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3 Tips on How to Write a Resume for Photographers

By Guest Contributor on August 9th 2019

Among all creative careers, photography occupies a special place. It’s a dream to work for fashion magazines, caption important events happening worldwide or helping someone create a memory of their special family event.

Yet, the prospects for this profession aren’t that glamorous. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of working photographers will decrease by 6% by 2026, with only 139,000 of photographers being officially employed.

So, with that said, you can imagine how high the competition will be. And if you still want your name to be picked among others, you need something that will make you stand out. And this ‘something’ can be your professional resume.

Isn’t a Portfolio Enough for a Professional Photographer?

Unless you are a freelance photographer, you need a resume to represent you and your skills if you’re looking for a traditional job at a company. For sure, your portfolio is more important as it showcases your skill. However, your portfolio won’t tell a word about your background.

Some more reasons why you need a resume as a photographer:

  • A resume tells about your experience before you get invited to an interview. Your education/courses/classes, your employment history – everything is important to create your professional image.
  • It’s an opportunity to make an artist’s statement. Creative resumes often require an artist’s statement or a brief look at your unique story as a photographer. This statement is important for your representation as a professional photographer.
  • It’s another opportunity to make an impression as a creative person. Jared Polin, a professional photographer and YouTuber, in his video about photographers’ resumes, states that he wouldn’t hire a person with a boring resume printed on a white paper. Thus, he says that a resume is a great opportunity to show creativity and step outside the box.

Now, let’s take a look at how to create a photographer resume that stands out.

  1. Follow Jared Polin’s Advice

Since the structure of a resume with all its traditional elements stays the same, let’s talk more about the format of your resume.

As we mentioned Jared Polin’s opinion earlier, when a company looks for someone to fill the creative position of a photographer, they expect a creative and out-of-the-box resume as well.

The best option for you to change the format of your resume is to create one in Photoshop. This allows you to include all the traditional resume components, like work experience, education, and skills, but to design it according to your style. Here’s an example of a photographer resume, created in Photoshop:

Image credit: Creative Booster

You can experiment with resume elements, placing and designing them using different tools and techniques. Here’s a comprehensive guide, how photographers can create a resume via Photoshop:

  1. Stress Your Technical Expertise and Skills

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a job position of a photographer doesn’t necessarily require having higher education (an entry-level position usually requires a high school diploma or equivalent).

Thus, you need to emphasize your technical expertise and skills.

It’s better to divide all your skills as a photographer into 3 main categories:

 

Technical Expertise

Artistic Expertise

Attributes (Personality)

  • Knowledge of editing software
  • Ability to work with different photography equipment, lenses, etc.
  • Knowledge of electronic image handling
  • Printing and resizing skills
  • Artistic abilities
  • Style
  • Managing color, form, lighting, format, patterns, shapes
  • Orientation on detail
  • Organization
  • Patience and tolerance
  • Critical thinking
  • Management
  • Consulting
  • Problem sensitivity, etc.

 

In your resume, you can change a structure to highlight your skills and technical expertise, for instance, by putting it closer to the top of your resume.

It’s also important to remind you about the correctness of your resume. Although the style and format of your photographer resume may be outstanding, you can ruin the good impression by leaving out grammatical mistakes.

That’s why it is highly recommended to check stylistics, punctuation, and grammar before sending out a resume. You can do it in no time with online tools like GrabMyEssay, Studicus, BestEssayEducation or Grammarly.

Remember: just because education is often not obligatory for a photographer, this doesn’t mean that you can skip it in your resume. Mentioning all the courses and masterclasses you’ve taken will only give you bonus points as a professional.

  1. Use Social Media for a More Professional Look

Although your social media feeds aren’t your portfolio or your resume, including links to your social media profiles will make your photographer resume look more professional.

You may leave out your Facebook or your Instagram profiles, but make sure that you include at least your LinkedIn profile.

Image credit: LinkedIn

Here are some compelling reasons why your LinkedIn profile will benefit your resume:

  • It showcases your interests. Your feed, full of likes and reposts, can tell a lot about what influences your professional style. It also can tell a lot about your personal preferences, which influence your works.
  • Your connections tell a lot about your activity in the industry. The more people you are connected to, the more professional you appear.
  • Feedback and endorsements. A LinkedIn profile shows endorsements from people who you used to work with. Use it for your resume – these endorsements are better than a letter of recommendation.

Make sure that you find a spot in your resume for the links to your social profiles. They will add a more professional touch to your photographer resume.

Bonus: Artist’s Statement

We already mentioned that an artist statement is an important attribute of a resume. It usually goes in addition to a resume and can be general as well as personalized.

A general artist’s statement means that you send the same statement to all the companies, while a personalized artist’s statement is created for each particular company that you send your resume to.

Although an artist’s statement is a general look at your personal story as a creator, you need to remember a few things to make the right impression:

What an artist’s statement is:

  • An artist’s statement should describe your overall vision as a creator.
  • It is a brief history of how and why you’ve become a photographer.
  • It’s a story about what inspires you to create.
  • It’s an opportunity to reference those who influenced your style.
  • It’s an opportunity to outline your philosophy as a creator.

What it is not:

  • Not an opportunity to be pompous, using too much tech language and jargon.
  • It’s not a novel (it should be brief and concise).
  • It’s not a case for using humor.
  • Not a case to tell your family history, only your story as an artist is relevant.

The reason to write an artist’s statement is simple – to clarify your ideas about your work. It brings value to an employer and complements your resume and portfolio.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, photographers do need a resume. However, it’s not your traditional resume. A photographers resume should be creative and out-of-the-box, hinting at your style as a creator.

Hopefully, these tips will help you create a professional resume, which will make you stand out as a photographer and a creator.

Guest Post by Angela Baker

Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is working as a freelance writer at TrustMyPaper. Besides being a writer and a blogger, Angela helps freelancers create professional-looking profiles and resumes. Her articles are always oriented at self-growth, providing valuable insights and actionable tips.

*All images shared with permission from Angela Baker
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