Photography Jobs – How to Make a Living From Your Art?
After buying a camera, some lenses, and a few equipment pieces here and there, the only logical thing is thinking about the type of photography jobs you want. Well, other than going out and discovering your personal photography style and shooting until your finger gets sore.
No single photographer is the same, and that’s the beauty of this craft. You can pick what calls on you the most and what’ll give you the beefier paycheck, of course.
We will be talking about a few key photography jobs, but this doesn’t mean these are the only ones out there. This is to get you started and thinking about what direction you want to take on this new career path.
- Commercial photography
- Event photography
- Wildlife photography
- Portrait photography
- Fashion photography
- Travel photography
- Stock photography
- Photo editing
Capturing key moments of what’s happening today and displaying them for the world to see is an important job, and that’s what photojournalists do best. So if you like to capture photos that tell intricate stories by themselves, this career path is definitely for you.
Photojournalists not only capture the photos, but their job can also include editing, arranging, and displaying to make the story even more powerful when viewed by anyone. The subject of the images can be anything, from political happenings in your own country to a wider-scale global event that shakes up everyone’s reality.
It’s tough, and you’ll most likely start out capturing not-so-interesting events, but as you hone your craft and grow as a photographer, you’ll start making more noise in no time.
These photographers need a good eye for knowing what to capture and often have to go through small or even larger obstacles that could obstruct the shot. Images can be complicated to shoot, making photojournalism more challenging as a career choice but equally as paid. Having a great sense of what works in the photojournalism world takes time to develop. Skilled photojournalist would be able to take a photo when others wouldn’t see an “opportunity”. Therefore, displaying the photo in a way that it tells stories even beyond its frame.
As for where photojournalists work, the employment positions vary between online publications, physical print, and other media such as TV. There is no typical “nine-to-five” work dynamic, as you’re constantly moving where the news and stories go.
Commercial photography is an excellent choice if you like shooting products or people while thinking of captivating a larger audience. There is no one commercial branch because you can find a job that involves nearly any niche in photography.
Say, for example, you get a job as a commercial photographer in a restaurant. Depending on what they’re going to need, you’re probably shooting the food they offer for their new menu design or promo pictures for social media. This position is very versatile, and it takes an excellent skill-set to know how to arrange and compose the scene, so it looks appealing to whoever’s looking at it.
Many people hosting events need professional photographers to capture their most memorable moments and cherish them forever. Like many other types of photographers, event photographers have to know the exact time to shoot a particular photo and make them all look a sure way to enhance a specific emotion.
When you think about what events there are, chances are the first thing that pops in your mind is wedding photography. People want their happy moments frozen still, and that’s no shocker! The big question is, are you ready to make their dreams come true?
Other directions you could go in are concerts, talks, festivals, meetings, etc.
If you’re looking for something that involves being still, quiet, and very careful, then this is your calling. Taking photos of wildlife is considered very beautiful. To achieve that same status with your images, you’ll need to learn not to disrupt their habitat. Wildlife photography, at its core, is to show the people that we aren’t alone on Earth and that we must learn to live and work together for a better future and environment. You could consider this type of photography as a tool for raising awareness, be it for animal cruelty, global warming, or anything that could go to a major publisher if done right.
Who doesn’t like getting their picture taken? Well, probably a lot of people, but most people do. This massive niche has a lot of versatility in it because the potential gigs are endless. For example, if you work freelance, people could contact you to take pictures of them, their families, kids, grandparents, and, in rising popularity, even pets! This could be done in a studio (if you own or rent one) or anywhere else out or indoors.
The theme of these shoots could range anywhere from corporate formal to laid-back and fun. But, of course, people will be employing you for anything they need. So, it’s best to expect everything like: professional headshots, school, fashion, family, and anything in between.
While we’re on the topic of taking portrait shots, a significant category in not only portrait but all of photography is fashion. You could take pictures of models for magazine spreads or covers (similar to something you would do as a portrait photographer), shoot a whole fashion show, or work for a high-end fashion house and do all kinds of fun stuff for them.
How much would you ask for in life when you’d make money out of having fun and exploration? If we guessed correctly, you probably answered “very little.” Many photographers dream of traveling the world, living through hundreds of different cultures, and capturing those moments forever.
This is one of the more physically exerting career choices you could make, but if you’re all up to climbing a few hills and walking a few thousand steps, this could be a great new step in your life.
Money is a little harder to come by when you’re a travel photographer, though, so keep that in mind. It would be best if you didn’t jump straight away. Just dip your toes in first, build a strong portfolio, and see where that takes you.
If you’re looking to earn a few bucks right from the start, and if you have any experience, you could sell your photos to platforms that offer stock photography. Stock can be anything–products, animals, nature, technology, your grandma, and anything you can think of.
You can then sell them to Shutterstock, iStock, Adobe Stock, and other websites that offer the service.
Last but certainly not least, we arrive at photo editing, which technically isn’t taking pictures, but it’s as important. Being well-versed in the editing industry and knowing programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom will help you tremendously in transforming your already amazing pictures into other-worldly pieces of art.
You could work freelance as a photo editor, where clients would send you however many photos they needed to be edited. Or on the other hand you could also work for an established office.