Photographers create permanent visual images for a broad range of creative, technical and documentary purposes. A professional photographer usually works to a brief set by the client or employer. Examples of image content include wedding, family and baby photographs, fashion, food, architecture, corporate photography, war zones and landscapes.

Most professional photographers specialise in one area, such as fine art, fashion, advertising, editorial or social photography. Around half of all professional photographers are self-employed. The remainder work for a wide range of employers, including creative businesses, publishers and photographic agencies, or in the education or public sector.

Picture researchers mainly work within the film, television, video, advertising, design and publishing industries. Large commercial organisations, art galleries and museums may also offer jobs in picture research.

[Source: Prospects 2013]


What general employability skills do Photography graduates possess in addition to those specific to their particular discipline? Typically, a graduate in these disciplines will have developed the transferable skills and abilities to:

  • initiate, develop and realise distinctive and creative work
  • work flexibly and independently with self-discipline and self-direction
  • communicate - articulate ideas and information comprehensibly in visual, oral and written form
  • articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation
  • work collaboratively with colleagues in order to ensure the best outcome of a project
  • set goals, manage their own workloads and meet deadlines
  • anticipate and accommodate change, and handle ambiguity, uncertainty, and unfamiliarity
  • apply resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills to their own practice or that of others
  • employ materials, media, techniques, methods, technologies and tools with skill and imagination whilst observing good working practices
  • demonstrate creativity and a good eye for shape, form and colour
  • show good business sense and the ability to market yourself (if self-employed)
  • show motivation and determination


Further information on the industry and careers within this sector can be found on the Creative Skillset website.

The Prospects website gives a brief but effective summary of the strengths, attributes and skills that can be cultivated through Photography and related programmes of study.

Job descriptions

Below, is a list of job descriptions that are relevant to your field of study or interests. The links provide useful information on what each role entails and the skills required for fulfilling the roles successfully.

 [Source: Creative Skillset 2013]

Further information on specific job roles can be found on the Prospects website. Click on Options with Film and Photography to learn more. Also, look at the National Careers Service job profiles which can be searched via key words or job categories.

For more information, please click on the following links: Finding jobs in Photography, Applying for jobs in Photography, Becoming a freelance/self-employed photographer, Getting experience in Photography, Networking and social media in Photography, Residencies and competitions in Photography, Postgraduate study in Photography.


Last modified: 
Friday, June 29, 2018 - 14:38