FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.
APPLY NOW
Apply Now
×
FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

CONTENT HAS
BEEN UNLOCKED
Close this window to view unlocked content
or
find interesting jobs in

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign Up

SIGN UP TO UNLOCK CONTENT

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign up to save the job and get personalized job recommendations.

Sign up to dismiss the job and get personalized job recommendations.

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Already have an account? Log in

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Company Saved

Answer a few questions and view jobs at that match your preferences.

Where do you want to work?

Job Saved

See your Saved Jobs now

or

find more interesting jobs in

Job Dismissed

Find better matching jobs in

Your search has been saved!

Become A Freelance Photographer

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Freelance Photographer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Stressful

  • $33,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Freelance Photographer Do

Photographers use their technical expertise, creativity, and composition skills to produce and preserve images that tell a story or record an event.

Duties

Photographers typically do the following:

  • Market and advertise services to attract clients
  • Analyze and plan the composition of photographs
  • Use various photographic techniques and lighting equipment
  • Capture subjects in commercial-quality photographs
  • Enhance the subject’s appearance with natural or artificial light
  • Use photo-enhancing software
  • Maintain a digital portfolio to demonstrate their work

Today, most photographers use digital cameras instead of the traditional film cameras. Digital cameras capture images electronically, so the photographer can edit the image on a computer. Images can be stored on portable memory devices, such as compact disks, memory cards, and flash drives. Once the raw image has been transferred to a computer, photographers can use processing software to crop or modify the image and enhance it through color correction and other specialized effects. Photographers who edit their own pictures use computers, high-quality printers, and editing software. For information on workers who specialize in developing and processing photographic images from film or digital media, see photographic process workers and processing machine operators included in occupations not covered in detail.

Photographers who work for commercial clients often will present finalized photographs in a digital format to the client. Wedding and portrait photographers, who serve primarily noncommercial clients, frequently also provide framing services and present the photographs they capture in albums.

Many wedding and portrait photographers are self-employed. Photographers who own and operate their own business have additional responsibilities. They must advertise, schedule appointments, set and adjust equipment, purchase supplies, keep records, bill customers, pay bills, and—if they have employees—hire, train, and direct their workers.

In addition, some photographers teach photography classes or conduct workshops in schools or in their own studios.

The following are examples of types of photographers:

Portrait photographers take pictures of individuals or groups of people and usually work in their own studios. Photographers who specialize in weddings, religious ceremonies, or school photographs may work on location.

Commercial and industrial photographers take pictures of various subjects, such as buildings, models, merchandise, artifacts, and landscapes. These photographs, which frequently are taken on location, are used for a variety of purposes, including magazine covers and images to supplement analyses of engineering projects.

Aerial photographers travel in planes or helicopters to capture photographs of buildings and landscapes. They often use cameras with gyrostabilizers to counteract the movement of the aircraft and ensure high-quality images.

Scientific photographers focus on the accurate visual representation of subjects and therefore limit the use of image manipulation software to clarify an image. Scientific photographs record scientific or medical data or phenomena. Scientific photographers typically use microscopes to photograph subjects.

News photographers, also called photojournalists, photograph people, places, and events for newspapers, journals, magazines, or television. In addition to taking still photos, photojournalists often work with digital video.

Fine arts photographers sell their photographs as artwork. In addition to having technical knowledge of subjects such as lighting and the use of lenses, fine arts photographers need artistic talent and creativity. Most use traditional film instead of digital cameras.

University photographers serve as general photographers for academic institutions. They may be required to take portraits, document events, or take photographs for press releases. University photographers are found primarily in larger academic institutions, because smaller institutions often contract with freelancers to do their photography work.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Freelance Photographer

Although postsecondary education is not required for portrait photographers, many take classes because employers usually seek applicants with a “good eye” and creativity, as well as a good technical understanding of photography. Photojournalists and industrial and scientific photographers often need a bachelor’s degree.

Education

Although postsecondary education is not required for most photographers, many take classes or earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field because such an education can improve their skills and employment prospects.

Many universities, community and junior colleges, vocational–technical institutes, and private trade and technical schools offer classes in photography. Basic courses in photography cover equipment, processes, and techniques. Art schools may offer useful training in photographic design and composition.

Entry-level positions in photojournalism or in industrial or scientific photography generally require a college degree in photography or in a field related to the industry in which the photographer seeks employment. For example, classes in biology, medicine, or chemistry may be useful for scientific photographers.

Business, marketing, and accounting classes can be helpful for self-employed photographers.

Training

Photographers have a talent or natural ability for taking good photos, and this talent is typically cultivated over years of practice. For many artists, including photographers, developing a portfolio—a collection of an artist’s work that demonstrates his or her styles and abilities—is essential. A portfolio is necessary because art directors, clients, and others often want to look at one when deciding whether to hire or contract with the photographer.

