No matter what types of photography you are doing, you’ve got an eye for imagery, a passion for design, and the ability to capture individuals and landscapes at their prime. Perhaps you have a degree in photography, or maybe you pursued another career avenue because too many people told you that photography is “a beautiful hobby, but not a real career.” Whether photography is your current career track or just a hobby, for now, we’re here to tell you there are some amazing opportunities to help you make the most of your talents.
We’re exploring 12 career options for photographers that you probably haven’t even thought of yet. Don’t give up your Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz dreams until you’ve read our list!
1. Photo and Video Editor
Photo and video often come as a packaged deal in the media and marketing industries. If you can confidently answer what’s the best computer for video editing; or you have the know-how to create a standout screenplay and show off your impressive photography skills, you may want to consider this route. Balancing both mediums can make work exciting and bring some challenges onto your plate when you find yourself at a standstill in your career. With the right innovative ideas and great production, you could even end up moving into a creative director position.
2. Creative Director
You’ve got super creative ideas and you know how to execute them. You can turn a big concept for a magazine shoot into a full-page spread in no time. If this sounds like you, you may be ready to take on a more executive creative position. Keep in mind, most will need to have about 7-10 years of experience before landing the creative director position.
3. Gallery Curator
This is another job that might require a bit more experience but can be incredibly fulfilling. If your love for photography extends past your own pictures, maybe host the work of your friends or industry associates! Nowadays, photo galleries are popping up in all sorts of venues. Warehouses, Office parks, and converted houses all have hosted some of the most impressive displays of art you’ve ever seen! If you have access to a small venue, it may be worth your time to find some peers and host your own exhibit.
4. Travel Photographer
Are you constantly looking for your next adventure destination thanks to your insatiable sense of wanderlust? Perhaps travel photography is the career move for you. Not only do you get to get out and explore some of the world’s most beautiful places, but you get to do it with your favorite camera in hand. Get a bird’s eye view of Italy’s Cinque Terre and capture the stunning seaside with your drone or take candid photos of happy tourists at the Coliseum in Rome. Wherever your travel photography career takes you, it’s sure to be an exciting time.
5. Event Photographer
If you get excited about monumental events like weddings, birthdays, and great parties, you may want to consider event photography. Many event photographers work on a freelance basis which can give you the opportunity to create your own schedule and take on a variety of different projects to keep your career interesting. Patience is key for photographers in this industry! It takes a lot of time and energy to coordinate a wedding party of twenty or more people— so being able to keep your cool in stressful situations is essential.
6. Scientific Photographer
Have you ever wondered what cells look like as they go through mitosis? Or have you been eager to capture the photosynthesis cycle on your camera? Science photography is a unique industry for professional photographers to consider. Get an inside perspective on the latest trends and findings in science and bring concepts to life on print. Not only will you take photos of some truly unique discoveries, you’ll also be learning about everything you shoot on camera. You can break out your impressive knowledge of a molecule’s structure next time you want to impress your party guests!
7. Product Photography
If you’re fascinated by the latest in tech, product photography may be the perfect career for you. Get a chance to experience product prototypes in their first renditions, see where tech trends are moving, and use your skillful eye to capture each product at its best angle. With social media forcing companies to become far more visual when advertising, product photography is definitely a growing field with space for up-and-coming photographers.
8. Photo Journalist
The news cycle never stops, and it always needs people willing to be on the scene to capture events truthfully. If you enjoy a fast-paced, topical work environment full of the unexpected, this might be the best job for you. It does involve a lot of driving and being on your feet, but it’s never monotonous. Almost every city in the world has need of photojournalists who are willing to find a story and shoot it through their lens.
9. Professor of Photography
Share your skills and your passion for photography with the young minds of the world! You can probably remember a teacher that helped inspire your style or encourage you to pick up a minor in photography, especially if you were in a fine arts program yourself. Why not channel your love for photography to help others find a creative outlet? Not ready to commit to a full-time teaching position? Try a website like Skillshare to make a little extra cash while doing something you love!
10. Forensic photographer
While it might not be your first thought when you picked a camera and decided to earn a living, a forensic photographer is a viable career path. Although, one has to agree that it is not for all, as it requires one to entangle with some of the darkest sides of human nature, and the crime scene itself can knock the wind out of your system. But those who can withstand such environments and don’t mind macabre can look for ventures in this particular field.
The objective of a forensic photographer is quite opposite of other photographers. While others can use their camera lens to create or showcase a story, forensic photography has to be rigid and fair. It has to be an exact representation of the subject without any prejudice. Hence, such photographers ought to capture clear, sharp, and detailed pictures without any special effects or techniques.
11. Wildlife photographer
Wildlife Photography is what a photography career was considered to be limited to. Yes, it is an absurd notion. However, it isn’t that far from the truth. Even today, most successful photographers come from this field. Although, unlike other photography careers where speed and action are paramount to success, one has to be patient to even qualify for this field. A successful shot, if lucky, can take hours, and if not, even months. It is by far the most demanding of the choices mentioned here.
Animals, although fascinating, aren’t fastidious. Hence, to capture the perfect moment one has to lie in wait, disregarding luxury or comfort, and face the extreme conditions firsthand. Animals are not models who would do the photographer’s bidding. Thus, capturing a tiger pouncing on a deer is not only magnificent to look at but equally challenging to capture, both mentally and physically.
12. Web Designer
While this requires a little more technical skill, many successful photographers have used their eye for detail and favorite images to create website templates for businesses. Everyone wants a breathtaking website and, if you have the skill, a few hours on a computer could bring their dream to life. The best part is that there are a number of different websites that will allow you to showcase your designs for free. There are many CMS (Content Management Systems) out there, so find the one that matches your style and go for it!
Being able to capture life’s most beautiful or painfully candid moments as they’re happening is a talent worth sharing. Whether you decide to teach others how to hone in on their camera skills or take your talents to the corporate world, there are plenty of opportunities for photographers to grow their skills and turn their passion into profit.