Working as a professional photographer - Upskill Online

Working as a professional photographer can be a highly rewarding career, especially if photography and having a creative profession is something you’re passionate about.

Just look at it… you love photography, love setting and capturing the scene, enjoy capturing those special moments, appreciate telling a story through photos… talk about job satisfaction when you’re doing something you love every day.

And if you work for yourself, you can create your own flexible working hours, maybe even travel.


What does a Professional Photographer do?

A professional photographer will have their own business and work for themselves (freelance photographer), or they work inhouse for a company that has a high need for daily photography.

The daily duties and tasks for a photographer would include:

  • Working with clients – this could be setting expectations, establishing the look and feel of the shoot and confirming outcomes, deadlines and costs.
  • Selecting the right equipment and camera and lighting settings for each shoot and setting it all up.
  • Shooting / capturing photos on location or in a studio. This will include manually adjusting the camera settings and lighting.
  • Postproduction – Reviewing the photos and selecting the best ones to edit and enhance as needed (using photo editing software, like Lightroom).
  • If you work inhouse, you’ll go through the photos with your manager or team.
  • If you have your own business you’ll take your client through the photos and supply digital copies.


How To Become a Professional Photographer

Want to go for it and follow your passion? Here’s some insight into how to become a professional photographer:

  • Purchase camera equipment and learn how to use it properly.
  • Study and learn all the aspects of photography. The theory, set up, studio work, location work, lighting, camera settings and what they’ll deliver, shooting and editing. We can help here! Take a look at our Certificate in Professional Photography.
  • Practice, practice, practice and you’ll improve as you go.
  • Work out which style, or genre, of photography you’d like to work in. The opportunities are endless…
    • Portrait photography
    • Event photography
    • Sports photography
    • Wedding photography
    • Commercial photography
    • Product photography
    • Fashion photography
    • Travel photography
    • Animal photography
    • Food photography
    • Real estate photography
    • Landscape photography
    • Wildlife photography
    • Photojournalism or editorial photography
    • Aerial photography
    • Underwater photography
  • Build a portfolio.
  • Work out if you want to have your own business or work from someone else.
  • If you’re going to set up your own business, have plenty of resources and insights to help you get started.
  • Market and promote yourself!


As Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. As a professional photographer, some days you’ll be quiet, some days you’ll be so busy your head will spin, but you’ll be doing what you love!


Keen to get started? Take a look at our Certificate in Professional Photography. And if you’re not sure take a look at our 5 top reasons to do a photography course.