7 Photography Jobs You Wish You Had

From the mainstream to the unexpected, here are seven photography jobs available to newcomers and veterans alike—and some tips for getting started. The post 7 Photography Jobs You Wish You Had appeared first on 500px.

7 Photography Jobs You Wish You Had

The global digital photography market is expected to reach $149.98 billion by 2026, growing from $79.12 in 2017. Cameras are getting better, and editing software is getting smarter. The technology is more accessible than it’s ever been, and interest in the medium—and the profession—is on the rise.

According to a 2018 survey by PDN, the highest-earning photography specialties include commercial/advertising, architecture/real estate, corporate, editorial, and multimedia/video, but there are dozens of avenues and niche subjects for the emerging photographer to explore. From the mainstream to the unexpected, here are just seven of the photography jobs available to newcomers and veterans alike—and some tips for getting started.

Wedding photography

Wedding photography has come a long way since it first gained popularity in the Victorian era; a recent survey from WeddingWire indicates that photographers are among the top vendors hired for today’s weddings, outranking everyone from DJs to florists.

It’s also a job that offers some flexibility, as every couple has a unique vision for their special day. While formal, posed portraits are still popular, more and more photographers are choosing to take a documentary-style approach to weddings by prioritizing candid shots and spontaneous moments.

Some other trends rocking the industry this year? More couples are interested in videography and aerial drone images, and “first look” photos of the couple are on the rise. Plus, with more couples choosing to go “unplugged,” today’s wedding photographers will have to contend with fewer people snapping pictures on their phones.

photography jobs -Bride by Laurynas Butkevi?ius on 500px.com

According to a survey conducted by Your Perfect Wedding Photographer, the average wedding photographer in the UK books about 29 weddings per year. Many of them book clients through social media, so building an online presence is a great place to start spreading the word if you’re interested in breaking into the business.

photography jobs -Bride Emotion by Manuel Orero on 500px.com

Start by documenting weddings for friends and family, and develop a unique shooting and editing style that sets you apart. Many wedding photographers start their own business and work on a freelance basis, but you can also apply to join a larger team. WeddingWire has an extensive directory of more than 40,000 companies around the country; browse the links to see if any in your area are hiring. You can also create a profile on the 500px Directory to help businesses in your area connect with you. Start by offering your services as a second-shooter or assistant as you create your wedding photography portfolio.

Resource
We created a wedding photography checklist with photos to consider adding to your shot list for the big day. This checklist was designed to help you make the most of the day, and take the shots your clients want.

Birth photography

photography jobs -brave new world by the hmarin on 500px.com

Birth photography has been popular for the better part of the last decade; first reported on the trend back in 2012. While newborn photography has been around for quite some time, birth photographs document the labor and delivery process, celebrating every step along the way.

photography jobs -nacer by Ely Reyes on 500px.com

Depending on the family, birth photographers cover home births and hospital births, though some hospitals have restrictions on cameras. The job requires sensitivity—and you need to learn how to stay out of the way!—but for most, there’s nothing as rewarding as witnessing this moment in a family’s life and preserving it for years to come.

photography jobs -Calm so fast by Julien Stevens on 500px.com

The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers has tons of great resources for its members, and they host an annual contest every year that gains significant coverage worldwide. All members must follow a code of ethics, which can be found here. Of course, given the sensitive subject matter, it’s important to always be accountable to your clients and never take or share images without their consent.

Real estate photography

photography jobs -Beautiful English Home by Steve Dyke on 500px.com

Now is an exciting time to get into real estate photography, especially since websites like Zillow and Trulia are always looking for stunning images to promote their listings. According to , buyers spend 60% of their time looking at these photos—and just 20% reading the description—so it’s essential that the photos be beautiful and well-lit.

photography jobs -CDN-PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND-Cap Egmont-The Bottle House-Les Maisons de bouteilles by Thomas H. Mitchell on 500px.com

Today’s professionals are pushing the boundaries and wearing a few different hats; drone photography and videography, for example, are becoming important parts of working in the real estate sector. They’re also comfortable working with natural, artificial, and mixed lighting and can navigate tight spaces to create the images they want.

photography jobs -Modern luxery kitchen with view on a lush garden by Bombaert Patrick on 500px.com

It’s a competitive industry, but if you have a passion for interior design and can stage and light a home, it might be the route for you. Many real estate photographers get their start by shooting rental properties; if you want to apply to work as a contract photographer for Airbnb, they’re currently hiring. You’ll need an online portfolio to show off your work, so don’t be afraid to do some test shots in your own home and friends’ homes for practice.

