Career Options in Photography: A Guide

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Do you love photography? Are you interested in pursuing photography as a career? If you answered yes to these questions, then you would probably have wondered whether it is possible to pursue photography as a full-time vocation. These doubts arise because most people are not aware of career options in photography.

There are many fields or niches in photography. You can make a career in any of these niches depending on your interest and skills. Knowing about the different options will help you decide which one is worth pursuing. Choose an option based on your aptitude and not because it pays well.

Why choose a career in photography?

A photography job is not a 9-5 conventional job. You may have to work odd times. If you work as a photographer for an organization, you need to work as per their timings. If you are a freelancer, you should be ready to work as and when there is an assignment. But why choose this career? Here are some reasons:

  • Photography can help you earn good money. It is a lucrative profession if you have the skills and experience. With a strong portfolio, there is no reason you can’t earn good money.
  • Most photographers are freelancers or have their own company. This allows them to work at their convenience and earn as much as they can. They are their own boss and can manage their time as they wish.
  • Photography is an art, and you can learn new things. Every photo shoot is a learning experience and you can learn something new that will help you.
  • It is fun. Taking photography is not boring or tedious. It is challenging and enjoyable. ‘
  • You can travel to different places, meet new people, and be part of different events. This will allow you to enjoy life to its fullest.
  • You can run your photography as a business. It is a great way to impress clients and get steady orders from them.

Career options to consider

1) Wedding photographer

One of the best career options for a photographer is to specialize in wedding photographs. Weddings happen throughout the year and there are many events. All couples would want to get their weddings recorded for posterity. Good wedding photographers would be in demand and can earn well. Apart from shooting the wedding, pre-wedding and even honeymoon photography is in vogue.

2) Portrait photographer

The demand for portraits has not come down even in the digital age. Everyone would like to get a portrait done. From babies to college graduates and corporate honchos to politicians, everyone wants a portrait photography. It is a niche that is profitable and has no complications. You may need a studio since most people would want to get the photo done with a proper background. An offshoot of portrait photography is pet photography. Pet owners would want to get portraits of their pets and this is a good business opportunity.

3) Commercial photographer

Commercial photographers get assignments from companies. They can shoot buildings for architects, food for restaurants, and products for companies. A commercial photographer requires diverse skills and should be ready to handle any assignment. You need to be experienced and have a strong portfolio to succeed. Once you get a good contract, you can look forward to lucrative business orders.

4) Fashion photographer

Fashion photographers take photos of models to showcase various fashion products. It is a glamorous profession where you can take a chance to rub shoulders with celebrities and influencers. Top fashion photographers earn big money. However, it is not easy to be successful. You need to work hard to hone your skills and impress people with your portfolio.

5) Travel photographer

A travel photographer’s job is fun. You get to see the world, visit new places, experience new cultures, and enjoy new cuisines. If the photos you take are good, you can get good money. Travel photographers may work for magazines or other clients. They can also be freelancers who sell their photographs in the market. Your earnings are proportional to your expertise in photography.

6) Photojournalist

As a photojournalist, you would either work for a newspaper, magazine, or news agency. With experience, you can become a freelancer who sells their photos to media houses. A photojournalist’s job is challenging. You need to travel a lot and there are many risks involved. For instance, you may be covering a riot or a war and should be prepared for the risks. Success can make you a celebrity and help you win awards.

7) Nature photographer

A nature photographer shoots photos that showcase the beauty of nature. It is related to travel photography, since you need to travel to different places. A related niche is wildlife photography where you only focus on animals and birds. Good photos can help you earn a lot of money. But this niche calls for a lot of patience with good knowledge of photography techniques.

8) Sports photographer

There are plenty of sports events happening everywhere. As a sports photographer, you get to see sports games and capture it through your camera. It calls for being active and being ready all the time since action happens non-stop. If you get an assignment for a magazine or sports club, then your work is easy. Else, you need to take photos and then sell them in the market.

9) Stock photographer

A stock photographer takes various types of photos. The idea is to create a collection of photos under different categories. These photos are stock photos that are available for sale in the market. If you can take good quality photos, you can work with stock photography websites. Your photos can be purchased by anyone in the globe. Good photos can help you earn well.

10) Photo editor

Here, you will not use the camera but use the computer. Photos taken by others need to be edited professionally. The photo editor needs to be proficient in photography as well as the use of editing software. You need to network with photographers and edit their photos to help them bring out their best. 

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