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Photographer Resume: Sample and Full Writing Guide [20+ Examples]

Photographer Resume: Sample and Full Writing Guide [20+ Examples]

Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer
Career Writer

You’re about to see a beautiful photographer resume sample, and make it yours. But first—

 

You’ve got an eye.

 

Snap snap

 

You can capture an image that makes people hold their breath.

 

Snap snap

 

But how do you prove that on a sheet of paper full of words?

 

Don’t worry. You’re not blown out yet.

 

With the right skills and achievements, your photography resume can stand out like Lunch Atop a Skyscraper.

 

This guide will show you:

 

  • A photographer resume example better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • How to write a photography resume that gets more interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a photographer's resume.
  • How to describe your experience on a resume for a photographer to get any gig you want.

 

Here's a freelance photographer resume template made with our online resume builder tool. 

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

photographer resume templates

Sample Photographer Resume—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Are you more than “just” a photographer? See our related guides here:

 

 

1

What's the Best Format for a Photographer Resume Template?

 

Oh-oh.

 

You just got turned down for that juicy gig. The one with the killer subject matter and stratospheric pay.

 

Why? Your poorly-formatted photography resume irked the hiring manager enough to reject Dorothea Lange.

 

Don’t let that happen.

 

Choose a well-respected resume layout like the reverse-chronological resume format. It puts your best stuff in focus.

 

Use the best resume fonts, plus negative space and clear headings.

 

Then save it as a PDF. A photographer resume PDF keeps its composition no matter what computer it pops up on.

 

Pro Tip: Make sure the offer allows PDFs. Some older Applicant Tracking Systems glitch out on photography resumes in PDF format.

 

Need the full spectrum of freelance photographer resume formats? See our guide: 3 Resume Formats: How to Choose the Best One [Examples]

 

2

Photographer Resume Summary or Resume Objective?

 

Most resumes get six seconds of eye time.

 

That’s a few frames.

 

Don’t be like most.

 

Write a resume objective or resume summary. Those are photographer bio examples that grab attention like the golden mean.

 

A resume summary shows experience when you’ve got more than Ansel Adams.

 

A resume objective shows passion when you’re in the Peter Parker zone.

 

Look at these two photographer resume examples:

 

Photographer Resume Examples [Resume Summaries]

 

Can you spot the ugly in the first of our senior photographers resume samples?

 

wrong
Hard-working photographer with 5 years of experience. Handled all photography duties at Mattie Leite Photography, including portraits, sports photography, editorial photography, and real estate photography. Skilled in those areas, as well as digital imaging, Adobe Photoshop, and Lightroom.

 

That's not exactly the Hindenburg disaster, but it won’t saturate you with interviews.

 

To make the phone ring, imitate our next real estate photography resume example:

 

right
Certified Professional Photographer with 5+ years of experience. Seeking to craft memorable images for Home & Away Real Estate. Lead photographer for Big Lake Tours Real Estate Dept. Shot cover photo for Costco Connection magazine. Finalist, Sony World Photography Competition 2017.

 

Snap. Now you’re up with Jay Maisel. The measurable achievements fill the frame.

 

Don’t have that much experience? Juxtapose the two entry-level photography resumes below.

 

Two Entry-Level Photographer Resume Objectives

 

If your photographer experience looks a little duckface, don’t worry. You’re about to go from the pits to Annie Leibovitz. Just use a photography resume objective.

 

Back in pinhole camera times, objectives showed passion. That’s what this sample photographers resume objective does:

 

wrong
Passionate photographer with BA in photography, skilled in portrait photography, landscape, and wedding photography. Excited to learn as I go with entry-level photography jobs.

  

Gee-whiz she’s got Moxie. But it won’t get her gigs.

 

Even a photographer's resume with no experience needs—err—experience.

 

Look at the next of our freelance photographer resume samples.

 

right
CPP Certified freelance photographer, skilled in portrait photography, landscapes, and weddings. Shot and edited two weddings with commendations from both clients and multiple referrals. Accepted to juried exhibition at Historic Pullman Visitor Center.  

 

Way to go, Jimmy Olsen! That’ll make the hiring manager drop her copy of The Photographer’s Eye.

 

But hang on. How did a raw photographer get that kind of resume experience?

 

She did it by freelancing, joining a pro association, and entering some contests. But won’t that take a lot of time? No way, Man Ray.

 

Even a photography resume for beginners can have that kind of depth and framing.

 

Pro Tip: A photography bio is like the trailer to your job search movie. Write it last so you’ll have plenty of great clips to choose from.

