Thanks to digital devices, photography is at our fingertips. Modern phones rival cameras when it comes to quality, and this accessibility gives everyone the opportunity to capture professional-looking images.
If you want to take your photography career further than just your camera roll and Instagram feed, read on to see what opportunities are available in the industry, and how an apprenticeship can help you get there.
Apprentice jobs that use photography
Digital marketers create digital content for products or services, such as photos, graphic design images and videos. Your role doesn’t stop there – you’ll also be responsible for driving brand awareness and promoting these products on digital channels, like mobile devices and social media sites.
Social media manager/content creator
As a social media manager, you’ll be in charge of running a business’ social channels, and this usually involves capturing and editing photo and video content. You’ll need to stay up-to-date with social media trends, manage campaigns, build an online presence and analyse data to check how well your posts are performing.
Combine your love for animals and photography by becoming a wildlife photographer. You’ll have the opportunity to travel the world and document animals in their natural habitat for television, magazines and research purposes.
This may seem like an unusual entry, but one thing’s for sure – fitness photographers are in demand. Social media is saturated with fitness influencers who require professional images, but they’re not the only ones. It’s popular for bodybuilders and regular fitness fans to schedule photoshoots to document their progress.
If stills aren’t exciting enough for you, try film footage. You’ll capture and edit video content for adverts, promotions, TV shows, events, productions and more. This can be a highly technical role, as you may need to get to grips with advanced digital equipment.
Where to find photography apprenticeships
QA offers a Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship and also a degree apprenticeship – a BA (Hons) degree in Digital Marketing. Besides this, QA is a leading partner of some of the world’s biggest software companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Salesforce, so you’ll have the chance to work with powerful household names.
You can find Level 3 Photographic Assistant Apprenticeships near you on the gov.uk website. It’s an 18-month programme that will equip you with fundamental photographic knowledge.
Wildlife photography can be a difficult field to get into – mainly because the well-paid work happens abroad. If you’re struggling to find an apprenticeship near you, take a look at Penda Photo Tours’ internship programmes. Although some are self-funded, your school can help you raise money and organise it.
Yep, that’s right, look no further than the RAF. Their Engineering Photographer role offers a 6-12 month apprenticeship before you progress into a full-time role, for over £20k plus benefits. Not bad at all!
Although their Videographer/Content Creation Apprenticeship is no longer live, keep an eye on construction giant Balfour Beatty’s website for similar early careers opportunities. And, be ready when this one opens up again next year!
Don’t be shy about applying to local photography studios, magazines, businesses or newspapers in your area. Even if they can’t offer you a full apprenticeship, you might get invited to complete work experience with them instead.
Academic requirements are secondary to your portfolio when it comes to applying for positions in photography. If you haven’t had the opportunity to take professional photos or videos, take matters into your own hands.
Gather your friends, grab your camera and start to build your own portfolio. Don’t just stick every single photo in there, though – be selective, and be sure to edit your images properly using software like Adobe Lightroom (or free alternatives).
Where can photography take you?
The short answer is… all over the world! You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘on location’ in reference to photography, and this is because it’s super common for photo and video shoots to take place overseas – especially in industries like fashion, beauty and journalism.
If you’re struggling to find apprenticeships in this field, take a look at part-time jobs, work experience or internships. Alternatively, you could use different keywords, such as ‘photography assistant’, ‘photography technician’, ‘content creation’, ‘digital marketing’ and more.
Why don’t you pave the way in photography?
Finding an apprenticeship in photography is difficult – but it’s not impossible. Keep looking, seek assistance from a careers advisor and build your portfolio carefully. You never know – one day you could run your own studio and hire apprentices yourself.