Photographer Resume Example [w/ Guide + Template for 2024]

27 December 2023
14 min read
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Ever since you can remember, you loved taking pictures.

Whether it’s a jaw-dropping landscape or an urban scene, you’ll be there to take its photo.

As a professional photographer, you know that every picture is worth a thousand words. The only problem is that you do need words – on your resume.

Try as you might, you just can’t provide a satisfying snapshot of your photography career. Your work experience looks flat on the page and you can’t frame yourself the way you want to.

But there’s no need to worry!

In this article, we’re going to help you capture your professional expertise, step by step.

We’re going to cover:

  • What Makes a Great Photographer Resume Example
  • 9 Steps to Writing the Perfect Photographer Resume
  • What to Include in Your Photographer Resume

…and more!

Let’s get in focus.

Photographer Resume Example

Photographer Resume Example

This resume captures a career any photographer would want a hiring manager to see.

Let’s take a closer look at what this photographer resume does right:

  • Uses a reverse-chronological resume format. The reverse-chronological resume format is a favorite of hiring managers worldwide since it shows off the candidate’s most recent work experience and achievements first.
  • Includes the right contact information. The contact information section should always be factual, not avant-garde. This candidate makes sure to include their full name, professional email address, phone number, location, and links to their portfolio or relevant social media.
  • Starts with an eye-catching resume summary. This photographer resume example grabs the hiring manager’s attention from the get-go by using a strong resume that highlights their top skills and achievements.
  • Emphasizes achievements. Unlike daily responsibilities, achievements can immediately show the hiring manager what the benefit of hiring the candidate is.
  • Uses bullet points. Instead of using paragraphs, this photographer resume neatly divides the bulk of the candidate’s experience into bullet points, which makes it easier to read and keep track of.
  • Tailors the skills section. As skilled as this photographer might be, they’re only listing relevant skills for the specific job they’re applying for.
  • Describes the education section briefly. Employers are more interested in a candidate’s work experience than educational background, so this photographer's resume example keeps the education section short.
  • Leverages optional sections. This photographer resume example includes optional sections to fill up any extra space and help differentiate the candidate from other applicants with similar skills and work experience.

9 Steps for the Perfect Photographer Resume

You know what a job-winning photographer resume looks like, and now it’s time to create your own.

Here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow:

#1. Pick the Right Format

Your resume format determines the structure of the entire document.

There are three resume formats you can choose from:

  • Reverse-chronological (also called chronological)
  • Functional (also called skill-based)
  • Combination (the combination of the previous two formats)

In 99% of cases, we recommend that you pick the reverse-chronological resume format when creating your photographer resume.

The reverse-chronological format is the default format choice because it puts your most recent work experience first and is what hiring managers expect to see, both of which make it by far your safest choice.

Let’s look at an example:

reverse-chronological format

Now that you know how to format your photographer resume, it’s time to talk about your resume’s layout.

Before the hiring manager reads your resume, they’re going to look at it. To make a good first impression, you want your resume to look well-organized and professional.

Here are some basic resume layout tips to achieve that:

  • Adjust the margins. To make sure your resume looks neat set the margins to one inch on all sides of the page. Any more space than that and your resume will look empty, but if it’s less – it’ll look cluttered.
  • Pick a professional font. Pick a resume font that’s easy to read but not overused. (Yes, Times New Roman is cliche.)
  • Leverage bullet points. Paragraphs can be harder to skim through. Instead, use bullet points to organize the bulk of the text on your photographer resume.
  • Keep it brief. Unless you have decades worth of experience, a one-page resume is enough. Your photographer resume should be short and attention-grabbing, not overly detailed.
  • Export to PDF. Always save your resume to a PDF file, since this way the layout will look the same across any device or software the hiring manager uses to open it. The only exception to this rule is when the employer has explicitly asked that you use a different format, such as a Word document.

Or Use a Resume Template to Save Time

Making your photographer resume from scratch is bound to get time-consuming.

You have to adjust the layout, tweak the margins, and try different font styles and sizes while keeping everything on one page.

So why not skip all that?

Instead, try our free, tried-and-tested resume templates.

Each template is designed in close collaboration with HR professionals to make sure your photographer resume is easy to read, ATS-friendly, professional, and beautiful to look at.

Take a look at how one of our templates compares to a basic text editor template:

novoresume versus normal resume

#2. List Your (Relevant) Contact Information

Regardless of your style of photography, your contact information section should capture the facts.

