What does a photographer do?
Photographers take pictures of people, landscapes or things. There are a number of different areas you could be working in as a photographer:
- press and PR photographer – taking news pictures of people and events as they happen.
- wedding or event photographer – taking pictures of weddings and other events.
- portrait photographer – taking pictures of people.
- landscape photographer – taking pictures of landscapes.
- art photographer – taking artistic pictures of people, places or things.
- product photographer – taking pictures of items which are for sale.
What do I need to do to become a photographer?
You do not need any formal qualifications to become a photographer but a good eye, creativity and technical ability are essential. You can study courses at college or university to gain photography skills. Most professional photographers have taken a college or university course to develop their skills.
To get on to a photography-related degree or higher education course, you will usually need five GCSEs (A-C) including maths and English and two/three A levels including one in art, design or media. Check with universities.
Alternatively, you could do a level 3 vocational course in art and design, or photography – check with universities.
- A levels including one in art, design or media
Vocational routeLevel 3 course in art and design, or photography
- Artistic portfolio
- Photography degree
Where could I be working?
You could be working inside at a studio or outside in the field, depending on the type of photography you are doing. You could be self-employed, or working for an agency or news organisation. You’ll often need to have your own photographic equipment wherever you work – this can cost a considerable amount of money.