Photographers compose the elements of a photograph to create a specific impression on those who view the photographs.
They can use different types of photographic equipment, such as single-lens reflex cameras and film, or digital cameras to create photographs of professional quality, suitable for commercial use or as personal portraiture. They use artificial lighting to enhance or illuminate a subject, as well. They can use photo-manipulation software to change elements in an existing digital photograph.
A photographer who works with film uses chemicals to develop the negative images the camera produces. She can use a variety of techniques to enhance or otherwise alter the images on the film. A photographer will maintain a digital portfolio online as an enticement for customers. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.
Photographers have distinct personalities. They tend to be artistic individuals, which means they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive. They are unstructured, original, nonconforming, and innovative. Some of them are also enterprising, meaning they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.
What Do Photographers Do?
A photographer is an artistic professional specialising in the art of taking photographs with a digital or film camera to be used and sold for a variety of purposes. Photographers are experts in manipulating both artificial and natural lighting to capture meaningful photos of countless people, places and things- and in a variety of settings.
While many photographers focus primarily on studio work, others specialise in landscape, others in photojournalism and news, and others in commercial, advertising-oriented photography, just to name a few.
While a large percentage of photographers work as freelancers hired for specific, variously-timed jobs by numerous clients instead of traditional 9-5 office hours, that’s not necessarily the case for every professional.
Some photographers do elect to work exclusively in certain segments of the industry that lend themselves to a full-time dynamic, in-office employment such as corporate or full-time studio work.
Additionally, a large number of professionally trained photographers focus more on the artistic nature of the industry, shooting more imaginative, abstract works to be sold on an individual basis to art collectors or independent buyers. Starting to think about hiring a wedding photographer? Check out our range of Mornington Peninsula wedding photography here.
How to Start a Career in Photography?
As photography is a technically demanding career, you must have a strong commitment to your work to be a professional photographer. Here is a guide to starting a career as a photographer.
Do I Need a Photography Degree?
If you’re interested in launching a successful photography career, it’s important to consider which educational options are considered an industry standard. Unlike other professions, the presence or lack thereof when it comes to a university degree is something of debated importance amongst photographers today.
While many other specialists are unable to get hired and start working as, say, a nurse or lawyer without the proper credentials, that’s simply not the case when it comes to photography. Thousands of photographers currently running successful businesses today never went to college for their craft. Some are self-taught, some took courses locally at a community college or arts centre, some learned online.
Essentially, wanting or needing a photography degree is a personal question in this industry more than a logistical or legal one. Do you know how to use a digital camera? Do you understand compositional concepts like aperture, ISO, exposure, etc.? Do you know what all the dials and functions on your camera are capable of and when and where to use them best? What about your career’s business aspect- are you familiar with marketing or how to draft a yearly business plan? Do you know how to find and sign clients?
These are all things someone with a successful photography business must know, but not things necessarily only learned via an expensive, 4 year-long university bachelor’s degree program.
If you’re unsure which educational route is best suited for your needs, we’ve developed a simple chart you can reference as you move forward with your decision-making process. See side by side how much money you’ll pay for different options and exactly the quality of comprehensive education you’ll get for that cost.
Determine which gaps in your business and photography knowledge need to be filled before getting started and pursuing the appropriate resources accordingly. Create lasting memories through your Yarra Valley wedding photography that will be cherished forever.
Education In Photography
To adopt photography as a career, you should have a degree or certification in photography. Several universities and institutes provide you with certification in this field. Choose the right career in photography, and stay focused on it. It will help you to gain all the in-depth knowledge about the related field.
Get Proper Training
Get the proper training, participate in the workshops and join internships to broaden your horizon. It will not only polish your technical and creative skills but will also help you to get an idea about the business and demands from customers. Build an exquisite portfolio to get hired.
Do I Need a Photography License?
Many photographers who plan to own and operate their own studio become concerned about the legal implications involved in this process, specifically the need or lack thereof to obtain some sort of professional commercial license in order to book and charge clients or to use a home as a studio, etc.
Suppose you’re considering converting your home into a studio or small business. In that case, all you need to do is make two phone calls before doing so in order to make sure you’re following all necessary legal protocol- one call to your state licensing board and a second call to your local city hall.
In many places, your local government will require photographers to obtain a general permit in order to operate a business if they’ll be profiting off of it.
Even if you just plan to use your home as your studio, you still need to contact the local government to make sure you’re doing everything by the books according to local business standards. Things like zoning regulations could cause issues when it comes to your ability to operate a business somewhere residential, etc technically.
In some cities, your license is simply something your city officials want you to have in order to help them organise local business zones and won’t even cost you anything. In other cities, however, permits are sold at a small cost (mostly in an effort to raise money for local government).
But beyond your need for a license, you also need to make sure you’re prepared to pay the right taxes once you’ve technically become a small business operator. Because the government technically considers photos to be products, you might need to pay sales tax depending on where you live. To make sure you’re doing everything by the books, simply follow this link to search for a sales tax number getting started.
Get Licenses or Registration
For photographers in some countries, it is a must to get various licenses in order to legally work in some fields. Some of them are Certified Forensic Photographer, Certified professional photographer, Registered Biological Photographer, etc.
Start a Job at a Company
Start an entry-level job in a company or organisation. This is a valuable experience if you have a plan to work as a freelance photographer. You will learn to move in the market, and it will also help to polish your skills as a photographer.
After the entry-level experience, you can decide what to do next. You may try to stay and work for someone or start your own business. Success will eventually come your way.
Freelance Photography Career
Pursuing freelance photography as a career gives you the liberty to work in different fields of photography. You no longer need to be associated with a company or organisation. Freelancing photography career is expected to grow about 10% in the next ten years.
