Top 10 Hot Careers in Photography: Income Range, Work Time

Photography has transited from being all about taking pictures to building memory blocks harnessing the power of arts, culture, and technology. Today, a simple photograph is not just a representation of a person or group of persons in a period, but a story to tell generations.

Because of this new need, a lot of photographers have upped their game by introducing the right tools and projecting the right ideas to ensure they tell a great story using a picture. And this journey has consequently opened up many careers in photography that are marketable.

So, while a large part of this article will discuss the careers in photography that are marketable, it will also dig deep into the philosophy and thinking process that every photographer goes through before lifting their camera.

Who is a Photographer?

A photographer is a professional that makes use of different photographic equipment to capture events, things, people, or scenes. He or she market and advertise services to attract clients. He also analyzes and plans the composition of photographs, uses various photographic techniques and lighting equipment.

Moreso, a photographer captures subjects in commercial-quality photographs and enhances the subject’s appearance with natural or artificial light. He or she further uses photo-enhancing software, maintain a digital portfolio to demonstrate their work and handles archive and imagery.

How Can I Build Careers in Photography?

To build a career in any area of photography, some classes and training are necessary you go through them. And for some careers in photography like science and photojournalism, an undergraduate education degree is highly needed.

This degree can be gotten in a university, college, vocational-technical institute, or private trade school. These institutions offer programs in photography that covers photography equipment, processes, and techniques.

Aside from the education qualification, some training is required. This training will help build your talent for taking excellent photos from different angles and positions. The training will also cover picture-editing which will guide you on the software to use when editing pictures.

What other Skills do I Need to Become a Photographer?

To be a good photographer, you must possess the following skills:

  • Customer service skills
  • Detail Oriented
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Computer Skills
  • Business Skills
  • Artistic Skills

In addition to these skills, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have good communication skills (Good in speaking, reading, and writing)
  • Be physically and mentally stable.
  • Not under 16 years.
  • Gone through the initial aeronautical knowledge exam at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center

What is the Job Outlook for Careers in Photography?

Photographers’ employment is expected to fall by 4% over the next ten years. The declining cost of digital cameras, as well as the growing number of amateur and hobby photographers, would reduce the demand for skilled photographers.

Online stock photography services provide individuals and companies with access to stock photography for a fee or subscription. However, the use of newer technologies, such as drone photography, may increase demand for these jobs.

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Furthermore, it will enable the photographer to create images of tall structures in need of repairs, such as cell towers and bridges. Aerial portraits taken by drones at weddings or special events are also scenic.

The number of self-employed photographers is expected to rise. People will continue to want new portraits, so demand for portrait photographers will remain high. Furthermore, companies will continue to rely on commercial photographers to produce convincing commercials to sell goods.

How Much Do A Career in Photography Worth?

A lot!

Photography career is one of the most paying career in the world. As a photographer, your salary will be dependent on your location, type of work, experience and photography skill sets you have.

According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for photographers comes in right around $30-40k per year with the top 10% of earners making over $70,000 per year.

On the other hand, the average salary for photographers in the United States according to indeed.com is $17.13 per hour.  Some salaries range from $7.25 to $41.55 per hour.

To be more specific, let’s give you a list of average salaries for photographers according to the states in United States of America.

Check this out!

  • Alabama: $16.82 per hour
  • Arkansas: $17.80 per hour
  • California: $16.29 per hour
  • Colorado: $14.63 per hour
  • Alaska: $24.21 per hour
  • Arizona: $13.93 per hour
  • Connecticut: $15.64 per hour
  • Delaware: $16.59 per hour
  • District of Columbia: $20.56 per hour
  • Florida: $14.87 per hour
  • Georgia: $13.14 per hour
  • Hawaii: $15.21 per hour
  • Idaho: $13.46 per hour
  • Illinois: $12.83 per hour
  • Indiana: $18.03 per hour
  • Iowa: $13.87 per hour
  • Kansas: $15.37 per hour
  • Kentucky: $16.73 per hour
  • Louisiana: $14.76 per hour
  • Maine: $43.38 per hour
  • Maryland: $13.77 per hour
  • Nebraska: $32.87 per hour
  • Nevada: $13.72 per hour
  • Massachusetts: $17.08 per hour
  • Montana: $12.78 per hour
  • New Hampshire: $14.11 per hour
  • New Jersey: $15.23 per hour
  • North Carolina: $13.58 per hour
  • Oklahoma: $11.72 per hour
  • North Dakota: $16.63 per hour
  • Ohio: $14.37 per hour
  • New Mexico: $17.26 per hour
  • New York: $17.00 per hour
  • Oregon: $15.72 per hour
  • Pennsylvania: $15.73 per hour
  • Rhode Island: $17.85 per hour
  • South Carolina: $12.99 per hour
  • South Dakota: $20.60 per hour
  • Tennessee: $14.73 per hour
  • Texas: $21.51 per hour
  • Utah: $15.42 per hour
  • Vermont: $42.46 per hour
  • Michigan: $17.41 per hour
  • Minnesota: $17.81 per hour
  • Virginia: $14.59 per hour
  • Washington: $20.77 per hour
  • West Virginia: $16.56 per hour
  • Mississippi: $26.71 per hour
  • Missouri: $14.24 per hour
  • Wisconsin: $14.24 per hour
  • Wyoming: $17.15 per hour

Note, as a photographer in any of the states, you can earn higher if you can intentional work on your professional and marketing skills.

