6 Practical Steps to Land Your First Photography Job
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Build your photography portfolio
  2. Network with industry professionals
  3. Showcase your work on social media
  4. Apply for photography jobs
  5. Prepare for interviews
  6. Follow up after the interview

Dreaming of turning your passion for photography into a full-time job? You're in the right place! This blog is your practical, step-by-step guide on how to get a job in photography. We'll walk you through the process, from building your portfolio to landing your first gig. So, grab your camera, and let's get started!

Build your photography portfolio

A strong portfolio is the first step towards a job in photography. It's your opportunity to show off your skills, style, and versatility. But where do you start? Here are some tips to help you build a portfolio that stands out.

Showcase your best work

Pick out your best photos to display in your portfolio. These should highlight your unique style and technical skills. Remember, quality trumps quantity — it's better to have a few impressive shots than a ton of average ones.

Include a variety of styles and subjects

  • Diversify your portfolio: Include a range of styles and subjects in your portfolio. This could include landscapes, portraits, action shots, and still life. This shows potential employers that you're adaptable and can handle different types of assignments.
  • Try different techniques: Don't be afraid to experiment with different photography techniques. Use of black and white, macro, or long exposure can showcase your versatility and creativity.

Present your work professionally

Make sure your portfolio is clean, organized, and professional. This means high-quality prints for a physical portfolio, and a well-designed website for a digital one. And don't forget to include details about each photo — like when and where it was taken, and any interesting story behind it.

Building your portfolio is the first big step in answering the question, "how to get a job in photography?" It might take some time and effort, but remember — every great photographer started somewhere. So, keep shooting, keep experimenting, and most importantly, keep enjoying the process.

Network with industry professionals

They say it's not what you know, it's who you know, and that's especially true when you're figuring out how to get a job in photography. Networking with established photographers and industry professionals can open doors to opportunities you might not find otherwise. Here's how you can get started.

Attend industry events

Photography festivals, exhibitions, and seminars are great places to meet industry professionals. Be yourself, and show genuine interest in others' work. You never know — a casual conversation might lead to a job opportunity down the line.

Join photography clubs and online communities

Joining a photography club in your local community, or an online forum like Flickr or 500px, can be a great way to learn from others, get feedback on your work, and make connections in the industry.

  • Participate actively: Don't just sign up and disappear. Engage with the community. Post your work, comment on others' photos, share tips and tricks. The more active you are, the more you'll get out of the experience.
  • Collaborate: Collaborate with other photographers on projects. This not only helps you learn and grow as a photographer, but also helps you build strong relationships within the industry.

Reach out directly

If there's a photographer or an agency you admire, don't be afraid to reach out directly. Send them an email introducing yourself and expressing your admiration for their work. They might be willing to meet for a coffee, give you some advice, or even offer you a job!

Remember, networking isn't about using people to get ahead — it's about building relationships based on mutual respect and shared passion for photography. So get out there, meet new people, and start building your network!

Showcase your work on social media

Now that you're making connections in the photography world, it's time to show off your work. Social media platforms are a fantastic way to reach a wide audience and attract potential employers. Here's how you can use social media to your advantage while figuring out how to get a job in photography.

Select the right platform

Not all social media platforms are created equal when it comes to showcasing photography. Instagram, with its focus on visuals, is a natural choice for photographers. Pinterest and 500px are also popular amongst photographers. Pick the platform that suits your style and target audience best.

Curate your feed

Think of your social media feed as your online portfolio. Be selective about what you post. Each image should represent your best work and reflect your unique style. Remember, quality beats quantity every time.

Engage with your audience

Once you start posting your work, engage with your audience. Respond to comments, like and share others' work, and participate in discussions. Social media is not just a broadcast platform — it's a community. The more you engage with your audience, the more they'll engage with you.

Use hashtags wisely

Hashtags can help your work reach a wider audience. Use relevant hashtags that describe your image, your style, or the subject matter. But don't go overboard — too many hashtags can look spammy and turn off potential followers.

