Photographer CV: Examples and How to Write (+Template)

Who hasn’t dreamt of a career in photography? Someone out there hasn’t, probably, but it seems that most of us have. You’re among the lucky, determined few making that dream a reality.

 

The problem is that with the prices of high-quality gear dropping and software getting more and more accessible (even GIMP is getting to be somewhat user-friendly), there are many dabblers getting in on the scene and spamming job adverts.

 

This is not the kind of noise you can click away with a filter or a plugin. You’re going to have to find a way to stand out in high contrast. Scroll down to see a photographer CV that does just that. Read on to find photographer CV examples, templates and plenty of advice that’ll get your CV there too.

 

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Photographer CV example 

 

Bradley Coleman

T: 077 2222 2222

E: brad.coleman@lcmail.co.uk

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/bradleycoleman

Portfolio: www.bradcolemanphotog.com

 

Personal statement

 

Creative, technically proficient and business-minded photographer with 5+ years’ experience working in commercial and property photography. Recently worked with management to add a suite of low- or no-overhead add-on services that increase potential profits by 45%. Looking for an opportunity to apply knowledge, know-how and creative energy in helping George Street Studios maintain and develop its exceptionally high creative and commercial standards.

 

Work experience

 

In-House Photographer

Layla Photography, London

August 2017—present

  • Led monthly meetings to co-plan 80+ shoots worth a total of over £200,000.
  • Independently created 30+ briefs for clients, with over 90% being accepted with no more than a week’s worth of negotiation and amendments.
  • Ensured that 17 key clients’ retail listings and websites had up-to-date photography of the highest standard in spite of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Created a new, fully automated and cross-referenced studio and equipment roster that allowed the studio to effectively unlock over £15,000 of equipment-time without making additional purchases.
  • Renegotiated contract with cloud-storage provider to open up more storage space and extra features as well as a 10% discount.

 

Property Photographer

Tarafink Estate Agents, London

January 2015—July 2017

  • Visited 3–6 properties a day and processed images uploaded the same day 100% of the time.
  • Created a custom GIMP workflow that reduced image processing times by 33%.
  • Took on the training of new property photographers, getting them ready to work independently 3 business days sooner, saving 24+ work hours of more experienced photographers’ time who would have had to supervise the trainees.
  • Created a shared Photoshop profile, automatically bringing technical parameters of all photographers’ images into line with company standards and cutting upload workload by 50%.
  • Organised a system for the rotation of memory cards, saving £420 p.a. on the purchase of new ones without sacrificing reliability.
  • Maintained a client acceptance rate of >95% on all printed property brochures submitted for approval.

 

Education

 

BA (Hons) Photography (2:1), 2011–2014

Manchester School of Art, Manchester

 

Skills

 

  • Customer service: experienced in liaising with high-end clients, both individual and corporate
  • Advanced photography skills: plenty of portfolio work showing interior, architectural, fashion, product, flat-lay, portrait, and lifestyle images of a high technical difficulty
  • Communication: proven ability to build rapport with clients, subjects, and vendors
  • Time management: experienced in making the most of limited studio as well as on-location time during shoots
  • Punctuality: use efficient and well-practised workflows in post-processing to reliably make deadlines
  • Image manipulation: proficient in the use of Photoshop, Lightroom, GIMP, and Capture One
  • Auxiliary software: confident in using QuarkXPress, InDesign, Illustrator, and Inkscape
  • New technologies: some experience in drone-based aerial photography and VR

 

Certification

 

  • Level 3 Certificate in Domestic Energy Assessment
  • RICS Home Surveys Licence

 

Competitions

 

  • Finalist: Landscape, AAP (Association of Awesome Photographers), 2019 
  • Winner: Travel, WYT Business School Open Competition, 2018

 

Now you know what to include in a photographer CV. Here’s how to write your own CV:

 

1. Set your photography CV up for success with a winning personal statement

 

Start your CV with a profile statement. Like a portfolio, a personal statement is a must in your photographer CV. And like a portfolio, it presents you as a photographer in a nutshell. (Speaking of portfolios, leave a link to yours up with your contact details and in your personal statement, especially if you can hyperlink a relevant keyword to do so.)

 

You’ll need your personal statement to do these three things:

  • Introduce you as a photographer
  • Give an example of what you have to offer as an employee
  • Describe how your career goals line up with the company’s.

 

You’ll be writing a new personal statement for each job application. To make life easier, there’s a procedure you can lean on for generating personal statements. Simply answer the following questions using a total of 3–4 sentences and 50–150 words:

  • What kind of photographer are you and how experienced are you?
  • In what industries/styles/work modes have you been working?
  • What’s your most impressive/relevant/recent achievement?
  • (Optional) What’s your most unique achievement?
  • What are you hoping to be able to achieve in this job? (For the employer, not yourself).

