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Photographers picture    Photographers image

Photographers create images that tell a story or document an event or occurrence. The images that they produce help us to record events for future reference. A photographer may capture an image of a child at play, a happy couple on their wedding day, a corporate executive sitting for a photograph for an annual report, a product for an advertisement, or document world events such as natural disasters, famine, or military conflicts. Whether a photographer is creating an image of people, a place, or a product, they must have a passion for telling a story with the images they create.

Photography has changed significantly recently with the widespread adoption of digital equipment. A photographer may choose to use a digital or a film camera or both depending on their own preference and the nature of the subject matter to produce the commercial-quality photographs used in newspapers, websites, print advertisements, and magazines. The quality of these photos must be a higher level than would be produced by an amateur photographer who takes pictures for recreational use and pleasure. Whether using a digital or a film camera, a photographer uses a variety of other equipment to photograph their subject including lenses, tripods, flashes, lighting, and filters. These camera accessories allow a photographer to produce a successful picture that presents the subject in the desired manner. Photographers can modify the look and feel of a photograph with the use of these accessories by changing the amount and type of lighting, the distance from which the photograph is shot, and the camera angle and position of the photographer in relation to the subject.

Photographers often choose to use a digital camera because this technology allows them to capture images that can be stored electronically on a computer. Images can be stored on CDs or smaller devices such as memory cards and flash drives. Once the image is stored the photographs can be altered and edited using processing software. This software allows the photographer to change the size of the image (also known as cropping) or correct the colors shown. Once the photographer has finished modifying the image it can then be sent via the Internet to anywhere in the world. Photographers often display their portfolio of work on their own web sites to reach prospective clients and increase their business. This is another benefit of using a digital camera versus a camera that requires film. Storing photographs electronically allows a photographer to save larger quantities of images and for longer periods of time than would be feasible with traditional prints produced by cameras that use film. This technology provides a longer life-span for images produced with a digital camera and allows the photographer to use or sell the image repeatedly over a period of time.

Some photographers choose to use traditional cameras with silver-halide film that requires processing in the photographers own laboratory or an outside commercial lab. Some photographers prefer to develop and print their own images so they can control the process and achieve the desired special effects with the photographs. Color film processing requires expensive lab equipment for accurate processing and printing.

Job Duties

The basic skills needed for all forms of photography are generally the same. A photographer must have a thorough understanding of camera operation, darkroom (developing) procedures, lighting, and film speed (for photographers not using digital cameras). Most photographers choose to specialize in a particular area or focus such as portrait photography, commercial, scientific, or photojournalism or news. Portrait photographers take pictures at weddings, graduations, family or corporate events. Portrait Photographers spend considerable time carefully arranging lighting, setting, and positioning their subjects to create the desired image. They often own their own studios. In addition to taking the photos and developing them a portrait photographer who owns their own studio would also be responsible for developing their client base, scheduling appointments, billing customers, and other business related functions. To remain competitive and provide the services clients want portrait photographers often will design photo albums, mount and frame photos, and work on location with their clients.

Commercial photographers take pictures of a variety of subjects including merchandise, buildings, artifacts, and scenery. These photographs are used for advertising and sales purposes in website, newspaper and magazine advertisements, and catalogs. Industrial photographers often take pictures of machinery and equipment at a manufacturing facility, warehouse, or office. These photographs often include the products and the workers and company officials trained to use these products. The images are used for a variety of purposes including annual reports, corporate brochures or literature, and press releases announcing a new product.

Scientific photographers, in addition to having photography skills, often possess additional knowledge in fields such as biology or chemistry. This helps them to shoot images that illustrate or demonstrate scientific or medical data being produced in research laboratories. This type of photography is the most clinical and would rely less on lighting and camera angles and allow less creative interpretation.

Photojournalists are news photographers who take photos of newsworthy people or celebrities, sporting, and political events for websites, newspapers, magazines, or television. News photographers must be in the right place at the right time to capture events that often happen quickly. Photojournalists are often in areas that might be dangerous or locations that don't have a well-developed infrastructure. Photojournalists provide us with images of current events, people and places in the news, military actions, famine, natural disasters, and other tragic events.

