If you enjoy taking pictures and you've thought about a photography career, know that becoming a photographer requires creativity and a good eye for detail. You have to be able to identify the elements that make the best pictures and incorporate them into your work, whether working in black and white (BW) portrait photography or commercial photography. If you work as a photojournalist, your photographs should tell a story; if you work in fine arts BW photography, you must possess the skills to make your art stand out. Because many photographers work freelance, good business and marketing skills are also essential.
Photography Degrees: Preparing for a Career in Photography
Photography also requires a great deal of technical expertise in photo processing. If you want to work in a field such as scientific photography or photojournalism, a photography degree is typically required. To learn the technical, artistic, and business aspects of photography, you can enroll in one-year vocational school photography programs, take various college courses, or complete a two-year associate of arts or four-year bachelor's degree in photography. Coursework covers photography equipment, techniques, marketing, and photographic composition.
There are a variety of career options for photographers, including the following sub-specialties:
- Portrait photography
- Scientific photography
- Industrial photography
- Fine arts photography
- Commercial photography
Photographer Salary and Career Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for photographers in 2008 was $35,640, although salaries are significantly higher in some industries. The number of photographers is expected to grow by about twelve percent between 2008 and 2018, which is about as fast as the average. However, competition for photography jobs is intense, so if you are interested in photography, preparing yourself through education and training is a good idea.