Skills in photo imaging

Jobs in Photo Imaging

Photo Imaging is a wide industry that has a presence in almost all creative sectors. For example, a photographer could work for a magazine in the publishing industry, or provide artwork for a film poster. However, there is still a large industry outside of that, with portrait photography, medical photography, fine art and other types of image creation.

While the job role you’d most often associate with the industry is a photographer, there are plenty of job roles if you’re not artistically minded but still interested in the industry. For example, Photo Retailers are given the task of selling on photographs and artwork for use in projects, a job that would suit those with a more business-savvy mind. There are also archivists who are in charge of cataloguing and tagging large libraries of pictures, and agencies for those looking for work within the industry.

Getting Into Photo Imaging

Two-thirds of the industry work freelance, meaning that pursuing a career within the industry would require an entrepreneurial attitude.

If you’re interested in reading more about going freelance, consult our Freelance Toolkit.

A recruiter might read hundreds of applications, so when applying you’ll need to make sure your CV is as close to perfect as possible. We have a great guide for writing a CV, but for Photo Imaging you will want to consider focusing your employment history on the projects you’ve worked on rather than traditional salaried positions.

Being able to have a list of photoshoots would be more relevant to a potential employer than shop work, for example. It would also be a good idea to consider incorporating some of your own work into the CV, but make sure it fits naturally and doesn’t take away from the information.

One of the most important things you’ll need to create is a portfolio of your photography works to show to prospective clients. This will usually take the form of a physical book or a website, but both have the same goals. While it can seem like it’s just a collection of photographs, thought has to go into the order and selection.

You will want to start and end on your most impactful and strongest images, with the sequence in between showing a narrative in your work. There are also other considerations to take, like whether you want to order the sequence by colour or not - while it will be harder to create an impactful sequence, the overall visual impression of your portfolio could be stronger.

A portfolio is a carefully curated piece of work, and should represent your artistic sensibilities and personality.

When making an application, it’s often recommended that you “show passion”. But how does that translate into a job application? Quite simply, it’s anything that can prove how much you love photo imaging. If you’ve spent three years studying it at University level, that shows you have passion. Or if you’ve got a portfolio of personal projects you’ve done to practice your craft, it shows you have passion.

When a studio hires you, they’re trusting that you carry a love for the craft that will show up positively in your work. Sometimes, the best way is simply to show them via a trainee or internship scheme.

Have a look at Trainee Finder on Hiive to see what kind of placements are available.

Working in Photo Imaging

A very important consideration when you’re working within the image is whether to add a watermark to your images. While there is a clear argument to do so if you worry about infringement or theft, there is a convincing argument not to as well. When someone looks at your image, their eyes would be automatically be drawn to the watermark, and could ruin their impression.

Giving some thought to the risk of infringement versus the risk of a distracting watermark is a personal choice when you start out in the industry.

One of the things you will need to know while working in Photo Imaging is how to diversify your income. Many photographers will take on many clients to make sure they’ve always got an incoming job, while others will operate blogs and consulting services to help them carve a lucrative career out of their craft.

It’s vital to keep up to date on the new technology and trends in Photo Imaging in order to stay relevant in the industry. Thankfully, there are hundreds of blogs and publications devoted to photography and fine art, exploring the most talented artists and detailing all the new innovations in equipment.

No matter what industry you’re working in, it’s always wise to know where to seek legal counsel and aid if required. The Association of Photographers offers legal aid and counsel for those working in Photo Imaging, and The British Institute of Professional Photography seek to deliver education and professional development to those in the industry. The National Union of Journalists also represents photographers.


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