How To Become A Photographer

How To Become A Photographer

A photographer uses a digital camera to capture various models and subjects for different clients. You will be editing photos using editing software and presenting the final products to clients either in digital or printed format.

Photographers utilize their artistic skills and technical knowledge of taking pictures and using the camera to capture compelling and beautiful images of various subjects. The passion to take pictures and the opportunity the career provides to be able to run their own photo studio and even teach photography to college students are just some of the reasons to go into this occupation.

The pay may be modest but the satisfaction of being able to do something you love every day is definitely more than what money can buy.

In addition to having a good eye for taking pictures, you should also be able to pay particular attention to detail, especially when editing a photograph. You also need excellent customer service and interpersonal skills to succeed as a photographer.

Why Become A Photographer

There are many reasons to become a photographer but these do not have to do with the pay received by photographers which is quite modest. Rather, the fulfillment comes from being able to use your artistic skills and technical knowledge of the camera to be able to compose a subject. It’s also a stepping board towards being able to establish your own photography studio or teach photography classes.

Photographer Work Environment

The kind of work environment that a photographer moves around in depends on the kind of photographer they are. For example, portrait photographers generally work in a studio. They may also travel to a client’s home or an event to be able to take the desired pictures. A more exciting life is led by news photographers who are assigned to cover a news event any time in the day or night. They may even be asked to go to an area torn by strife and war just to get the pictures required by an editor.

The work hours vary depending on the date of the event and the needs of the client. Photographers also need to be very fit since they will be carrying heavy camera equipment and standing and taking pictures for long periods of time.

Photographer Salary

According to the May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, photographers earned a mean annual wage of $37,190 or a median hourly wage of $14.08. The agency reported in 2012 that photographers working in the District of Columbia received the highest pay with a rate of $33.15.

Average Photographer Salary

Photographer Salary By State

Rank State Hourly Rate Annual Salary
#1 District of Columbia $30.65 $63,750
#2 New York $29.58 $61,530
#3 Massachusetts $28.91 $60,130
#4 California $24.56 $51,080
#5 Connecticut $22.65 $47,100
#6 Georgia $22.51 $46,820
#7 Alaska $22.46 $46,730
#8 Vermont $22.02 $45,810
#9 Oregon $21.75 $45,250
#10 Rhode Island $21.70 $45,140
#11 Minnesota $21.64 $45,000
#12 Maine $21.55 $44,820
#13 Washington $21.26 $44,220
#14 Texas $21.15 $43,990
#15 Missouri $20.79 $43,250
#16 Florida $20.53 $42,710
#17 Colorado $20.19 $42,000
#18 South Carolina $19.61 $40,780
#19 Michigan $19.12 $39,770
#20 Hawaii $18.99 $39,500
#21 Delaware $18.89 $39,280
#22 Wisconsin $18.29 $38,030
#23 Ohio $18.24 $37,930
#24 Illinois $18.24 $37,930
#25 Maryland $17.88 $37,190
#26 Nevada $17.72 $36,850
#27 Virginia $17.48 $36,360
#28 Kansas $17.38 $36,140
#29 Alabama $17.11 $35,590
#30 North Dakota $17.08 $35,530
#31 Kentucky $16.83 $35,020
#32 Puerto Rico $16.76 $34,870
#33 New Jersey $16.62 $34,570
#34 New Hampshire $16.61 $34,550
#35 South Dakota $16.50 $34,320
#36 Arizona $16.34 $33,990
#37 Tennessee $15.99 $33,260
#38 Pennsylvania $15.77 $32,810
#39 Indiana $15.65 $32,560
#40 West Virginia $15.64 $32,530
#41 Utah $15.62 $32,490
#42 Mississippi $15.22 $31,660
#43 Oklahoma $15.19 $31,590
#44 North Carolina $15.09 $31,380
#45 Arkansas $14.97 $31,140
#46 Nebraska $14.88 $30,950
#47 Wyoming $14.77 $30,720
#48 Idaho $14.73 $30,650
#49 Montana $14.29 $29,720
#50 Louisiana $14.09 $29,300
#51 Iowa $13.38 $27,840

Photographer Career Outlook

The employment rate of photographers in the period covering 2012 to 2022 is projected to grow only by 4 percent. This is slower than the average rate for all occupations. The affordability of camera equipment and improved technology has made taking pictures of very good quality accessible to regular folks.

Professional photographers will still be needed by companies who want to come up with engage advertising content for their products or services. Because there are more photographers than the number of vacancies available, competition for jobs will be fierce. Those who know how to edit and can capture digital video will be preferred by employers.

Photographer Degree

A bachelor’s degree is generally not needed for photographers to get hired. A lot of photographers take courses in photography to learn more and beef up their technical knowledge of taking pictures. Photographers who are self-employed may need to also study business, marketing and accounting so they know the basics of how to run their own photography basis.

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