The trend of freelance photography is increasing because, in this career, you get the liberty to do work according to your rules and get exposure to the different types of photography. There are several online platforms and companies where you can get hired as a freelance photographer.
Photographer Skills & Competencies
In addition to technical proficiency, photographers need specific personal qualities and skills.
- Artistic ability: Photographers are artists who must have the creativity necessary to come up with ways to tell stories using images. They need a good eye for using colour, light, and composition.
- Interpersonal skills: Whether it’s the people you’re photographing, your clients, or your colleagues, you must be able to understand their needs, read their body language, and coordinate your actions with theirs.
- Communication skills: Excellent listening and speaking skills will allow you to grasp what others tell you and help you explain things to them.
- Customer service: Freelance photographers, in particular, must provide excellent service to their clients because repeat business and positive word-of-mouth are essential to success.
- Business skills: Those who are self-employed must know how to market themselves. They must tend to bookkeep tasks and keep track of their expenses and profits. They even need to be aware of legal issues, such as making sure they get a model release form signed if they were to take photos of people for commercial use.
- An eye for detail: You can’t let any details slip if you’re going to consistently produce only the highest quality photos.
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When it comes to launching a professional photography career, the reality is that, unlike other professions where you will most often interview and be hired for a full-time, salaried job within a company, most photographers work independently and own their own businesses. If you’re a nature and landscape photographer, your income could come in the form of selling stock images or selling more high-priced shots to larger-scale buyers to use for commercial purchases.
If you’re a wedding or portrait photographer, the most popular route within the industry would be to set up your own local studio and book clients via independently executed advertising such as business cards, Facebook or word of mouth.
That being said, there are still a number of photographers within the industry who still work under the umbrella of a larger media or brand source, doing editorial and product shoots for existing companies.
A photographer will be asked to work in any number of settings and environments. This can include working in comfortable studios in a big city or working in the frozen forests of a remote country. A photographer is one of the few professionals that could be wearing shorts and a t-shirt one day, wearing a tuxedo the next, and a winter coat and boots the day after that.
Most photographers that are serious about their craft will also have a home office or studio that will include a place to work on digital or physical photographs for the purpose of development and/or editing work.
This job might not be for you if you like to stay close to home or work from the same location every day. Photographers often spend time on the road, which can include travelling to far-flung locations.
Portrait and commercial photographers spend a lot of time in studios, but they still have to do on-location photo shoots. Photojournalists also travel, both domestically and internationally. They sometimes find themselves in dangerous locales in order to record newsworthy events.
How Much Do Photographers Get Paid?
The amount of money you can make as a professional photographer depends on a number of relevant factors. Are you formally trained? How long have you been in business? Do you shoot weddings or commercial headshots? Choosing the right wedding photographer in Melbourne to capture every moment on your wedding day.
Expect to be paid based on level of experience, but bear in mind that other factors such as niche industry will always impact that number.
Average Photographer Salary
As per PayScale, the average photographer salary in Australia is AU$55,000 annually. More experienced photographers can earn as much as AU$ 81,000, while newer ones earn about AU$ 41,000 per year.
Although these figures are good enough, the truth is, you have unlimited earning opportunities as a photographer if you will work as a freelancer. The amount you earn would still depend on the number of clients you have and your asking professional fees.
Wedding Photographer Salary
The task of wedding photographers is crucial as they need to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments of couples. In Australia, according to Payscale, a wedding photographer’s average salary per hour is around AU$50, earning AU$62,500 annually.
Advertising and Editorial Photographer Salary
A landscape photographer captures the beauty of both natural and manmade scenery, such as the Grand Canyon in the United States and the Northern Lights in Iceland. A landscape travels a lot, exploring new cultures, meeting new people and being exposed to what nature has to offer.
Due to Australia’s vast unoccupied and natural terrain, landscape photographers are also popular. According to Ziprecruiter, in this career, you’ll receive around AU$39,000 annually.
Landscape Photographer Salary
An editorial photographer’s job is to provide images that’ll illustrate or represent the written content in websites, newspaper and magazines. They are in high demand today, due to the increasing number of websites and companies that require online content. An advertising and editorial photographers salary, according to PayScale Australia, also earns about AU$55,000 per year.
Fashion Photographer Salary
If you’ve always wanted to work alongside supermodels and stars, then being a model or fashion photographer is for you. This role allows you to work with top models, fashion designers, makeup artists, and celebrities from different parts of the globe.
Fashion photographers are usually experts in portrait shots. They receive an average of AU$37,800 per year.
Commercial Photographer Salary
A commercial photographer offers various types of pictures to individuals, businesses and institutes. Once paid, the organisation or person will use your photos for their marketing, advertisement, promotion and/or branding initiatives. Commercial photographers are always in demand due to the constantly flourishing business economy of Australia.
According to PayScale Australia, the average commercial photographer salary is AU$ 58,500 annually.
Equine Photographer Salary
New photography in Australia today is equine photography. It’s the art of taking pictures of horses in various settings. An equine photographer in Australia earns an average of AU$25.4 per hour or AU$31,750 per year. This makes a great weekend side-hustle for people who want an extra source of income aside from their day job.
The earning opportunities for photographers in Australia are not limited to the figures stated above. Ultimately, this would depend on your asking rate and the number of clients.
If you’re really serious about pursuing a career as a photographer, start investing in becoming more competent in this role now. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.
Photography is a challenging career but has great potential for skilled and talented photographers. To pursue this career, you should have a passion and a clear plan for the future. Good photography skills require practice, patience and hard work.
Freelance photography career is going to be the most growing field in the next ten years. This career provides you with a multitude of diverse fields and a sense of freedom. This is an amazing way to share your creativity with people from different fields of photography.