Career summary

Details for Photographers


Description

Photograph persons, subjects, merchandise, or other commercial products. May develop negatives and produce finished prints.

Tasks

  • Use traditional or digital cameras, along with a variety of equipment, such as tripods, filters, and flash attachments.
  • Determine desired images and picture composition, selecting and adjusting subjects, equipment, and lighting to achieve desired effects.
  • Adjust apertures, shutter speeds, and camera focus according to a combination of factors, such as lighting, field depth, subject motion, film type, and film speed.
  • Create artificial light, using flashes and reflectors.
  • Manipulate and enhance scanned or digital images to create desired effects, using computers and specialized software.
  • Transfer photographs to computers for editing, archiving, and electronic transmission.
  • Determine project goals, locations, and equipment needs by studying assignments and consulting with clients or advertising staff.
  • Review sets of photographs to select the best work.
  • Perform general office duties, such as scheduling appointments, keeping books, and ordering supplies.
  • Estimate or measure light levels, distances, and numbers of exposures needed, using measuring devices and formulas.
  • Test equipment prior to use to ensure that it is in good working order.
  • Set up, mount, or install photographic equipment and cameras.
  • Select and assemble equipment and required background properties, according to subjects, materials, and conditions.
  • Take pictures of individuals, families, and small groups, either in studio or on location.
  • Direct activities of workers setting up photographic equipment.
  • Perform maintenance tasks necessary to keep equipment working properly.
  • Produce computer-readable, digital images from film, using flatbed scanners and photofinishing laboratories.
  • Develop and print exposed film, using chemicals, touch-up tools, and developing and printing equipment.
  • Enhance, retouch, and resize photographs and negatives, using airbrushing and other techniques.
  • Develop visual aids and charts for use in lectures or to present evidence in court.
  • Load and unload film.
  • Employ a variety of specialized photographic materials and techniques, including infrared and ultraviolet films, macro photography, photogrammetry and sensitometry.
  • Engage in research to develop new photographic procedures and materials.
  • Write photograph captions.
  • Mount, frame, laminate, or lacquer finished photographs.
  • Send film to photofinishing laboratories for processing.
  • Set up photographic exhibitions for the purpose of displaying and selling work.
  • License the use of photographs through stock photo agencies.
  • Photograph legal evidence at crime scenes, in hospitals, or in forensic laboratories.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Related careers

  • Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture
  • Film and Video Editors
  • Photographic Process Workers
  • Set and Exhibit Designers
  • Sound Engineering Technicians