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Article: Photography

Summary

This article covers the following jobs:

  • Digital Imaging Technician
  • Fashion/Advertising Photographer
  • General Practice Photographer
  • Industrial/Commercial Photographer
  • Medical Photographer
  • Photographic Processing Assistant
  • Press Photographer
  • Scientific Photographer.

The job descriptions are only a brief summary. It is recommended that you do further research on jobs that interest you.

Video: - Various: Photography

Introduction

There are a variety of jobs available in photography. Some involve taking photos - these can be either creative or technical. Others involve processing photos and research into photographic materials and equipment.

What do the different types of photographer do?

Fashion/Advertising Photographer

Fashion/advertising photographers take photos that attract attention to the product being advertised. Most work on a freelance basis from their own studio. They produce photos for magazines, newspapers, brochures and posters.

Fashion/advertising photographers usually receive a brief from an art director, fashion editor or other client. This brief details the image they wish to project.

A lot of advertising work involves taking still life photos of objects in a studio. Some photographers specialise in a particular area such as food.

Fashion/advertising photographers work under a lot of pressure and must keep within the limits of a budget and meet deadlines.

One way to enter the industry is to become a photographer's assistant, although there is a lot of competition for these jobs. Photographers' assistants help with tasks such as setting up shoots, dealing with paperwork and storing digital images.

Alternatively, you can enter the industry by doing a course in photography.

Press Photographer

Press photographers (sometimes known as photojournalists) take photos for newspapers, magazines, periodicals, technical journals or web-based publications.

They usually start their careers by working for local newspapers before moving on to either national publications, specialist publications, or freelance work.

Press photographers must be able to set up a picture to go with a story. Some photographers may also be expected to write captions or even stories to accompany their photos.

In addition to taking pictures, press photographers usually develop and print their own work. Many papers, magazines and news agencies use digital photography. They often download photos from the camera to a laptop computer and email photos to the editorial desk from the scene.

Press photographers need to be patient as well as able to respond quickly to situations. They may also have to work unsocial hours and travel, sometimes at short notice.

The minimum entry requirements for employment with training are five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English. However, due to fierce competition, candidates usually have more than the minimum requirements. A good portfolio of work is important.

Industrial/Commercial Photographer

Industrial/commercial photographers might work in, for example:

  • manufacturing
  • research and development
  • architecture and construction
  • business
  • education.

Their work varies according to the type of organisation they work for.

Industrial photographers may take photos of machinery and industrial processes.

Commercial photographers may take photos to be used in publicity, or may produce videos and slides for training and presentations.

Freelance photographers may be involved in similar kinds of work, but usually concentrate on commercial work such as marketing goods or services. They might specialise in an area such as aerial photography or architecture.

Industrial/commercial photographers must be creative but also technically minded and very accurate. Knowledge of electronics and computing is useful.

One way to enter the industry is to become a photographer's assistant, although there is a lot of competition for these posts. Photographers' assistants help with tasks such as setting up shoots, dealing with paperwork and storing digital images.

Alternatively, you can enter the industry by doing a course in photography.

Medical Photographer

Medical photographers work in hospitals, medical schools and research institutions. They are concerned with clinical photography, which involves taking photos of patients' conditions and injuries, and with surgical photography, which requires them to record operations.

Doctors use their photos to diagnose medical conditions early. They are also used by researchers and those involved in training medical staff.

Medical photographers use standard photographic equipment, as well as sophisticated technical and digital equipment. They are also expected to understand videography, cine photography and closed-circuit television techniques.

Medical photographers need to be interested in science as well as photography. Trainee medical photographers study part-time for professional qualifications.

To enter this career, you need a relevant degree. The Institute of Medical Illustrators (IMI) provides details of relevant courses.

Scientific Photographer

Scientific photographers use photographic skills to record information for use by scientists or engineers.

They take photos for different purposes. For example, they may photograph a research project over a period of time, keeping detailed notes. At other times, they might produce videos or slides for conferences and training purposes.

As well as straightforward photographic techniques, they also use more sophisticated methods of photography, such as ultraviolet and infrared photography. Scientific photographers can work in the Civil Service, the Defence Research Agency, universities, industry, or as freelance photographers.

One way to enter the industry is to become a photographer's assistant, although there is a lot of competition for these posts. Photographers' assistants help with setting up shoots, dealing with paperwork and storing digital images.

Alternatively, you can enter the industry by doing a course in photography.

General Practice Photographer

General practice photographers spend a lot of their time doing 'social' photography. This includes photographing weddings, providing photos for local companies for marketing and publicity use, or taking portrait photos.

Many have a portrait studio on their premises, but it is becoming more common to travel to a client's home to take their photo.

Photographers who work alone or manage a studio spend a lot of their time running the business. This usually involves taking orders for prints, keeping records and storing images.

Some general practice photographers specialise in a certain area, for example, weddings or advertising.

As well as being creative, photographers need technical ability to handle cameras, lenses and lighting equipment.

One way to enter the industry is to become a photographer's assistant, although there is a lot of competition for these posts. Photographers' assistants help with setting up shoots, dealing with paperwork and storing digital images.

Alternatively, you can enter the industry by doing a course in photography.

Further Information

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ)

Tel: 020 78433700

Email: info@nuj.org.uk

Website: www.nuj.org.uk/work/careers/

Newspaper Society (NS)

Email: ns@newspapersoc.org.uk

Website: www.newspapersoc.org.uk

Creative Skillset

Skills for the creative industries

Email: info@creativeskillset.org

Website: www.creativeskillset.org

Creative Choices

Publisher: Creative & Cultural Skills

Email: info@creative-choices.co.uk

Website: www.creative-choices.co.uk

Creative & Cultural Skills

Skills for craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts

Email: london@ccskills.org.uk

Website: ccskills.org.uk

Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ)

Tel: 020 7252 1187

Email: memberservices@cioj.co.uk

Website: www.cioj.co.uk

Association of Photographers (AOP)

Address: 21 Downham Road, London N1 5AA

Tel: 020 7739 6669

Email: info@aophoto.co.uk

Website: www.the-aop.org

Institute of Medical Illustrators (IMI)

Address: 12 Coldbath Square, London EC1R 5HL

Tel: 020 7837 2846

Email: info@imi.org.uk

Website: www.imi.org.uk

Royal Photographic Society

Address: Fenton House, 122 Wells Road, Bath BA2 3AH

Tel: 01225 325733

Email: reception@rps.org

Website: www.rps.org

British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP)

Address: The Coach House, The Firs, High Street, Whitchurch, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP22 4SJ

Tel: 01296 642020

Email: info@bipp.com

Website: www.bipp.com

British Journal of Photography

Publisher: Incisive Media

Email: support@apptitudemedia.co.uk

Website: www.bjp-online.com

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