Moreso, you can work on your communication and business skills, look out for freelancing jobs or take up part-time jobs.

Types of Photography Careers that are Marketable

Here are the Marketable Photography Careers that pays well you can specialize in this 2021:

  • Commercial Photography
  • Scientific Photography
  • Fashion Photography
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Stock Photography
  • Freelance Photography
  • Sport Photography
  • Portrait Photography
  • Photojournalism Photography
  • Aerial Photography
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#1. Commercial Photography

Commercial Photography is one of the more lucrative careers in photography you can take up this 2021. This career includes a variety of photography careers that focus on assisting clients in marketing their products or services.

As a Commercial photographers, you will take photograph of anything from houses to products to company staff for use in marketing materials such as catalogs, commercials, and websites. You can also log equipment or projects for company records and reports.

#2. Scientific Photography

This is another photography career that is marketable. This type of photographer photograph a wide range of subjects in order to capture experiments, demonstrate technical detail, and bring to life photographs that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.

They often use imaging techniques and equipment such as micrography, infrared photography, underwater photography, and others. Science photographers are typically employed by government departments and academic institutions.

#3. Sport Photography

Are you a lover of sport? Then taking up a career as a sport photography will give you that pleasure and joy your desire. And just that you will find it fun, it will also pay you well because it is among the high paying photography careers you can ever think of.

Sports photography is one of the photography occupations that has been least influenced by the discipline’s lower entry barriers.

Although professionals in other fields are battling smartphones and social media, it’s impossible to imagine anything other than high-end tele lenses on high-level sporting events.

However, it’s also one of the most competitive roles in the industry, since there’s always something going on right in front of your camera.

That is, you will never be bored, but you will need to learn amazing technical skills. The disadvantage is that you will need to invest in powerful lenses in order to catch all that happens in the game.

One of the most significant advantages of sports photography is its ease of access. You can begin working on your career at any time by walking to the nearest soccer field or basketball court. Begin with amateur competitions and progress to professional events as your skills develop.

#4. Portrait Photography

Portrait photographers are on-site with their equipment to catch the moment, from weddings to school pictures.

They can work from their own studios as well as on site, and whether they are self-employed or own their own company, they may have a broad range of other job duties, such as billing customers, scheduling appointments, editing photos, and framing photographs.

#5. Freelance Photography

If you want to be your own boss, you can build a career in freelance photography. Freelance Photography allows you to be your own boss rather than working for a gallery, magazine, or other business.

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And for the fact that the positions are available in almost every industry makes it is one of the photography career that is marketable.

#6. Photojournalist Photography

Photographers capture people and activities for newspapers, magazines, and other media. Photojournalists must be expert storytellers, whether they use only pictures or images and words to tell their tales.

Press or news photographers normally work for newspapers, either on staff or as freelancers, covering local or national events such as sports, politics, or courtroom proceedings.

While it can be difficult to develop yourself in the market, the constant variety of assignments ensures that you’ll never be bored.

#7. Fashion Photography

Are you a photographer that craves for fashion? You can actually build a career as a fashion photographer. One interesting thing about this career is that it will enable you make the most of your artistic and creative ideas.

#8. Wild Photography

Many of the photography occupations on this list are diametrically opposed to wildlife photography. In a world where everything revolves around action and pace, patience is one of the most important qualities of a wildlife photographer.

Although some impressive shots necessitate quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination, the majority of the time is spent waiting for animals to do something or simply appear nearby.

Professionals in the industry are also using photography to raise awareness about climate change and the increasingly progressing endangerment of multiple species. As a result, the popularity of wildlife photography is at an all-time high, increasing your chances of having your work written.

#9. Aerial Photography

This is another career in Photography that is marketable. Basically, Aerial photographers capture landscapes, houses, and activities from the air using aircraft, helicopters, and drones.

They normally necessitate specialized equipment, such as gyrostabilizers, which aid in the stabilization of photographs despite aircraft movement. Cameras with 360-degree angles are usually mounted on remote-controlled drones and used for aerial shots in the case of drone photography.

10. Stock Photography

Stock Photography is one of the most open photography occupations, but it is also one of the most overlooked. The chances of making a living from this form of photography are low, but it can be a fantastic way to supplement your income.

You can begin by selling photos from your portfolio on microstock platforms like iStock and Adobe Stock. This have a lower entry barrier and generate the most revenue.

Later on, focus on shooting a wide range of photographs for which you can imagine a variety of commercial applications. Professionals in the sector advise uploading a few hundred photos each month to maximize the chances of success.

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