Photography is a competitive area so use your degree to build up your work portfolio, enter competitions and make industry contacts

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, local competitions and final year degree shows.

Degree courses may provide opportunities for you to get work experience through placements and to undertake live briefs. Use these experiences to build up a network of contacts that can be helpful for finding work. Attending industry talks can also provide access to contacts.

It's also useful to gain membership of photographic societies, such as the Association of Photographers (AOP), as it gives you access to a network of students, assistants, photographers and agents and also allows you to be part of student awards to showcase your work.

You may be able to find paid part-time work in relevant settings such as image archiving, print services, framing services and photo developing centres within pharmacies, supermarkets and department stores. This type of work can demonstrate your interest in the area.

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:

  • architectural
  • commercial advertising
  • documentary
  • fashion
  • fine arts
  • landscape
  • portrait
  • press
  • scientific and medical
  • sports
  • wildlife.

Employers include:

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

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 and digital marketing, advertising, web design, graphic design, publishing and curating, where opportunities exist with a range of businesses and consultancies. Teaching is another option for photography graduates.

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 provides you with expertise in sophisticated photography techniques, such as composition, manipulation, editing, processing, colouring and visual effects, as well as practical skills in relevant technologies.

You learn how to curate and exhibit your photography and develop the marketing skills needed to sell and promote it. You also learn about the key legal, ethical and cultural issues around taking, editing and selling photographic images.

The course also allows you to gain confidence in relationship building between image maker, subject and client.

In addition, you acquire a range of skills that are highly valued by many different 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
  • project management
  • 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, teaching 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?

16% of photography graduates working in the UK 15 months after graduation are working in artistic, literary and media occupations. 3% are working as media professionals.

Further study4
Working and studying9.4
Graduate destinations for photography
Type of workPercentage
Retail, catering and customer service34.6
Arts, design and media23.4
Clerical, secretarial and administrative9.3
Marketing, PR and sales6.8
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

How would you rate this page?

On a scale where 1 is dislike and 5 is like

success feedback

Thank you for rating the page