Make sure to include the following in your photographer resume:

  • Full Name. (E.g. Thomas Brentford)
  • Professional Title. Underneath your name, you should include a professional title that matches the exact job title you’re applying for. (E.g. Studio Photographer)
  • Phone Number. When applying for a job overseas, make sure to add your phone number’s dial code.
  • Email Address. You should always list a professional email address on your resume. Usually, this is a variation of your first and last name and not an inside joke from your high school years. (E.g. isn’t appropriate, but is perfect.)
  • Portfolio Link. Provide a link to your portfolio, which could be hosted on a personalized website or a social media platform like Instagram.
  • Location. Specify your city and state/country. If you’re looking to relocate for the job or you’re interested in a remote position, specify this in your resume.

And that’s all the information you need to include!

Just be careful and proofread your resume before submitting it. A single typo in your phone number or email address could mean you won’t get any interviews.

Correct Example:

Thomas Brentford

Studio Photographer


Willoughby, OH

Incorrect Example:

Tom Brentford



#3. Write a Resume Summary or Objective

Hiring managers go through hundreds of resumes for every vacant position they’re hiring for, so your photographer resume should always factor this in. 

In fact, hiring managers spend less than seven seconds reading your resume. So adding a brief paragraph in your resume’s header increases your chances of getting their attention.

There are two ways you can approach this section:

  • Resume summary. If you’re an experienced photographer, you should write a resume summary. This is an eye-catching introduction to your career, including your years of experience, top skills, and impressive achievements.
  • Resume objective. For less experienced photographers, a resume objective will suffice. This gives a recap of your relevant skills, experience, and your professional goals.

In either case, you should keep this paragraph between two to four sentences long and make sure it summarizes you as an applicant and what you can bring to the company.

Let’s look at an example of a photographer resume summary first:

Photographer Resume Summary Example:
  • Adaptive event photographer with an eye for detail, looking to join the team at Pear Events Co. Over four years of experience in time-lapse photography, batch processing, and photo editing. Notably increased client referrals by 30% and revenue growth by 15% within a year. Proficient user of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.

That resume summary definitely has enough to pique a hiring manager’s interest and get them to read the whole resume for details.

Now let’s take a look at an entry-level photographer’s resume objective:

Photographer Resume Objective Example:
  • Creative photography graduate, looking to start a career at Plum & Myrrh Matrimony. Experienced in portrait photography, composition, and color correction. Proficient user of Capture One Pro, Adobe Creative Suite, and Canva. Motivated to work as part of a team that captures meaningful moments in people’s lives.

#4. Focus on Your Work Experience

The work experience section is the main event of your resume.

Here’s how you should format it:

  • Use reverse chronological order. You should always start by listing your latest work experience and go back to older roles.
  • Apply the correct job title. Don’t exaggerate your position to look cool. If you were an assistant photographer, that’s what the title on your resume should say.
  • Provide company details. If the company isn’t well-known, you can briefly describe what it does underneath the provided company name and location.
  • Add the employment period. Apply the mm/yyyy format throughout your resume.
  • Describe responsibilities and achievements. Use bullet points to list your responsibilities and achievements. Your newest role should use five to six bullet points, but for older positions, three to four bullet points are enough.

Those are the basics of describing work experience on your resume.

But you don’t want your work experience to just be basic; you want to make it shine.

So here are a few tips to take your work experience section to the next level:

  • Tailor your work experience for the position. Check the job advertisement to understand what the employer is looking for. For example, if they’re looking for someone experienced with outdoor photography and lighting techniques, emphasize those relevant experiences you have over more generic ones.
  • Focus on achievements over responsibilities. The hiring manager is a lot more interested in what you achieved at your previous job than what your day-to-day tasks were like. Your achievements show them how hiring can benefit you.
  • Quantify whatever you can. If your achievements can be backed up with numbers, always add them. A timeframe, scale, and quantified results give you credibility. (e.g. ‘Quickly edited photos’ isn’t as impressive as ‘Reduced photo editing turnaround time by 30% by streamlining post-processing workflows, improving client satisfaction and allowing for more bookings.’)
  • Use action verbs. The words you use make a difference, too. Hiring managers don’t like reading how you were ‘responsible for’ this or ‘managed’ that. It’s all the same, and it makes you sound passive. Instead, use powerful words like spearheaded, conceptualized, streamlined, collaborated, etc.

Here’s an example of a great work experience section:

Photographer Resume Work Experience Example:

Senior Medical Photographer

Medical Imaging Company X

03/2017 - 09/2022

  • Implemented proprietary color correction workflows which enhanced tissue differentiation in images by 25%, leading to more accurate medical diagnoses.
  • Spearheaded a cross-departmental project over four months, capturing high-quality images for complex surgeries, contributing to successful outcomes and an increase in departmental collaboration.
  • Upheld specialized imagining requirements for ongoing clinical research projects, supporting the objectives of peer-reviewed studies.
  • Utilized innovative photomicrography techniques to capture high-quality medical images.
  • Trained six junior medical photographers in specialized medical imaging protocols and achieved a 15% increase in the department’s imagining quality.

What if I Don’t Have Work Experience?

