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Job Description


Press Photographers take pictures to complement news stories, lifestyle stories and current events. They attempt to capture the best photograph to tell a story or make an event or article more interesting. Some press photographers specialise in particular areas such as sport or entertainment.

You may find it easier to first take pictures across a range of subjects or specialisms to broaden the range of your work.  Once you are more experienced and well known, you may want to combine photography with some of your other interests in order specialise in a certain subjects - sport or wildlife for example.

Photographers are often self employed, so earnings can vary greatly depending on the projects and work you get involved in, together with how well your market yourself and develop your portfolio.  You may be able to do longer term projects or be employed by a media or news company.

You could start as a photographer's assistant.

Entry Requirements

You could get into this role with or without a degree but the competition is tough so a degree, foundation degree or higher national diploma may give you an advantage.


Relevant subjects include:

  • Photography
  • Visual arts
  • Commercial photography
  • Art and design

You will  usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

University course search


You could look for an advanced apprenticeship (level 3) in digital content & photography or creative & digital media which will give you some skills and experience to get into the role.

You will usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths for an advanced apprenticeship

Search for an apprenticeship


A college course will give you skills and experience and may help you get into the role

Relevant courses include:

  • Photography Extended Diploma Level 3

You will usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent including English and maths and a creative subject

The following colleges offer this or a similar course:

Or your local 6th form may offer an A level in photography

ScreenSkills offer further information on courses which are accredited by:

Career Tips

You could build your skills by taking courses offered by the National Council for Training of Journalists 

Career Path and Progression

You may decide to broaden your experience by moving between newspapers and magazines or you may decide to specialise in a particular area such as sport, fashion, the arts etc.

Required Skills

  • Creativity
  • An eye for a good picture
  • Attention to detail
  • Patience
  • Able to work on your own initiative
  • Organised
  • Excellent technical skills
  • Ability to react quickly to a situation
  • The ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Assertiveness without being rude

Salary Range

£14,000 to £60,000

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