Studying photography will enhance your creative, social and cultural understanding as well as develop your specialist technical knowledge
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Graphic designer
- Magazine features editor
- Medical illustrator
- Press photographer
- Television camera operator
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Advertising art director
- Digital marketer
- Film/video editor
- Media planner
- Secondary school teacher
- Visual merchandiser
- Web designer
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
You will need a portfolio of your work, which can be further enhanced through work experience or volunteering. 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.
Paid or voluntary opportunities may exist within 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.
Most graduates who follow a photography route specialise in one of the following areas:
- fine arts;
- scientific and medical;
Typical 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 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.
Many photography graduates choose to use their creative skills in related areas such as marketing, advertising, web design and digital marketing, where opportunities exist witha range of businesses and consultancies.
Skills for your CV
Studying photography will enhance your creative, social and cultural understanding as well as develop your specialist technical knowledge around equipment, techniques and style.
You will develop expertise in sophisticated techniques in photography composition, manipulation, editing, colouring and visual effects, as well as practical skills in relevant technologies. You will gain confidence in relationship building between image maker, subject and client.
In addition, you will acquire a range of skills 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;
- literacy and communication through technical descriptions, reports, essays and a dissertation.
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, perhaps with a research focus.
Other areas of postgraduate research, study and training commonly taken up by photography graduates include advertising, design, film, editing, journalism and creative enterprise.
What do photography graduates do?
The majority of photography graduates are employed six months after graduation, with just over a quarter working as photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators.
More than half working in this field are self-employed or starting their own business.
Around a third of graduates are working in roles within art, design and media.
|Working and studying||3|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Arts, design and media||33.8|
|Retail, catering and bar work||25.5|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||7.5|
|Marketing, PR and sales||4.9|
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.