Taking Pictures for a Living: How to Find Photography Jobs

Taking Pictures For A Living: How To Find Photography Jobs

Art is one of the most meaningful pursuits that anyone can partake in, but this doesn't mean that it will always make for a good career. Unfortunately, arts are slightly incompatible with business in that they are not focused on money; they are centered instead around the expression of emotions.

Anyone with a bit of business experience knows that emotions and money don't mix too well, which is why it is crucial to keep a calm and level head. There is sometimes a massive difference between taking photos to create a piece art and capturing images so you can make enough money to support yourself.

Just because it can be challenging to make money with your art, it is not impossible. When artists are successful, their success is proportionate to the difficulty of being recognized. While being an artist who is renowned across the world can be challenging, it is worth it in the end, more often than not.

DSLR Camera In Leafs

As you can deduce from this dilemma, an artist needs to be patient. You need to accept that success will come in its own time; there are some things that you can do to speed it up, however. Today, we are going to be taking a look at some of the things you can do to find a job in photography.

Photography is one of the most common forms of art in our current era, no doubt because everyone carries a camera in their pocket in the form of a smartphone. While a smartphone is not the ideal platform from which you can shoot your photos, it can make for an excellent starting point.

All it takes is the spark of interest, and you may be taking pictures using a DSLR before long. There is a massive difference between taking photos as a hobby and working as a professional photographer. While photography may be your passion, you must keep in mind that it will still be work.

Any job can grow to be tedious, so you want to ensure that you are ready to jeopardize your passion potentially. Many photographers have become disillusioned with the art form over time, even those of great renown. Work tends to drain you, and it can sometimes hit harder when it is something you love.

Of course, there is a flipside to being passionate about the career you pursue. If you find the ideal employer, and you have a genuine passion for taking photos, you will love your job. So let's get started on informing you of the details of how to find your dream job in the field of photography.

How To Find Photography Jobs?

The most crucial part of searching for a photography job lies in having the dedication to keep searching for employers after being rejected. You have to be prepared to visit multiple employers, and some of them may not even give you the time of day. It is important to realize that photography is a very competitive field.

Holding Looking For A Job Cardboard

When we say that photography is competitive, we mean that there are too many photographers on the job market and not enough careers. If you are looking for a photography job, you will come across many companies who have already filled the opening when you get around to calling them.

Since it is so challenging to find an available employer as a photographer, you will have to keep your eyes and ears open for any possible opportunities. If you are serious about pursuing photography as a career, you will have to find an opening, which can end up consuming as many hours as a full-time job.

Whatever you do during your search for a job in photography, you will not want to get discouraged. The minute that you stop believing that you will eventually find the job you are searching for is the minute that you give up. When it comes to artistic pursuits, belief in yourself is everything.

Online

The easiest way to search for a photography job (or any job, for that matter) is to look around online. Since you can find your career without leaving the comfort of your own home, you can apply for more jobs than you would otherwise be able to. Even interviews can be conducted over the Internet.

It is easy to search for a photography job online because digital cameras are compatible with computers by their very nature. If you apply to a publication or company, all you have to do is send a file containing the pictures in your portfolio, the document containing your resume, and any other requested materials.

There are even services which are dedicated to finding you work as a photographer, either taking a commission as a percentage of your revenue or a monthly subscription. These companies can get you into contact with stock image providers and other excellent sources of income for aspiring photographers.

Other than job-finding services which are made especially for photographers, you can always opt for a more generic job search website that can provide free services. While it will be a little more difficult than choosing a service that is marketed towards photographers, a general job search will also be more affordable.

Offline

What if you don't want to use the internet to find your photography job or you don't have access to it? In that case, you will have to find your photography job the old-fashioned way; by going out and applying in person. While it can be time-consuming, you may be surprised that it has a few advantages over online applications.

Looking For A Job In Newspaper

Unfortunately, amateur photographers have acquired something of a reputation for being flaky and unreliable due to the number of undecided beginners in the field. When you show up to apply for a job in person, it shows that you have more dedication than someone who merely pressed a few keys on their laptop.

Applying offline also gives you the opportunity to work for local businesses. While working online from your home can be convenient, some people prefer to work in a professional environment. As a photographer, it is unlikely that you will be spending much time in an office, regardless.

