What does a Photographer do?

A photographer works closely with clients to capture photos of people, places and things through the use of creativity and technical abilities in photographic equipment and photo manipulation software. To ensure that desired results are obtained, photographers have to communicate effectively with clients regarding expectations to meet standards and deadlines of projects. Other duties include recommending creative ideas and solutions to achieve desired results and maintaining a professional image.

Although a high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum educational requirements to be a photographer, industry leaders express a preference for associate's or bachelor's degree holders. Good candidates often possess natural artistic flair backed by detailed knowledge and understanding of photography art and lighting science. Excellent communication skills are also required as photographers typically interact with clients to understand their desired outcomes. Most photographers are required to stand for long hours at a time and the job often demands flexibility to travel to locations for shoots.

  • Take professional pictures in a studio or on location
  • Work closely with clients and colleagues to produce high-quality photographic images
  • Use different techniques to enhance the photographs as required
  • Use photo manipulation software such as Adobe Suite to get desired results
  • Recommend creative ideas to exceed expectations of goals and objectives
  • Use artistic knowledge to enhance and compose photographs
  • Review sets of photographs and select the best results
  • Operate various photographic equipment such as single lens reflex cameras and film or digital cameras and lighting
  • Associate's or bachelor's degree in photography art preferred
  • Proven experience as a photographer in a competitive industry
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Detailed knowledge of photography art and lighting
  • Strong creative presence and artistic flair
  • Customer focus with a desire to over deliver on quality
  • Able to follow instructions clearly to achieve desired results
  • Able to stand and move around for long periods at a time
  • Flexible to travel to locations as required of the job
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Photographer Salaries

Average Base Pay

$39,817 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$27K
Median: $40K
$58K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Photographer Career Path

Learn how to become a Photographer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Photographer
$39,817/yr
L3
L4
See Career Path

Photographer Insights

Read what Photographer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
JessopsJessops
Photo
Apr. 14, 2020

“Working with my store team was great and working with customers isn't all bad.”

Kevin’s Photography
Lead Photographer
Apr. 1, 2021

“Kevin makes a great mentor and I have really learned my craft from working with him.”

PhixerPhixer
Photo Editor
Mar. 10, 2021

“It had the best quality/ service to offers for the client compare to others and had a great colleagues.”

TEGNATEGNA
Photojournalist
Sep. 10, 2019

“TEGNA is an innovative company that is not afraid to do things outside the box and cares about the quality of the product”

BiovideoBiovideo
Photographer
Aug. 18, 2019

“No background or "required" vaccinations actually required BEFORE training because it "will get done eventually".”

Cox CommunicationsCox Communications
Director of Photography Freelance
Oct. 30, 2019

“Luckily I had a great production manager who was able to deal with any bureaucratic slip ups.”

Discovery CoveDiscovery Cove
Merchandise Photographer
Jul. 28, 2021

“Management and literally everything else overall was not the best and they expected way too much out of someone who works for 12$ an hour.”

WalgreensWalgreens
Photo Specialist
May 14, 2019

“Pto was good but only at fulltime and after 5 years so not much to appeal to your average walgreens employee.”

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Photographer Interviews

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