Film set photography

photography jobs -Film Slate by Paul-Vincent Roll on 500px.com

You might think that all film stills are made by the same cameras that shoot the film in question, but these are actually the work of dedicated film set photographers, who tackle everything from press photos to movie posters for upcoming releases. They’ve been a part of the entertainment industry since around 1915, and although their job requires they remain largely invisible, they still have a hand in promoting today’s biggest blockbusters.

La Verónica by Michael Angelo on 500px.com

To get behind-the-scenes access, some work full-time on movies, and others “day-play” part-time. In North America, film set photographers are represented by the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600). All still unit photographers must join the union in order to work on union productions and studio lots, and it’s a competitive industry to break into.

You can get started working on indie films and smaller, non-union shoots, and once you build a portfolio and a reputation, you can start moving up the ladder. In the end, all that hard work can pay off in spades; not only can you brush elbows with stars on set, but you can also be part of documenting important moments in cinematic history.

Fashion photography

photography jobs -Aint No Token by Belange Okandju on 500px.com

Fashion photographers can specialize in a variety of niche subjects, from advertisements and lookbooks for brands to editorial spreads in leading magazines. Some work in-house for department stores or design houses, and others work freelance.

Most get their start by assisting established photographers on-set and in the studio, soaking up inspiration from leading fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and following the work of icons like Mario Testino, Ellen von Unwerth, Lindsay Adler, and Bruce Weber.

photography jobs -Lena by Daniil Kontorovich on 500px.com

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City offers a one-year intensive program for emerging fashion photographers. It’s one of the few graduate programs devoted entirely to the field. Another way to break into the business is to apply to an agency; Wonderful Machine has a directory of agents representing fashion photographers in the commercial and editorial sphere.

photography jobs - THE THIRD WORLD’S CHAOS by Svetlana Undalova on 500px.com

Before you reach out to any potential clients or agents, team up with emerging makeup artists, stylists, and models who are at the same point in their career as you are. When it comes to fashion photography, creative collaboration is the name of the game. Trade time for prints. Start small with test shoots, and build a network and community. Over time, you’ll build up an online portfolio and a printed book that showcases your ability and demonstrates your voice as an artist.

Pet photography

photography jobs - Caribbean Dog by Kaylee Greer on 500px.com

The history of pet photography is an illustrious one: William Wegman showed us that animal portraits could be works of fine art, and Elliot Erwitt demonstrated that street photography featuring dogs could be just as interesting as it is with people.

And if trending social media hashtags like #TongueOutTuesday and #DogsInBlankets have taught us anything, it’s that pet photography never goes out of style. As a commercial pet photographer, you can capture the special bond between humans and their animals; just remember to make sure the pet is comfortable, and come equipped with treats and toys.

photography jobs - Fly High by Kaylee Greer on 500px.com

Also, one of the most important things you can do as a pet photographer is to give back to your community. In the United States alone, 6.5 million animals enter the shelter system every year, hoping to find homes. 500px photographers Kaylee Greer and Tammy Swarek volunteer their professional services to local shelters and have had a hand in getting pets fostered and adopted.

Moses by Tammy Swarek on 500px.com

Photography can save lives, and having a pro on-hand gives shelters the chance to show off their adoptable animals’ true personalities. Working pro bono for your local shelter is also a great way to develop your skills and build a portfolio that can eventually lead to more jobs. If you’re in the US, visit the ASPCA for help finding your local shelter.

Stock photography

Brands have relied on stock photographers to source high-quality, compelling images for their campaigns for the last century, but the industry has evolved a lot in that time. These days, marketers need images for their print ads, website banners, and social media feeds, and many of them use stock image libraries and agencies.

kupala day by Marie Dashkova on 500px.com

If you license your photos through 500px, they’ll be distributed through two of the biggest platforms in the world: Getty Images and Visual China Group (VCG). As a stock photographer, your images could be purchased and downloaded for use in everything from magazines to billboards to product packaging. Many of the photos you see on book covers also come from stock photographers; some of the photos on Getty Images, for instance, have been licensed for dozens of book covers over the years.

 by Brianna R on 500px.com

These days, stock photographers can specialize in everything from documentary and lifestyle photography to fashion and product photography, and it’s a great way to get started in the commercial sphere and grow your portfolio. 500px Licensing Contributors can also participate in Licensing Quests—creative briefs to help you shoot on-demand images for clients around the world. You have the freedom to set your schedule and organize your shoots—and you can earn some passive income while you’re at it.

