Press photographer

A press photographer uses a variety of photographic equipment to take photographs for use on television or within magazines, journals and other publications.

Job description

Press photographers are responsible for capturing images of people and events for use within the media. Their subject could be anything ranging from sport events and celebrity shoots to political conferences, areas of conflict and natural disaster areas. Most press photographers are self-employed and work on a freelance basis, selling photographs to agencies and picture libraries or directly to media organisations

Work activities

  • Setting up photographic equipment.
  • Taking photographs of people and events.
  • Following leads in order to be placed for high profile photograph opportunities.
  • Satisfying editorial briefs.
  • Liaising with other staff such as artists and journalists.
  • Researching, making and maintaining contacts.
  • Promoting the business.
  • Negotiating prices and fees for photographs and services.
  • Undertaking relevant background research for features and articles.

Work conditions

Travel: is an integral part of the job; photographers must travel between stories on a daily basis.
Working hours: can be long and include evenings and weekends.
Location: in towns and cities.

Entry requirements

Degrees in photography, art, design or media studies can be advantageous. A course in photography can offer a useful starting point. Above all, experience is vital for entry into the industry: a common route into recruitment is to work as an assistant photographer in order to build on skills and contacts.