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Many photographers work as free lancers, but a few also work full time for big media outlets. Photographers tend to specialize in one vertical such as commercial, family, sports, films, travel, scientific, nature, weddings and more. With the advent of digital technology in photography, taking up Photography as a career requires additional effort to differentiate one from the amateurs. Photography as in integral field in art industry from Films to Media outlets. There is not set career path for photography, but one can start behind camera and grow into related fields like art direction etc. in some industries like Film.


Although one can become a professional photographer based on personal efforts and relevant certifications, Bachelors degree in Arts with major in photography can help in providing more options for a career and for advancement;


Professional Photographers should have both technical as well as non-technical skills.

  •  Technical skills like knowing camera, understanding lighting and color techniques etc. is a must.
  •  Editing skills. Digital photography opened many opportunities for the photographers to create fabulous photos using digital editing techniques.
  •  Marketing skills is a must for freelance photographers. Should be able to present the portfolio in different formats. Online presence is expected. Should be able to  utilize social media like Instagram, YouTube etc. for marketing.
  • People skills. Photographers should have good listening skills to understand the needs of the customers and work with them to create a product that is satisfying.  Should be able to offer post instructions.


This is a fictitious calendar of a Photography  work schedule and is meant to give an idea of the different tasks that the professional performs and different people that the professional needs to coordinate with.

This DILO or the Work Scheduleof a Photography may differ from organization to organization and context.

Given below is a typical Day In The Life of a Photography

Context DILO:

A freelance photographer working with a school for family portrait day.

DILO, Day In The Life of:

Time Task
8:00 am-9:00 am Get the camera equipment ready. Check with the assistant photographer the schedule for the day
9:00 am -10:00 am Reach school. Set up the photography room. Check background and lighting and prepare 2 sets, one for the family pictures and the other for the solo kids pictures.
10:00 am – 4:00 pm Take pictures of the families giving pose instructions and taking pictures in multiple angles.
4:00 pm Leave for home
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm Select the pictures for further editing. Edit pictures. Upload the selected few to the website for the customers to choose, pay and download.

Career Ladder:

Exact career path, Photography career ladder, i.e. career progression may change from organization to organization, but below is a typical path. Sample career ladder for Photography career path is given below.

Career Ladder Image:


Description For Certifications:

Links to Certifications or Credentials for Photography career path, that are usually offered by Professional Organizations that certify, can potentially help in climbing up the career ladder. A few Photography certifications are given below,

Professional Certifications or Credentials:

Certification Description Career Level Certifying Body
BDA Bachelor in Digital Cinematography Entry Level It include film making foundations, digital video technology, and video output.
BIACP Bachelor of fine Arts Commercial Photography Entry Level A degree in fine arts can prepare students for careers in the visual arts or the performing arts.
MSFP Master of Fine Arts in Film Production Professional developed for aspiring professionals who want to discover strategies and production planning procedures for creating high-quality films

Description For Associations:

Links to Associations for Photography career, that can also be identified as Professional Organizations, can potentially help in networking with other professional in the field and to learn the latest developments in the field. A few Photography associations are given below.

Professional Associations or Organizations:

Association Description More Info
APHE Association for Photography in higher Education APHE
AOP Association of Photographers AOP
AIPP Australian Institute of Professional Photography AIPP
BIPP British Institute of Professional Photography BIPP
IAPP International Association of Panoramic Photographer IAPP

Photography Tools:

Links to a few Tools/Techniques (Also called Career Management Tools or Career Tools) and Methods (Also called Career Method Tools or Techniques) that the professionals in that career path tend to use, like this:

Tool Purpose More info
Tripod & Ball Head Most new photographers understand what a tripod is: a set of legs that can be attached to the bottom of your camera body or the bottom of your lens to support your gear while you shoot.
Camera GEAR
Cameras A camera is an optical instrument for recording images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or both.
Editing software Applications like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Creative Suite allow photographers to transform images to different colors, edit the backgrounds etc.

Photography Methods:

Links to a few Methods (Also called Career Method Tools or Techniques) and Tools/Techniques (Also called Career Management Tools or Career Tools) that the professionals in that career path tend to use, like this:

Method Description
HDR HDR is an extremely sought out effect used by photographers. It allows a greater dynamic range of exposures, which is the range of values between light and dark areas, than standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods.
High speed photography High speed photography is basically a technique of capturing pictures with a remarkably quick shutter speed. For an average everyday shooting with standard zooms, a speed over 1/20 to 1/125 second will prevent camera shake.
Bokeh Photography This technique consists in producing subjectively pleasing blur and out-of-focus areas by playing with focus and the way lens renders out-of-focus points of light.
Soft Focused Photography Soft focus is produced by using a special lens that creates soft outlines in a slightly blurred image that retains sharp edges. This style is often described as a dreamy or glamorous style that’s widely used for fashion and wedding photos.
Fisheye Photography Utilizing a circular fisheye lens with a 180° view, photographers can produce some really interesting and intriguing results with a highly unusual perspective on small or inaccessible spaces.
Pinhole Photography This technique can go without any high-end costly equipment to get beautiful results. A pinhole camera is actually a simple camera without a lens and with a single small aperture.

Photography Experts: