Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: Do you have a creative mind and an eye for detail? Are you patient and flexible? Do you love taking photos? Consider being a photographer and get paid for your passion. Every photograph is a comment on contemporary culture and your unique perspective can be used to capture precious moments, sell products and evoke emotions. 

Amava Take: A picture is worth 1,000 words and photographers use the lens to communicate. From weddings and babies to grand openings, real estate, food, products and breaking news, there are many ways to turn moments into money. It’s a competitive field but if you’re ambitious, focused, good with people and you develop a niche, you’ll find work. When people hire a photographer, they’re looking for vision and creativity, composition and expression. Be yourself, be fearless, open your mind and you’ll have a competitive edge. 

From the Front Lines: 

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these positions? 

Creative storytellers with some technical chops who aren’t afraid to push boundaries.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Being personable will get you far in this profession. It’s just as important to develop your people skills as it is to have the right equipment and software. 

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

It really depends on your niche but it’s a mix of being on the scene, behind the lens and in front of the computer.

From the Trenches:  

What’s the most satisfying part of the job/experience?

Photography is like music; there are no language or culture barriers. I’ve communicated with fascinating people without saying a word.

How would you describe the hard parts?

The competition is fierce and it’s hard to get noticed. 

What surprised you the most about the experience?

There is a lot of equipment to lug around and lighting is as critical as composition.  

Special Requirements: You need your own equipment and editing software but formal education isn’t required. Having a great online portfolio is key.

Related Classes: Discover Digital PhotographyPhotoshop Elements for the Digital PhotographerPhotoshop Elements for the Digital Photographer IIPhotographing People With Your Digital CameraPhotographing Nature with Your Digital CameraSecrets of Better Photography, Beginner Photography Bundle, Travel Photography for the Digital Photographer, Adobe Photoshop 101

Finding a Position: Professional Photographers of America has a growing list of opportunities including a member portfolio page, complimentary access to calls for entries and the possibility of being featured in the organization’s social media and marketing content. The American Photographic Artists is dedicated to promoting photographers and protecting their rights and has a database where you can market yourself to people who are hiring. The American Society of Media Professionals offers a free guide to running a photography business, DIY web design templates and marketing resources. Online freelance portals like Scoopshot, PhotoSesh and Guru can also help you get work. So can announcements in local cafes and community centers and word-of-mouth.