If you are not proficient with computers, but you have a gift for photography, you will likely prefer to apply for your job in person or over the phone. There are many offline methods to apply for a photography job that don't necessarily involve leaving the house as well.

You can instead choose to call the company that you are interested in working for, and you may then ask about any job openings. Another method, which some will consider even more archaic, is to send your portfolio through the mail. While digital files are convenient, nothing can match a quality print.

Whether you choose to apply online, in person, or through any other method, the most critical thing to do is put yourself and your work out there. If you do not make yourself known, how will anyone ever see that you are a good photographer? If you are naturally humble, you may have to step out of your comfort zone.

Types Of Photography Jobs

Here is a list of the most famous photography jobs to look for:

Modeling

One of the more popular disciplines for photographers who are interested in picturing human subjects is being a photographer for a modeling agency. When we say “modeling agency” we don’t mean that you have to shoot for Vogue or an equally well-known publication; there are many small modeling agencies to work for.

Modeling is a field of photography where there is a lot of potential for success, but you will also have to deal with quite a bit of competition. If you don't mind having to deal with competitors now and then, you may enjoy modeling photography, which can then lead to very lucrative high fashion photography.

Product Photography

If you are not a fan of human subjects and you would rather take photos of inanimate objects, you may find that product photography is the ideal field for you. This form of photography is a little more technical than the disciplines which focus on more of the organic world, like nature or people.

Taking Product Photography

A significant portion of the effort that goes into product photography lies in the setup of your shot. As a product photographer, you will have to play around with the lighting and the angles of your product. Keep in mind that you will be a little constrained when it comes to angles by directives from your employer.

Weddings

One of the more popular fields for photographers who prefer to take images of people is wedding photography. When you take pictures at weddings, you get to enjoy some of the festivities, but you will mainly have to be focused on other people having more fun than you, which requires a bit of self-control.

If you can resist the temptation to join in on the fun, you will find that wedding photography is one of the best disciplines to pursue if you would like to make the most money. People are willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money for their weddings, and this extends into the price of the photography service.

Other Events

Wedding photography is not the only form of picture taking that is centered around events, even though it is the one which makes the most money. If you are looking for a type of event photography with lower expectations (but also more moderate profits), you may wish to look into the field of nightlife.

Nightlife photography is one of the best fields to get into if you are looking to have fun while doing your job. While you naturally can't start partying with the people you are taking photos of, you can enjoy the music and the venue. Nightlife photographers can work in clubs, bars, concerts, and much more.

News Coverage

News coverage is an excellent field to work in as an aspiring photographer as it will allow you to get a good deal of experience under your belt on a variety of subjects. When it comes to news photography, you will have to be a versatile photographer who is comfortable working with almost any terrain and subject.

News Agency

Working for a news agency is an excellent choice if you are looking for a relatively acceptable level of job security. Unlike freelance photographers, in-house photographers at a news agency are officially on the payroll. Instead of being a contractor, working in news photography often makes you a full employee.

Woman Photographer In War Country

One of the main difficulties for up-and-coming photographers is that nobody will offer them a secure job. If you don’t fancy the prospect of being piled in debt if the slightest thing goes wrong with the company you work for, search for a photography job that you can be sure that you will keep.

Nature Photography

If you are looking for a type of photography that is more relaxing than the other choices on this list, you will want to become a nature photographer. When you take photos of nature, your subjects can vary quite a bit, though not as much as the subjects that have to be pictured by news photographers.

On any given day, a nature photographer may end up taking pictures of animals, plants, vistas, and so much more. Nature photographers also tend to travel a lot more than photographers who work outside of news agencies. Keep in mind that nature photography can be one of the more hazardous disciplines.

As a nature photographer, you may have to approach potentially dangerous animals or traverse hazardous routes to take your pictures. If you are not comfortable with the outdoors, this is not the job for you. Only choose to become a nature photographer if you are relatively experienced hiking and dealing with wild animals.

Freelance Photography

There are two types of photographers; the first of these varieties is the freelance photographer, and the second one is the full-time employed photographer. While both photographer types will do what is mostly the same job (take photos in exchange for payment) there are some fundamental differences.

Freelance photographers are not considered employees of the company that they are currently doing a job for. Think of freelancers as contractors, they technically work for themselves, but the job they are doing is for someone else. It is usually far easier to find a job as a freelance photographer.