While work experience is important on a resume, if you’re looking for your first job as a photographer there’s nothing to worry about.

As a photographer, you’ve probably gained enough relevant experience from other projects, so that’s what you should highlight on your resume.

Here are some other things you can list instead of work experience:

For example, if you took photos for your high school yearbook or as part of a club, you can describe that in your resume under ‘extracurricular activities’.

Here’s what a photographer's work experience section can look like without the work experience:


Photographer and Photo Editor

HeartRun Raleigh - 5K Charity Marathon


  • Captured over 300 high-quality photos highlighting key moments of the marathon, including candid pictures taken at the start and finish lines.
  • Collaborated with event organizers for optimal placement and timing, ensuring comprehensive coverage of the marathon’s most significant moments.
  • Produced a series of action shots featuring over 76 unique runners, aiding in the event’s promotional activities for the next year.
  • Selected and edited the best photos for immediate social media sharing, resulting in a 25% increase in online engagement for the event within a week.
  • Met tight post-even deadlines, delivering a curated gallery of images for press and sponsors within 48 hours of event completion.

#5. Create Your Portfolio

Your photography portfolio is going to be your selling point for most jobs. So we cannot stress enough just how important it is to have a visually stunning portfolio.

Depending on the position you’re applying for and the amount of space you have on your photographer resume, you could just embed a link to your portfolio, or opt-in to dedicate an entire resume section along with the link.

For most photographer resumes, a link to your portfolio is more than enough. But if you’re very experienced or applying for a role that requires a mixed set of skills and genre familiarity, you can provide more detailed explanations on your resume.

Here’s an example:

Photographer Portfolio Resume Example:

Portfolio -

  • Engagement & Wedding Photography. Shot over 70+ events, capturing both candid and posed images using natural and artificial lighting setups.
  • Event Photography. Created over 270+ images at various corporate and private events, such as product launches, galas, and parties. Specialized in capturing group shots under challenging lighting conditions.
  • Portrait Photography. Captured over 300+ portraits for online publications using DSLR cameras, and post-processing through Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Whether you have a section dedicated to your portfolio or not, make sure your photography samples are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, you don’t want to send candid group photo samples when applying for a position as a food photographer.

#6. Keep the Education Section Brief

Your work experience, professional skills, and portfolio are what hiring managers are going to be most interested in when it comes to your photographer portfolio.

So unless you just graduated and you don’t have any experience as a photographer, your education section should be brief.

List your latest degree first and work your way back. Your high school education should only be mentioned if it’s the highest degree you have.

Here’s what you should include in your education section:

  • Degree Name. E.g. BFA in Photography
  • University Name. E.g. Columbia University
  • Location (optional). E.g. New York City, USA
  • Years Attended. 2017 - 2020

Let’s see what this section would look like on a resume:

Photographer Resume Education Example:

BFA in Photography, Minor in Graphic Design

Columbia University

New York City, USA

2017 - 2020

And don’t worry if you don’t have a university degree. While 59% of photographers in the US hold a bachelor’s degree, the remaining 41% have a different level of education and that doesn’t stop them.

#7. List In-Demand Editor Soft and Hard Skills

Photographers can all handle a camera and take beautiful pictures but the exact skills you need will depend on the exact job you’re applying for.

The skills section of your resume shows the hiring manager what you know, what tools you can use, and how much the employer might need to train you.

But don’t go listing every single skill you have! The hiring manager doesn’t care how good you are in areas that have nothing to do with the job.

For example, if you’re applying for a job as a food photographer, your sports photography skills are irrelevant. Instead, focus on your skill in arranging and capturing food, composition, color correction, and your skills in commercial and stock photography.

Even if you’re widely skilled, as photographers often are, your goal is to show the hiring manager you’re the best photographer for the specific job, not the most skilled photographer on the planet.

To stay on the right track, tailor your skills to the job advertisement by following these tips:

  • Analyze the job description. Your eye for detail should come in handy when reading the job description. Keep an eye out for candidate requirements and keywords, including photography genres you’ve worked within, software you’re familiar with, and other essential skills. Add anything that applies to you on your photographer resume.
  • Stay updated on industry trends. Research shows that over 60% of photographers in the US specialize in portrait photography, so that means your photographer resume needs to emphasize other relevant skills to make you stand out.
  • Keep your soft skills and hard skills apart. Distinct subcategories for your skills will make your resume easier to navigate, and allow the hiring manager to see the full breadth of your abilities. All you need to do here is neatly separate your skills section into soft skills and hard skills.

Still struggling to think up what skills you should add to your resume?

No problem! Just check out our list of 45 most common soft and hard skills for photographers.

