Outlook for Photography Jobs
If you're interested in a photography career you might want to learn what the outlook is through 2018.
A little healthy competition never hurt anyone—which is a good thing, since aspiring photographers should expect to face just that when looking for a photography job.
Employment in the field is increasing at an average rate (about 12 percent through 2018). However, this is somewhat offset by the large number of people who are seeking out the career. Whether you're just starting out in the business or trying to market yourself to potential clients, competition is a standard part of photography jobs. With an estimated 152,000 working photographers in the U.S. in 2008, photography clients have many options available to them.
Salaried Photography Jobs vs. Self-Employment
There are benefits to both self-employment and working in salaried photography jobs. Here are some factors to consider before you choose which option is better for you:
Artistic Control – Even the most independent photographers will have to consider their clients' needs, ideas and vision for a project if they want to make a living. However, as a self-employed photographer, you'll have more artistic control. You'll be able to accept the photography jobs that interest you and turn down the ones that don't. And because clients will choose to work with you based on your unique style, they may be more likely to allow you greater creative influence on a project.
Schedule – Self-employed photographers generally have more flexible hours than those in salaried photography jobs. They work toward meeting client deadlines on their own schedule. Salaried photographers are more likely to have a typical 40-hour week during regular business hours. This rule, however, doesn't apply to all photographers—photojournalists, for instance, often work all hours to capture images and stories as they occur.
Overhead Expenses – If you own your own photography business, you will have to provide and maintain your own equipment, rent studio and office space, and hire any necessary support staff—all of which can be major expenses. Salaried photographers on the other hand, will have access to company equipment, studio and office space, and support staff.
Customer Base - Self-employed photographers will have to learn to market themselves and find their own clients. A good photography portfolio is essential to this process.
With digital photography equipment increasing in quality and dropping in price, photography is becoming more accessible than ever to the general public. While the digital trend may seem to add an interesting twist to the already competitive photography marketplace, professional photographers continue to be in demand. Technology is opening up new opportunities for photographers. As technology grows and changes, the photography industry will continue to change to incorporate new methods and equipment and accommodate new demands in the marketplace.
Photographer Career Guide
- Job Description
- Reasons to Attend Photography Schools
- Choosing a Degree
- Photography Courses: What You'll Study
- Should You Go to an Online School?
- How Far Should You Take Your Education?
- Portfolio Tips
- Photographer Profile