Gold beauty by Jovana Rikalo on 500px.com

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These are the Winners of the 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

This morning, the iPhone Photography Awards—the first and longest running iPhone photography competition—unveiled the winners of its 13th annual contest. As usual, these images represent the best of smartphone photography from around the world, and show what’s possible with just a phone, an understanding of light, and a good eye. The awards recognized a Grand […]

These are the Winners of the 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

This morning, the iPhone Photography Awards—the first and longest running iPhone photography competition—unveiled the winners of its 13th annual contest. As usual, these images represent the best of smartphone photography from around the world, and show what’s possible with just a phone, an understanding of light, and a good eye.

The awards recognized a Grand Prize; First, Second, and Third Place Photographer of the Year; as well as winners in a total of 18 categories separate categories such as Abstract, Landscapes, People, News & Events, and even ‘Trees.’

For 2020, the Grand Prize and title of iPhone Photographer of the Year went to Dimpy Bhalotia from the United Kingdom for her photo Flying Boys, captured with an iPhone X in Banaras, India:

Photo © Dimpy Bhalotia | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Scroll down to see the First, Second, and Third place winners in the Photographer of the Year contest, as well as the rest of the category winners for 2020. There are some truly impressive and creative shots among the winners, which were shot with a wide variety of Apple smartphones. In fact, one category champ is still shooting with an iPhone 4.

First Place – Photographer of the Year

Photo © Artyom Baryshau | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Artyom Baryshau

Location: India

Camera: iPhone 6


Second Place – Photographer of the Year

Photo © Geli Zhao | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Geli Zhao

Location: Chengdu, Sichuan

Camera: iPhone XS Max


Third Place – Photographer of the Year

Photo © Saif Hussain | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Saif Hussain

Location: Baghdad, Iraq

Camera: iPhone X


Abstract Category Winner

Photo © Tu Odnu | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Tu Odnu

Location: None Specified

Camera: iPhone 7 Plus


Animals Category Winner

Photo © Xiaojun Zhang | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Xiaojun Zhang

Location: Iceland

Camera: iPhone X


Architecture Category Winner

Photo © Haiyin Lin | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Haiyin Lin

Location: Milan, Italy

Camera: iPhone X


Children Category Winner

Photo © Ekaterina Varzar | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Ekaterina Varzar

Location: Vorontsovsky Park, Moscow

Camera: iPhone 6


Floral Category Winner

Photo © Peiquan Li | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Peiquan Li

Location: None Specified

Camera: iPhone 8 Plus


Landscapes Category Winner

Photo © Liu Dan | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Liu Dan

Location: Marble Canyon, Arizona

Camera: iPhone XS Max


Lifestyle Category Winner

Photo © Audrey Blake | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Audrey Blake

Location: Cancun, Mexico

Camera: iPhone X


Nature Category Winner

Photo © Lisi Li | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Lisi Li

Location: Skógafoss, Iceland

Camera: iPhone 7 Plus


News & Events Category Winner

Photo © Fernando Merlo | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Fernando Merlo

Location: Spain

Camera: iPhone X


Other Category Winner

Photo © Danielle Moir | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Danielle Moir

Location: Westhampton Beach, New York

Camera: iPhone 6


Panorama Category Winner

Photo © Bojan Pacadziev | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Bojan Pacadziev

Location: Madrid, Spain

Camera: iPhone 8


People Category Winner

Photo © Omar Lucas | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Omar Lucas

Location: Ayacucho, Peru

Camera: iPhone 4


Portraits Category Winner

Photo © Mona Jumaan | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Mona Jumaan

Location: Ouarzazate, Morocco

Camera: iPhone XR


Series Category Winner

Photos © Liu Dan | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Liu Dan

Location: Mindat, Myanmar

Camera: iPhone 11 Pro Max


Still Life Category Winner

Photo © Joao Cabaco | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Joao Cabaco

Location: Santa Maria dos Olivais, Portugal

Camera: iPhone XR


Sunset Category Winner

Photo © Leo Chan | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Leo Chan

Location: Auronzo di Cadore, Italy

Camera: iPhone 11 Pro


Travel Category Winner

Photo © Kristian Cruz | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Kristian Cruz

Location: Varanasi, India

Camera: iPhone X


Trees Category Winner

Photo © Glenn Homann | 2020 iPhone Photography Awards

Photographer: Glenn Homann

Location: Queensland, Australia

Camera: iPhone 11 Pro


To see all of the winner, including the second and third place finishers in each of the 18 categories above, head over to the IPPA website, where you can also learn more about the winning photographers or submit your own images for next year’s 14th annual iPhone Photography Awards.


Image credits: All photos credited individually, used courtesy of the iPhone Photography Awards

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