How to Become a Photographer in Ireland
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Since the emergence of the newspaper in the 19th century, the expansion of the internet, and most recently the rise of social media, photos have become a huge part of how we consume media today. That said, if your passion for the static image goes beyond the realms of Instagram, you might already be considering this creative subject area as a career. Read on to find out more…
What do photographers do?
Photographers create imagery for a wide range of creative, technical and documentary purposes. They are employed by a range of sectors to take photographs to a highly professional standard. Depending on the nature of the work, imagery can be stylised and evocative or unbiased and factual. Photographers tend to specialise in a certain area, whilst continually developing their own unique style.
What types of photographers are there?
There is a broad range of photographic styles to choose from and you’ve likely already encountered a lot of them. Some photographers operate as a generalist, whereas others prefer to specialise. Some common styles include:
- Commercial/ Product photography
- Fashion photography
- Fine Art photography
- Press photography
- Medical photography
- Film Set photography
- Wedding photography
- Social Media photography
Why become a photographer?
As a creative medium, many of the most successful photographers are that way because they are fueled by passion. As a result, job satisfaction is often high. A career in photography lends itself to freelance working, giving individuals control over their working hours. Not only that, but the more established you become, the more selective you can be about the work you take on meaning you’re likely to do more of what interests you. There is also the added bonus of travel. It’s not uncommon for shoots to take place abroad, allowing you to tick the travel and career boxes simultaneously.
Where do photographers work?
About half of all professional photographers are self-employed, while the remainder works with photographic agencies, design agencies and publishers. Many also work in the public sector. How you prefer to work will determine which route you take but when you’re starting out, you might benefit from coaching by working at an agency before starting on your own. Regardless, Griffith’s BA in Photographic Media teaches learners all about the business of photography ensuring you’re equipped to undertake the day-to-day running of your own business from the time you graduate.
What’s needed to become a photographer?
There is no formal qualification required to become a professional photographer but given the competitive nature of this industry, starting with a photography degree in Ireland can be helpful. Thanks to the smartphone, camera technology is more accessible than ever giving rise to a whole generation of amateur photographers. In order to establish yourself as a professional, one of Griffith’s award-winning photography courses such as the Certificate in Photography or the BA in Photographic Media can enable you to hone your skills and gain important industry contacts when starting your career. You may also want to consider the following options:
- Get work experience
- Build your photography portfolio
- Join a professional body such as the Irish Professional Photographers Association
- Join a local photography group
- Attend exhibitions/ industry events where possible
Who can become a photographer?
The great thing about photography is that it really is open to anyone. Whether you’re taking it up as a passion project, looking for a change of career, or you’re just starting out and want to be a professional from the get-go, anyone can pick up a camera. Griffith offers a full-time and part-time photography degree in Dublin giving learners more options when it comes to balancing studies around existing commitments.