Finally, remember that social media is just one piece of the puzzle when you're figuring out how to get a job in photography. It's a tool to showcase your work, connect with your audience, and build your brand. Use it wisely, and it can open doors to exciting opportunities.

Apply for photography jobs

You've built a strong portfolio, made connections in the industry, and showcased your work on social media. Now, it's time to put everything into action and apply for photography jobs. Here are some practical steps to help you navigate this exciting phase.

Find the right job listings

Start by looking for job listings on reputable photography job boards like Photo Jobs, Photography Jobs Finder, and Indeed's photography section. Don't forget about LinkedIn — it's a great resource for finding job opportunities and connecting directly with potential employers.

Customize your application

When you find a job you're interested in, don't just send a generic application. Tailor your cover letter and resume to match the job description. Highlight your relevant skills, experience, and why you're a great fit for the job. Remember, the goal is to stand out from the competition.

Include your portfolio

Always include a link to your online portfolio in your application. This gives potential employers a chance to see your work and evaluate your skills. If you have any work that's particularly relevant to the job you're applying for, make sure to highlight it.

Applying for jobs can be a nerve-wracking process, especially when you're trying to land your first job in photography. But remember, every application is a learning experience. With each one, you'll get better at presenting yourself and your work, bringing you one step closer to landing that dream job.

Prepare for interviews

Alright, so you've applied to your dream photography jobs and the call for an interview comes in. That's half the battle won. But now comes another important step — preparing for the interview. Here's how to make a good impression and increase your chances of landing the job.

Research the company

First off, you need to understand the company you're interviewing with. Explore their website, read up on their mission statement, and get familiar with their style and the type of photography they specialize in. This will help you speak intelligently about the company during your interview and show your enthusiasm for the role.

Practice common interview questions

While every interview is different, there are common questions that often come up. Practice your responses to questions like "Why are you interested in this job?" or "Tell me about a time when you faced a challenge in a photography project and how you resolved it." Your answers should be concise, specific, and demonstrate your skills and experience.

Prepare your portfolio

Most photography job interviews will involve a portfolio review. Be prepared to talk about your work, the techniques you used, and the story behind each photograph. Choose a diverse selection of your best work that showcases your versatility and creativity.

Remember, an interview is not just about answering questions—it's a conversation. Be prepared to ask your own questions about the role, the team, and the company. This shows your interest in the job and helps you decide if it's the right fit for you.

Follow up after the interview

Once the interview wraps up, your job isn't over yet. It's important to make a lasting impression, and that's where a thoughtful follow-up comes in. This step is often overlooked, but is vital in showing your potential employer your interest and dedication. Here are some tips on how to effectively follow up after your photography job interview.

Send a thank you note

It's a simple gesture, but it can make a big difference. After your interview, send a thank you note to the interviewer. This could be an email or a handwritten note, expressing your gratitude for their time and consideration. Be sure to mention something specific from the interview to make it more personal.

Keep it professional

While it's important to show your enthusiasm, remember to keep your communication professional. Avoid excessive follow-ups — one thank you note and a follow-up email after a week or so is sufficient. If the company gave you a timeline for their decision, respect it. Patience is key.

Stay engaged

Even if you're waiting to hear back about a job, stay engaged with the company. Follow them on social media, comment on their posts, and stay updated with any company news. This shows you're genuinely interested in the company and will keep you top of mind.

Remember, getting a job in photography involves patience and persistence. By following up effectively, you show your potential employer that you're serious and committed. This could be the extra push you need to land your first photography job.

If you're eager to take the next steps in your photography career and land your first job, don't miss the workshop 'Establishing Yourself as a Photographer in 2023' by Cyn Lagos. This workshop will provide you with practical advice and insights on how to stand out as a photographer in today's competitive market, helping you land your first photography job and get your career off to a great start.