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

 

Need more tips to make a great freelance photographer resume or senior photographers resume? See our guides:

 

How To Write A Resume Summary: 21 Best Examples You Will See

+20 Resume Objective Examples - Use Them on Your Resume (Tips)

 

3

The Best Photographer Job Description on a Resume

 

Meet the well-heeled client. Her name’s Katherine.

 

She’s got Pelican Cases full of work and she pays like a sultan.

 

What matters to her?

 

Experience.

 

But it’s all in the presentation.

 

If you've got more than Richard Avedon, list your most recent job first.

 

Add 3-5 resume bullets with measurable achievements. The professional photographer’s resume example below isolates the subject.

 

Photographer Resume Examples [Experience]

 

Contrast these two sample photography resume experience sections:

 

right

Mattie Leite Photography

CEO, Lead Photographer

2015–2018

  • Cover photo, Costco Connection magazine, October 2016.
  • Regular contributor to M Magazine sports desk.
  • Shot and edited 238 portraits with 98% customer satisfaction.
  • Trained and managed a team of 6 freelance photographers.
  • Lead photographer for Big Lake Tours Real Estate Department.

 

The client would have to have clipping on the brain to ignore that. Your high-powered resume for photography jobs just proved you’ve got the skills.

 

But edit out those accomplishments, and:

 

wrong

Mattie Leite Photography

CEO, Lead Photographer

2015–2018

  • Worked as freelance magazine and real estate photographer.
  • Shot and edited client portraits.
  • Trained and managed freelance photographers.

 

Ouch. Who left the lens cap on?

 

But what if you’re writing a photography resume with no experience?

 

These entry-level photographer resume examples can help.

 

How to Write a Resume for a Photographer with no Experience

 

Time to panic.

 

You don’t have experience. You’ll never get a job. You’ll end up eating pictures of ham sandwiches.

 

Relax. You’re going to be fine.

 

Dig deep for achievements, even you haven’t held a camera jockey job.

 

Look for resume items in:

 

  • Freelance photography work
  • Second shooter gigs
  • Your own unpaid projects
  • Photographer assistant jobs
  • Weddings (even free ones!)
  • High school photos
  • Volunteer work
  • Part-time photography jobs
  • Contests where you’ve won or placed

 

Adding those to a photographer’s resume for beginners will wow them like a Bill Murray photobomb.

 

But how to list freelance work on a resume?

 

Let the next two entry-level photography resume samples put you in the picture.

 

Two Entry-Level Photographer Resume Samples [No Experience]

 

What’s the difference in these no-experience photographer resume examples?

 

wrong

Photography Experience: I haven’t held official photographer assistant jobs or photographer jobs, but I’m a fast learner.

 

Other Experience:

  • Waiting Tables
  • Car Detailing

  

Hmm. That applicant probably cuts off more limbs than Dexter. Maybe if you spray and pray that to 1,000 photography assistant jobs, you’ll land one.

 

So—add details like in this freelance photographers resume example:

 

right

Freelance Photographer

2017–2018

  • Accepted to juried exhibition at Historic Pullman Visitor Center.
  • Produced 15 poster-sized prints of local landmarks for area supermarket.
  • Shot two weddings. Received rave reviews and dozens of referrals from both clients.

 

Pop! That stands out like Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl.

 

Haven’t even got that much? Do a wedding for a friend, or free work for a local biz. Even a small contest or your own portfolio work looks good on a resume for a photographer.

 

The best quality to have on a resume as a photographer is diversity of work. I’ve gotten a lot of jobs with bigger companies because they see variety in my work.

 

Pro Tip: If you’re new, networking and cold calls to studios can build experience fast. Eventually you’ll find a biz that needs you like air. Try rubbing elbows with assistant photographers too.

 

Are you sending out photography resumes and hearing crickets? Maybe your boring verbs are putting hiring managers to sleep. See our guide: 240 Resume Action Words & Power Words to Make Your Resume Shine

 

4

Is Your Education Section Underexposed? It Might Be

 

Does your education section really matter on a photographer’s resume?

 

Here’s the logic:

 

Every resume has to have an education section.

 

If you don’t use it to sell, it’s like owning a 1DX Mark II and only using it for selfies.

 

Start with:

 

  • School Name and Location.
  • Years in School.
  • Degree.

 

But add relevant achievements that pop like 1940s flash bulbs.

 

These two professional photography resume examples show how:

 

Photographer Resume Examples [Education]

 

Both these photography resume samples aim for a job that wants portrait and landscape skills.

