Studying photography enhances your creative, social and cultural understanding as well as developing your specialist technical knowledge

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

You'll need a portfolio of your work to demonstrate your ability and style. You can develop this through work experience or volunteering, as well as getting involved in university projects or local competitions.

Working as a photographer's assistant is particularly useful for developing essential skills and experience, but assistant roles in any capacity with creative professionals such as graphic designers, gallery managers, art curators, commissioning editors and art directors are also beneficial.

You may be able to find relevant opportunities in image archiving, print services, framing services and photo developing centres within pharmacies, supermarkets and department stores.

Interpersonal skills are critical for photography careers, so any experience which promotes customer service skills will be useful, as is experience at events, particularly social ones, where you can observe structure and organisation and practise your photography skills.

There are many online courses and tutorials available which could help you to develop skills in photo editing and image processing.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Relevant employers can depend on your specialist area, which may cover:

  • commercial
  • fashion
  • fine arts
  • portrait
  • press
  • scientific and medical
  • sports
  • wildlife.

Employers include:

  • media organisations such as newspapers, magazines, film and television
  • wedding photographers or high street photography companies
  • large organisations such as universities, hospitals or airports
  • cruise liners, holiday and leisure companies and theme parks
  • the police - for 'scene of the crime' photography
  • advertising companies.

A large number of photographers are self-employed and work in a freelance capacity.

It's also possible to use your creative skills in related areas such as marketing, advertising, web design and digital marketing, where opportunities exist with a range of businesses and consultancies.

Find information on employers in creative arts and design, marketing, advertising and PR, media and internet and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying photography enhances your creative, social and cultural understanding, while developing your specialist technical knowledge around equipment, techniques and style.

The course also provides you with expertise in sophisticated photography techniques, such as composition, manipulation, editing, colouring and visual effects, as well as practical skills in relevant technologies. It also allows you to gain confidence in relationship building between image maker, subject and client.

In addition, you'll acquire a range of skills that are highly valued by employers. These include:

  • critical, analytical and practical problem solving
  • risk taking and making use of failure
  • rigorous self-evaluation and critical reflection
  • organising, planning and time management
  • working independently and in collaboration
  • presentation
  • literacy and communication through technical descriptions, reports, essays and a dissertation.

Further study

There are a range of photography-related postgraduate courses available both in the UK and internationally. These courses may help develop the skills you need for self-employment, or improve employability in what is a very competitive field.

Some courses focus learning into a specific area of photography, such as clinical photography or photojournalism, while others offer a more in-depth look at photography generally.

Other areas of postgraduate research, study and training commonly taken up by photography graduates include advertising, design, film, editing, journalism and creative enterprise.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search for postgraduate courses in photography.

What do photography graduates do?

Over a third of graduates working in the UK six months after graduation are working as photographers or audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators.

Further study7.8
Working and studying3.8
Graduate destinations for photography
Type of workPercentage
Arts, design and media42.9
Retail, catering and bar work20.3
Marketing, PR and sales7.9
Secretarial and numerical clerk4.5
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.