Photographer Video: Training Requirements for a Career in Photography

Photographer Video: Training Requirements for a Career in Photography Transcript

Photographers use cameras and other types of equipment to capture nearly every type of image imaginable. People who are interested in working in the photography field need to have natural talent and a lot of technical prowess.


Photographers use a combination of skill and high-quality equipment to capture images and events. The photos that they take can appear in a variety of media, including books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs and websites. Most photographers work on a freelance basis and specialize in a particular area, such as portrait, news or fine arts photography.

Job Skills and Duties

Professional photographers must be creative in their usage of background, lenses, lighting and effects to take commercial-grade pictures. They must also be adept at handling different types of equipment, such as filters, tripods and flash attachments. Other required skills depend on the camera that is used. Digital photographers need to know how to work a digital camera, computer, and photo editing software. Photographers who use the more traditional silver-halide film cameras need to know how to develop their own photos in a dark room. All photography professionals must also be able to communicate effectively, as they'll often be giving instructions to models, graphic designers, editors and other photography professionals.

Training Required

Most people attend a formal program to obtain the technical proficiency required to become a professional photographer. Applicable programs can be found at colleges, universities, vocational schools and technical schools. Training usually includes courses in design and composition, photography techniques, equipment handling and photo processes. While a college degree is not required for every area of photography, a bachelor's degree is the standard for entry-level positions in photojournalism or scientific photography. Photographers who do not want to attend college may be able to enter the field as an apprentice or assistant. Another avenue involves creating an impressive portfolio that demonstrates the talent and technical skills that employers look for.

Well Known Jobs within This Field

Photography professionals hold a lot of different jobs. The majority work in the news industry, taking photographs of significant people, places and events. These photographers are called photojournalists. Others work in commercial or industrial photography, taking portraits and pictures for reports, catalogs or advertisements. The remaining photographers typically focus on science or fine arts. Scientific photographers use images to illustrate or record scientific phenomena. They work in a variety of scientific fields, including chemistry, biology and medicine. Fine arts photographers take photos for display at galleries and art exhibitions.


Photographers are important part of industry and everyday life in America. If you have natural talent and a desire to learn about the technical aspect of photography, you may have what it takes to join this esteemed profession.


Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook - Photographers

Wikipedia - Photography

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