Pursuing photography on a professional level is something a lot of people dream of doing, and it’s not difficult to see why. With so many different avenues to explore and plenty of choice when it comes to specialisation, photography provides many people with long and fulfilling careers.
Studying photography, whether it’s a full-time degree course or a summer short course, will enable you to acquire the skills needed to make a head start in this competitive industry. Here are just five types of photography you could consider a career in.
Fashion photography is perhaps one of the most competitive branches of photography, and notoriously difficult to break into. Often working on a freelance basis, fashion photographers are usually commissioned by catalogues, magazines and clothes stores, to name a few.
Fashion photography has one end goal: to sell the fashion being photographed. It is a fashion photographer’s job to do just that with the images they create.
Working in studios or on location, fashion photography briefs can vary greatly, but almost always require large amounts of creativity and a good imagination. Fashion photographers are expected to go beyond being up-to-date with the latest trends and stay one step ahead of the rest, always bringing something new to the table.
Nature photography involves capturing images of a wide range of natural subjects and wildlife scenes, although many professional nature photographers do choose to specialise.
From animals in the rainforest or the desert, to plants, trees and rock formations around the world, nature photography can take you to the most fascinating places; it’s not hard to see why someone would want to pursue it as a career. Patience is an essential trait for nature photographers, who sometimes wait months to capture the perfect image of their chosen subject.
Similarly to fashion photographers, a large majority of nature photographers work as freelancers, often submitted their images to book publishers and magazines in the hope that they’ll be bought. Anyone who attracts the attention of publications may be asked to become a regular contributor, which has the potential to bring in a more steady income.
Food photography is a form of both still life and commercial photography, and often involves collaboration between food photographers, art directors and food stylists.
The art of food photography may be more difficult than you initially believe. The work of a food photographer must provoke strong reactions in order to fulfil its purpose - to sell food. Therefore, food photographers are expected to have a culinary background as well as advanced photography skills. They will likely be involved with photoshoot setup, too, as lighting is particularly important in food photography.
Again, frequently hired on a freelance basis, food photographers are often given contracts by restaurants or food companies. They may also be commissioned to produce images for recipe books or magazines.
Photojournalism involves the creation of a collection of images which are then documented in order to tell a news story. Unlike other types of photographer, those who embark upon a career in photojournalism must comply with a strict ethical framework.
Often working on a freelance basis, it’s not unusual for photojournalists to travel the world and even put themselves in dangerous situations in order to capture the images they need to document a story. Although visual storytelling for news outlets can involve visiting countries in a state of social unrest, many find the career fulfilling.
Photojournalism is arguably one of the most important branches of photography as it plays a vital role in communicating serious stories to the world.
Forensic photography (also known as crime scene photography) involves capturing images of the initial appearance of a crime scene and all physical aspects involved. The images taken will then be presented in court as a form of evidence.
As a forensic photographer, you would not only be expected to take general images of an entire crime scene, but close-up photographs of particular parts of the scene, such as tyre marks, footprints, and bullet holes. Forensic photographers must also have the emotional capacity to work around the deceased.
Forensic photography is an integral part of criminal investigation procedures. Therefore, images taken must reach a high technical standard. Forensic photographers are often employed directly by the police.