Photographer CV Examples [Photography Skills Template]

Photographer CV Examples [Photography Skills Template]

A photographer CV sample that gets jobs. Get 20+ job-winning examples and tips from experts. Complete guide to write a professional CV for photography.

You’re about to see a beautiful photographer CV 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 CV can stand out like Lunch Atop a Skyscraper.

 

This guide will show you:

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

 

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

 

Want to save time and have your CV ready in 5 minutes? Try our CV builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 18 CV templates and create your CV here.

 

photographer CV templates

Sample Photographer CV—See more templates and create your CV here.

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

 

Here's how to write a photographer CV:

 

1. Choose the Best Format for a Photographer CV

 

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 CV irked the hiring manager enough to reject Dorothea Lange.

 

Don’t let that happen.

 

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

 

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

 

Then save it as a PDF. A photographer CV 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 CVs in PDF format. 

Need the full spectrum of freelance photographer CV formats? See our guide: CV Format: Best Examples for Job Hunting Success

 

2. Write a Photographer CV Summary or CV Objective

 

Most CVs get six seconds of eye time, according to our HR statistics report.

 

That’s a few frames.

 

Don’t be like most.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Look at these two photographer CV examples:

 

wrong
Hard-working photographer with 5 years of experience. Handled all photography duties at Joseph Peterson 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 CV example:

 

Photographer CV Summary Example

 

right
Certified Professional Photographer with 5+ years of experience. Seeking to craft memorable images for Home & Away Real Estate. Lead photographer for Majestic Estate. 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 CVs below.

 

Back in pinhole camera times, objectives showed passion. That’s what this sample photographers CV 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 CV with no experience needs—err—experience.

 

Look at the next of our freelance photographer CV samples.

 

Entry-Level Photographer CV Objective

 

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 CV 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 CV for beginners can have that kind of depth and framing.

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

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

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

 

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

How to Write a CV Summary: 10+ Professional Examples

 

3. 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?

 

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 CV bullets with measurable achievements. The professional photographer’s CV example below isolates the subject.

  

Contrast these two sample photography CV experience sections:

 

Photographer Job Description CV Example

 

right

Joseph Peterson 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 Majestic Estate.

 

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

 

But edit out those accomplishments, and:

 

wrong

Joseph Peterson 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 CV with no experience?

 

These entry-level photographer CV examples can help.

 

How to Write a Photography CV 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 CV 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 CV for beginners will wow them like a Bill Murray photobomb.

 

But  how to list freelance work on a CV?

 

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

 

Photography Experience on a CV

  

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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 CV example:

 

Freelance Photography CV

 

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 CV for a photographer.

The best quality to have on a CV as a photographer is diversity of work. I’ve got 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 CVs and hearing crickets? Maybe your boring verbs are putting hiring managers to sleep.

 

4. Mention Your Education

 

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

 

Here’s the logic:

 

Every CV 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 CV examples show how:

 

Photographer CV Examples [Education]

 

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

 

right

BA in Photography, University of Brighton

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, University of Brighton

2010–2014

  • GPA 2.7
  • Received degree

 

Aargh—maybe you can fix it in post?

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

Make your freelance photographer CV education section sing like a Phase One IQ. See our guide: CV Education Section: Examples & How to Include It

 

5. Put Skills on a CV 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 CV?

 

  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 CV examples should change your point of view.

 

Photographer CV 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 CV 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 CV list below.

 

List of Skills to Put on a Photographer CV

 

Need some photography skills for your CV?

 

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

 

Photography Skills on a CV

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 CV ever prove your skills? No. But with the right achievements you’ll convince them enough to get the interview. 

 

6. Show Certifications on a CV

 

Will a CPP certification get you hired?

 

Put it this way:

 

You don’t need a cert, but on an entry-level photographer CV, 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 CV.

Want more tips for a photographers CV certification section with simplicity and minimalism? See our guide: What to Include in a CV: Essential CV Sections

 

7. Add These Things and Put Your CV Above the Stack

 

Remember our well-heeled client, Katherine?

 

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

 

But she’s only hiring one.

 

Add "other" CV 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 CV sections.

 

Photographer CV Examples [Other Sections]

 

Here's an example of how not to add more info to a CV 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 CV 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 London Tribune

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Active Member, Professional Photographers of United Kingdom.
  • Course—Scott Hargis Real Estate Photography Class on Lynda.com.
  • Imaging UK 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 CV in the stack.

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

Need the right extras to add colour to your photography CV? See our guide: Best Hobbies and Interests to Put on a CV

 

8. Write a Photographer Cover Letter

 

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

 

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 Majestic Estate, 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 CV professional. 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your CV 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 CV 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: A Complete Guide

 

9. Add Contact Info

 

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:

 

Joseph D. Peterson, CPP Certified Photographer, joepeterson@email.com, 078 6469 3595

 

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.
Molly WolffMolly Wolff Photography

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 CV for photographer jobs? See the photography CV template up top. Plus, see our guide: How to Write a CV: Complete CV Writing Guide with Examples

 

Key Takeaway

 

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

  • Start with a photography CV 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.

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), 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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