Many photographers choose to be self-employed or freelance in one of the specialized areas mentioned above. Being self-employed provides a photographer with the flexibility to work directly with clients and also license their images to stock-photo agencies or sell copies of their work directly to the public. Stock-photo agencies sell catalogs, magazines, creative agencies, and other photography users the right to use an image in their print advertisements for a commission or fee to the photographer and the stock-photo agency. Photographers who are self-employed, or freelance, must ensure that they protect their work from unauthorized use and have a thorough knowledge of applicable copyright laws.

A photographer should possess most of the following traits and attributes to be successful in their profession:

  • Creativity and passion
  • Detail oriented
  • Technical expertise
  • Photographers who use digital cameras should be proficient in using computers, printers and scanners, and editing software
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong client/customer service skills
  • Physical ability to stand on their feet for long periods of time often carrying heavy equipment
  • Exceptional time management skills
  • Financial acumen to manage client billing, maintenance of business records, invoice payments
  • Knowledge of laws to protect images from unauthorized use
  • Concern for personal safety of themselves and others present at the photo shoot or on location
  • Flexible schedule and ability to travel
  • Knowledge of internet website development to promote work
  • Understanding of marketing principles - advertising, client development, etc.

The working conditions for photographers vary considerably depending on the specialty chosen. Portrait and news photographers often work irregular hours depending on the clients' events or needs or world events. Commercial photographers will often work more traditional hours on a standard 5-day workweek. News photographers often work in uncomfortable or even dangerous areas of the world covering natural disasters or military conflicts. They are often under strict deadlines to meet a print date for a newspaper or magazine. All photographers must have the ability to travel to the clients location or where ever world events occur often on very short notice.

Photography Schools

Agencies or corporations that employ photographers seek applicants that are creative, imaginative, and have a "good eye" in addition to a solid understanding of the technical aspects of photography. Photojournalists or photographers specializing in industrial or scientific photography generally need an advanced degree from a photography school. Scientific photographers should as well have a thorough knowledge of the subject they are specializing in such as science, biology, etc. Photography courses are offered by many local universities and community colleges. Some vocational-technical and trade schools often offer classes or a certificate program. Courses will cover a variety of subjects including choosing and using the proper equipment, how to process or develop images, and lighting techniques. In addition to these skills a photographer should learn good business skills so they can efficiently and profitably run their studio or business. After completing photography school many photographers will start their careers as an apprentice to a more experienced professional. This allows them to acquire the technical skills and build on their creative abilities.

Photography Jobs

The job market for photographers is very competitive and there are more qualified photographers than there are available jobs. Some photographers choose to work in less crowded fields such as industrial or scientific to build their portfolio. More than half of all photographers are self-employed which is a much higher percentage than for most occupations. Some self-employed or freelance photographers have contracts with creative and advertising agencies, magazines, or websites to do projects, while many others own portrait studios or sell their images to stock-photo agencies. Self-employed photographers are responsible for the cost of their health, retirement, and business insurance as well as their equipment while a photographer working for a newspaper or industrial photo agency is often provided with benefits and a company car. As the type of photography varies widely so does the salary and benefits for a photographer.

