Photographer Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

Photographers capture and edit images to tell a story, share information, advertise or create awareness for a product, and more. They are experts at framing their subjects to convey a specific point or message to the viewer.

Photographers are not only masters of their craft; they are masters of their chosen tools, with in-depth knowledge of the proper lenses and shutter speeds to capture their subject precisely as they envisioned it. Different types of image capture include lifestyle, portraits, landscape, fashion, product, macro, wildlife, and sports photography, as well as photojournalism. Learning to master these forms of image capture is crucial to a photographer’s ability to land consistent work.

A photographer’s expertise goes beyond operating their camera. Photographers must also rely on specialized equipment to best capture their subjects. This might include lighting rigs for indoor shoots, balancing and reflector cards for outdoor shoots, and various tripods and other stabilizing equipment. Photographers must also be proficient in using photo-editing software to produce the most captivating images possible.

Sample job description #1

Staff Photographers are a key part to the success of the newsroom in producing a complete news report. Photographers use photos and video to complete visual reports on people, news, sports, lifestyle, entertainment, and business. They will also work on a series of in-depth projects and reoccurring photo and video features. The Staff Photographers at ABC Company are essential in its mission to inform and inspire its community with important and relevant journalism.

Essential job functions

  • Work to be in the right position to produce intimate, emotionally appealing, and graphically appealing photographs and video
  • Do the reporting and take the time necessary to give our community a unique perspective on a story
  • Develop and maintain professional judgment in the process capturing of videos and photographs
  • Represent ABC Company in a professional and courteous manner, and always project a professional image in the community
  • Show up to assignments on time to know what is happening and what needs to happen so you are ready to over deliver
  • Look for opportunities for video/multimedia and whenever possible report in those ways, too
  • File photos not only for the assignment for print but also enough photos for expanded coverage, ABC Company archive and for future use
  • Work with reporters to help gather information to best tell the story
  • File images early from breaking news assignments so they can quickly appear on
  • Dress appropriately for any event that you might be sent to cover
  • Work on at least one recurring project that can be published online and in print on a regular basis
  • Between assignments, travel the community and take videos and photographs you come upon
  • Pitch story ideas on a regular basis to editors
  • Establish contacts in the community for stories you are working on and what could be future stories
  • Write all cutlines so they are accurate and detailed with proper spellings that follow ABC Company style
  • Be mindful of changes in technology and style and how they can be used in your reporting and photography
  • Seek out new opportunities for education and growth in journalism, photojournalism and social media trends
  • Share photos, links to galleries and links to related stories on professional social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on every major assignment to promote your work and ABC Company
  • Maintain and engage with those who interact with your work on social media
  • Read ABC Company and other news sources to stay in the know on stories, trends, and opportunities for future stories

Education and experience

  • Must possess a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in photography/journalism, or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Minimum 2 years experience in photojournalism
  • Must have good computer skills and experience in effective social media use

Sample job description #2

What you’ll do here

  • Capture photos that are fun and creative to exceed the customer’s expectations
  • Perform the sales process to achieve Sales Average expectations
  • Talk with potential customers and call existing customers to schedule and confirm sessions
  • Provide a wonderful customer experience

The skills you’ll bring

  • High school diploma, GED, or equivalent experience. 
  • Previous retail, sales, service-related or photography experience, preferred.
  • Ability to work a varied schedule including days, nights, holidays, and weekends
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and collaboration skills
  • Ability to quickly develop a good rapport with children and adults
  • Basic math and computer skills (e.g., navigation, data entry)
  • Ability to work in multiple studios (where applicable) based on business needs

Sample job description #3

The E-Commerce Product Photographer is an instrumental role to get our product in front of our clients and customers.

The role would entail:

  • Photograph all newly arrived & pre-owned products with our LightBox
  • Retouch all images in Photoshop with our website standard quality for product listings
  • Keep the photographs organized on the server in the correct folder structure
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Must be creative and know how to shoot with aesthetic composure
  • Must have strong knowledge of editing photos
  • Maintain an organized and tidy studio
  • A strong understanding of photography
  • Knowledge of the use of proper lighting to obtain high-quality photos
  • Review product images on the website to make sure they are always of the best quality
  • Photography of beauty and fragrance products is a plus

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a photographer is $55,250 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$54,950$74,350
Los Angeles, California$62,000$83,850
Denver, Colorado$51,650$69,900
Washington, DC$62,950$85,150
Miami, Florida$51,400$69,550
Orlando, Florida$47,450$64,150
Tampa, Florida$47,900$64,800
Atlanta, Georgia$50,250$68,000
Chicago, Illinois$57,750$78,150
Boston, Massachusetts$62,450$84,500
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$49,800$67,350
New York City, New York$65,750$88,950
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$53,550$72,450
Dallas, Texas$52,150$70,550
Houston, Texas$51,650$69,900
Seattle, Washington$60,100$81,350
National Average$46,950$63,550

Sample interview questions

  • Why do you want to work here? 
  • Who is your biggest influence in photography? 
  • What made you want to become a photographer? 
  • What kind of experience do you have with posing subjects? 
  • What is one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
  • Which lens do you prefer to use and why? 
  • What are your essential items of choice other than a camera and lens?
  • What is your greatest strength? 
  • What is your greatest weakness? 
  • What qualities make a great photograph? 
  • Do you have any formal training as a photographer? 
  • Have you ever worked in a professional studio? 
  • What are your favorite hobbies? 
  • What does your ideal work environment look like? 
  • What kind of research do you perform before a shoot? 
  • What does your scheduling process look like? 
  • What motivated you to apply for this job? 
  • How do you get your subjects to do the thing you want them to, in order to capture the perfect photo? 
  • Do you have a photography portfolio? May we see it?

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