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It’s brave of you to decide on a photography career. Going in the footsteps of Robert Capa, Annie Leibovitz, and Robert Mapplethorpe is inspiring. But to make it in the art world, you need more than just talent. You need a whole lotta luck. And a photography resume that makes the world stop turning for a moment.
Keep on reading, and learn how to write a photography resume that will serve as your welcome ticket in Magnum Photos.
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.
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.
Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.
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- Sample Resumes for 500+ Jobs
Here's how to write a photographer resume:
Choose the Best Format for a Photographer Resume
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]
Write a Photographer Resume Summary or Resume Objective
Most resumes get six seconds of eye time, according to our HR statistics report.
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:
|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:
Photographer Resume Summary Example
|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.
Back in pinhole camera times, objectives showed passion. That’s what this sample photographers resume objective does:
|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.
Entry-Level Photographer Resume Objective
|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 a professional resume template here for free.
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:
Add the Best Photographer Job Description for 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?
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.
Contrast these two sample photography resume experience sections:
Photographer Job Description Resume Example
Mattie Leite Photography
CEO, Lead Photographer
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:
Mattie Leite Photography
CEO, Lead Photographer
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 Photography Resume 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.
Let the next two entry-level photography resume samples put you in the picture.
Photography Experience on a Resume
Photography Experience: I haven’t held official photographer assistant jobs or photographer jobs, but I’m a fast learner.
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:
Freelance Photography Resume
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.
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
Mention Your Education
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.
- School Name and Location.
- Years in School.
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.
BA in Photography, Bradley University
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:
BA in Photography, Bradley University
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]
Put Skills on a Resume for a Photographer
Let me be blunt:
If you’ve got the skills, you’re hired.
Without proof, even Yousuf Karsh couldn’t get in at a Walmart Photo Center.
So—how to list photography skills on a resume?
- Don’t claim you have every skill shown in Complete Digital Photography.
- 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.
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.)
Capture One Pro 9
Real Estate Photography
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)
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.
- 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]
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
- Kudos, Commendations
- Classes Taken or Taught
- 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:
Slow down, Austin Powers. You need to show you fit the job.
Contrast that with this striking photography resume example:
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)
Write 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.”
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:
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)
Add Contact Info
Want to dodge a rookie blunder?
Add the right contact info to your photographer resume.
- Full Name
- Updated Phone Number
- Professional Email Address
Mattie Leite, CPP Certified Photographer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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)
Here’s a recap of how to write a photographer CV 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 CV 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.