Description: Photographers are visual storytellers who utilize technical expertise, the aesthetics of framing and composition, and instincts to capture images in film and/or digital photographs.
Knowledge Required: Photographers must have a technical understanding of lenses, cameras, stabilization, and other photography equipment. They must have the ability to effectively control and manipulate light, color, and shadow.
Skills: Creativity, artistic ability, manual dexterity, attention to detail, patience, computer, business, and interpersonal skills.
Career Path: Although a postsecondary education is not required for portrait photography, photographers who seek work in the fields of science, industry, or journalism will benefit from a bachelor’s degree.
Best Cities for this job: Metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago employ the most photographers.
Median Annual Income: National: $53,416, CA: $36,330
Future Growth: The Bureau of Labor Statistic predicts that employment of photographers is projected to grow by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, though salaried jobs in particular may be more difficult to find as more companies contract with freelancers rather than hire their own photographers.
From the field: "I believe for a young photographer it is essential to have a camera that does not have a screen on the back." - Scott Chernis
Did You Know?: The first color photograph was taken in 1861 by James Maxwell, a British physicist. See the original material here.View more Day in the Life videos »