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What is this job like?

Photographers take pictures of people, places, or things. They want us to get a special feeling when we see their pictures. They take pictures to sell products, entertain people, report the news, or bring back memories.

Photographers know how to choose the right equipment to give them the best picture. They use different things such as lights, lenses, and film to create a picture. New digital technology is being used more and more by photographers. A lot of them use computers to finish their work.

Have you ever had a photographer at your school?

Most photographers take pictures of certain things. Some photographers take pictures only at schools or weddings. Others take pictures of only cars, clothes, buildings, or animals. Other photographers take pictures for your textbooks.

Some photographers work 40 hours a week. Others work longer hours and at different times during the day or night. News photographers must be ready to work when they get a call from their offices.

Photographers who work for themselves have a lot of freedom because they can make their own schedules. They can also choose the type of pictures that they want to take. However, they may not always have a job to do because they must find people who want pictures. This can be stressful.

Some photographers work in their own studios and sometimes they travel. Others travel near and some travel far away and stay for a long time. They might work in harsh or dangerous areas. Sometimes, photographers and camera operators wait a long time to take a picture. They wait in all kinds of weather for an event to take place. They have to stand or walk for a long time. They also have to carry heavy equipment.

Photographers often have to get their work done quickly. They have to meet deadlines and please their clients.

How do you get ready?

Most employers seek persons who really understand photography. They need workers who can dream up new ideas. They look for workers who are creative. Some employers need persons who have a college degree in photography.

Persons interested in photography should read newsletters and magazines that have information about photography. They should join camera clubs. They should try to work in camera stores or photo studios. Also, they should decide what they like to photograph.

Do they like to take pictures of people or events?

Do they like to take pictures or videos?

Summer or part-time work with a photographer is a good way to learn about this field.

How many jobs are there?

Photographers held about 152,000 jobs in 2008. Most of them worked in and around large cities. More than 1 out of 2 were self-employed, a much higher proportion than the average for all occupations.

Most photographers who work for someone else worked in a photography studio. Newspapers, television studios, and magazines also commonly employ photographers.What about the future?

Although employment of photographers is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2018, photography is still a highly competitive field. This is because there are more people who want to be photographers than there is employment to support them. Only the most skilled photographers, those with the best business ability and those who have the best reputations, are able to find jobs or attract enough work to support themselves.

How much does this job pay?

In May 2008, photographers had an average yearly wage of $35,640.

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