Do you like taking photos? Have you ever thought of making a career out of photography?

Woman unknowingly taking a photo of herself with a camera instead of the person she intended to take photo of.

Photographers capture moments and create memories.

But being a photographer is more than just being able to snap a photo.

How do you know if being a photographer is right for you? Let's find out!

What Do Photographers Do?

Photographers are generally responsible for:

  • Planning and setting up the set, lighting, and location

  • Operating equipment and programs (such as cameras and lighting equipment)

  • Taking photos

  • Editing photos

  • Networking and building a portfolio to show to potential clients

  • Preparing budgets and invoices

  • Learning and staying up-to-date on the latest techniques and equipment

Animated woman bent over taking photos.

Most photographers work as freelancers and are hired for specific jobs by clients. Some may work on a full-time or part-time basis as well.

Where Can You Work As A Photographer?

Common settings that photographers may work in include:

  • Events: working with weddings, graduations, press conferences, or sporting events

  • Media or advertisement: working with businesses, marketing departments, or media outlets, such as magazines and newspapers

  • Governmental: working with local or federal law enforcement agencies

Skeptical child meme with caption that says

Many photographers work exclusively within a specialized area in the industry, for example as a wedding photographer, fashion photographer, landscape photographer, portrait photographer, or sports photographer.


A photographer that takes photos of crime scenes likely works in which setting?

But Will It Pay The Bills?

The salary of a photographer can greatly vary and can be influenced by:

  • Working hours

  • Field of photography

  • Skill level

  • Years of experience

Freelance photographers have greater control over their salaries because they can determine how much they charge clients.

American flag In the U.S., the average salary for a photographer is $66, 355 USD.

Canadian Flag In Canada, the average salary for a photographer is $64,035 CAD.

You'll Love It If...

  • You have a strong interest in photography

  • You like bringing someone's vision to life

  • You are capable of being your own boss

  • You are willing to devote time to learn and develop your skills

hand up matt leblanc GIF by CBS

Look For Another Career Path if...

  • You're not comfortable taking and giving direction

  • You don't like being behind the scenes

  • You don't like having an irregular schedule

  • You don't like working on tasks that quickly begin and end

If You Say So Reaction GIF (Man holding a red cup scoffing and walking away from the group)

Take Action

Man standing at a tennis court wearing a white sweater and holding up a camera Does it sound like a career in photography is right for you?

If it does...


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This Byte has been authored by


Sasha Scott

Learning Designer