Job descriptions and industry overviews


28 Feb 2023, 17:08

Produces photographs for a wide range of creative, technical and documentary purposes.

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Job description

Photographers create permanent visual images for a wide range of creative, technical and documentary purposes.They are employed in a wide range of sectors to take stylised and evocative or unbiased and factual photographs of a highly professional standard. Areas of work can include photojournalism, fine art, fashion, advertising, editorial or social photography.

Advertising and fashion photographers aim to produce captivating, seductive imagery to help sell a product or lifestyle. Photographers also work in the arts and media, perhaps helping to produce the correct look and atmosphere for films, or objectively recording events for newspapers and magazines. Portrait photographers take professional photographs of people for special events, such as wedding and graduation photos. While medical and forensic photographers are employed to take precise and highly detailed shots of surgeries or crime scenes.

About half of all professional photographers are self-employed, while the remainder work with photographic agencies, creative businesses and publishers, or in the education or public sector.

Work activities

  • Negotiating with clients, art directors, stylists, editors and other professionals.
  • Advertising and promoting for new client work.
  • Selecting and hiring models and assistants.
  • Renting space for photo shoots.
  • Keeping up-to-date with technology and method in the industry.
  • Selecting location and setting up lighting, props and background.
  • Editing and developing photos digitally or in a dark room.

Work conditions

Travel: a routine part of the working day.
Working hours: involves unsocial hours including evenings, weekends and public holidays.
Location: throughout the country.
Opportunities for self-employment: the majority of photographers work on a freelance basis.

Typical employers

  • Fashion industry
  • Newspapers, magazines and publishers
  • Photographic agencies
  • The public sector and education.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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