 

right

BA in Photography, Bradley University

2010–2014

  • Excelled in portrait photography classes.
  • Senior landscape photo project got 220 Facebook shares.
  • Took 2nd place in school photography contest.

 

That’s not some camera-owning applicant who over-bokehs everything. It’s Sally Mann or Robert Capa in the raw.

 

Now look what happens when we flatten it:

 

wrong

BA in Photography, Bradley University

2010–2014

  • GPA 2.7
  • Received degree

 

Aargh—maybe you can fix it in post?

 

Pro Tip: Does GPA go in a photography resume? If it’s really high or recent. Otherwise, put a different impressive achievement in the foreground.

 

Make your freelance photographer resume education section sing like a Phase One IQ. See our guide: How to List Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]

 

5

How to Put Skills on a Resume for a Photographer

 

Let me be blunt:

 

If you’ve got the skills, you’re hired.

 

Well, almost.

 

Without proof, even Yousuf Karsh couldn’t get in at a Walmart Photo Center.

 

So—how to list photography skills on a resume?

 

  1. Don’t claim you have every skill shown in Complete Digital Photography.
  2. Don’t just list your skills.

 

Read the gig or job description. Find out what the hiring manager or client needs.

 

Then fit your bullet points to that like a frame within a frame.

 

These professional photography resume examples should change your point of view.

 

Photographer Resume Examples [Skills]

 

Pretend the hiring manager says she needs these skills:

 

Photographer Skills: (1) Management, (2) Field work, (3) Portrait Photography

 

Don't just say you've got ‘em.

 

Add ‘em to your bullet points like this:

 

  • (1) Managed 35 (2) field shoots.
  • Led a team of 4 photographers.
  • Commended 5x by board of directors for excellent (3) portrait photos.
  • Lowered shoot costs 15% through improved logistics and better vendor relationships.

  

See that?

 

A field photography job opening needs a resume with field photography achievements.

 

Do that, and you’ll feel like Jeff Widener’s Tank Man facing a barrage of interviews.

 

Start with the photography skills resume list below.

 

List of Skills to Put on a Photographer Resume

 

Need some photography skills for your resume?

 

Use this list. (They make great resume keywords too.)

 

Photography Skills on a Resume

Soft Skills

Hard Skills

Software

Perceptiveness

Digital Imaging

Adobe Photoshop

Creativity Skills

Legislature Photography

Adobe Lightroom

Communication

Portraits

Capture One Pro 9

Collaboration

Real Estate Photography

Topaz

Detail Oriented

Nature Photography

Perfectly Clear

Interpersonal Skills

Sports Photography

Corel Paintshop

Self Motivated

Editorial Photography

PicMonkey

Adaptability

Fashion Photography

Canva

Physically Fit

Editing Software

PhotoScape

Judgement

Hardware Skills

Gimp

 

Don’t stop there! Ask yourself—what are the responsibilities of a photographer? Also check the job description, and other jobs online.

 

If there’s no gig description, ask the hiring manager about her needs. A call or email to a manager or employee can reveal a lot.

 

Pro Tip: Can a photographer’s resume ever prove your skills? No. But with the right achievements you’ll convince them enough to get the interview.

 

Are you chimping your photography resume skills section? Relax and use our guide: +30 Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)

 

6

How to Show Certifications on a Resume

 

Will a CPP certification get you hired?

 

Put it this way:

 

You don’t need a cert, but on an entry-level photographer resume, it works like a leading line.

 

So—don’t hide it in the background.

 

Add it to your name in the header. Then put it in your summary. Last, make a special section for it.

 

Certifications

  • CPP—Certified Professional Photographer, PPA
  • Certified Drone Photographer, PPA

 

Do that, and it won’t matter where the hiring manager focuses. She’ll know you know the rule of thirds from diagonals and triangles.

 

Pro Tip: Don’t have a CPP certification? Don’t panic. Just have a great online portfolio. A few beautiful shots can get you hired. Add a link to it in your professional photography resume.

 

Want more tips for a photographers resume certification section with simplicity and minimalism? See our guide: What To Put On A Resume To Make It Perfect [Tips & Examples]

 

7

Add these Things and Put Your Resume Above the Stack

 

Remember our well-heeled client, Katherine?

 

She’s seen dozens of photographer resumes with great experience and education sections.

 

But she’s only hiring one.

 

Add "other" resume sections to put you in the foreground like the subject in a Yousuf Karsh portrait.

 

You can add:

 

  • Professional Association Memberships
  • Conferences
  • Kudos, Commendations
  • Publications
  • Classes Taken or Taught
  • Awards
  • Volunteer Activity
  • And anything else that shows your dedication to the craft.

