What Is the Job Description of an Advertising Photographer?

Are you an experienced photographer? Do you also have skills in marketing? You may be able to combine your skills to work as an advertising photographer. In this position, you use high-quality equipment, editing software and your photography skills to create a picture advertisement. Schools offering Photography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

An advertising photographer works with an advertising firm to utilize eye-catching photographs in marketing campaigns. Depending on the campaign, you'll photograph models, products, buildings, or places. After editing, your photograph is typically paired with a written copy to convey a message about the product or brand. To put your images into context within the advertising campaign, you'll need to understand the brand's image, the product you're shooting, and the intended consumers. You'll also need to communicate with the advertising team to see what type of image they want the consumer to see.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than half of all photographers were self-employed as of 2016 (www.bls.gov). Some advertising photographers are part of an advertising team and work with marketing professionals to plan and execute media campaigns for companies.

Important Facts About Advertising Photographers

On-the-Job Training Apprenticeships available
Professional Certification Certified Professional Photographer (CPP)
Work Environment Radio and television broadcasting firms; newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers; motion picture and video industries
Similar Occupations Desktop publishers; graphic designers; fashion designers; film and video editors and camera operators; reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts

Education and Training

A college degree or formal training is often required for a professional photography position. A degree program in advertising photography may help you to learn how to combine photography and marketing skills for this career. Another option is a degree in commercial photography.

In an advertising photography program, you will likely have courses in art, introducing you to different art methods and discussing art throughout history. Courses will also likely cover business and advertising. Photography courses will teach you about methods of photography, technology such as cameras and lens, as well as editing techniques.

In a commercial photography program, photography techniques may be discussed, including a look at the film and digital processes, black and white photography, editing methods, and lab processing procedures. In addition to the photography courses, you will likely take courses in the legal aspects of owning and running a photography business, including a study of copyright issues.

Skills and Abilities

As an advertising photographer, you'll combine your artistic instincts with marketing and business sense. Advertising photographers need to be familiar with digital cameras and their accessories, which include lenses, tripods, and filters. To create appealing photographs, you will need to use your artistic eye and technical skills. You'll compose your photographs so that products are attractively accentuated and make adjustments to the subjects, camera equipment, or setting to obtain the best photograph. In addition, you'll use photo editing software to improve your images' quality.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the median annual salary earned by photographers, in general, was $34,000 in May 2018. It has been tough to look for paid contracts as more business prefers to engage with freelancers rather than hire their own photographer. As a result, the employment of photographers is expected to decline by -6% between 2016 and 2026, per the BLS.

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