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How to Start a Career as a Photographer

Handmade crafts
Photography careers include
portrait photography, weddings,
photojournalism, travel, nature
and underwater photography.

Passionate about taking good photos? Are you the "go-to" person everybody calls on to take photos at weddings or family functions? Want to make money with your digital camera?

For those who love to take color or b&w photos and have an eye for editing and stunning composition, a career as a photographer may be the ideal way to turn a photography hobby into a creative and satisfying career.

Although there are a number of photographers who are self-taught in all aspects of the profession, specific classes or a full photography training course will likely go a long way in helping to master both the creative and technical aspects of this most commercial of commercial arts. It will also speed the way to a full-time job or self-employment as a professional photographer.

Breaking into the industry may also entail working as a photographer's assistant for a number of years while building up a portfolio of work.

Along with possessing creativity and imagination, self employed photographers must invest in equipment like cameras, lighting equipment, lenses, tripods, and filters.

"With the prevalance of digital cameras, photography is ultimately an industry in flux."

To market their work, they must also know how to put together a pleasing portfolio of their best photographs to help sell their services to prospective employers or clients. Online galleries are also increasingly popular among professional photographers as a convenient way to present their work to the world.

Within photography, there is a huge range of jobs available. This includes portraits, weddings, travel photography, photojournalism, along with more specialized fields like underwater or scientific and nature photography.

The job outlook for the photography industry is for average growth. This is offset, however, by the fact that competition for photography jobs is likely to increase. The falling price of digital cameras and equipment along with the ability to store and access photographs, particularly over the Internet, means more people coming into the industry.

With the prevalance of digital cameras, photography is ultimately an industry in flux. Photojournalists are particularly susceptible as citizen journalism continues to undercut jobs. Therefore, photographers who can adapt to the changing realities of the job and harness the new opportunities that a shifting industry creates will be much more likely to succeed.

For photographers with a steady salary, the average earnings are a little over $25,000 a year. Freelance and self-employed photographers may earn more depending on any number of factors such as contacts, client base, rates, reputation, and years in the industry.

also see in Photography -> Digital Photography | Photo Basics | Photography Organizations


More about starting a photography career around the Web:

Photography and Film Career Guide - Comprehensive directory to more information on careers in professional photography, photojournalism, medical & scientific photography, as well as motion picture industry careers.

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Photographers - US Department of Labor guide with a general overview of the profession including education and training, average wages, and industry outlook.

Better Photo Q&A - Active forum with discussions on careers, technique, pricing and related topics by both professional and amateur photographers.

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