General Practice Photographer

The work as GP photographer is diverse and engaging, and can be both financially and creatively rewarding

The General Practice Photographer (GP) is often situated in a shop or studio in the local high street. And this field is often referred to as High Street Photography. About 50 percent of practising photographers are GPs. Successful GP photographers are adaptable and versatile enough to respond to the photographic requirements of their local community.

Their work is likely to be a blend of social, commercial, advertising and industrial photography for the general public, local business and industry.

The GP photographers work is constantly threatened by the serious amateur photographer. They must therefore be adept at marketing their product and may spend as much as 80 percent of their time on this and other aspects of running a small business rather than taking photographs.

Social Photography

A large proportion of most GPs work can be described as social photography. Many have a portrait studio on the premises, although it is becoming increasingly popular to shoot social portraits in the sitter's home or workplace.

Some enterprising general practitioners also set up temporary studios in department stores in an attempt to sell their portraiture services to members of the general public.

The bread and butter work for most general practice photographers tends to be wedding photography or the recording of other family occasions such as a christening or graduation ceremony.

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Local Newspaper Photography

Many GPs establish a working relationship with the Picture Editor of their local newspaper and help out occasionally when all the staff photographers are busy.

Employment in General Practice Photography

Some GP photographers employ an assistant. In the UK vacancies are sometimes advertised in the British Journal of Photography or in local newspapers but it is a good policy to make speculative approaches to photographers. Addresses can be found in Yellow Pages under Photographers - General.

Some assistants become partners within the studio or are hired as photographers by that studio. Others set up their own small businesses elsewhere. Experience gained assisting a competent GP can lead to newspaper work (if that GP does a proportion of press photography) or an Assistant's job with an advertising or fashion photographer (if the GP is involved in shooting this type of work locally).

Further information can be obtained from :

The British Institute of Professional Photography
The British Institute of Professional Photography supports, trains and qualifies professional photographers.

T: +44 (0)1296 718530
F: +44 (0)1296 336367

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