Photography is one of those hobbies that allows you to develop your skills over time, make the shift from amateur to professional if you so wish, and give you a valid career choice to help you put your talent to good use. Whether you start shooting on your cell phone or you dive right into taking high-quality images on a top-of-the-range DSLR, photography is one of those pastimes that can allow you to grow, learn, and explore to your heart’s content.

If you’re ready to transform your photography hobby into a fulfilling career, the possibilities are vast. From professional photography to photojournalism, fashion, wildlife, still shots and more, you can combine your passion for photography with a career that truly excites you.

In many cases, you will need to invest in the right equipment to allow you to learn as much as you need to about the art of taking the perfect picture, how to edit your images, and how to ensure you are using your equipment correctly. Continuous learning is key in photography. Many people pick up these skills over time by finding tips online, talking to others, or sharing skills with peers. Others find taking courses that give them qualifications is the best route for improving their photography and making the leap from hobby to career.

The exact equipment you will need will be dependent on the type of images you will be taking. For instance, as a portrait photographer, you might need a good camera, a selection of lenses, and a range of props or backdrops. If you’re interested in wildlife photography, a DJI Drone might be ideal for taking aerial images or getting unique shots and viewpoints.

You will also find use for equipment such as tripods, camera bags, reflectors, filters, remote triggers, a lens hood and editing software, to name a few. The more familiar you become with the tools and accessories, the better you will become at using them and the better the results you will get, meaning you are opening up your career options.

Now that you know more about how to progress your photography skills, here are some of the top careers for those who prefer to be behind the camera rather than the subject of the shot.

One – Portrait Photographer

One of the more well-known avenues for making a career taking people’s pictures is through professional portrait photography. The aim of portrait photography is to capture a persona or people’s personality via an image using a range of props or backdrops and know how to get people to relax or get their true nature to shine on film. This can be done by offering this service to families or individuals who want to take some high-quality shots for themselves. You can take school pictures for yearbooks or class photos, or you can take pictures for ID for companies or take professional headshots, for example. This career choice can be undertaken in many ways, but if you have the skill for getting people to smile and show off their best side, then it can be an excellent option for you to consider.

Two – Scientific Photographer

A scientific photographer is a person who documents subjects for scientific experiments. The reason for this is for documentation to show how something was achieved or to capture the small details involved in the process. You will need to have an excellent eye for detail and be able to demonstrate an ability to capture everything, even things naked to the human eye, for record-keeping purposes. Typically, as a scientific photographer, you will work for a research facility or government entity and typically earn around $20,000 to $25,000 per year.

Three – Event Photographer

An event photographer needs to be quick and skilled at taking pictures in a fast-paced environment. You need to have a knack for knowing where to be, how to capture in-the-moment shots, and how to style photographs to show off the best side of the event. You also need to create a realistic depiction of what happened for those looking at it after the fact or for people to purchase memories of the event.

You might find you need to capture a corporate event or company to use on their website or promotional materials, or you might be tasked with shooting a school prom, meaning you need to catch students having fun and the vibe of the night to paint a picture of how it was celebrated at the moment.

Four – Wedding photography

Much like portrait photography, wedding photography is probably one of the most well-known careers involving photography. You will need to work closely with the couple to help capture their big day as they want it. This can be a via staged shot, capturing the day as it unfolds in a more natural way, or a mixture of both. You need to have good timing as often, at a wedding, you cannot recreate moments or significant parts of the big day; you need to be reactive and proactive to help you deliver the pictures expected by the couple to create everlasting memories.

Five – Travel Photographer

You can work as a travel photographer for a company or on a freelance basis, and essentially, what you will be doing is traveling the world to capture the beauty of different locations and share them with the world. You will need to use a mix of different photography styles to help you capture the environment; from the bright lights of the Vegas Strip to the serene peacefulness of the English countryside and the explosive action shots of erupting volcanoes, you can be faced with a variety of different situations requiring different skills and techniques to get the very best from the environment in question.

Six – Advertising Photographer

This career is exactly how it sounds. You will be tasked with taking pictures of products or services for marketing materials to display the goods on offer. You will be faced with a variety of subjects, be it still life objects such as home furniture or office equipment, or you might need to capture a runner, prompting a new brand of running shoes, and anything and everything in between. You will need to be proficient at capturing a wide range of products and people to help you sell the campaign’s focus.

Seven – Pet Photographer

Pet photographers can be tasked with capturing shots of animals for charity campaigns, zoos, wildlife reserves, and pet rescue centers and shelters. Or you can work taking images of family pets on a freelance basis if you wish. There are multiple circumstances in which you can put your love of photography and animals to good use. You carve out a career you love working with a range of animals; a great example is the Instagram dogist account, which spends his time capturing dogs out on walks with their owners.

Eight – Stock Photographer

A stock photographer is someone who takes pictures of random items or situations and sells them to stock image sites for others to buy. While there are free sites you can list your images on while you’re learning your craft and get a feel for the type of pictures people are looking for, once you have perfected your craft, you can then look to sell your images to stock sites that charge people to use those they list. This isn’t a way you can make a full-time salary, but it is an excellent side hustle if you have an excess of pictures you aren’t using.

Nine – Image Editor

As a photographer, you likely have exceptional editing skills, meaning you can lend your expertise to those who have what it takes to bring an ordinary shot to life with finely tuned edits. If you can see how to bring the best out of images and make them worth displaying, then you can work as an editor to help others use their photographs for whatever purpose they need them for.

Ten – Real Estate Photographer

This career requires you to be able to shoot people’s homes in the best light and show accurate representations of properties being listed for sale or rent to attract interested parties. You will be required to travel to the properties to take pictures, which will be used in various publications to reach people interested in buying or renting the property in question. You will need to capture both the interior and exterior and be able to get different angles and features to promote the property for sellers and realtors.

Photography is a fantastic skill to perfect.

Whether you enjoy doing this for fun or want to make a career in it, there is no denying it can be highly lucrative. How much you can earn as a photographer depends on your skill level, the quality of your images, and the type of photographer you want to become. There are so many ways you can earn a living taking pictures, and the suggestions in the post, from becoming a pet photographer to a travel photographer, a real estate photographer, and more, can help you find career satisfaction doing something you love.

Your career contributes to loving your life even more.

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