Resources

Schools for Photographers are listed in the column to the left.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Photographers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Photographers jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Huntsville 90 $28,880
Hoover 90 $30,070
Birmingham 90 $30,070
Montgomery 80 $37,720
Mobile 70 $30,440
Tuscaloosa 60 $30,210
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 70 $39,660
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 750 $40,000
Mesa 750 $40,000
Phoenix 750 $40,000
Tucson 170 $23,090
Flagstaff 30 $21,820
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 130 $33,200
North Little Rock 130 $33,200
Little Rock 130 $33,200
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 3330 $55,980
Long Beach 3330 $55,980
Los Angeles 3330 $55,980
San Diego 590 $24,310
Carlsbad 590 $24,310
Oakland 580 $41,870
San Francisco 580 $41,870
Hayward 580 $41,870
Riverside 450 $25,350
Ontario 450 $25,350
San Bernardino 450 $25,350
Arcade 400 $34,380
Roseville 400 $34,380
Arden 400 $34,380
Sacramento 400 $34,380
Sunnyvale 120 $43,560
San Jose 120 $43,560
Santa Clara 120 $43,560
Bakersfield 80 $27,270
Fresno 70 $24,110
Modesto 50 $32,630
Santa Cruz 40 $19,940
Watsonville 40 $19,940
Santa Barbara 40 $20,720
Santa Maria 40 $20,720
Salinas 30 $19,810
Oxnard N/A $20,080
Thousand Oaks N/A $20,080
Ventura N/A $20,080
Porterville N/A $21,320
Visalia N/A $21,320
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 390 $28,980
Lakewood 390 $28,980
Denver 390 $28,980
Colorado Springs 120 $25,300
Fort Collins 50 $23,850
Boulder 50 $42,560
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 130 $37,970
West Hartford 130 $37,970
Hartford 130 $37,970
New Haven 70 $60,020
Waterbury N/A $19,720
Norwalk N/A $44,450
Bridgeport N/A $44,450
Stamford N/A $44,450
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 40 $36,070
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Orlando 1500 $22,720
Kissimmee 1500 $22,720
Sanford 1500 $22,720
Fort Lauderdale 1020 $34,590
Miami 1020 $34,590
West Palm Beach 1020 $34,590
Tampa 480 $29,660
Clearwater 480 $29,660
St. Petersburg 480 $29,660
Jacksonville 190 $28,090
Cape Coral 110 $36,170
Fort Myers 110 $36,170
Brent 80 $23,830
Ferry Pass 80 $23,830
Pensacola 80 $23,830
Winter Haven 80 $27,210
Lakeland 80 $27,210
Palm Bay 60 $22,270
Melbourne 60 $22,270
Titusville 60 $22,270
North Port 60 $41,490
Sarasota 60 $41,490
Bradenton 60 $41,490
Deltona 50 $19,200
Daytona Beach 50 $19,200
Ormond Beach 50 $19,200
Ocala 50 $20,250
Port St. Lucie 30 $18,950
Destin N/A $18,630
Crestview N/A $18,630
Fort Walton Beach N/A $18,630
Tallahassee N/A $28,380
Gainesville N/A $33,330
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 1070 $34,620
Sandy Springs 1070 $34,620
Atlanta 1070 $34,620
Savannah 40 $32,970
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 390 $35,550
Lahaina 70 N/A
Wailuku 70 N/A
Kahului 70 N/A
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 90 $24,410
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 60 $36,550
Urbana 50 $30,860
Champaign 50 $30,860
Rockford 30 $33,560
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 350 $28,440
Carmel 350 $28,440
Indianapolis 350 $28,440
Fort Wayne 60 $36,670
Muncie N/A $32,170
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Des Moines 120 $30,980
West Des Moines 120 $30,980
Cedar Rapids 70 $19,200
Cedar Falls 50 $23,990
Waterloo 50 $23,990
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 190 $30,890
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 110 $43,080
Lexington 110 $43,080
Bowling Green N/A $31,080
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 210 $25,970
Metairie 210 $25,970
Baton Rouge 90 $29,250
Bossier City N/A $22,420
Shreveport N/A $22,420
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 60 N/A
Portland 60 N/A
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 590 $27,110
Columbia 590 $27,110
Baltimore 590 $27,110
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 540 $42,800
Detroit 540 $42,800
Warren 540 $42,800
Wyoming 140 $29,630
Grand Rapids 140 $29,630
Ann Arbor 140 $45,280
Flint 50 $21,990
Benton Harbor 30 $58,400
Niles 30 $58,400
East Lansing N/A $23,940
Lansing N/A $23,940
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 40 $47,330
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 70 $29,410
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 90 $25,290
Columbia N/A $26,480
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 30 $19,600
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 80 $30,950
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 650 $35,220
Henderson 650 $35,220
Las Vegas 650 $35,220
Reno 110 $30,550
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 90 $29,210
Hammonton 30 $34,940
Atlantic City 30 $34,940
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 190 $26,170
Santa Fe 50 $44,300
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 200 $31,120
Albany 120 $36,740
Troy 120 $36,740
Schenectady 120 $36,740
Niagara Falls 100 $30,850
Buffalo 100 $30,850
Cheektowaga 100 $30,850
Syracuse 90 $29,900
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 200 $30,790
Durham 180 $27,780
Chapel Hill 180 $27,780
Greensboro 170 $30,000
High Point 170 $30,000
Salem 100 $22,110
Winston 100 $22,110
Asheville 70 $20,480
Fayetteville 70 $24,480
Wilmington 60 $23,750
Morganton 50 $26,850
Hickory 50 $26,850
Lenoir 50 $26,850
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 350 $32,960
Cleveland 350 $32,960
Columbus 350 $34,910
Toledo 180 $25,240
Dayton 160 $22,440
Akron 70 $26,690
Canton 50 $24,310
Massillon 50 $24,310
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 470 $32,360
Tulsa 160 $29,080
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 70 $29,390
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 200 $34,180
Scranton 120 $18,210
Barre 120 $18,210
Wilkes 120 $18,210
Hazleton 120 $18,210
Harrisburg 120 $19,200
Carlisle 120 $19,200
Lancaster 80 $35,340
Erie 60 $26,270
Reading 60 $28,890
Hanover 40 $27,920
York 40 $27,920
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 110 $37,220
Carolina 110 $37,220
San Juan 110 $37,220
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Greenville 80 $37,570
Mauldin 80 $37,570
Anderson 80 $37,570
Columbia 50 $35,960
Spartanburg 30 $37,700
Charleston N/A $29,420
North Charleston N/A $29,420
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rapid City 40 $27,570
Sioux Falls N/A $34,250
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Murfreesboro 280 $32,390
Franklin 280 $32,390
Davidson 280 $32,390
Nashville 280 $32,390
Knoxville 110 $29,630
Johnson City 30 $32,750
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 1040 $31,060
Dallas 1040 $31,060
Fort Worth 1040 $31,060
Houston 690 N/A
Sugar Land 690 N/A
The Woodlands 690 N/A
New Braunfels 320 N/A
San Antonio 320 N/A
Austin 320 $32,820
Round Rock 320 $32,820
Edinburg 80 $22,450
McAllen 80 $22,450
Mission 80 $22,450
El Paso 80 $28,040
Corpus Christi 70 $21,670
Lubbock 50 $31,660
Beaumont 30 N/A
Port Arthur 30 N/A
Tyler 30 $31,510
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 230 $29,530
Orem 160 $23,560
Provo 160 $23,560
Clearfield 130 $24,420
Ogden 130 $24,420
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 40 $34,410
Burlington 40 $34,410
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 130 $35,340
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 760 $35,700
Seattle 760 $35,700
Tacoma 760 $35,700
Spokane Valley 100 $51,070
Spokane 100 $51,070
Silverdale 40 $26,220
Bremerton 40 $26,220
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 40 $38,040
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Waukesha 320 $40,140
West Allis 320 $40,140
Milwaukee 320 $40,140
Madison 160 $36,480
Green Bay 110 $32,300
Appleton N/A $51,550

