- School of Visual Arts
- California College of the Arts
- New York Institute of Photography
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- Pratt Institute
- Oyster - Get hired to travel to hotels and photograph them for publications.
- Obeo - Get hired to take photos of real estate for virtual tours
- GoAbroad - Find photography jobs worldwide
- People Per Hour
- Get Photography Jobs
- Photography Jobs Online
- Flex Jobs
photo by jacoblund via iStock
So, you want to be a photographer, eh?
You might have tons of talent and perhaps even some experience, but there are no doubt still questions in your mind about how to get photography jobs and how to find photography jobs.
If you're like most people interested in jobs in this industry, you've likely gone to Google to search "photography jobs" or "places hiring near me."
This article is meant to be a resource to help you find answers to these questions!
Types of Photography
What many new photographers might not initially understand is the incredible scope of photography.
Though many of us think of things like portrait photography and landscape photography when we hear the term "photography," those are just two of a myriad of jobs you can get with a photography degree (more on degrees in a moment).
In fact, some photographers don't even get a formal degree. Instead, there are plenty of people in this industry that are self-taught that have found success.
The first step you need to take when trying to find photography jobs is to consider what kind of photography interests you. Start that process by checking out my guideline on types of photography.
photo by Rawpixel via iStock
In addition to different types of photography you can try, it's important to remember that there are different types of photography jobs.
Likewise, you can look for photography assistant jobs to get more experience behind the lens before you venture out on your own.
Getting this experience is crucial no matter what type of photography interests you and whether you get a formal education in photography or not. There is no substitute for having a camera in your hand and learning by doing, and one of these beginner photography jobs might be just the trick for you.
What Degree Does a Photographer Need?
photo by skynesher via iStock
As I noted above, some photographers don't go to school for training. Instead, there are many opportunities to learn on-the-job and get experience and guidance from other photographers.
Of course, becoming a self-taught photographer is also an option. There are all kinds of YouTube channels for photographers, free photography tutorials, photography books, and plenty of other resources that you can make use of.
In fact, check out the video below by Jessica Kobeissi to learn about ten critical steps you need to take to become a photographer.
The key to teaching yourself photography is to stick with it and be disciplined with your learning.
Unlike a formal education at a college or university, when teaching yourself, there are no deadlines or assignments. That puts all the pressure on you to spend the time that's necessary to learn this craft.
If a more formal education sounds like a better option for you, there is no shortage of photography degrees available from schools across the country.
photo by Zhang Shu via iStock
Typically, would-be photographers pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). These degrees are usually about four years in length and include coursework in general studies (i.e., math, science, humanities) as well as specialized coursework in photography. Both on-campus and online programs are common.
Some photography degree programs also have business and marketing courses built into them, that way students can develop the business acumen needed to start and maintain a successful photography business.
You might be thinking to yourself, "What jobs can I get with a photography degree?" Fortunately, there are many different options...
You can open your own portrait studio and be in business for yourself. Likewise, you can get freelance photography jobs and work for a wide range of clients. You might pursue travel photography jobs or product photography jobs. Perhaps sports photography jobs interest you.
The point is that the possibilities are endless for developing your photography career!
photo by jacoblund via iStock
Here's a few of the top-ranked photography schools to get your degree search started:
For more details about top-ranked photography schools, consult the U.S. News & World Report rankings of photography degree programs.
How to Find Photography Jobs
photo by Anchiy via iStock
Fortunately, there are all kinds of ways to find photography jobs. Naturally, one of the best was is to search for photography jobs online.
Below, I've outlined several different categories of photography jobs and included links to some valuable resources on where to find photography jobs in specific niches.
How to Get Commercial Photography Jobs
Commercial photography revolves around taking photos for commercial use - for sales, marketing, and for making money.
Many national and international corporations seek the services of photographers worldwide. If commercial photography is of any interest to you, you might consider looking for jobs through one of the following:
Though these kinds of jobs are often with large corporations, that doesn't necessarily have to be the case.
photo by andresr via iStock
For example, if you contact your local Chamber of Commerce, you might be able to find local mom-and-pop stores in your own hometown that are looking for photographers to photograph products, the business frontage, employees and customers, and so forth.
Additionally, real estate photography is a burgeoning field, and you could put your photography skills to use by partnering with local real estate agencies.
The photos you take of properties can be used for a multitude of purposes, from printed marketing materials to social media posts to advertisements for the agency.
The point here is that you can find work in commercial photography virtually anywhere. You just have to put your feet to the pavement to find the right opportunities!
How to Find Freelance Photography Jobs
photo by silverkblack via iStock
Searching for jobs online has probably never been as easy as it is today, particularly for freelance photography jobs.
Below is a list of some of the most popular websites for photographers to pick up freelance work and side gigs.
To find even more freelance photography job opportunities, check out this list of places to find freelance photography jobs.
How to Find Portrait Photography Jobs (and Other Traditional Photography Jobs)
photo by LightFieldStudios via iStock
If you have your heart set on a career in portraiture, landscapes, and other traditional types of photography, one of the best ways to find a job is to use a professional job board.
Below, I've listed just a sampling of some of the job boards you can use to get hired as a photographer.
Jobs in Photography Vary by Location
photo by stock_colors via iStock
It's important to note that your geographic location will influence not only how much money you can earn but also the type of photography you undertake.
For example, if you want to be a fashion photographer and you're looking for a job, a search like "photography jobs NYC" will garner much more in the way of potential jobs than if you're looking for fashion photography gigs in Montana.
This isn't to say that being a fashion photographer in Montana is impossible, but since the fashion industry is centered in New York City, more jobs will be available to you there.
photo by JayKay57 via iStock
Likewise, if sports photography is your passion, you'll have a much better chance of getting the kind of jobs you want if you live in a large city with professional sports teams than you will living in a small town in a state that has zero professional sports teams.
So, finding the right job for you is about much more than searching for "photography jobs Los Angeles" or "photography jobs near me." Instead, you have to be smart about the type of photography in which you specialize and the area in which you wish to live. There might have to be some compromise to align your photography specialization with the demands and opportunities of the place where you reside.
photo by skynesher via iStock
As I alluded to above, where you live can influence how much money you earn as a photographer.
According to Learn How to Become, photographers in Washington, D.C., New York City, California, Hawaii, and New Mexico earn the highest annual salaries.
Yet, through 2022, it's projected that the greatest increase in photographer jobs will occur elsewhere - Utah, Alaska, Washington, Virginia, and Montana.
photo by dusanpetkovic via iStock
As you continue your photography jobs search, just bear in mind that though you might find plenty of results when you search "places hiring near me," those jobs may or may not pay well depending on your location.
Again, this might mean making some compromises, be that pursuing a different kind of photography work or moving to an area in which photographers earn more money.
Whatever the case, be sure to bookmark this page so you can use this photography jobs article as a continuing resource for finding leads on jobs.