This article was co-authored by Victoria Sprung. Victoria Sprung is a professional photographer and the founder of Sprung Photo, a wedding photography studio in Chicago, Illinois. She has over 13 years of professional photography experience and has photographed over 550 weddings. She has been selected for Wedding Wire’s “Couple’s Choice” award eight years in a row and The Knot’s “Best of Weddings” award five years in a row. Her work has been featured in People Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Reader, Rangefinder, The Chicago Sun-Times and Pop Sugar.
How To Get A Job As A Photographer
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Making a living as a photographer is as challenging as it is rewarding. By taking photos and starting your own projects, you can start compiling photos to create your online portfolio. Make sure your portfolio is simple and easy to navigate. Once your portfolio is set up, browse job search sites and network like crazy to get a job!
This article was co-authored by Victoria Sprung. Victoria Sprung is a professional photographer and the founder of Sprung Photo, a wedding photography studio in Chicago, Illinois. She has over 13 years of professional photography experience and has photographed over 550 weddings. She has been selected for Wedding Wire’s “Couple’s Choice” award eight years in a row and The Knot’s “Best of Weddings” award five years in a row. Her work has been featured in People Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Reader, Rangefinder, The Chicago Sun-Times and Pop Sugar. This article has been viewed 113,416 times.
Getting a job as a photographer starts by deciding what type of photographer you want to be, such as a wedding photographer or a photojournalist. Then learn how to use Photoshop by taking courses online or at a community college, as most studios require applicants to have a basic knowledge of Photoshop. Also work as a photographer’s assistant to learn all aspects of being a photographer. Once you’re ready to find a job, search for jobs on sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, or browse newspapers and magazines for job ads. Keep reading for more advice, including how to create your own online portfolio to showcase your work. Travel photography offers a wide range of potential career paths that can see you and your camera heading off on endless adventures around the world. From working as a photojournalist to taking photos at a resort, there are many ways to combine your love of travel with photography if you have both determination and talent.
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I have been completely obsessed with travel since I was in school and first tried to become a pilot so I could fly myself (and a plane load of passengers) to exotic destinations. That plan fell through when I got violently airsick during every flying lesson, so my backup was to become a travel journalist. You can read about that trip here, but long story short, that road led to the discovery of the art of photography and over the past 15 years I have worked a number of jobs under the ‘travel photography’ umbrella and this was one crazy, incredible adventure.
For those with a creative mind and the motivation to turn their dream into a reality and working business, it may sound cliché, but the sky really is the limit. Sure it takes a ton of begging, pitching, rejections, both time and money, BUT, more than ever there is such a need for photographic content that there are many positions and career paths available!
Working as a freelance photographer sounds quite carefree and adventurous, but it requires a lot of organization, patience and determination. As a freelance travel photographer you are essentially running your own business, so you are responsible for not only finding work and clients, but marketing, managing, researching, producing the content to a high standard and then your tracking billing and payments.
Freelance photography is a maze of opportunity when it comes to how you can make it work, as so many brands, businesses and publications need content. As a freelancer, you can potentially work for multiple clients at any one time, or if you’re lucky, you can land a regular gig that will ensure a stable monthly income… a big plus when you’re working alone!
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While there are endless areas within freelancing that you can find work in, if you want to focus on travel photography, you’ll want to have a good portfolio of work from your past travels to use as you work for jobs. And of course a passion for travel and talent that helps you stand out when approaching clients and editors!
Learn more: Enroll in a self-study program with The Wandering Lens, aimed at developing your photography portfolio + launching a freelance career.
Having an online portfolio is essential when I was working as a freelance photographer, I actually carried around a printed album of my work and introduced myself in person (yikes, scary!), but thank goodness for a well-written email introduction with a link to your work now does the trick.
Travel photography is quite a competitive market to work in, but there is a constant need for content with social media, magazines, online travel guides, blogs, marketing materials, newspapers, etc. that require frequent updates and a new approach to destinations.
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If you want to approach magazines to get your work published, it might be worth reading the publication for a few months to get a feel for their style, what they publish and what regions they focus on throughout the year …more often than not, they will be quite seasonal, so you will need to time your pitch. You probably won’t find a photo or article about skiing on the shelves just before summer as an example.
Exciting News – The Freelance Travel Photographer Course is a brand new online offering by The Wandering Lens, relaunching in early 2023. Register your interest here.
This may come as a surprise to some readers, but I actually owned a wedding photography (and landscape) business for six years on a tropical island in Australia. After the first two years on one very small (but beautiful!) island, I branched out and took inquiries for destination weddings, combining wedding photography with my addiction to travel.
As a destination wedding photographer, you are usually booked by a couple to photograph their wedding day somewhere away from home. This may mean that they travel from their home to somewhere near your base, or they may ask you to travel abroad with them to photograph their wedding, aka the dream job.
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I have photographed over 450 weddings and many of them have been destination weddings in places like Italy, France, New Zealand, the Cook Islands and on numerous islands of the Great Barrier Reef. The best part about working as a destination wedding photographer is that if you are as passionate about travel and landscape photography as you are about weddings and portraits, then you can combine the two and create magic for your clients!
I had a motto with my business that it ‘mixes love and landscapes’, a concept that attracted clients because my work was not traditional and posed, it was relaxed and romantic, mainly by showing the couple between a scene see, enjoy their wedding day and explore the destination. You can take a look at my wedding portfolio here.
As a business, working as a wedding photographer abroad, you need to ensure that you have insurance, a good contract, price your packages to cover travel costs and just like working as a freelancer, you need to have the skills to to market and manage plus a portfolio that allows couples to trust that you will cover their perfect day professionally.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to be professional when photographing a wedding. It may look nice and calm on the outside, but there’s a lot of pressure involved because moments don’t happen twice, so you’ll want to make sure you’re completely comfortable using your camera in any environment, a pro is in posing or relax your clients so that they appear natural and their best in front of the camera and that you have all the equipment to not only photograph on the day, but to save backups and edit the images.
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Many resorts, whether located on an island, a ski resort, or at a theme park, will have resort photographer positions available. Typically they will be seasonal and are a great way to work your way around the world with the safety net of a fixed income and usually a discount for staff accommodation where most people holiday!
More often than not the positions will be quite casual, requiring a few hours of work a day to photograph people doing activities or you may be booked for family portraits, events
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