Photographer Kaitango Whakaahua

Photographers take photographs of people, places, products or events.

Photographers may do some or all of the following:

  • use digital camera and lighting equipment
  • work out ideas for photo shoots
  • arrange cameras, lights, locations, props and models
  • digitally process and edit photos for print or web
  • manage and market their own businesses
  • plan, produce and edit video footage. 

Useful Experience

Useful experience for photographers includes:

  • amateur photography, including darkroom experience
  • art experience
  • experience with photography editing software.

Personal Qualities

Photographers need to be:

  • good communicators and able to make people feel relaxed and at ease
  • patient and organised
  • able to work well under pressure
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • confident and motivated
  • creative and artistic
  • practical and technically skilled
  • good at solving problems
  • good at networking to establish a customer base. 

Useful Experience

Useful experience for photographers includes:

  • amateur photography, including darkroom experience
  • art experience
  • experience with photography editing software.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a photographer, but useful subjects include visual arts, art history, digital technologies, design and visual communication, mathematics and statistics, and English.

Photographers can earn around $19-$35 per hour per hour.

Photographers may progress to set up their own photography business, or move between areas of photography – for example, from photojournalism to teaching. Further training may be needed to move into some areas.

Photographers may specialise in a particular area of photography, such as:

  • advertising, food, fashion and editorial
  • artistic – producing photographic artworks for sale or exhibition
  • corporate and commercial
  • press, sports photography and photojournalism
  • medical photography
  • social, including weddings and portraits
  • stills photography – working in the film industry taking photos for marketing
  • photographic styling
  • photographic retouching – creating an illusion or enhancing or correcting photographs.  

Many photographers need to work in more than one area to make a living.

Photographer

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