Documentary photographer - Salary and Career
Professional Photographers

Documentary photographer - Career description, activities, functions and salary

They create photographic images of events, people, landscapes, objects and other themes, in black and white or in color, using fixed cameras (film or digital) and various accessories. They choose the theme or subject of photography or meet the demands of clients or employers, according to artistic, journalistic, commercial, industrial, scientific, etc. They can develop and retouch film negatives, take, enlarge and retouch copies, create graphic effects on images obtained by digital processes and reproduce them on paper or other support. They can run a photo studio or photography supply store.

How much does an Documentary photographer earn

A Documentary photographer earns between $1.041 and $4.210 per month, with an average monthly salary of $1.776 and a median salary of $1.404 according to an salary survey along with to data of professionals hired and fired by companies in the labor market.

Our research is based on the salaries of 1.969 professionals hired and dismissed by the period from 06/2021 to 05/2022 (last year).

Salary ranges for the Documentary photographer

Monthly Salary Annual Salary Salary Per Week Hourly Salary
Average wage 1.776 21.307 444 9
1º Quartile 1.041 12.494 260 5
Median Salary 1.404 16.848 351 7
3º Quartile 3.211 38.533 803 15
Higher Salary 4.210 50.526 1.053 20

Professional job categories

  • Science and arts professionals
    • communicators, artists and religious
      • communication and information professionals
        • professional photographers

Related Positions:

Main workplaces

Professional Photographers they work in several areas, mainly in the press in general, in publicity, advertising and marketing, in the trade of goods, in various branches of services. They can also be found in teaching and research and development. Most are self-employed, employers and, to a lesser extent, employees. They can serve the public directly or not and carry out their activities alone or in a team, usually at irregular hours. In some activities, some professionals may work under special conditions, such as being in uncomfortable positions for long periods and being exposed to toxic materials and high temperatures.

What does it take to work in the field of Professional Photographers

Learning about family occupations can take place in practice and also through complete higher education in the area, depending on the occupation in question. The full performance of activities occurs, at least, after three years of experience.

Functions and activities of Documentary photographer

Professional Photographers must:

  • manage business aspects of photographic activity;
  • coordinate photo work team;
  • coordinate photographic work team;
  • creating a photographic image;
  • finish the product;
  • disseminate the photographic language;
  • planning the photographic work;
  • planning photographic work;
  • create the photo image;
  • document the image;
  • demonstrate personal skills;
  • operating specific equipment;
  • disseminate photography language;
  • plan the photographic work;
  • disseminate photographic language;
  • research themes, procedures and photographic materials;
  • plan photographic work;
  • publication of photographic language;
  • managing commercial aspects of photographic activity;
  • operate specific equipment;
  • create photo image;
  • create the photographic image;
  • finish product;
  • manage commercial aspects of photographic activity;
  • search themes, procedures and photographic materials;

  • Activities

    • control cash flow, payments and receipts;
    • calculating the cost/benefit ratio at work;
    • register the image on film or magnetic media;
    • organize meetings and congresses;
    • evaluate results;
    • interpret the client's desires and aspirations;
    • catalog photographic documents;
    • study photographic sources and references;
    • edit image;
    • trying out photographic products and techniques;
    • choosing equipment according to intentions, area of operation and circumstances;
    • collect information on the topic;
    • estimating costs;
    • calibrate equipment;
    • providing support equipment for image production and transmission;
    • test new finishing materials;
    • teach the client to understand the image;
    • establish work schedule;
    • present the final photographic product to the recipient;
    • research trends, style, materials;
    • testing equipment and accessories;
    • manage time;
    • interpret client desires and aspirations;
    • exchange information with team;
    • operate lighting equipment;
    • master techniques of your specialization;
    • operate camera and accessories;
    • design scenes for shooting;
    • discuss the agenda/briefing;
    • negotiate prices;
    • prepare self-promotional material;
    • need perspectives and points of view;
    • direct image production;
    • interview clients;
    • interact with the photographed;
    • understanding other languages;
    • operating lighting equipment;
    • control photographic material stock;
    • cultivate persistence;
    • restore photo images;
    • deal with unforeseen events;
    • compose the image;
    • take calculated risks;
    • deliver lectures;
    • develop insight;
    • set the material support of the photographic image;
    • presenting the final photographic product to the recipient;
    • calculate the cost/benefit ratio at work;
    • study geographic and climatic conditions;
    • decide the moment of the photographic act;
    • study sources and photographic references;
    • choose the theme;
    • define areas and forms of action in the labor market;
    • develop procedures for customer relations;
    • publish books and catalogs;
    • study local/regional cultures and customs;
    • enlarge photos;
    • operate imaging programs;
    • schedule tasks;
    • overcome economic limitations;
    • delegate roles;
    • search for spaces or locations to photograph;
    • reveal movies;
    • form new frames;
    • show portfolio;
    • disclose your work on the web;
    • study the legislation regarding the protection of copyright and the use of image;
    • budget photographic work;
    • scan image;
    • demonstrate creativity;
    • choosing equipment according to intentions, area of activity and circumstances;
    • participate in professional associations;
    • monitor measuring equipment;
    • deliver professional training courses;
    • produce documentation referring to the image;
    • archive the photographic documents;
    • experience photographic products and techniques;
    • list models;
    • create the environment that expresses the desired emotion;
    • follow professional project traced;
    • treat scanned or conventional image: brightness, contrast, definition and crop;
    • modulate the light;
    • frame image;
    • select personnel;
    • provide maintenance of equipment and facilities;
    • frame the image;
    • arrange accreditation;
    • interpret the object to be photographed;
    • set up exhibitions;
    • master the language of photography;
    • demonstrate punctuality;
    • conceptualize the photographic work;
    • keep up to date;
    • control photographic material inventory;
    • survey site infrastructure;
    • document the authorship of the photographic image;
    • produce documentation regarding the image;
    • develop synthesis capacity;
    • advise the development of new languages and products;
    • contextualize the photographic image;
    • master the language;
    • compensate staff;
    • caption image;

    Sectors that hire Documentary photographer the most in the job market

    • photo production activities
    • retail photography and filming goods
    • photo labs
    • temporary labor lease
    • retailer of clothing and accessories
    • intermediation activities and agency services and business in general
    • filming parties and events
    • aerial and underwater photography production activities
    • fairs, congresses, exhibitions and parties organization services
    • sales promotion

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