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Photographers capture still or moving images using cameras. They take photos of people, places, products and events, according to what the client wants.

The Work

Photographers usually specialise. You could be working in:

Your daily tasks could involve:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:

As with other creative professions, salaries for photographers vary greatly. Starting salaries for qualified photographers in the UK tend to be in the range of £16,000 to £20,000 a year. More experienced photographers can earn up to around £35,000, sometimes more.

It is more common now for newspaper photographers to work freelance rather than being employed. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) website has a freelance fees guide.

Many photographers run their own business. They charge a fee, which varies depending on the work and their reputation. The better known they are, the more they can charge. Recent rates for event photographers have been between £110 and £250 per day or event.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

For art school courses, you need to apply through UCAS.

What Does it Take?

You need to be:


The British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) offers professional qualifications at three levels, Licentiateship, Associateship and Fellowship. You can get a guide to qualifying on the BIPP website with details of mentoring, portfolio clinics and assessment.

Getting On

More Information

There is no standard promotion. Photography is very competitive. To be successful, you must have the necessary skills, a good business sense and the ability to build up a reputation.

Young Scot and Creative Scotland operate the 'Nurturing Talent - Time to Shine Fund', which aims to support young people aged 11-25 and interested in developing creative or artistic skills. Both individuals and groups can apply for funding up to £1,000. For more information see the Young Scot website.


Courtesy of First Man Photography


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Royal Photographic Society (RPS)
Tel: 0117 316 4450
Twitter: @The_RPS

Tel: 020 7713 9800
Twitter: @UKScreenSkills

ScreenSkills (formerly Creative Skillset) works with the UK’s screen-based creative media industries to develop skills and talent from classroom to boardroom.

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