 

Watch that work in two sample photography resume sections.

 

Photographer Resume Examples [Other Sections]

 

Here's an example of how not to add more info to a resume for photographers:

 

wrong
  • Very well-dressed
  • Martial arts
  • Excellent technical knowledge

 

Slow down, Austin Powers. You need to show you fit the job.

 

Contrast that with this striking photography resume example:

 

right

Awards

  • 2017 Finalist—Sony World Photography Professional Competition
  • 2016 LensCulture Portrait Award

 

Publications

  • 3 photographs in Better Homes & Gardens
  • 12 images in the Chicago Tribune

 

Additional Activities

  • Active Member, Professional Photographers of America.
  • Course—Scott Hargis Real Estate Photography Class on Lynda.com.
  • Imaging USA Conference, 2017.
  • Volunteer at Fore Street Soup Kitchen 2x per month.
  • Take weekly martial arts training to stay fit.

 

Nailed it. Now you’ve got the most textured freelance photographer resume in the stack.

 

Pro Tip: Should you add a resume photograph to a resume for photographers? Not in the U.S. Save self-portraits and headshots for your online portfolio.

 

Need the right extras to add color to your photography resume? See our guide: +20 Best Examples of Hobbies & Interests To Put on a Resume (5 Tips)

 

8

What About a Photographer Cover Letter?

 

Who says you need to send a cover letter with your photographer resume?

 

Well, 40% of hiring managers, that’s who.

 

But don’t make it generic. That’s like sending them a photo of a sunset.

 

Use the manager or client’s name if you can find it.

 

Then, show you understand their needs, and prove you’ll get the job done.

 

This short example photographer cover letter gets it right.

 

I’ve been interested in Home & Away Real Estate since I heard your director, Bob McIvers, talk about the need for striking visuals on the Hearth Sitters podcast. I believe I’ve got the skills Mr. McIvers referenced.

 

As the lead photographer for Big Lake Tours Real Estate Department, management consistently commended me for my ability to bring out the best in close quarters in a way most shooters can’t. When I kept customer satisfaction at 98% across 238 shoots for...

 

Always end a cover letter with an offer. Try, “I’d welcome the chance to discuss increasing your client satisfaction scores 25% this year.”

 

Your goal is to distinguish yourself from thousands of other talented photographers. Describe your technique and let your personality shine through. Describing your technique in writing shows you’re experienced. Exposing your personality will let the editor or hiring manager see you’re fun to work with and enjoyable to be around.

 

Pro Tip: Should you make a creative photographer resume, like printing it on a self-portrait? No. Save the art for your portfolio and keep your photography resume professional.

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

 

Want your photography cover letter to wow them like William Anders’ Earthrise? See our guide: How To Write A Cover Letter in 8 Simple Steps (+12 Examples)

 

9

What’s the Most Important Resume Contact Info on the Planet?

 

Want to dodge a rookie blunder?

 

Add the right contact info to your photographer resume.

 

Start with:

 

  • Full Name
  • Updated Phone Number
  • Professional Email Address

 

Like so:

 

Mattie Leite, CPP Certified Photographer, mattieleite@gmail.com, 847-942-1134

 

A “professional” email address means no AwesomeKayakerDude2349874@yahoo.com.

 

But don’t crop out a link to your portfolio. Examples of your work will impress clients and hiring managers most.

 

Add a LinkedIn address too. These days, 87% of recruiters hire from LinkedIn.

 

Promote your skills and experience in social media marketing, web, and print marketing. Most importantly, put a link to your online portfolio in your resume. Make sure the portfolio is well-polished, because it’s the true showcase of your work.

 

Pro Tip: Your LinkedIn profile is as important as the rule of odds. Make sure it’s great before the link goes on your photographer resume. Use our guide to creating the perfect LinkedIn profile.

 

Want more tips to make a breathtaking resume for photographer jobs? See the photography resume template up top. Plus, see our guide: How to Make a Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide (+30 Examples)

 

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s a recap of how to write a photographer resume that balances the right elements:

 

  • Start with a photography resume summary that puts your best achievements in focus.
  • Fit the job description. That means finding out what skills they need. Then revealing measurable accomplishments that match.
  • Add other sections that prove your photography skills. Include professional associations, contests, publications, and certifications.
  • You need a cover letter like you need a camera body. Make yours personal by showing how you’ll meet the hiring manager’s specific needs.

 

Do you have questions on how to write a great resume for a photographer? Not sure how to describe your skills or achievements? Give us a shout in the comments! We’d be happy to reply.

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Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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