 

Your CV might be parsed by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Even if you know it won’t be, in your personal statement be sure to include the position to which you’re applying by name as well as mentioning the company name. Look out for keywords in the job advert and consider tweaking your personal statement to match.

 

Your personal statement will go first in your photographer CV, but it’s best to leave writing it until last. It’ll be much easier and you’ll be able to do a much better job once you have your job descriptions and skills written out and in front of you (that's why it is also known as a CV summary).

 

Photographer CV personal statement example

 

Creative, technically proficient and business-minded photographer with 5+ years’ experience working in commercial and property photography. Recently worked with management to add a suite of low- or no-overhead add-on services that increase potential profits by 45%. Looking for an opportunity to apply knowledge, know-how and creative energy in helping George Street Studios maintain and develop its exceptionally high creative and commercial standards.

 

A strong CV summary will convince the recruiter you’re the perfect candidate. Save time and choose a ready-made personal statement written by career experts and adjust it to your needs in the LiveCareer CV builder.

 

Create your CV nowcv builder

 

2. Decide how to handle your photographer CV work experience section

 

Photography makes for a job that’s almost as varied as the art form and craft itself. Career paths differ greatly between photographers and even for the same photographer over time. A CV format is like a lens or a filter in that it shifts emphasis—it’s important you choose the right one. 

 

Have you been working completely freelance, picking up individual assignments, each generally from a different client? Have you been working from gig to gig, sourcing your own clientele and setting your own prices? If so, then a functional CV format (also called a skills-based CV format) is for you.

 

A skills-based photographer CV will differ from the default, chronological kind in a number of ways:

  • It follows on from the personal statement with a detailed skills summary.
  • It places a very pared-down work experience section after the skills summary.
  • It includes a regular education section next.
  • Finally, it very briefly lists some additional skills before continuing on to additional sections, like normal. 

 

Have you been working for basically one employer at a time? Even if part-time or on B2B contracts. If you’ve been a regular employee or picking up multiple assignments from the same company or companies over the past few years, then a chronological format is definitely the one for you.

 

Going with a chronological format, you list your job descriptions from most to least recent. It’s what hiring managers are used to seeing and it’s more easily parsed by an ATS. Start by using the following template to make a subheading for each job description:

 

[Job Title]

[Company Name, Location]

[Dates of Employment]

 

Now add up to six bullet points to each job description, focusing on achievements rather than duties. An achievement differs from a duty in that it’s measurable and focused on the results of actions you’ve taken. Use accomplishment statements to help structure and quantify your bullet points.

 

If you don’t have any work experience, the focus on any internships, placement work, and volunteer work you’ve done. If you have nothing at all but a great portfolio, then consider writing a student or graduate CV instead.

 

Photography work experience for a CV

 

In-House Photographer

Layla Photography, London

August 2017—present

  • Led monthly meetings to co-plan 80+ shoots worth a total of over £200,000.
  • Independently created 30+ briefs for clients, with over 90% being accepted with no more than a week’s worth of negotiation and amendments.
  • Ensured that 17 key clients’ retail listings and websites had up-to-date photography of the highest standard in spite of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Created a new, fully automated and cross-referenced studio and equipment roster that allowed the studio to effectively unlock over £15,000 of equipment-time without making additional purchases.
  • Renegotiated contract with cloud-storage provider to open up more storage space and extra features as well as a 10% discount.

 

Property Photographer

Tarafink Estate Agents, London

January 2015—July 2017

  • Visited 3–6 properties a day and had processed images uploaded the same day 100% of the time.
  • Created a custom GIMP workflow that reduced image processing times by 33%.
  • Took on the training of new property photographers, getting them ready to work independently 3 business days sooner, saving 24+ work hours of more experienced photographers’ time who would have had to supervise the trainees.
  • Created a shared Photoshop profile, automatically bringing technical parameters of all photographers’ images into line with company standards and cutting upload workload by 50%.
  • Organised a system for the rotation of memory cards, saving £420 p.a. on the purchase of new ones without sacrificing reliability.
  • Maintained a client acceptance rate of >95% on all printed property brochures submitted for approval.

 

3. Add an education section to your photographer CV

 

Photography is becoming an increasingly competitive field and with that come higher minimum qualifications for many photography jobs. That said, university is not the only way into a photography career. Make sure your education section is properly laid out and everything is simple to find. 

