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Job Description

Photographers create visual images for a diverse range of purposes.  This could be for websites, weddings, magazines, newspapers, advertising, and social photography to name but a few.

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 could start as a photographer's assistant and work your way up and you may be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Entry Requirements

There are no set entry requirements.

You'll usually need experience and a portfolio of work. A qualification in photography can help you learn technical and creative skills, although many photographers are self-taught.

You could start as a photographer's assistant and work your way up.

You may be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Creative Skillset has more information on industries that use photographers.

Career Path and Progression

Many photographers are freelance and you could do a mixture of contract work and following your own interests. You could extend your range into other areas of photography like product, property or corporate work.

With training, you could also work as a press or police photographer.

With specialist qualifications, you could find employment in medical photography or illustration.

To improve your job prospects, you could join a professional body like the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) or the Association of Photographers (AOP).

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • TV or film camera operator
  • Video editor
  • Animator
  • Art editor
  • Medical illustrator

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through full-time education or an Apprenticeship.

Required Skills

  • creativity
  • an eye for a good picture
  • attention to detail
  • patience
  • ability to work on your own imitative
  • organisational skills
  • excellent technical skills with respect to photography and camera technolgies

Starting Salary

£14,000 to £50,000

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