45 Most In-Demand Photographer Skills for 2024

14 Photographer Soft Skills
  1. Attention to detail
  2. Creativity
  3. Communication
  4. Teamwork
  5. Interpersonal skills
  6. Self-motivated
  7. Adaptability
  8. Time management
  9. Problem-solving
  10. Customer service
  11. Critical thinking
  12. Negotiation
  13. Networking
  14. Stress management
31 Photographer Hard Skills
  1. DSLR camera operation
  2. Lighting techniques
  3. Composition
  4. Manual mode shooting
  5. Post-processing
  6. Batch processing
  7. Photo editing
  8. Image manipulation
  9. High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging
  10. Color correction
  11. Video editing
  12. Studio setup
  13. Portrait photography
  14. Drone photography
  15. Macro photography
  16. Event photography
  17. Time-lapse photography
  18. Stock photography
  19. Food photography
  20. Underwater photography
  21. Photojournalism
  22. Adobe Photoshop
  23. Adobe Lightroom
  24. Capture One Pro
  25. Gimp
  26. Canva
  27. PicMonkey
  28. Corel Paintshop
  29. PhotoScape
  30. Fotor
  31. Portfolio management

#8. Take Advantage of Optional Resume Sections

If you find there’s some extra space left on your photographer resume, now is the time to leverage optional sections.

Optional sections can help back up the skills and experience you already mentioned, and they can set you apart from other candidates with less well-rounded resumes.

Here are some examples of what you can include:

  • Awards. Your resume is a good place to show off your big achievements. Mention any awards, awards, and other acknowledgments your work has received over the years.
  • Memberships. Any photography societies or clubs you’re a member of can be listed on your resume.
  • Certifications. Photographers regularly take classes to improve their skills and polishing up on the latest techniques looks great on your resume. Be sure to add any online classes or workshops you’ve completed.
  • Languages. Foreign languages can be useful in any field of work, and according to statistics by Zippia, Spanish is the most commonly spoken foreign language amongst photographers in the US.
  • Hobbies and interests. While it might seem irrelevant at first, some employers actually encourage candidates to include hobbies and interests on their applications. This can reveal more about a candidate as a person and whether or not they would fit in with the company’s culture.

Let’s look at how optional sections can be captured on your resume:

Optional Sections for a Photographer Resume:


  • National Association of Professional Event Photographers (NAPEP) - Certified Professional
    2020 - Present
  • Global Freelance Photography Network (GFPN) - Active Contributor
    2018 - Present


  • Catalan (Native)
  • Spanish (Native)
  • English (Full Working Proficiency)
  • French (Limited Working Proficiency)

#9. Include a Cover Letter

You might be wondering - do cover letters even matter when you’re applying for a job?

The short answer is yes. They matter a lot.

Cover letters are still crucial to your job application, and not including one could hurt your chances of getting an interview.

By writing a cover letter, you show the hiring manager that you’re truly interested in this specific job, not just sending a generic resume left and right.

Now, we know what you’re thinking – you’re a photographer, not a writer. And while a picture is worth a thousand words, you don’t like the idea of writing those words out.

Fortunately, we have some cover letter tips that will help you create a cover letter to match your resume, with minimal hassle.

Just follow this formula:

cover letter structure
  • Include contact information in the header. The contact information in your cover letter should match your resume, so keep an eye out for any typos. Include your first and last name, phone number, and email address.
  • Address the hiring manager. Do some research into the company to find out who the hiring manager is and what the exact department you’re applying for is called. If you personalize your cover letter with a detail like this, it shows you’ve put actual effort into your job hunt.
  • Use a strong opening paragraph. The first lines of your cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention. Make sure to add a top achievement or qualification in your opening paragraph, and how that relates to what you can do for the company.
  • Get into the details. The main body of your photographer cover letter should talk about your relevant work experience and elaborate on impressive from your resume, such as successful projects or impressive achievements. Emphasize how your skills and specific set of experience make you the right candidate for the job.
  • Wrap it up professionally. When finishing your cover letter, invite the hiring manager to do something, like arrange an interview, with a call to action. Then sign the document with an appropriate closing line and your name.

Key Takeaways

And that’s all there is to making a photographer resume!

Hopefully, now you feel more confident about getting your dream job.

But before we part ways, let’s take a second to recap what we talked about:

  • The reverse-chronological resume format is the best choice to highlight your recent work experience, and it’s hiring managers’ favorite resume format by far.
  • A well-written resume summary at the top of your photographer resume will catch the hiring manager’s attention and increase your chances of getting an interview.
  • Your work experience is the meat of your resume, so you have to make it pop. Focus on relevant achievements, provide exact data when possible, and use powerful action words to make it stand out.
  • A photographer’s portfolio is their selling point, so you should prepare your best and most relevant work. Embed a link to it on your resume and consider dedicating a section to it on your resume if you want to elaborate on some of your work so far.
  • Complete your photographer job application by creating a cover letter to match your well-rounded resume.