Job Outlook for Photographers

Photography is a competitive market, so you will need to stand out from the crowd if you want to be successful in the industry. Why so much competition for photography jobs? One reason is people are pouring into photography careers because they think it’s a fascinating way of combining work with an enjoyable art form.

The employment of photographers is only expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations tracked by the U.S. government. A growth of only 12 percent is projected between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This modest employment growth is partially due to the fact that it has never been easier or more affordable than now for people to purchase digital cameras and other equipment to start their own business. This can lead to saturation of certain industries within photography, such as wedding photography.

Portrait photography, however, should flourish due to population growth creating increased demand for portraits, the Bureau said. Another industry that may see more hiring is online versions of newspapers, journals and newspapers which will need photographers to provide art to accompany online articles, according the to the Bureau.

Since the majority of photographers are self-employed, it may be encouraging to know that better data management programs and the increasing dominance of the Internet over the past decade have made it easier than ever for freelancers to market their photography skills to a wider audience. They can even advertise their talents on websites that get a lot of traffic and re-route “click-traffic” to their sites.

News and commercial photographers could be hard hit though over the next few years because of a projected increase in use of amateur and freelance photographers as a cost-cutting measure. Loss of advertising revenue for many major newspapers could contribute to loss of jobs for photojournalists.

The Bureau states that those photographers who land salaried positions will likely be the most creative and business-minded out of their cohorts. They will also be able to learn and adapt to changing technologies and multimedia. Photographers who have a lot of experience and also possess other skills in addition to photography, such as graphics, computer skills and mastery of a foreign language, will have better job prospects, the Bureau projects.