The Pros and Cons of Pursuing Photography as a Career

Photographers are highly creative professionals that capture the world with their cameras. 

From traveling the world to working with celebrities and capturing nature: many people view photography as a glamorous career. But photography, like all professions, comes with downsides as well. You must know the bright and dull side associated before turning photography into a full-time career. Hence, let’s have a look at all the pros and cons of photography as a career! 

The Brightside of a Career in Photography

Here are the top seven pros of pursuing photography as your career. 

1. No Formal Education is Required

Mortar board and a graduation diploma

First things first: the bright side of pursuing general photography as a career is that anyone can do it. There is no requirement for formal education or training. However, learning does help polish your skills of capturing the world with your lens. Furthermore, some people take courses on mastering the art of digital touch-ups. 

2. Has Prestige and Fame

Woman in an art exhibition

Photography is all about creativity, and who doesn’t admire it? If your work is beautiful, people know you for it worldwide. Hence, photography as a career offers one prestige and fame. It, in turn, makes your job lucrative.

There are several famous photographers today. Have a look at these successful ones to draw inspiration!

3. You May Generalize or Specialize

young african photographer.

As a photographer, you can narrow yourself to general or specific niches. For instance, many photographers cover wedding shoots, product marketing, and hobnob with models for beautiful portraits. On the contrary, some photographers choose to stick to one type, like fashion or portrait or wedding shoots alone.  

However, you can always try another one out. As long as you have skills and the right equipment, your work life will always be diverse! 

4. Offers Travel Opportunities

a woman taking photographs on a trip

Photographers often see themselves traveling for their projects. Their work lets them explore the world and go on adventures. The best part? It’s not only travel or nature photographers that get to travel!

Catalog photographers may also have to picture diverse locations and groups of people. Similarly, if you are into photojournalism, you would be traveling worldwide. You will cover events for large media and news organizations. Wedding photographers may also get to travel for destination weddings!

5. Job Satisfaction

a happy photographer. 

Photographers don’t just click pictures. They capture moments and memories that are close to hearts. You would understand their true importance if you have photographers from the past, that you often look back to cherish your memories. This sense of giving life a degree of immortality helps increase job satisfaction. Many photographers make friends and memories themselves.  

6. There is Freedom and Flexibility 


Most professional photographers work as freelancers or own their studios. It gives them the freedom to choose projects and work on their suitable timings. For instance, you might not be into wedding shoots but love capturing wildlife. Hence, if you work independently, you can establish yourself as a specialized photographer.

Most photographers also decide their work ethic themselves. However, some do work with companies and may not enjoy this level of freedom and flexibility: for instance, product or fashion photographers. But even they tend to have creative freedom as we progress ahead.

7. Lastly, The Unending Potential!

a camera in a man’s hand

In an era of growing digitalization, photographs are everywhere. From news outlets, businesses, tourism agents, nature enthusiasts to a common-man for events: everyone needs photographers. Hence, there is a never-ending potential and scope. Just look at the right places!

Photography is also quite glamorous because of its potential. Here are some lucrative photography professions for you.

The Downsides of a Career in Photography

Here are some cons of a career in photography before you dive into it head-on!

1. Good Camera and Gear Come Expensive

an expensive camera

Although good gear and cameras will never define your photographs, they can enhance them! 

If you want to offer the best of your talent, you will need to invest in expensive technology. However, the price tag is worth it. 

2. You Would Be Alone

woman with her camera

Although the 9-5 working culture can be tiring, one cannot deny that it allows you to network and interact. Colleagues often bond with each other and help you with work confusions. However, as a photographer, you would work alone as a lone wolf most times. You do get to meet people, but the meetings are not consistent. As a result, you don’t end up making friends for work. You have to figure things out yourself, especially as a junior photographer.

However, this won’t be a con for you if you work with a team or a company. Many photography studios have crews that work on projects together! If you earn enough, you can hire an assistant as well.

3. No Guaranteed Income

money rolled in a glass jar

Like any freelance career, photography does not always guarantee you a fixed income. There will be times when you will be out of projects, even if you have prestige and fame. However, if your inflow of cash is good enough, this won’t bother you! 

4. May Involve Danger

Yellow triangle warning sign icon isolated

Photographers that work around natural calamities, disasters, wildlife, and nature may run into danger. For instance, a news photographer covering a crime scene may become a victim themselves. A wildlife photographer may also get attacked by an animal. There may also be difficult weather conditions. Hence, it’s essential to learn safety-aid rules and prepare yourself for such situations.  

5. May Have Unpredictable Hours and Conditions

photojournalists in a herd for news capturing.

Some photographers may have to deal with unpredictable working hours and conditions. For instance, if you work as a photojournalist, you will have to run on-call and rush to places for coverage. 

The Takeaway

With all these advantages and disadvantages of photography as a career, you can decide if it’s time to turn it into a full-time profession. Like all things, photography offers both. If you have a passion for it, there is no harm in pursuing it, as the advantages often weigh out the disadvantages! 

All in all, if a routine life is not your thing, a photography career might be your calling.