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Become A Photographer/Photo Editor

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Working As A Photographer/Photo Editor

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $41,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Photographer/Photo Editor Do

Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication.

Duties

Editors typically do the following:

  • Read content and correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
  • Rewrite text to make it easier for readers to understand
  • Verify facts using standard reference sources
  • Evaluate submissions from writers to decide what to publish
  • Work with writers to help their ideas and stories succeed
  • Develop story and content ideas according to the publication’s style and editorial policy
  • Allocate space for the text, photos, and illustrations that make up a story
  • Approve final versions submitted by staff

Editors plan, coordinate, and revise material for publication in books, newspapers, magazines, or websites. Editors review story ideas and decide what material will appeal most to readers. During the review process, editors offer comments to improve the product, and suggest titles and headlines. In smaller organizations, a single editor may perform all of the editorial duties or share them with only a few other people.

The following are examples of types of editors:

Copy editors review text for errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling and check for readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy. They suggest revisions, such as changing words and rearranging sentences and paragraphs to improve clarity or accuracy. They also may carry out research, confirm sources for writers, and verify facts, dates, and statistics. In addition, they may arrange page layouts of articles, photographs, and advertising.

Publication assistants who work for book-publishing houses may read and evaluate manuscripts submitted by freelance writers, proofread uncorrected drafts, and answer questions about published material. Assistants on small newspapers or in smaller media markets may compile articles available from wire services or the Internet, answer phones, and proofread articles.

Assistant editors are responsible for a particular subject, such as local news, international news, feature stories, or sports. Most assistant editors work for newspaper publishers, television broadcasters, magazines, book publishers, or advertising and public relations firms.

Executive editors oversee assistant editors and generally have the final say about what stories are published and how they are covered. Executive editors typically hire writers, reporters, and other employees. They also plan budgets and negotiate contracts with freelance writers, who are sometimes called “stringers” in the news industry. Although many executive editors work for newspaper publishers, some work for television broadcasters, magazines, or advertising and public relations firms.

Managing editors typically work for magazines, newspaper publishers, and television broadcasters, and are responsible for the daily operations of a news department.

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How To Become A Photographer/Photo Editor

A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English, combined with previous writing and proofreading experience, is typically required to be an editor.

Education

Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English. They also prefer candidates with mass- or cross-media experience.

Those with other backgrounds who can show strong writing skills also may find jobs as editors. Editors who deal with specific subject matter may need previous related work experience. For example, fashion editors may need expertise in fashion that they gain through formal training or work experience.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many editors start off as editorial assistants, writers, or reporters.

Those who are particularly skilled at identifying good stories, recognizing writing talent, and interacting with writers may be interested in editing jobs. 

Other Experience

Editors also can gain experience by working on high school and college newspapers, and for magazines, radio and television stations, advertising and publishing companies, or nonprofit organizations. Magazines and newspapers also have internships for students. For example, the American Society of Magazine Editors offers a Magazine Internship Program to qualified full-time students in their junior or senior year of college. Interns may write stories, conduct research and interviews, and gain general publishing experience.

The ability to use computers is necessary for editors to stay in touch with writers and other editors and to work on the increasingly important digital media or online side of a publication. Familiarity with electronic publishing, graphics, Web design, and multimedia production is also important, because more content is being offered online.

Advancement

Some editors hold management positions and must make decisions related to running a business. For them, advancement generally means moving up to publications with larger circulation or greater prestige. Copy editors may move into original writing or substantive editing positions, or become freelancers.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Editors must be creative, curious, and knowledgeable in a broad range of topics. Some editors must regularly come up with interesting story ideas and attention-grabbing headlines.

Detail oriented. One of an editor’s main tasks is to make sure that material is error free and matches the style of a publication.

Good judgment. Editors must decide if certain stories are ethical or if there is enough evidence to report them.

Interpersonal skills. In working with writers, editors must have tact and the ability to guide and encourage them in their work.

Writing skills. Editors must ensure that all written content has correct grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Editors must be able to write clearly and logically.

