What does a Photographer do?

Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects, using digital or film cameras and equipment. May develop negatives or use computer software to produce finished images and prints. Includes scientific photographers, aerial photographers, and photojournalists.

Jobs Roles

  • Take pictures of individuals, families, and small groups, either in studio or on location.
  • Adjust apertures, shutter speeds, and camera focus based on a combination of factors such as lighting, field depth, subject motion, film type, and film speed.
  • Use traditional or digital cameras, along with a variety of equipment such as tripods, filters, and flash attachments.
  • Create artificial light, using flashes and reflectors.
  • Determine desired images and picture composition, selecting and adjusting subjects, equipment, and lighting to achieve desired effects.
  • Test equipment prior to use to ensure that it is in good working order.
  • Review sets of photographs to select the best work.
  • Estimate or measure light levels, distances, and numbers of exposures needed, using measuring devices and formulas.
  • Manipulate and enhance scanned or digital images to create desired effects, using computers and specialized software.
  • Perform maintenance tasks necessary to keep equipment working properly.
  • Perform general office duties such as scheduling appointments, keeping books, and ordering supplies.
  • Determine project goals, locations, and equipment needs by studying assignments and consulting with clients or advertising staff.
  • Select and assemble equipment and required background properties, according to subjects, materials, and conditions.
  • Enhance, retouch, and resize photographs and negatives, using airbrushing and other techniques.
  • Set up, mount, or install photographic equipment and cameras.
  • Produce computer-readable, digital images from film, using flatbed scanners and photofinishing laboratories.
  • Direct activities of workers who are setting up photographic equipment.
  • Employ a variety of specialized photographic materials and techniques, including infrared and ultraviolet films, macro photography, photogrammetry and sensitometry.
  • Engage in research to develop new photographic procedures and materials.
  • Set up photographic exhibitions for the purpose of displaying and selling work.
  • Load and unload film.
  • Develop visual aids and charts for use in lectures or to present evidence in court.
  • License the use of photographs through stock photo agencies.
  • Mount, frame, laminate, or lacquer finished photographs.
  • Photograph legal evidence at crime scenes, in hospitals, or in forensic laboratories.
  • Transfer photographs to computers for editing, archiving, and electronic transmission.
  • Develop and print exposed film, using chemicals, touchup tools, and developing and printing equipment.
  • Write photograph captions.
  • Send film to photofinishing laboratories for processing.
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