Photographers work to capture special moments in the lives of individuals; from weddings and birthdays to family portraits. While the job is very artistic, photographers have to be very versatile. One day they might work with a cranky child and the next they might work with a huge group at a party. Those who are considering making photography a career should know that the job outlook for a photographer is fair.

How the Future Looks for Photographers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 17,500 photography jobs will be added to the industry through the year 2020. This brings the total of US photography jobs to 157,000. With this artistic career, talent also has a lot to do with success. This means that in order for a photographer to enjoy a long-lasting, well-paying career, he or she must build and maintain a client base, whether this is done while working for a studio or in his or her own business ventures.

Growth in the Industry

The photography industry will grow about 13% through the year 2020, as reported by the BLS. This is about as fast as average for all other careers. As the population grows and individuals become more aware of the importance of capturing memories before it is too late, photographers will be more in demand. The BLS has gathered state data information for photography jobs and lists the states with the highest levels of employment as: California with 5,380, New York with 4,530, Florida with 4,380, Texas with 3,520, and Illinois with 2,780 jobs.

Where Photographers Work

A large number of photographers—6.21%, to be precise—work in scientific, professional and technical services. 2.14% work in television and radio broadcasting, 0.84% work with various types of publishers, 0.61% work in amusement parks and arcades and 0.31% work in other personal services. Many photographers start their own businesses, which can be very successful with the right type of marketing and clients. It is helpful to work in an area where the population is higher and there are more opportunities to work. A larger number of weddings, birthday parties and special events means an increased need for photographers to capture those moments.

Better Opportunities for Photographers

While there is no formal education required and states do not require any sort of certification or licensing for photographers, there are things photographers can do to increase their opportunities. Many technical schools, community colleges and junior colleges offer photography courses that can help professionals gain knowledge and experience. This knowledge and experience will serve them in their career. Photographers should have a good understanding and working knowledge of computers and editing programs, interpersonal skills, customer service skills and business skills.
Since many photographers will also work as their own marketers and advertisers, it’s worth it to learn at least a little about the advertising industry. Strong verbal and written communication skills will serve a photographer well, and a good head for business is also important. Finally, a photographer will not be successful without artistic talent needed to create beautiful pictures.