Photographers

(NOC 5221)

in All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Photographers use still cameras to photograph people, events, scenes, materials, products, and other subjects. Photographers work for photographic studios, newspapers, magazines, museums, and government, or they may be self-employed. Photographers may specialize in portrait photography, commercial photography, scientific photography, forensic photography, medical photography, digitized photography, multimedia photography or photojournalism.

Job Outlook

Limited

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 10 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

  • Estimate 840 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 1495 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment (yet overall job prospects are still considered limited). 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 average portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The move to digital photography has dramatically changed the landscape for photographers. Some of the work traditionally done may now overlap with the work of others, such as graphic artists and journalists. The increased use of graphics and advances in personal photo technology are expected to limit growth in the occupation, in addition to a struggling print media industry. Openings occur on occassion in photo studios in boxstores. As well, freelance work is common among photographers. Opportunities may depend on having a solid portfolio and good reputation.

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 Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$21.00

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$945

Minimum

$11,712

Median

$60,447

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Photographers use still cameras to photograph people, events, scenes, materials, products, and other subjects. Photographers work for photographic studios, newspapers, magazines, museums, and government, or they may be self-employed. Photographers may specialize in portrait photography, commercial photography, scientific photography, forensic photography, medical photography, digitized photography, multimedia photography or photojournalism.

Job duties

Photographers:

  • Study requirements of an 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 use scanners to transfer photographic images to computers.
  • May use computers to manipulate photographic images.
  • May adapt existing photographic images and create new digitized images to be included in multimedia/new media products.
  • May use delicate instruments like 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.

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 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

485

employed in 2016

42.7%

employed full-time

76.0%

self employed

45.8%
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54.2%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.4

median age

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

11,000

employed in 2016

53.3%

employed full-time

29.3%

self employed

55.6%
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44.4%
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38.2

median age

Where will I likely work?

55.8%

Halifax

$14,494 median annual income
15.8%

Annapolis Valley

N/A
12.6%

Southern

N/A
8.4%

Cape Breton

N/A
7.4%

North Shore

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

78.3%

Professional, scientific and technical services

5.8%

Public administration

4.3%

Educational services

2.9%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

2.9%

Retail trade

What is the age of Employment?

23.0%

55-64

21.0%

35-44

20.0%

45-54

19.0%

25-34

12.0%

65+

5.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

29.7%

15-24

15.9%

35-44

15.7%

45-54

15.4%

25-34

14.9%

55-64

Top levels of education

30.2%

College Diploma

$5,880 median annual income
21.9%

Bachelor

$8,504 median annual income
19.8%

High school

$22,562 median annual income
8.3%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A
6.3%

Less than high school

N/A

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

26.4%

Bachelor

$17,829 median annual income
24.9%

High school

$7,552 median annual income
19.5%

College Diploma

$22,120 median annual income
13.7%

Less than high school

$2,922 median annual income
7.9%

Master

$36,173 median annual income

Education & training

Photography

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus 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. They 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

NSCAD University

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Professional Photographers of Canada - Atlantic
Woodstock, ON

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.