Photographer Career

Job Description: Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects, using digital or film cameras and equipment. May develop negatives or use computer software to produce finished images and prints. Includes scientific photographers, aerial photographers, and photojournalists.

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Photographer Career

What Photographers do:

  • Adjust apertures, shutter speeds, and camera focus based on 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.
  • Manipulate and enhance scanned or digital images to create desired effects, using computers and specialized software.
  • Perform general office duties such as scheduling appointments, keeping books, and ordering supplies.
  • Perform maintenance tasks necessary to keep equipment working properly.
  • Select and assemble equipment and required background properties, according to subjects, materials, and conditions.
  • Test equipment prior to use to ensure that it is in good working order.
  • Transfer photographs to computers for editing, archiving, and electronic transmission.
  • Review sets of photographs to select the best work.
  • Use traditional or digital cameras, along with a variety of equipment such as tripods, filters, and flash attachments.
  • Determine project goals, locations, and equipment needs by studying assignments and consulting with clients or advertising staff.
  • Estimate or measure light levels, distances, and numbers of exposures needed, using measuring devices and formulas.
  • Set up, mount, or install photographic equipment and cameras.
  • Take pictures of individuals, families, and small groups, either in studio or on location.
  • Direct activities of workers who are setting up photographic equipment.
  • Produce computer-readable, digital images from film, using flatbed scanners and photofinishing laboratories.
  • Set up photographic exhibitions for the purpose of displaying and selling work.
  • License the use of photographs through stock photo agencies.
  • Mount, frame, laminate, or lacquer finished photographs.
  • Employ a variety of specialized photographic materials and techniques, including infrared and ultraviolet films, macro photography, photogrammetry and sensitometry.
  • Engage in research to develop new photographic procedures and materials.
  • Write photograph captions.
  • Enhance, retouch, and resize photographs and negatives, using airbrushing and other techniques.
  • Develop visual aids and charts for use in lectures or to present evidence in court.
  • Send film to photofinishing laboratories for processing.
  • Load and unload film.
  • Photograph legal evidence at crime scenes, in hospitals, or in forensic laboratories.
  • Develop and print exposed film, using chemicals, touchup tools, and developing and printing equipment.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Holland Code Chart for a Photographer