 

When listing university degrees, include the name of your degree, the years you attended (with an expected graduation date if you’re still studying), and the name of the institution and its location. Use the following template (it works for diplomas as well):

 

[Degree Type] [Degree Name] (Degree Class) (Years Studied)

[University Name], [Campus Location]

 

Don’t mention your high school education if you have a university degree. Use the following templates if you do mention it, though:

 

A-levels: [Subject 1, Subject 2, and Subject 3]

[School], [Location], [Years Studied]

 

[Number of GCSEs] GCSEs (including Mathematics and English)

[School], [Location], [Years Studied]

 

If you lack experience, you may want to add bullet points here to highlight your achievements, extracurricular activities or areas of excellence while studying. If you have a separate school or university portfolio, then link to it here.

 

Photography CV education section example

 

BA (Hons) Photography (2:1), 2011–2014

Manchester School of Art, Manchester

 

4. Exhibit your photography skills in your photographer CV

 

Your education and experience go a long way to predicting your future performance in a given photography job, but a lot of your potential goes unaccounted for that way. That’s why having a well-thought-out and convincingly backed-up list of your photographer skills is so important.

 

First, make a master list of photographer skills. Brainstorm as many skills as you can (hard and soft skills), everything goes at this stage. Now add a sentence onto each skill describing how you’ve demonstrated that skill. If you can’t do this for a particular skill, then it gets scrubbed from your list.

 

Now go back to the job advert and see what skills are required. Copy these into your CV from your master list. Add others that are relevant to the job at hand until you have 5–10 skills in total (including communication and IT skills). If you can substitute synonyms to match the keywords from the advert, then do so—it’ll help with ATSs.

 

Photographer CV skills sample

 

  • Customer service: experienced in liaising with high-end clients, both individual and corporate
  • Advanced photography skills: plenty of portfolio work showing interior, architectural, fashion, product, flat-lay, portrait, and lifestyle images of a high technical difficulty
  • Communication: proven ability to build rapport with clients, subjects, and vendors
  • Time management: experienced in making the most of limited studio as well as on-location time during shoots
  • Punctuality: use efficient and well-practised workflows in post-processing to reliably make deadlines
  • Image manipulation: proficient in the use of Photoshop, Lightroom, GIMP, and Capture One
  • Auxiliary software: confident in using QuarkXPress, InDesign, Illustrator, and Inkscape
  • New technologies: some experience in drone-based aerial photography and VR

 

5. Make good use of extra CV sections

 

You photographer CV is like a portrait shot of you as a photographer and employee. Use as much of the colour space and resolution available as you can. Add extra sections to fill in some of the missing detail.

 

You could add sections for qualifications, awards, club and association memberships, even hobbies. As long as it’s relevant, it’s fair game (references don't belong on a CV). Many estate agents will require you to have a Certificate in Domestic Energy Assessment before you can do any property photography or floor-planning, for example.

 

Photographer CV additional sections sample

 

Certification

 

  • Level 3 Certificate in Domestic Energy Assessment
  • RICS Home Surveys Licence

 

Competitions

 

  • Finalist: Landscape, AAP (Association of Awesome Photographers), 2019 
  • Winner: Travel, WYT Business School Open Competition, 2018

 

6. Write a photographer cover letter to complete your CV

 

You wouldn’t send someone a stack of photographs without a proof sheet so don’t send your CV through without a cover letter. Every application you submit will require you to write a new cover letter. That seems onerous, but you’re already halfway there once you have your personal statement and job descriptions.

 

Of course, you shouldn’t send a cover letter with your photographer CV if you’ve been explicitly asked not to, but otherwise it’s just part and parcel. A good cover letter will include:

  • A standard British business letter header
  • An appropriately chosen salutation
  • A strong, attention-grabbing cover letter opening
  • A showcase of your achievements
  • A neat wrap-up and call to action
  • A sign-off that matches the salutation.

 

How long can your cover letter be? Over half an A4 page but no longer than one A4 page, about 200–350 words in total.

 

7. Some final things to keep in mind for your photographer CV

 

Being a visual artist, no one is going to presume to give you advice on how to layout a CV, use white space to your advantage or anything like this, but there are some things that may not have occurred to you:

 

Proofread and spellcheck your photographer CV and cover letter. Ask someone else to read and proofread both documents. Use any of the apps, web apps, or programmes out there that can help you with spelling and grammar. Your attention to detail is as on display here as it would be on an A0 print.

 

One final piece of CV advice: follow up if you haven’t heard back after a week. A quick phone call or email is a simple gesture that sends all the right messages.

 

You don’t have to be a CV writing expert. In the LiveCareer CV builder you’ll find ready-made content for every industry and position, which you can then add with a single click.

 

Create your CV nowcv builder

 

Has this photography CV sample been helpful to you? Is there anything you’d like more information on? Did my comment regarding GIMP upset you? Leave any questions, comments, open source recommendations and feedback in the comments below!

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LiveCareer Editorial Team

LiveCareer Editorial Team

About the author

Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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