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Photographer/Photo Editor Career Paths

Photographer/Photo Editor
Freelance Photographer Editor Owner
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Editor Marketing Manager
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Editor Social Media Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager
Director Of Marketing & Development
9 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Designer Owner
Owner And Founder
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Specialist Marketing Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Owner/Photographer Executive Assistant Property Manager
Assistant Director, Communications
5 Yearsyrs
Owner/Photographer Marketing Specialist Marketing Communications Manager
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Owner/Photographer Designer User Interaction Designer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Staff Photographer Lead Photographer Creative Director
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Product Photographer Lead Photographer Creative Director
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Photographer Lead Photographer Studio Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Photographer Writer Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Reporter Communications Consultant Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Reporter Writer And Editor Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Reporter Producer Social Media Manager
Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Videographer/Editor Senior Editor Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Freelance Videographer/Editor Producer Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Freelance Videographer/Editor Producer Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Content Manager Social Media Strategist
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
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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
Editor 2.6 years
Associate Editor 2.5 years
Image Editor 2.3 years
Photo Editor 2.3 years
Assistant Editor 2.0 years
Photographer 2.0 years
Photography Editor 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Photographer/Photo Editor
Photographer 19.0%
Internship 11.1%
Cashier 6.3%
Hostess 3.3%
Server 2.9%
Volunteer 2.7%
Assistant 2.4%
Top Careers After Photographer/Photo Editor
Photographer 22.2%
Internship 7.6%
Cashier 3.6%
Server 2.6%
Owner 2.2%
Manager 2.1%
Assistant 2.1%

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Top Skills for A Photographer/Photo Editor

  1. Photo Assignments
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Magical Moments
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created and coordinated photo assignments without conflict while collaborating with staff reporters to create compelling and interesting stories.
  • Understand advanced photo editing using Adobe Photoshop.
  • Captured magical moments and create tangible memories for guests and their friends and families.
  • Interacted with guests and took posed and candid family portraits at iconic Walt Disney World landmarks and at character meet-and-greets.
  • Leverage extensive knowledge of photography and image manipulation to produce photo shoots for promotional campaigns, portfolios, and magazine publications.

Photographer/Photo Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

48.8%

Male

39.8%

Unknown

11.4%
Ethnicity

White

58.5%

Hispanic or Latino

18.9%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.0%

French

12.2%

Chinese

4.1%

Russian

4.1%

German

3.1%

Arabic

3.1%

Portuguese

2.0%

Czech

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Korean

2.0%

Mandarin

2.0%

Italian

2.0%

Hebrew

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Georgian

1.0%

Ilocano

1.0%

Occidental

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%
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Photographer/Photo Editor Education

Schools

University of Central Florida

8.8%

Valencia College

7.7%

Academy of Art University

6.7%

School of Visual Arts

6.2%

California State University - Fullerton

5.7%

Syracuse University

5.2%

Brooks Institute

5.2%

San Francisco State University

5.2%

Arizona State University

5.2%

Full Sail University

5.2%

Bowling Green State University

4.6%

Pennsylvania State University

4.6%

New York University

4.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

4.1%

California State University - Long Beach

4.1%

Ohio University -

3.6%

University of Texas at Austin

3.6%

Santa Monica College

3.6%

Fashion Institute of Technology

3.6%

University of South Florida

3.1%
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Majors

Photography

28.6%

Graphic Design

12.5%

Journalism

10.7%

Communication

10.2%

Fine Arts

7.9%

Business

4.9%

Psychology

2.5%

Design And Visual Communication

2.2%

Visual And Performing Arts

2.1%

English

2.1%

Computer Science

2.0%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

2.0%

Advertising

1.9%

Marketing

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Political Science

1.5%

Entertainment Business

1.4%

Management

1.4%

Digital Media

1.3%

General Studies

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

59.5%

Other

18.3%

Associate

11.1%

Masters

7.0%

Certificate

2.9%

Diploma

0.6%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.1%
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