Career Profile: Photographers

Career Profile: Photographers

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Taking pictures can be fun and can help people remember interesting events. For some people, photography is more than just a hobby. Professional photographers work with cameras and other instruments to produce pictures of people, buildings, scenery, and much more. For artistic and detail-oriented people, the job of photographer can be a good choice.

Almost anyone can take pictures, but professional photographers have special training to help them take the best pictures possible. Many people in this field have a bachelor’s degree in visual arts with courses in photography.

Other options are to train for the work in high school, college, or other schools. Art classes in high school, as well as English and mathematics, can be helpful.  Training on the job is also a possibility in some cases. After training, people can work in photographic studios, universities, or businesses such as real estate companies. Some photographers are self employed, but they all need a portfolio of work to show to potential employers.

Creativity is an important part of being a photography, but it is also essential to have technical knowledge of aspects such as lighting, film versus digital photography, picture composition, and more. Some photographers choose to specialize in certain types of work, such as school pictures, nature photography, or other types of picture-taking.

Depending on where they work, photographers can earn between $32,000 and $100,000 per year. Finding fulltime work can be difficult in some parts of the country, but photographers can begin with a few projects and gain experience for more difficult work. Part of the process is learning to use equipment like scanners, computers, tripods, and sometimes to use delicate instruments such as optical microscopes.

The field of photography includes many specialties. Some people concentrate on wedding photography or taking pictures of other special events like graduations or anniversaries. Taking pictures of homes to show to potential buyers can give people a good income, and nature photography can be a good choice for people who enjoy being outside. Making connections with people who can help with finding work is always a good idea.

Different types of jobs require different equipment. Photographing flowers or other small plants, for example, often involves using special lenses on the camera and using special techniques to make sure that the subjects of the picture are in focus. Having good vision is helpful in this work, but people can learn to adjust the cameras to suit their level of eyesight. Steady hands are essential for the job in many cases, although tripods and other devices can help keep the camera steady so that the images will not be blurred.

Sometimes, special effects and individual touches can help make a picture more interesting. Many photographers develop a special style that people can recognize. It might be a certain colour combination or a way of including animals or items like books or candles. Developing a special style could take several years, but photographers can already begin to consider their tastes and abilities early in their careers.

Working as a photographer can be a good choice for people who are creative and able to work with both equipment and other people. You can already start to prepare for this interesting career.



Government of Canada. Photographer in Canada. https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/summary-occupation/5514/ca.

Professional Photographers of Canada. “Accreditation.” https://www.ppoc.ca/membership/accreditation.php

Salary Explorer. “Photographer Average Salary in Canada.” http://www.salaryexplorer.com/salary-survey.php?loc=38&loctype=1&job=56&jobtype=3#.

University of Manitoba. “Photographer.” https://umanitoba.ca/career-services/career-planning/explore-occupations/photographer

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