Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 110,500 people employed as photographers in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $41,300.
Entry level employees earn approximately $22,410 per year and senior employees earn approximately $86,850
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Transfer photographs to computers for editing, archiving, and electronic transmission.
- Use traditional or digital cameras, along with a variety of equipment, such as tripods, filters, and flash attachments.
- Manipulate and enhance scanned or digital images to create desired effects, using computers and specialized software.
- Take pictures of individuals, families, and small groups, either in studio or on location.
- Enhance, retouch, and resize photographs and negatives, using airbrushing and other techniques.
- Test equipment prior to use to ensure that it is in good working order.
- Estimate or measure light levels, distances, and numbers of exposures needed, using measuring devices and formulas.
- Perform general office duties, such as scheduling appointments, keeping books, and ordering supplies.
- Review sets of photographs to select the best work.
- Set up, mount, or install photographic equipment and cameras.
- Determine project goals, locations, and equipment needs by studying assignments and consulting with clients or advertising staff.
- Perform maintenance tasks necessary to keep equipment working properly.
- Select and assemble equipment and required background properties, according to subjects, materials, and conditions.
- Direct activities of workers setting up photographic equipment.
- Engage in research to develop new photographic procedures and materials.
- Mount, frame, laminate, or lacquer finished photographs.
- Send film to photofinishing laboratories for processing.
- Develop visual aids and charts for use in lectures or to present evidence in court.
- Load and unload film.
- Photograph legal evidence at crime scenes, in hospitals, or in forensic laboratories.
- Write photograph captions.
- Set up photographic exhibitions for the purpose of displaying and selling work.
- 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.
- Employ a variety of specialized photographic materials and techniques, including infrared and ultraviolet films, macro photography, photogrammetry and sensitometry.
- License the use of photographs through stock photo agencies.
- 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.
- Determine desired images and picture composition, selecting and adjusting subjects, equipment, and lighting to achieve desired effects.