Now that everyone has a camera on their phone, it is more difficult to make a living by taking pictures. There is still a role for you as a professional photographer, but only if you take full advantage of digital technology in the way you take, process and sell your images.

Work activities

There are many different branches of photography, including editorial, news, fashion, archive, clinical and police. The growth of the internet has actually increased the need for images. We now expect to see pictures of every item sold in an online shop – and every item in a museum’s collection.

Whatever type of photography you are doing, you start by planning the shoot. This involves thinking about the sort of images the client is looking for and arranging the location or setting up the studio.

After the shoot, you may use software such as Photoshop to manipulate your images.

Many photographers work as freelancers and must spend a great deal of time marketing their pictures. This can be done through online agencies that pay a fee each time an image is used. It is also important to maintain a website, so potential customers can see what you have done in the past.

Entry requirements

You can take a degree or HND in photography, but potential employers will also want to see examples of your work. You must have an online portfolio that you keep up-to-date with new pictures.

It’s easy these days for anyone to take a photograph that is well lit and in focus. Employers will be looking for the visual sense, the ‘photographer’s eye’ that makes an image special.

Another way to enter the profession is to start work as an assistant to an established photographer, although these jobs are not easy to get.



Rates for photographers vary widely and you could earn anything from £12,000 to £55,000 a year, depending on your experience, reputation and the market in which your photographs are sold.

Developed by Digital Peninsula Network. For 1-1 digital careers advice contact dpn: email us or give us a ring on 01736 333700

DPN, Matrix, ESF, SFA and CC logos