photographycareersThe world of professional photography can be difficult to break into. The good news is that you do not need a specialized degree in photography to become a professional and earn respectable wages for your skills as a photographer.

Learning how to effectively take photos with any type of equipment and the ability to get your name out to potential clients are the only real things you need to become a professional photographer right now. Your First $100 Photography Gig shows you how to start a photography business and land that elusive first assignment.

One of the most effective ways to market yourself (especially if you choose to become a freelancer) is by using a website. On your website, you can include a complete portfolio that showcases your work as well as various ways that potential clients can contact you. Having a web presence is extremely important to today’s photographer. Supercharge your Photography Website explains how to make an impressive photography website.

The following five photography careers are some of the best paying in the industry. Although these are excellent places to start, do not feel like you must work in one of these fields to become successful. There are plenty of other ways to become a successful photographer; these careers just happen to offer a lot of opportunity if you are just getting started in the photography business.


Glossy magazine spreads and newspaper photographs are expensive. There are literally thousands of magazines in print every month and most of their photographs come from professional photographers that are either hired as staff photographers or paid as freelancers for their work.

Nature photography is a great opportunity in the advertising field. Wildlife Photography: How to Get Close will have you taking breathtaking nature photos that any company would love to purchase.

Even newspaper photography can be a lucrative business opportunity for you. Although the black and white images may not pay tribute to some of your best work, newspapers are printed every day and there is a definite need for professional photographers in this market.


Medical and biomedical photographers use a combination of photography skills and technology to create medical literature including pamphlets, textbooks, and instructional resources. The great thing about this career field is that there are doctors and hospitals almost everywhere you look. All of these businesses require your services as a professional photographer in some capacity.

Colleges often use medical photographers to document tests and new procedures that are being attempted on campus. Even your family doctor produces at least 5 – 10 pamphlets per year advertising their services. If you want to become a staff photographer, your best bet is to look for large hospitals or medical campuses that have a constant need for services. Many of the smaller doctor’s offices typically turn to freelancers because their workload is more sporadic.


The great thing about becoming a freelance photographer is that you can take pictures of whatever you want (as long as people are willing to pay for it). Freelance photographers cover a variety of subjects including weddings, school pictures, portraits, and nature photography.  Wedding photography is especially popular right now. Learn Professional Wedding Photography is an excellent course to learn the ropes of a wedding photography business.

The key to becoming a successful freelance photographer is marketing. If potential clients do not know you offer professional freelance photography services, they will not be able to hire you. This is where an attractive website complete with your portfolio, business cards, and maybe even some literature you can hand to prospective clients become extremely useful.

You may also want to try freelance websites where freelancers from all disciplines can search for clients based on their specialty. Although these websites usually charge a fee for connecting clients and freelancers, the extra revenue that can be generated using these services helps fill in gaps between large assignments. Who knows…maybe you’ll even find your next big gig using one of these sites.


Photographers in this career field have the potential of working in a variety of interesting scientific disciplines. You could be working with astronomers, biologists, geologists, or practically any other scientific field.

You might be taking pictures of new scientific techniques that represent technological breakthroughs or helping researchers photograph microorganisms through a microscope. Either way, there is a significant need for professional scientific photographers, definitely making it a field with a variety of interesting assignments to choose from.

Sports and Celebrity

Capturing iconic images of famous athletes and celebrities is an exciting career opportunity for most photographers. You could become a member of the paparazzi and track down celebrities for that once-in-a-lifetime shot. Or, you could be on the sidelines at the Super Bowl taking pictures of the winning touchdown. The possibilities are endless and the pay is pretty good too.

Many sports photographers start working for a newspaper in another capacity before being promoted to major sporting events. Not only do you get the best seats in the house, but you get paid well for the pictures you take while enjoying the event.

These are some of the most lucrative career opportunities available to you as a photographer but there are plenty more to choose from as well. Like any job, you should always try to pick something you enjoy doing. In most cases, if you stick with your passion long enough you will be successful.

If you aren’t quite at the professional level yet, start practicing. One of the great things about photography is that anyone who demonstrates skill framing high quality images can become a professional photographer.

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