Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a client who was interested in a career as a photographer. She completed her assessments and learned about herself. She found that she was already skilled at visualization, oral, and written comprehension. Along with the required skills that she had inventoried, she realized she was quite creative and had previous experience and success in photography.
However, while working through our validation section, we determined that "photographer" had a low outlook according to Career One Stop and other Career Exploration sites. This meant this career was not expected to grow and could be shrinking. The outlook growth was projected to decline by 8% in NC and decline by 6% in the US over the next 10 years. It was very disappointing.
I thought it was unusual that Career One Stop had made a new video for this occupation but the outlook data was still poor. Why would they invest in making a new video for an ending profession? It didn't make sense. Luckily, I had individuals in my network that were able to help us better understand what was going on within the industry. So, we reached out to an individual that is very immersed in the field to shed some light on this career.
During our informal information interview, he confirmed that the profession of just being a photographer is declining. Job seekers need to have more skills than just taking pictures to gain employment and stay competitive. A job seeker must be able to write well, edit pictures, use software (Adobe or Corel), and be able to manage projects.
Careers in computer generated imagery (CGI) are hot! Product designers and stylists must be versed in photography and designing 2-D and 3-D images. From a cost perspective, many companies are finding that it is cheaper to create an image from CGI versus using props etc. which are needed for a still photo. Read this great article on how Furniture marketers can use CGI.
Other careers that have roots in photography but a much better outlook are:
- Multimedia Artists and Animators
- Ophthalmic Medical Technologists
- Search Marketing Strategists
- Cartographers & Photogrammetrists
Other job occupations to consider are: Social Media Strategist & Multimedia Storyteller
Many of these occupations are employed by companies and organizations that hire in a full-time or part-time capacity. There are many freelance opportunities as well.
If you have a desire to be a photographer, it is still possible to find stability and make money. However, you must be open to other job titles and develop a complementary group of skills to be successful.
Randolph Community College in Asheboro, NC has a strong Photography program. They work to ensure that their graduates have the photography skills as well the employability skills to land a job when they finish their 2 year program. Visit Randolph Community College to learn more.