Most Popular Industries for :
Photographers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 42,760 70% $26,430
Traditional Publishing 5,990 9% $35,940
Media And Broadcasting 4,480 7% $36,820
Performing Arts And Sports 1,450 2% $30,690
Personal Services 1,020 1% $33,100
Education 820 1% $41,740
Office Services And Staffing 630 1% $36,700
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
Results:  8
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Programs
  • Digital Photography (AS)
  • Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
  • Curriculum focus on preparing students for a creative career by teaching them the fundamentals of advertising and design
  • Students can choose from courses that cover areas such as advertising concepts, art direction, experience design, and online marketing
  • Over 50 locations nationwide, with a student support team dedicated to helping students grow
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Sacramento
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Programs
  • Graphic Arts (AAS)
  • Graphic Arts (BS)
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
  • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
  • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
  • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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San Marcos
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Programs
  • Associate of Science, Film
  • Located in Hollywood, CA, offering degrees in film, music production, business, animation and more.
  • Scholarship, financial aid and military benefits are available for students who qualify.
  • Programs taught by award-winning industry professionals in real-world working environments.
  • Features industry-standard facilities including recording studios, soundstages, green screen, movie theatres and more.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Los Angeles
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Programs
  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
Programs
  • Graphic Design/Desktop Publishing
  • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
  • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
  • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
  • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
  • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
  • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
  • Military friendly school.
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Los Angeles
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Programs
  • Graphic Arts (AAS)
  • Graphic Arts (BS)
  • Students are issued a new laptop at the beginning of their programs.
  • All online services and study materials are available 24/7, with faculty available five days a week.
  • All programs available online, with the MBA program offered on campus in Salt Lake City.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2010.

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

Programs
  • Master of Science in Marketing - Digital Marketing and Advertising
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Programs
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Arts and Design with a concentration in Game Arts and Design

Our objective is to prepare you for a life-long, successful career in Media Arts, Business or Information Technology. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible foundation that will serve you in your first job as well as throughout your career.

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Monrovia
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Photographers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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