Careers in Photography

Information Last Verified: August 29, 2021 by Jordan Fabel

There are plenty of great careers in photography for those with a creative side. Maybe you don’t want to paint or sculpt, but you love art. If you’re looking for a creative career, going into photography is one of the top options.

Whether you want to work with people, food, or properties, you’ll find plenty of career paths in photography. Let’s look at some of the common careers in photography.

Photography Careers

Top Common Careers in Photography

Portrait Photographer

One of the most common types of careers in photography is working as a portrait photographer. You’ve probably had this type of photographer take your picture before. It’s common for a portrait photographer to handle school photos, family pictures, and even company headshots.

You will be responsible for taking pictures, but also for making appointments and processing the images. It’s possible to work on location or in a studio. Portrait photographers are commonly self-employed but may also work for a company.

Photojournalist

Another name for this photography career is a news photographer. As a photojournalist, you’ll take pictures of people, events, and other things for publications.

Photojournalists are responsible for telling a story with their images. You help bring a news story alive. As a photojournalist, you will likely work freelance or for a publication.

Wedding Photographer

A wedding photographer is a rather common career and very important. You’ll document the most important day of a couple’s life. As a wedding photographer, you will need to be skilled in portrait photography and event photography.

It’s rarely possible to recreate the events from a wedding, so you must capture the right shot at the right time. Wedding photographers need to move quickly and be ready to adapt. The lighting will often change, and the weather can be unpredictable.

Product Photographer

If you want one of the careers in photography where you don’t work with people, a product photographer is a great choice. This type of position allows you to take pictures of specific products. These pictures might be used in a print catalog, online, or part of the packaging.

Product photographers will likely work in a studio. You will need to control the lighting and the background. It’s common for product photographers to work in the jewelry and food industries.

Travel Photographer

If you love to travel and want to go into an exciting career in photography, you’ll enjoy becoming a travel photographer. This type of photography career path allows you to see many unique locations and capture them.

It’s common for a travel photographer to work for a magazine or a travel website. You’ll be able to take the audience across the world with your images. This job will require a passport and probably some luggage, as well.

Advertising Photographer

As an advertising photographer, you’ll be able to capture images from billboards, magazine advertisements, and even online ads. You will likely work with different subjects from fashion to products to models.

Many advertising photographers work on a freelance basis. It’s also possible to work for an advertising agency. You may take on specific assignments, which can vary from one day to the next.

Sports Photographer

It’s likely obvious, but a sports photographer will take pictures of sporting events and athletes. You will work from the sidelines using long lenses and zoom to capture the action.

Many sports teams will use images captured by sports photographers for advertising and publications. Game programs feature images, along with magazines, posters, and even online websites.

Incredibly Unique Photography Jobs

Forensic Photography Careers

If you’re looking for one of the most unique careers in photography, forensic photography might be for you. This type of photographer will be a part of a crime-solving team.

The pictures you take may be used as evidence in a court of law. It takes about three years of photography experience, and it’s also a good idea to study forensic science, law enforcement, or criminology. If you want to become a forensic photographer, an associate degree can be helpful.

Military Photography Jobs

Have you ever wanted to capture the military in action? As a military photographer, you’ll cover news conferences, training events, and even travel across the world. While you have to follow the rules and regulations of the military, you won’t need to do any fighting.

A career as a military photographer will require advanced technical training, but it’s usually provided with the job.

Funeral Photographer

During a funeral, a photographer can capture the necessary moments. As a funeral photographer, you’ll need to have a certain level of compassion. You will likely work with funeral homes and families suffering from a loss.

Many funeral photographers work freelance, but some will work directly for a funeral home.

Medical Photography Jobs

Taking anatomical photographs means you’ll need to go into a career in medical photography. The images you take can help physicians diagnose and treat illnesses.

When you enter a career in photography, you will be responsible for taking pictures to support medical reports, textbooks, research papers, and more. This type of photographer will likely need a bachelor’s degree in medical illustration or photography. It’s also a good idea to understand the basics of biology, physiology, and anatomy.

Film Set Photographer

Many film-making companies will hire photographers to shoot movie posters and other promotional materials. It’s necessary to be a part of a union before entering into this career in photography.

This is a tough and challenging option. You will likely need to gain experience and improve your skills if you’re going to work in film set photography long-term.

Pet Photography Career

Maybe you love animals, and you want to help pet owners capture their furry friends. With the right skills, you can become a pet photographer. You will need to be able to handle poses well and understand how to pose them.

It’s common for pet owners to want you to take pictures of them with their pets. So skills in portrait photography can be helpful in this career.

Insurance Claims Photographer

It’s common for insurance companies to hire photographers to take pictures of an accident scene or vehicle after an accident. This may not be the most exciting career in photography, but it’s also not the easiest.

Insurance claims photography can be rather challenging, but it can pay pretty well.

Highest-Paying Photography Careers

Freelance Photographer

Maybe the most common type of photographer with a high salary is freelance. As a freelance photographer, you can take all types of pictures for all types of clients. For example, you might take pictures for a magazine, private clients, or for many other types of companies.

Some freelance photographers take pictures and sell them online. The average salary is about $71K, but you can make quite a bit more. It all depends on the industry and the type of photography you engage in.

Some of the most common freelance photographer careers include:

While these are the most common freelance photographers, this type of photography can work in nearly any industry.

You’ll likely need enough experience to create a portfolio capable of selling your services. As a freelance photographer, you’ll be our own boss and work with multiple clients.

White House Photographer

Maybe the most coveted career in photography, becoming a White House photographer means you’ll get to take pictures at the actual White House. Whether capturing the president’s pets or covering situation room moves, a White House photographer has to be a fly on the wall.

This position is one of the highest paying you will find in photography. However, it’s very difficult to get, and it won’t be easy. Most White House photographers started by documenting other politicians. Sometimes, covering the right senator can lead to becoming a White House photographer.

If you don’t mind long hours and the hard road ahead to get this position, it might be for you. It pays very high and allows you to work in the White House.

Fashion Photographer

A very common choice for photographers looking to make a high salary is becoming a fashion photographer. This type of photography career will ensure you get paid well and get to enjoy the fashion industry.

You’ll likely travel quite a bit and gain freedom. It’s a highly competitive industry and not nearly as glamorous as you might think. However, if you have a passion for fashion, this might be the right photography career path for you.

Which Photography Career Will You Choose?

Careers in photography can be rather lucrative and very fulfilling. So if you want to enjoy a creative career that allows you to work for yourself, this might be the industry for you.

Photography careers can allow you to get into many different industries. Whether you want to work in fashion, fine arts, the wedding industry, or even the food industry, you can find the right career path in photography.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story takes more time. Coming soon!