Professional photographer: how much do they earn and how to become one

Who are they and what do they do

The photographer is the artist behind the lens, someone able to communicate through the visual art of photography.

Through various tools, ranging from the latest digital cameras to more classic and traditional ones, photographers immerse themselves in a world of creative possibilities and techniques. But their presence extends beyond that: it spans a very wide range of sectors, including artistic photography, where personal expression finds space, and commercial photography, which captures the essence and vision of a brand.

Role and responsibilities

Creating images that speak, tell stories, and capture the essence of a moment is the photographer's primary mission: a  true visual storyteller capable of transforming the mundane into the extraordinary.

However, in order to do so, every professional must be able to control various aspects of their work. Light management, for example, is one of the core skills of a photographer, requiring a deep understanding of light sources, their characteristics, and how they influence the image through the lens.

Precision in composition is another skill required of professionals, involving the accurate arrangement of elements within the frame, all to create a certain visual impact.

Moreover, it is the photographer's responsibility to handle post-production, where captured images are refined and optimised. The competent use of editing software, accurate colour management, and the ability to apply targeted corrections are all crucial aspects of the post-shooting stage.

Career and salary

The career of the professional photographer develops through various employment opportunities, including freelance work, employment at photography studios, or corporate contexts.

As a result, the salary varies considerably depending on multiple factors, including experience, reputation in the field, project scope, and, above all, the area of specialisation.

Currently, among the most sought-after areas in the industry are:

Food Photography

Food Photography is a branch of professional photography that aims to enhance food & beverage products through creative and visually impactful images.

A career as a Food Photographer also allows you to work with a very wide range of organisations, including restaurants, accommodation facilities, photo studios, and publishing houses specialising in the food sector.

Fashion Photography

Who dedicates themselves to showcasing the world of fashion through visually striking images? The answer is the Fashion Photographer, an professional involved in every stage of the process, combining advanced technical skills with the ability to interact effectively with other industry professionals, thanks especially to a thorough understanding communication dynamics.

Creativity and design skills are also key elements that complete the profile of the Fashion Photographer, contributing to defining their distinctive style and making each creation unique and in tune with the latest trends in the fashion world.

Brand Photography

Brand Photography refers to a specific field of commercial photography that focuses on creating visual images to promote and communicate the identity, values, and image of a brand or company.

The Brand Photographer, a highly sought-after figure in today's market, can work in a wide range of contexts, including advertising shots, images for websites, promotional material, and especially social media campaigns.

Skills and training

Being a professional photographer requires a unique mix of technical and creative skills.

The ability to master various photographic techniques, a focus on creativity in image composition, advanced skills in managing the post-production process, and a solid understanding of the photographic market are the cornerstones of this profession, without which achieving effective results and standing out in the world of photography would not be possible.

The acquisition of such skills and a solid underlying passion often begings through targeted training programmes, such as specialised courses or dedicated Master’s programmes. A good educational foundation is essential groundwork to develop a successful photography career.
Through a structured and targeted learning path, aspiring photographers can develop both the technical skills and the creative abilities necessary to excel in this highly competitive field. 

How to become a professional photographer

If you dream of turning your passion for photography into a career, IED offers highly professional courses. Through state-of-the-art training programmes, you will gain the skills you need to succeed in this field.

Discover IED's offerings and embark on your journey towards a career as a professional photographer.

Three-Year Degrees
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