Topic – Employment
State – National
Sector – Mass Communication

How can you make money as a photographer? Is a career in photography even possible? Almost every person with a passion for photography has grappled with those questions. However, there are a number of great photography careers you may not have considered. That’s why we’ve put together this list of careers for photographers who want to focus on the craft. Some of the most interesting career options in photography are listed below:

  • Forensic Photographer: If you’re detail-oriented, interesting in solving crimes, and want your photos to have a concrete purpose, consider becoming a forensic photographer. Your photos would be used as evidence in court cases, so you would need to know how to take photos that accurately represent a crime scene. Besides tagging along with detectives, you would also be asked to use digital imaging to clarify details like fingerprints. Of course, you’ll need more than just photography skills to get involved with forensics. Although at least three years of photography experience is generally required, you also need to take photography courses at a police academy or similar institution. An educational background in forensic science, criminology or law enforcement is a big plus, too.
  • Military Photographer: Being a soldier is not the only job the military offers. In fact, working for the military can be a great way to improve your photography skills, from close-up portraits to wide-scale action shots. As a military photographer, your photos would be used for recruitment, educational purposes, and historical documentation, similar to photojournalism. You’d cover training missions and news conferences, and perhaps even be asked to give presentations at military headquarters. Like anyone in the military, you have to be willing to move around the world and travel to far-flung places as a military photographer. Although you wouldn’t be a fighting soldier, you’d still be under the same military protocol as soldiers, which means wearing uniforms and obeying orders. 
  • High school or University teacher in Photography/Visual Arts: If teaching the next generation of photographers sounds exciting to you, a career in education might be your thing. Besides improving your craft constantly to stay up-to-date as a teacher, you’ll be exposed to the boundless creativity of young adults, whose fresh outlook will inspire you. Positions in education generally require a college degree. Additional requirements differ depending on your state or country. Universities will want at least a master’s degree, while secondary schools usually require teacher certification next to a bachelor’s degree.  
  • Photojournalist: As a photojournalist, you’re at the forefront of news and culture, and your images bring an emotional edge where words fail. On one hand, it’s a broad career, since you can cover stories ranging from international issues to local sports events. On the other hand, the field is tough to break into and requires a lot of passion and perseverance. To become a photojournalist, you often need to get a placement at a newspaper or magazine. That may require a long period of freelance work at first, as you network and develop a reputable portfolio. You’ll need to be active, social, and willing to submit your work for publication (or publish it yourself). Photojournalism means getting your work out there, so the more stories you track, photograph and publish, the better.   


  • Nature Photographer: Technically, outdoor and wildlife photography could be categorized as photojournalism too, except that photojournalists generally thrive on human chaos, while nature photographers try to get away from it. In a way, nature photography is the antithesis of fast-paced journalism; you spend a lot of time waiting on animals, the weather, and your own body, trying to recover from an arduous hike. However, the market is extremely narrow. A lot of amateur photographers take awesome nature photos, so you’ll probably need to combine your work with another job, like being a nature guide or forest ranger.
  • Fashion Photographer: Love of fashion is a prerequisite for this career. It’s a cutthroat business, but the fashion industry does allow you to express a more artistic, surreal style of photography, unlike forensics, photojournalism, and the military. Fashion combines well with fine art photography, so if you’re not earning enough on art alone, you can try adapting your work to fashion shoots.