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Photographer

Alternative titles for this job include

Photographers take and process pictures of people, places, products and events.

Average salary (a year)

£17,250 Starter

to

£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays as customers demand

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a photographer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • photography
  • visual arts
  • commercial photography
  • art and design

Entry requirements

You'll 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

More Information

College

You could take a college course such as:

  • NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Photography
  • A Level Photography
  • Level 3 Diploma in Photography

These may help you to find a job as a photographer's assistant in a studio.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and a creative subject

More Information

Apprenticeship

The following apprenticeship may be relevant:

  • Level 3 Photographic assistant

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

Work

You could start as a photographer's assistant and work your way up. It's usual to specialise in one kind of photography, like fashion, advertising, wildlife or photojournalism.

More Information

Career tips

You'll need a portfolio of your work to show your skills, interests and experience in photography. It'll also help you to get noticed if you post examples of your work online.

Professional and industry bodies

The Association of Photographers offers membership for anyone with an interest in professional photography.

Further information

You can get more details on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your daily tasks you may:

  • discuss a project with the client and agree the 'brief'
  • find and prepare the location for the photo session
  • choose the right equipment and set up lighting
  • compose and take photos
  • use industry software to edit and process images
  • check accurate colour match and image quality
  • choose the best images for the client to use online or in print
  • promote and run your business

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

Many photographers are freelance and you could do a mix of contract work and following your own interests. You could extend your range into other areas of photography like product, property, aerial or corporate work. With training, you could also work as a press or police photographer.

There are opportunities for photographers in the armed forces. You can find out more from:

If you do specialist qualifications, you could find jobs in medical photography or illustration.

You may decide to become self-employed and set up your own business.

Photography is very competitive, so you'll need creativity and technical skills to make money. You'll also need finance for equipment, a space to work in, and some business and admin skills.

You could increase your income by selling your images independently.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a photographer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

PHOTOGRAPHY BTEC

  • Provider: THE BRAKENHALE SCHOOL
  • Start date: 04 September 2021
  • Location: Bracknell

A Level Photography

  • Provider: THE BOSWELLS SCHOOL
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: Chelmsford

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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