How to Become a Photographer | Become with Lantern is an advertising-supported web site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this web site. Photography is a rapidly-growing field — the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS ) projects 17 % growth by 2030. ( Compare that to just 4 % for all occupations ) .
Photography is a technically demanding profession, so those interest in becoming photographers must consider the educate they ‘ll need before committing to this career way. This guide on how to become a photographer provides in-depth information that can help readers decide if a photography degree can put them on the right career path .

What Does a Photographer Do?

Photography Career Basics

On the most basic level, photographers use cameras to capture images. however, there are versatile types of photography, including scientific and antenna photography, and photographers work in many settings, ranging from photographic studios to newspaper publish companies. Some photographers work in the field, and others are studio-based. While some photographers work full prison term, many work part-time, and their workload may vary depending on the temper .
Photography Career In-Depth
many people start their travel to becoming a photographer by working as a photographer ‘s assistant. Some may have a security in photography or even just a senior high school school diploma. They may gain a competitive border with more education because many employers prefer applicants who have formal coach over amateurs who may not be as knowledgeable in many of the technical and creative aspects of the career .
Photographers who work in photojournalism or as scientific or industrial photographers by and large need a degree. Some photographers are besides Certified Professional Photographers through the Professional Photographers of America .

Steps to Becoming a Photographer

footprint 1
Choose the Right education
The first step to becoming a master photographer is to find an education program that fits your goals. There are photography programs designed to match each scholar ‘s career goals and floor of educational committedness. photography programs are available from the certificate to the passkey ‘s flat. Costs can vary from around $ 200 for certificate to tens of thousands of dollars for college programs .
How long does it take to become a photographer ? Photography certificate programs vary by educate — they can be entry-level programs requiring anywhere from six to 10 classes or four-year programs. Associate degrees in photography normally take two years to finish and are approximately 90 citation hours. They provide a stronger photography and arts background than certificate programs and are more technical .
Bachelor ‘s degrees take four years, but they provide more in-depth cognition and can give job candidates a competitive border in the market. A master ‘s degree program is typically a biennial plan that includes 36 citation hours. It is an advanced course of study that can lead to management positions such as art film director or senior photographer .
step 2
Choose a concenter
There are several photography specialties to choose from as you figure out how to be a photographer. Students normally choose to focus on one area, such as :

  • Portrait photography
  • Commercial photography
  • Scientific and industrial photography
  • Aerial photography
  • Fine art photography

mistreat 3
Internships provide students an opportunity to engage in photographic workshops and fieldwork to explore the technical, creative, and logistic aspects of photography both in a studio apartment and on location. They may be paid or unpaid and typically run for a few months .
dance step 4
Take Exams for Certificates
There are numerous certifications available for photographers, some of which the Professional Photographers Association offers. application fees are normally around a couple hundred dollars. Examples of certifications include :

  • Certified Professional Photographer
  • Certified Forensic Photographer
  • Registered Biological Photographer

step 5
Land an Entry-Level job
Most schools have a career center field that can assist with subcontract interview tips and aid students write effective resumes and cover letters. Students should leverage this resource to find a job .
step 6
render to School for Continuing Education or an advance Degree

Each educational flat provides more academic train and teaching, which can make you more desirable to electric potential employers or potential clients. You can besides benefit from non-degree continuing department of education options .

Photographer Salaries and Job Growth


Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS ) and Projections Central, a U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored web site .

Top 10 States/Territories with the Highest Job Growth

  1. Utah: 44.8%
  2. Idaho: 9.5%
  3. Louisiana: 9.4%
  4. California: 5.4%
  5. Washington: 3.4%
  6. Colorado: 3.3%
  7. Puerto Rico: 1.6%
  8. Mississippi: 1.3%
  9. Arizona: 1.1%
  10. Florida: 0.9%

Career Paths for Photographers

Fine art photographers take photograph as an art mannequin. They make money by selling their ferment and displaying it in galleries. A master ‘s degree with a all right art photography specialization can help .
Photojournalists capture survive events as a form of storytelling for newspapers, magazines, and other publications. Associate degrees much cover courses in photojournalism .
Those who wish to become wedding photographers take photos of ceremonies, wedding parties, and receptions. You might consider getting certified as a wedding photographer .
Corporations employ commercial photographers to take photos of buildings, models, landscapes, merchandise, and other subjects. Companies use these photos for materials like brochures, ads, or inner communication. A overcome ‘s degree with an advertising/photo illustration specialization could help .

Courses in Photography Programs

Fundamentals of photography
Color Photography I
history of photography

Components of a Successful Photography Career


Photographers need artistic ability — a “ good eye ” for judging what would make a well photograph. Computer skills are all-important since most photographers use digital cameras. The photos are transferred to computers for memory and edited using respective software programs .


Those working on becoming a photographer must besides be detail-oriented. The ability to be careful and exhaustive is essential when taking photograph and editing them. finally, most photographers, even those who work alone, must deal with clients. It is important to maintain good relationships with clients and to understand their needs and wants .

Camera flash and lighting Camera flash attachments, focus assists, softboxes, studio strobe flashes
Camera lens Macro lenses, telephoto lenses, zoom lenses
Camera lens filter Graduated neutral density GND filters, haze filters, white balancing lens filters, wide-angle lenses
Photography light reflector Board reflectors, lamp reflectors, snoots
Scanner Film scanners, flatbed scanners
Graphic or photo-imaging software Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop
Accounting software Blinkbid, Intuit QuickBooks software
Database user software Cradoc fotoBiz, Microsoft Access, SuccessWare, Tave Studio Manager
Spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel
Web page creation and editing software WordPress

Related Career Options

Graphic Designers

Graphic designers might help create son, trade, and advertisements to sell a product. They might besides work in editorial graphic design, designing pages for a newspaper or cartridge holder .

  • Job Growth: 3%
  • Median Salary: $53,380
  • Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree

Film and Video Editors

Film and video editors can work in the commercial sector, on movie and television sets, for news organizations, and other areas .

  • Job Growth: 29%
  • Median Salary: $67,250
  • Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree

Producers and Directors

Producers and directors often have a movie or filming degree. They can work for output companies, film studios, and even in the commercial sector.

  • Job Growth: 24%
  • Median Salary: $76,400
  • Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree

Become Team
Michelle Honeyager
Contributing writer

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