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Photographer

Photographers take pictures of people, places, products and events. They may work for companies or individual clients, or create and sell their own images.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £50,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements.

You'll usually need experience and a qualification in photography, though many photographers are self-taught.

You could start as a photographer's assistant and work your way up.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • organisational and time-management skills
  • IT skills
  • marketing skills

3. What you'll do

You'll usually specialise in an area like corporate, fashion or portrait photography.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • discussing the project with the client
  • preparing the location for the photo session
  • choosing the right equipment
  • setting up lighting
  • composing and taking photos
  • checking image quality
  • editing images
  • processing and printing photos
  • marketing and running your business

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000 to £18,000 (assistant)

Experienced: £19,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £50,000

Freelance photographers are paid per job. Rates can vary depending on experience, reputation and the type of assignment.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your hours and place of work will vary. You may need to work evenings and weekends in a studio or on location.

The job can be physically demanding.

6. Career path and progression

Most photographers are freelance. You could also get a permanent job with an advertising or PR agency, a newspaper, a hospital or the police.

To improve your job prospects, you could join a professional body like the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) or the Association of Photographers.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017