Photography is ambiguous in its meaning. In technical terms, it is the practice of manipulating light to capture moments in time. Some people believe it to be a mere hobby, accessible to all in that any person can take a photograph. Most recently, it has even been considered a modern art form, a medium of capturing stories in individual frames.
Regardless of what one believes photography to be, it can be a lucrative venture for those who spent time honing the skills needed to capture the best photographs, be it through apprenticeship or college degree. Here are the three career options for those who wish to make a living out of photography.
Commercial photography is the art of capturing photos with the intent of using them to advertise a certain business, product, or event. It is one of the most popular choices for photographers these days, due to the options that they can choose from when it comes to their tracks.
For example, one client is working as a freelance artist. Another is starting a firm. The third is applying to the many advertising, design, or marketing agencies out in the field. A photographer’s final decision will then pave the way for the clients that they get to work with. Those who are starting may encounter smaller businesses, such as wedding vendors or independent clothing shops. With significant experience under one’s belt, it’s also possible to be employed by major magazines looking to work with talented photographers for their ads.
Commercial photography services can earn a person an average base pay of $30,000.
Photographers who choose forensic photography, more commonly known as crime scene photography, work with government agencies like the local police force or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As the title suggests, forensic photographers are usually among the people who arrive first at the scene.
Given the importance of their jobs, forensic photographers need to capture every detail of the crime scene with precision and accuracy, leaving no corner uncaptured. The resulting photos are then taken as visual evidence, later used as a reference while building up cases and solving crimes.
Photographers in this line of work make an average annual salary of $61,600.
Journalism is the practice of conveying the truth to the general public. Photojournalism, on the other hand, is a sub-branch of photography and journalism. It is an essential part of news sharing since photojournalism helps emphasize key details of the reports being given. More than that, it helps solidify the truth since people understand things better when a photo of the event itself accompanies the words.
Given this, photojournalism is unlike forensic photography in that not every minute detail of a scene needs to be captured. Instead, photojournalists are encouraged to choose a focal point to tell the story.
Photographers who wish to operate in this field can expect an average salary of $41,000 on an annual basis.
Photographers who don’t know what field they wish to work in would do well to keep more than the salary in mind. Similar to other job prospects, a career will be fulfilling in all rights when the subject matter itself is one that the photographer enjoys, rather than something that brings in the most dough.