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The Office of Career Services
Library Building, Room 429 & 430
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Phone: (718) 631-6297

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Occupation Info


Overview: Photographers operate cameras to portray people, places, and events that capture moods, scenes and individuals on film. They decide upon lighting effects to achieve artistic results in color, contrast and sharpness. May specialize in fields such as photojournalism, medicine, technology, etc.
Duties: They creatively apply the principals of composition, and the judicious use of light, lens, film, filters and camera settings to produce photographs that capture a mood or tell a story.

They use technical knowledge about exposed film along with the knowledge of enlarging, cropping and developing photographs to achieve desired effects in contrast, sharpness and colors.

They decide upon appropriate types of camera equipment, filters and films to use for each project. They choose darkroom enlarging equipment, photographic papers and chemicals.

Meet with clients to propose photographic techniques to use for a project or assignment. Estimate costs and negotiate final prices with clients. Submit "proofs" to clients for approval.

Degree(s): A.S. Music 
A.S. Dance 
A.S. Art: Concentrations in Art & Design or Art History 
A.S. Theatre: Concentrations in Acting or Technical Theatre 
Job Outlook: Employment of photographers is expected to grow as fast as average through 2018. Demand for portrait photographers should increase as the population grows. Growth of Internet versions of media will require increasing numbers of commercial photographers to provide digital images. The Internet and improved data management programs also should make it easier for freelancers to market directly to their customers, increasing opportunities for self-employment and decreasing reliance on stock photo agencies.
Salary Range (National Average): $27,000 to $31,000
Education Level: Training for this occupation generally requires an Associate Degree from a 2 year or community college.
Additional Training/Education: Entry level positions in photography whether in journalism, science or technology generally require a college degree in photography at either the bachelor or associate degree level. In addition to studies in photography, it is essential to take courses in the field that you expect to concentrate, such as journalism, science, architecture, etc. Applicants should assemble a "portfolio" of their best photographic works to show prospective employers.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Identifying the most appropriate equipment and tools needed to get a job done.
  • Painting, drawing, crafting, sculpting and creative designing.
  • The ability to make appropriate use of equipment and materials to get a job done.
  • Using your hands to operated fine instruments and precision tools.
  • Operating equipment and machinery.
Recommended Values:
  • Having the ability to work with equipment or material things.
  • Being able to express creative ideas through the arts.
  • Doing something where you can physically see the results of your work.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information please click here.
* For New York salary data information please click here
* For New York green job information please click here.

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.