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Helping you find a career in the Photography industry

Photographers have the freedom to travel all over the world for their work, capturing some of the most stunning scenes that the world has to offer. Others choose to share and snap the most special occasions in a person’s life, like their wedding or birthday. For most, photography is about creating art.

No matter what it is that draws you to photography, you can carve out your own career through it. It’s an industry that allows you to pursue your passions - a food photographer is a real job!

The majority of photographers will work freelance or in a studio. Studios usually will provide equipment for you, but as a freelance photographer you will be expected to bring your own camera, lighting and anything else that you need.

Part of the beauty of this industry is the flexibility - it can allow you to travel and meet new people. However, it will typically involve irregular hours and the income can be unstable. Few photographers have a defined salary and most of the time you will be paid per hour or per project.

Although photography allows you to pursue your interests, you will likely also have to work with client briefs. Striking a balance between your own expression and the client’s wishes is a skill you will have to develop as a photographer.


Skills & interests required for a career in Photography
Photographers must have an artistic flair and an eye for what will make a good photograph. On top of this, they must have a technical knowledge of cameras to understand what settings will result in the best photograph.

Most photographers also have photo editing skills in order to polish their final pieces.

As a photographer, you may have to direct people to get the photo that you want. You must be able to express yourself clearly and be comfortable with taking the lead.

Good communication skills are also very important for photographers in building up a rapport with clients. Your reputation will spread through word of mouth and maintaining good relationships with clients will help you in getting more work.

You should also make an effort to keep up to date with the latest technologies that could open up new opportunities for you.
Other skills that will help you to be successful as a photographer include:
- Creativity
- Determination
- Flexibility
- Resilience
Photography apprenticeships & other career progress routes for school leavers
There are several different career progression routes within photography.

One day you may wish to own your own photography studio. For this, you may start out as an assistant in an existing studio and slowly work your way up to become a senior photographer. After you have a good understanding of the business and some experience behind you, you could open up your own studio.

However, maybe you don’t like the idea of being in the same place all the time. It’s possible to earn enough as a freelance photographer to live comfortably, but your focus should be more on building up on online portfolio and connections within the industry.

As you progress in your photography career you may choose to narrow your services depending on the kind of photography you are most passionate about such as wildlife, weddings, or even food.
Tips for getting into the field
Take photos! It may sound obvious, but without exploring different kinds of photography you won’t discover where your true passions lie.

Create a website. Having an online portfolio of work will help you to attract clients. However, it’s worth noting that this can take some money to start up and will also require admin work to stay on top of. Alternatively, you could consider joining a freelancer network.
What do Photography professionals get paid?
An assistant photographer in a studio can expect to earn between £14,000-£18,000. An experienced photographer who has climbed up the ladder to a senior creative manager can earn £50,000.

As a freelance photographer, you can set your own rates. Those who become very successful are very well paid.
What qualifications do I need for a career in Photography?
There are no formal requirements for a career in photography and the most valuable thing that you will have is your portfolio. Start to build this up as early as you can.

Most colleges and universities offer courses in photography, and whilst these can be a useful tool for exploring your individual style it is not necessary in order to to have a successful career.

The most important requirements in photography are a practical knowledge of how your camera works and a good creative eye.
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