers, to portray people, places, and events. They try to capture the feeling or mood that sells products, highlights news stories, and brings back memories. To compose a picture, they choose a subject, present or pose a subject to get a certain effect, and select the equipment to do this. They apply the technical aspects of light, lens, film, filters, and camera settings to produce the picture they want. They pose subjects against an appropriate background, adjust lights, make camera adjustments, and focus the camera to get a desired effect. Some photographers sell their photographs as artwork.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $47,000 average per year ($22.50 per hour)
- A medium occupation (54,600 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.2% per year)
Employers look for PHOTOGRAPHERS with imagination and creativity, and technical understanding of photography. Entry level positions in photojournalism or scientific photography may need a college degree in journalism or photography. Many universities, community colleges, vo-tec institutes, and others offer photography courses, which cover equipment, processes, and techniques. Some photographers submit unsolicited photos to magazines or art directors at advertising agencies. A good portfolio is essential for freelance photographers.