Job type


£17k - £45k

Typical salary

30 – 41

Hours per week

Photographers take pictures of people, places, products and events.

More info

  • Take photographs of people, places and products for companies, individuals or to sell commercially yourself
  • There are lots of opportunities to specialise in a particular field like, wildlife, landscapes, weddings, portraits or events
  • Photographers often start working part time as they build up their reputation, and are often freelance

As a photographer, you may work for companies or individual clients, or create and sell your own images. You'll usually specialise in an area like corporate, fashion or portrait photography.


  • Discuss the project with the client
  • Find and prepare the location for the photo session
  • Choose the right equipment and set up lighting
  • Compose and take photos
  • Use industry software to edit and process images
  • Check accurate colour match and image quality
  • Choose the best images for the client to use online or in print
  • Promote and run your business


Many photographers are freelance, carrying out a mixture of freelance work as well as following their own interests. You can extend your range into other areas of photography like product, property or corporate work. With training, you could also work as a press or police photographer. 

You'll need

To be a photographer, you'll need customer service skills, excellent verbal communication skills, the ability to sell products and services, thoroughness and attention to detail, the ability to work well with others, flexibility and openness to change, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations and to work well with your hands.

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma, or degree in photography, visual arts, commercial photography, or art and design.

You could also take a Level 3 Diploma in Photography at college, which may help you find a job as a photographer's assistant in a studio.

You can complete an advanced apprenticeship in photo imaging or creative and digital media.

You could start as a photographer's assistant and work your way up. It's normal to specialise in one kind of photography, such as fashion, advertising, wildlife or photojournalism.

You'll need a portfolio of work to showcase skills, interests and experience in photography, as well as posting examples of your work online.


With specialist qualifications, you could find employment in medical photography or illustration. You could also set up your own business.