Photographers often start working as an assistant to a professional photographer. This work provides an opportunity to gain experience, build the photographers’ portfolios, and gain exposure to prospective clients.

Important Qualities

Artistic ability. Photographers capture their subjects in images, and they must be able to evaluate the artistic quality of a photograph. Photographers need a “good eye”—the ability to use colors, shadows, shades, light, and distance to compose good photographs.

Business skills. Photographers must be able to plan marketing strategies, reach out to prospective clients, and anticipate seasonal employment.

Computer skills. Most photographers do their own postproduction work and must be familiar with photo-editing software. They also use computers to maintain a digital portfolio.

Customer-service skills. Photographers must be able to understand the needs of their clients and propose solutions to any problems that arise.

Detail oriented. Photographers who do their own postproduction work must be careful not to overlook details and must be thorough when editing photographs. In addition, photographers accumulate many photographs and must maintain them in an orderly fashion.

Interpersonal skills. Photographers often photograph people. They must communicate effectively to achieve a certain composition in a photograph.

Show More

Show Less

Do you work as a Freelance Photographer?

Send To A Friend

Freelance Photographer Jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Freelance Photographer Career Paths

Freelance Photographer
Share

Do you work as a Freelance Photographer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Owner/Photographer 6.3 years
Staff Photographer 3.7 years
Lead Photographer 2.9 years
Photographer 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Freelance Photographer
Photographer 20.9%
Internship 12.5%
Cashier 5.3%
Assistant 3.7%
Volunteer 3.5%
Server 3.0%
Manager 2.9%
Top Careers After Freelance Photographer
Photographer 29.2%
Internship 7.1%
Volunteer 3.3%
Cashier 3.3%
Owner 3.1%
Server 3.1%
Assistant 2.9%

Do you work as a Freelance Photographer?

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Freelance Photographer?

Have you worked as a Freelance Photographer? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Freelance Photographer.

Top Skills for A Freelance Photographer

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Event Photographer
  3. Family Portraits
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Review and process thousands of images using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photo Elements to edit or enhance photos.
  • Volunteer event photographer for non-profit organization focusing on empowering girls through sports and leadership development.
  • Provided photography services to clients for individual and family portraits.
  • Provided freelance services in multimedia production including video production and editing, photography, and consultation services.
  • Provide professional photography services for clients during formal or special events such as weddings, birthday parties, graduations, etc.

Freelance Photographer Demographics

Gender

Male

45.5%

Female

44.1%

Unknown

10.4%
Ethnicity

White

60.5%

Hispanic or Latino

17.2%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

7.7%

Unknown

3.8%
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.9%

French

14.6%

German

5.8%

Portuguese

3.8%

Chinese

3.6%

Mandarin

2.9%

Russian

2.9%

Japanese

2.6%

Italian

2.4%

Arabic

2.1%

Cantonese

1.5%

Polish

1.4%

Korean

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Tagalog

0.9%

Dutch

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Filipino

0.7%
Show More

Freelance Photographer Education

Schools

Savannah College of Art and Design

9.0%

Columbia College Chicago

7.5%

School of Visual Arts

7.3%

Academy of Art University

7.2%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

6.7%

Brooks Institute

6.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.0%

Full Sail University

5.7%

New York University

5.1%

Temple University

4.5%

University of Texas at Austin

4.0%

San Francisco State University

3.8%

University of North Texas

3.8%

Fashion Institute of Technology

3.7%

New York Institute of Photography

3.5%

Ohio University -

3.3%

Arizona State University

3.3%

Syracuse University

3.2%

Parsons the New School for Design

3.0%

University of the Arts

3.0%
Show More
Majors

Photography

37.6%

Graphic Design

11.7%

Fine Arts

9.0%

Communication

8.3%

Business

5.8%

Journalism

5.8%

Psychology

2.6%

Marketing

2.5%

Design And Visual Communication

2.1%

English

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.5%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.5%

Digital Media

1.5%

Entertainment Business

1.3%

Computer Science

1.2%

Public Relations

1.2%

Advertising

1.1%

Computer Applications

1.1%

Education

1.1%
Show More
Degrees

Bachelors

54.6%

Other

20.8%

Associate

11.7%

Masters

7.4%

Certificate

4.1%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.3%

License

0.2%
Show More

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

How Would You Rate Working As a Freelance Photographer?

Are you working as a Freelance Photographer? Help us rate Freelance Photographer as a Career.

Top Freelance Photographer Employers

Show More

Jobs From Top Freelance Photographer Employers

Related to your recently viewed content