Photographer Kaitango Whakaahua

Photographers take photographs of people, places, products or events.

Photographers may do some or all of the following:

  • work out ideas for photo shoots – either their own ideas or specific ideas from clients
  • arrange cameras, lights, locations, props and models for shoots
  • use digital camera and lighting equipment
  • digitally process and edit photos for print or web
  • design albums or books for clients
  • manage and market their own businesses
  • plan, produce and edit video footage. 

Useful Experience

Useful experience for photographers includes:

  • amateur photography
  • art experience
  • experience with photography editing software.

Personal Qualities

Photographers need to be:

  • patient and organised
  • able to work well under pressure
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • confident and motivated
  • creative and artistic
  • practical and technically skilled
  • good communicators and able to make people feel relaxed and at ease
  • good at solving problems.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for photographers includes:

  • amateur photography
  • art experience
  • experience with photography editing software.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a photographer, but useful subjects include art, computer studies, graphic design, maths and English.

A tertiary entrance qualification is usually required to enter further training. However, you may be able to get special entry into a programme without the usual qualifications if you have a portfolio showing the quality of your photographic work.

Photographers can earn around $41K per year per year.

Photographers can move between areas of photography – for example, from photojournalism to teaching. Further training may be needed to move into some areas.

Photographers may specialise in a particular area of photography, such as:

  • advertising, food, fashion and editorial – for websites, magazines, brochures or newspapers
  • artistic – producing photographic artworks for sale, or exhibition in public art galleries
  • corporate and commercial – for marketing
  • press, sports photography and photojournalism – for recording current events
  • medical photography – for use in clinical documentation, research and teaching
  • social – including weddings and portraits
  • stills photography – working in the film industry taking photos for marketing
  • photographic styling – working alongside photographers to create the right look and mood for a photo shoot
  • photographic retouching – creating an illusion or enhancing or correcting photographs.  

Many photographers need to work in more than one area to make a living.

Photographer