Art photographer works and how to succeed with this job
Who is an art photographer and what do they do? A professional art photographer creates photographs that are themselves a form of art. Art photographers mostly work freelance, however they may find job opportunities in teaching, in various scientific, museum and gallery institutions, as well as in the editorial offices of newspapers and magazines. An art photographer may find a job also as an art editor in publishing houses or periodicals or as an art or administrative employee in art or publishing agencies.
What are the activities of an art photographer? With his/her camera s/he records important events of social life, sports and art, including many subjects from the traditional areas of documentary and journalistic photography. S/he may also manipulate the photograph both in the taking and the developing of it, or use a variety of other techniques such as colour changes, to achieve various artistic effects.
Where is it done and under what conditions? In a photographic studio, in part, and as need arises, outside, in the open air or in other buildings. Development of films, and use of certain techniques may involve contact with some chemicals but increasingly such manipulation will be done by computer.
What tools/equipment do an art photographer use? Traditional working tools and environment (camera, darkroom, wet processing and enlargement) may still be used. In the studio the photographer may use replaceable backgrounds, the lighting, recording of the experimental process (splitting the image into phases, colour changes, etc.). Currently, however, many photographic procedures are carried out on a digital basis, i.e. abandoning traditional mechanical and chemical processes in favour of the computer and related hardware.
What do you need to succeed? You need, above all, a gift for visual art, but also an artistic sensibility, an eye for detail, patience, ability to work independently and good interpersonal skills. A successful photographer should be well versed in the history of art and the history of photography, knowledge of composition, perspective, colour and light. Technical skill plays an important role, too. You should also have secondary or university education, with a specialisation in art photography.