Picture researchers find suitable photographs or illustrations for use in a wide range of media such as books, magazines, websites and television. Their employers include media or advertising companies, picture agencies or libraries, and museums or art galleries.
You could be:
meeting with clients to discuss their requirements and agree on a suitable fee
reading briefs provided by clients on the subject they want illustrated
considering the format, colour and dimensions for the image, as well as target audience and number of copies to be printed
deciding where to look for images, including searching online image banks, picture library databases or gallery catalogues
selecting pictures gathered from your research which are most suitable to your client’s requirements and meet quality requirements
negotiating with suppliers for the best prices on borrowing or buying images, including terms and conditions of use or return
hiring a photographer to take any new pictures needed
preparing captions (descriptions) or credits for images, and maybe editing images using computer software
storing or filing pictures, and arranging the payment of invoices.
The figures below are only a guide. Salaries may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries for picture researchers are between £18,000 and £25,000 per year.
With experience, this could rise to around £30,000 per year. Picture editors can earn around £35,000 a year.
Freelance rates are usually per day, and vary according to the area you are working in. For example, recommended rates for books can be £160; broadcasting up to £200; glossy magazines up to £180; and national newspapers up to £180. (London Freelance Guide website, January 2020).
You will work at a computer in an office, or from home if you work freelance.
You work normal office hours, Monday to Friday, but may have to work evenings or weekends to meet deadlines.
You will spend a lot of time on the phone to suppliers or other agents.
You might have to visit companies to search their picture collections.
You may have regular deadlines to meet and work under pressure.