Photographers

(NOC 5221)

in All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Photographers operate still cameras to photograph people, events, scenes, materials, products and other subjects. Photographers are employed by photographic studios, newspapers, magazines, museums and government, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Limited

Read more

  • Estimate decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 5 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 735 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent and jobseekers may face competition. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Photographers may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work). Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 35% of Photographers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $26,947. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$8,453

Median

$45,980

Maximum

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Hourly Pay

$10.81

Minimum

$16.00

Median

$31.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$945

Minimum

$11,712

Median

$60,447

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Photographers operate still cameras to photograph people, events, scenes, materials, products and other subjects. Photographers are employed by photographic studios, newspapers, magazines, museums and government, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Photographers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Study requirements of a particular assignment and decide on type of camera, film, lighting and background accessories to be used.
  • Determine picture composition, make technical adjustments to equipment and photograph subject.
  • May operate scanners to transfer photographic images to computers.
  • May operate computers to manipulate photographic images.
  • May adapt existing photographic images and create new digitized images to be included in multimedia/newmedia products.
  • May use delicate instruments, such as optical microscopes attached to cameras.
  • May process exposed film.
  • May use airbrush, computer or other techniques to retouch negatives.
  • Medical photographers may work closely with medical illustrators. // Photographers may specialize in areas such as portrait photography, commercial photography, scientific photography, forensic photography, medical photography, digitized photography, multimedia photography or photojournalism.

Sample job titles

  • aerial photographer
  • commercial photographer
  • fashion photographer
  • forensic photographer
  • medical photographer
  • news photographer
  • photographer
  • photojournalist
  • portrait photographer
  • wildlife photographer

Skills

Photographers need creativity, imagination, and artistic talent. Attention to detail and the ability to improvise with equipment and techniques are also important. You must be able to react quickly in some circumstances and be very patient in others in order to get a good shot. Substantial business knowledge is required if you wish to be self-employed and work on a project-by-project basis.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in visual arts with specialization in photography or completion of specialized training in photography in high school, college or specialized training schools or extensive on-the-job training under the supervision of a photographer is required.

Other considerations

Self-employment is common for photographers. The services they offer may be provided in a studio or on location. Earnings will depend upon the type and quality of work and will generally improve over time as the photographer's work gains recognition. Working conditions vary considerably, from regular hours in comfortable offices to irregular hours doing fieldwork. It is also common for photography to be a secondary job or a hobby. Creative and technical ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are required. Experience in, or knowledge of computerized photography or digital imaging may be required.

By the numbers

Quick look

345

employed in 2016

54.9%

employed full-time

73.9%

self employed

45.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
54.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.4

median age

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

11,000

employed in 2016

59.4%

employed full-time

33.3%

self employed

55.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
44.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.2

median age

Where will I likely work?

54.6%

Halifax

15.5%

Annapolis Valley

12.4%

Southern

8.2%

Cape Breton

7.2%

Northern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

78.3%

Other Professional Services

5.8%

Information, Culture & Recreation

5.8%

Public Administration

4.3%

Educational Services

2.9%

Other Services

What is the age of Employment?

28.1%

45-54

25.0%

35-44

15.6%

25-34

12.5%

15-24

9.4%

65+

6.3%

55-64

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

43.8%

35-44

35.4%

45-54

12.5%

25-34

8.3%

55-64

4.2%

65+

Top levels of education

28.9%

College certificate or diploma

$24,453 median annual income
25.0%

High school

$26,925 median annual income
23.7%

Bachelor's degree

$26,704 median annual income
6.6%

University certificate or diploma

N/A
5.3%

Less than high school

$4,116 median annual income

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

27.5%

Bachelor's degree

$19,705 median annual income
26.2%

High school

$7,127 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$20,158 median annual income
10.2%

Less than high school

$2,298 median annual income
8.0%

Master's degree

N/A

Education & training

Photography

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the principles and techniques of communicating information, ideas, moods, and feelings through the creation of images on photographic film, plates, digital images and that prepares individuals to be professional photographic artists. These programs include courses in camera and equipment operation and maintenance, film and plate developing, light and composition, films and printing media, colour and special effects, photographic art, photographic history, use of computer applications to record or enhance images and applications to the photography of various subjects.

Institutions providing this program

DaVinci College of Art and Design NS Ltd.

1577 Barrington Street

Halifax, NS B3J 1Z7

(902) 429-1847

NSCAD University

5163 Duke Street

Halifax, NS B3J 3J6

(902) 444-9600

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Professional Photographers of Canada - Atlantic
,

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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