Since you won’t have to be included on a payroll, you will find many more companies willing to hire you for a short period. The problem with being a freelancer is that you don’t have much job security unless you place immense trust in your clients, as they will hold your finances in the palm of their hand.

The number of freelance photographers has been steadily increasing while the number of salaried photographers has been dropping. More and more companies are getting rid of their in-house photographers due to the price of employing them and paying for the essential benefits.

Taking City Photographs

Being a freelance photographer, your job will be far more interesting. Instead of taking pictures of the same subjects day after day, you will be shooting something new and exciting every day. Freelance photography also allows you to set your own schedule, so you don't have to worry about showing up to work.

While this lack of structure may sound ideal to you, various people will react differently to a more freeform work environment. Some workers excel in jobs where they have a high degree of autonomy. Unfortunately, there are also those who find it difficult to motivate themselves to get work done.

Where Can You Find Freelance Jobs?

If you are looking for work as a freelance photographer, you have a few options available. As we mentioned earlier, there are specific sites which are made specifically for photographers who are looking for jobs. These websites are ideal for freelance photographers since there is no direct employment involved.

There are also many websites which cater to freelancers of all different types. Regardless of whether you are searching for writing jobs or photography jobs, these sites will contain many clients who are willing to pay for your services; you just have to advertise them.

Both of these options may end up costing you a small sum of money to advertise your services. You can usually make the money that you invest in the service back within a few sales, provided that you price your photos reasonably. Your niche is also a critical consideration to make as a freelancer.

Freelance photographers who specialize in a particular area are often paid more than their counterparts with a less specialized repertoire of skills. Depending on how rare photographers of your type are in your area, you may find that you are more or less in demand depending on your niche.

What Are the Essentials When It Comes To Gear?

We compiled a list of the most important gear that every photographer needs to have:

Camera

The single most crucial piece of equipment that you can bring with you as a photographer is your camera. Without a proper DSLR, you will find it impossible to take pictures. Finding the right camera for your needs and your budget is one of the first things you will have to do as a photographer.

Holding DSLR Camera

While more expensive cameras will offer superior image quality and many extra features, you will find that you can get a perfectly capable digital camera for an excellent price. If you don’t mind buying used gear, you may find plenty of fantastic deals on second-hand digital cameras.

Camera Add-Ons

There are also many pieces of gear that you may have to purchase specifically for your camera. For example, there are hundreds of different lenses that you can choose to invest in that will change your picture either subtly, or dramatically. Lenses are less of an add-on and more of an integral part of the camera, however.

Another add-on that is very popular for photographers is a more powerful flash. While the flash that comes equipped with many newer DSLRs is impressive, it can never match the power of a professional flash. If you intend to take pictures anywhere that gets relatively dark, you will need a stronger flash.

Camera Bag

Wherever you go to shoot, you will also want to bring your camera around with you in its bag. A bag will help protect your camera from any damage that can occur while it is being transported. There are many different ways that a camera can be ruined, and the damage is not always apparent.

For example, if your camera sustains a shock, it may have its lens knocked out of alignment, diminishing the clarity of your pictures. Just because your camera still works and shows no signs of damage, it does not mean that it is in perfect condition. Your camera bag can save your DSLR.

Drone

As a photographer, you may sometimes have to take shots that require an extensive setup process. An excellent option for photographers with a little extra money is to invest in a drone. A drone (with a camera of suitable quality attached) will help you get the aerial shots that you may need.

Hovering Drone Taking Pictures

While drones used to be much more pricey, you will find that they have substantially diminished in price since their release for consumer purchase. There have been few better times to invest in a drone than now, and you can make your money back if you use it for work.

Laptop For Editing

The last piece of equipment that you will have to bring with you as a photographer is your laptop. A computer will allow you immediate access to the photos you take, so you can edit them while the shot is still fresh in your mind.

Conclusion

Finding a photography job may be challenging, but it is not impossible, especially with all of the resources which are available to help you out. If you have any thoughts you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment down below.

YourPhotoAdvisor Contributors

YourPhotoAdvisor are always looking for quality content on the art and business sides of photography. If you're an experience photographer and/or make money with your craft, we invite you to reach out to us through our Contact Page. About YPA - we like talking about getting work as a photographer. If you love being behind the lens, tapping into your creativity with every photo you take, a job in photography could be perfect for you.

Recent Posts