If you came across this article because on Google you simple entered that you are looking for a photographer near you, then you may be thinking how can you narrow that search down. You may also be wondering what a photographer actually does.
Those photographers are all the same right? They just stand there with that funny box thing they call a camera and click away. Then when they are done they just send you a few photos. Isn’t that all they do?
Okay, photographers before you start jumping up and down and shouting at your screen we all know that this isn’t the case. If you want to have your say feel free to make your comments known below. You may even want to comment just to let the readers know what you do as a photographer.
So if a photographer isn’t just a photographer what is it they do? You will get you general photographers, the ‘Jack of all trades’. These are the photographers who have decided not to specialise in a specific field, there are also those who are still trying to decide on their chosen field of photography. Then there are those photographers who have taken that leap into becoming a specialist in their chosen field.
What though are those specialist fields that photographers get involved in. I know there will be some photographs who comment to say that I have missed their chosen field, however, here are some of the more mainstream genres of photography.
Wedding photography is a very specialised genre of photography and it takes a certain type of photographer to become a wedding photographer. Someone who is willing to work long hours, under a lot of stress. So much could go wrong but there is also such a ‘buzz’ that you get from photographing a wedding. It is this sense of adrenaline that some photographers, like me, thrive on. The challenge of working under pressure.
A wedding day is typically one of the most important and memorable days of a persons life, and one that they want captured so that they can continue to look back and remember that day for years to come. For most couple’s simply having someone there with a camera won’t do and they will hire a wedding photographer who is experienced in capturing those moments.
The work for a wedding photographer begins well before the wedding with the correspondence and research before the date of the big day. Even after the day the work still isn’t done as there will be hours of going through the photographs and editing to be done. Then there is the task of preparing the gallery and handling and orders from the happy couple or their guests.
Being a wedding photographer bring customer service to a whole new level. It’s communicating with the guests on the day as well as the couple so that they can capture those all important natural shots.
A fashion photographer is responsible for creating images that sell what we wear. They not only have to deal with the product that they are given, but they also have to be able to handle those they are working with to get the best from the product. The stylist, hair and makeup, designers, on a project like this it is a team that is involved not just the photographer.
The role of a fashion photographer involves setting up and running the shoot and communicating with those others involved to create images that can define what beauty and style really is and that attract and audience for the product.
A fashion photographer will either work as a freelance photographer or will be hired through your designer, publication, fashion house or advertising agency.
The government guidelines are specific on the reasons for going out, shopping for essentials, exercise, etc. The guidelines also currently state that you cannot go out specifically for leisure or recreational reasons, this includes photography.
It is however possible to go out for exercise although you must ‘stay local’. For some that may not mean you can visit the countryside, beach or woods. It does not mean though that you will not be able to go anywhere without a photo opportunity. Take your camera with you when you go out on your daily exercise and take photographs as you exercise.
Making a photograph does not mean setting up a tripod or lights. The big expensive equipment will attract attention and it will be obvious that you are not out for your daily exercise and you may face a fine as a result (a win here for the amature photographers without all the kit).
Making a photograph means using the camera that you have with you (usually your mobile phone) and capturing what you see. If you are stuck for ideas hopefully my challenges will be able to give you some inspiration as the number of challenges grows.
The property market is a very competitive market, filled with agents and builders looking to sell the property that they have on their books.
The main focus that they have is putting their properties in front of their customers. They need compelling images of each property, quickly, that will show the potential purchase that that this property could be the one the call home.
It is a fast paced industry and a property photographer may be asked to photograph multiple properties on a single day. Not only do they need to be able to produce high quality photographs of each property they also need to be very organised in their approach.
More and more property photographers are also being asked for additional services which include videos of the property, creating floor plans and aerial photography.
Travel photography is one that that has become harder over the years. It creating images that express the people, culture, customs, landscape and history of an area. It was an industry that was dominated by stock photography, however, the image stock industry has changed over the last few years and it is now more important that the travel photographer is able to use their images themselves. This could be either by creating a blog, commercial projects, or teaching.
The great thing about travel photography is that the job is as varied as the destination they are called to travel to.
A visual storyteller, that is the simplest way to describe a photojournalist. It is their role to capture images that tell the viewer what is happening. The photojournalist needs to be able to communicate to their viewers what is happening through an image, or series of images. They are aware of how the change of angle in the camera or a different focal point could change the story that they are trying to tell.
The role of a photojournalist is also very varied as each day they could go from a local fete to global unrest the next.
Those images that you see that make you just want to forget your diet. That is the role of the food photographer. Those images you see in magazines, cookbooks, social media, advertising even on the packaging itself. The food photographer is the one who knows how to make any food look tasty.
The food photographer needs to have an exhaustive knowledge, not only of what looks good, but also how to achieve it. The lighting, setups, colours along with quite a few other tricks.
It really is not just a case of putting something on a plate.
The cameraman with the VIP pass to sporting events. If you have watched sport on TV then that is the sports photographer at the front in a bright yellow vest.
Sports photography is generally used for editorial purposes so it is essential to have a good network of connections and work fast. With so many sports photographers at an event you need to know how to get your photograph in front of an editor first.
It’s not just events though that sports photographers get involved in. There will also be some promotional work for magazines and other publications.
The field of sports if also very varied so you will also find sports photographers specialising even further in a given sport (e.g. football, motorsport, etc).
Most photographers will prefer to work freelance, however you will find some that have some affiliation with sports clubs or other agencies.
Newborn photography is possibly one of the hardest of the genres of photography to get into. Not only do you need the right skill for the equipment that you are using and lighting etc. You also need to know how to handle a baby properly. While the infant is in your care you are completely responsible for the welfare of the baby.
Training should be taken not only for the photography but also the handling of an infant along with first aid for an infant.
The average session for newborn photography is around three hours, most of that time though is not spent creating photographs. That time is spent settling the baby, posing and soothing them.
Newborn photographers also need to be very skilled at editing. Many of the photographs that we see of a newborn are not a single shot, in many cases to take them in a single shot would be unsafe for the child. These photographs that we see are usually created from a set of images and then ‘stitched’ together to create the final composite image.
Portrait photography is the art of capturing not only a person’s likeness but also their character. Portrait photography is also one of the most creative forms of photography. Each portrait photographer will have their own style which will have developed over the years.
While portrait photography is thought of as being studio based it is also being done more and more in a natural environment. Family photography has also come on over the last few years with many family photographers now opting for outdoor session.