How to Become a Photographer
Photographer Job Details
Skills and Qualities of a Photographer
Salaries for Photographers
Influential Professional Photographers
Leading Organizations for Photographers
Top Cities for Photographer Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
It is said that the first ever photograph was taken by Leonardo Da Vinci, however history books say that the first permanent photograph, that took eight hours to develop, was produced in 1826 by Nicephore Niepce, a French inventor.
It is usual to categorize photographers based on what they photograph. Some of them are artists, and they convey their art through photography, whilst others can be journalists, documentary makers, fashion photographers, wedding and party photographers and advertising photographers. Basically, the distinction is this: artistic photographers invest their own tastes, art and personality in the photographs they take, whilst the others just take the best possible photograph of a person, event or whatever else they're paid to provide.
You don't need any formal training to work as a photographer, however most employers will want to see some credentials attached to your name. Either a great portfolio or courses taken will do. Without a college degree you won't be able to get the higher paying jobs. So, the bottom line is this: you can be a freelance photographer, but without formal training you won't be able to really get your career on the move.
You can get a degree in photography at most of the Liberal Arts colleges in the United States of America, and photography courses abound, whether offline or online. Another very important thing to keep in mind if you want to become a professional photographer is this: the equipment is extremely expensive. With low quality equipment you'll get nowhere, so be prepared to have some money to invest beforehand.
A photographer will work everywhere he is needed. Either indoors or outdoors, depending of the specialization, the photographer must be ready to go to any lengths the project requires. Being specialized in such a liberal profession, the photographer's lifestyle is a hectic one. Today in Milan, tomorrow in New York, there's no telling where the job will take him.
Most of the time, however, there won't be such extreme fluctuations. A normal newspaper photographer will move around the city in which he is based, taking photographs needed to illustrate the news features of the current issue. So, as you can see, being a photographer is not a job for those that prefer the relative calm of a corporate office environment.
Other than that, you'll have to be computer literate, and possess a thorough knowledge of photograph manipulation software, as you'll work with it on a daily basis. You'll need to be tech savvy, as working with a camera - whether digital or film - requires a good deal of tech knowledge.
Since you'll be working with people, you should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. This is crucial for a photographer, as he depends on the cooperation of his subjects in order to take the best photographs. Poor human skills will slow down your career to a halt.
Even though it isn't mandatory to have a diploma, having one will sky-rocket your chances of finding work. Take all the classes you can, study as much as you can. These are things that will be tremendously useful later on.
Depending on the type of work, the company that hired you, your experience and skills, you'll get to make anything between $40,486 and $61,605. If you have no experience and are at your first job or maybe even with a poor company, you'll bring in about $29,493. If you're at a great company, and are very talented, you will be making approximately $69,840.
But if you're incredibly talented, own your own studio or work with the best, you will make more - much more than the averages. So it's all up to you, really.
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