Photographers often specialize in one of several possible concentrations. These include:
- Portrait photography: photographing individuals or groups of people; working on-site at weddings, religious ceremonies, schools or other events; scheduling appointments with clients; setting up and adjusting equipment; purchasing supplies; processing, mounting and framing photographs
- Commercial and industrial photography: photographing a variety of subjects, including buildings, models, merchandise, artifacts and landscapes; supplying these photographs to various publications, such as books, reports, advertisements, websites and catalogs
- Scientific photography: recording scientific and medical phenomena; specializing in subjects like engineering, medicine, biology or chemistry
- News photography (photojournalism): photographing newsworthy people, places and events; working for newspapers, magazines or television news programs
- Fine arts photography: selling photographs as artwork
Most photography specializations allow photographers to choose to work as a freelancer (a self-employed photographer) or to be employed by a news publication, an advertising agency or a photography studio. Freelance photographers usually receive assignments from their client. Once they have completed the assignment and the client is satisfied, they will receive their payment. Freelance photographers also have the option of licensing their work to stock photograph agencies. Stock photograph agencies sell photographers’ work to magazines and other customers. When a photograph is sold, the stock agency pays a commission to the photographer.
Depending on the concentration a photographer chooses, his or her working environment will vary. Photographers in studios or advertising agencies work regular hours in comfortable environments. Portrait photographers work indoors and outdoors and may travel to event sites. Photojournalists might have to work in uncomfortable or dangerous settings for assignments that might require covering accidents, natural disasters, civil unrest or military conflicts.
Similar to still photographers, television, video and motion picture camera operators tell stories and relay information through video images. Camera operators find employment shooting television series, studio programs, news and sporting events, music videos, motion pictures and documentaries.
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