Photography Markets and
Careers in Photography

Photographers may specialize in certain areas or they can generalize in a combination of two or more fields of photography

In this section, we will explore in more details the characteristics of the different photography markets and what approach photographers can take to find employment and establish digital photography career in each of these fields of photography.

Photography is a field that mirrors reality - art as well as science. Its services span the range of human needs, both practical and emotional.

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It plays a vital role in helping to preserve records of different fields of study, in preserving the cultural heritage, in business, industry, education, medicine, criminology and defence services, coupled with keeping a record of special occasions in day-to-day life.

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In today's world, communication of thoughts, ideas, events and products is being accomplished more and more with visual images. Varieties of photography markets exist that seek photography professionals to create and produce the images; however photographers can expect competition for job openings because the work is attractive to many people.

Each photography market offers unique possibilites but also challenges.


The number of individuals interested in positions as commercial and news photographers usually is much greater than the number of openings. Those who succeed in landing a salaried job or attracting enough work to earn a living by freelancing are likely to be the most creative, able to adapt to rapidly changing technologies, and adept at operating a business.

Related work experience, job-related training, or some unique skill or talent - such as a background in computers or electronics - also are beneficial to prospective photographers.

A recent survey in the US has confirmed that employment of photographers in different photography markets is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2010. Demand for portrait photographers should increase as the population grows.


And, as the number of electronic versions of magazines, journals, and newspapers grows on the Internet, photographers will be needed to provide digital images.

Employment growth of photographers however will be constrained somewhat by the widespread use of digital photography. Besides increasing photographers' productivity, improvements in digital technology will allow individual consumers and businesses to produce, store, and access photographic images on their own. Declines in the newspaper industry will reduce demand for photographers to provide still images for print.


Some self-employed photographers contracted with advertising agencies, magazines, or others to do individual projects at a predetermined fee, while others operated portrait studios or provided photographs to stock photo agencies.

Most salaried photographers worked in portrait or commercial photography studios. Newspapers, magazines, television broadcasters, advertising agencies, and government agencies employed most of the others. Most photographers work in metropolitan areas.

The basic skills involved in all photography are the same: a thorough understanding of camera operation , lighting and composition . Photographers use combinations of cameras, lenses, filters, and lighting to create and produce the final image or picture.

Bibliography and Further Resources, Skillset - the Sector Skills Council for Creative Media, British Institute of Professional Photographers, Photographic Resource Centre, The Association of Photographers

"The Photographer's Assistant Handbook", Matt Proulx, Focal Press 2000, British Journal of Photography, Creative Review, Universities and Colleges Application Service, Master Photographers Association, National Union of Journalists

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