National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3


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5221 - Photographers

Photographers operate still cameras to photograph people, events, scenes, materials, products and other subjects. They are employed by photographic studios, newspapers, magazines, museums and government, or they may be self-employed.

  • Illustrative example(s)

    • aerial photographer
    • commercial photographer
    • forensic photographer
    • industrial photographer
    • photographer
    • portrait photographer
    • scientific photographer

    All examples

  • Inclusion(s)

    • multimedia picture illustrator
    • photojournalist
    • police photographer
  • Exclusion(s)

    • Film and video camera operators (See 5222 Film and video camera operators)
  • Main duties

    This group performs some or all of the following duties:

    • Study requirements of a particular assignment and decide on type of camera, film, lighting and background accessories to be used
    • Determine picture composition, make technical adjustments to equipment and photograph subject
    • May operate scanners to transfer photographic images to computers
    • May operate computers to manipulate photographic images
    • May adapt existing photographic images and create new digitized images to be included in multimedia/new media products
    • May use delicate instruments, such as optical microscopes attached to cameras
    • May process exposed film
    • May use airbrush, computer or other techniques to retouch negatives
    • Medical photographers may work closely with medical illustrators.

    Photographers may specialize in areas such as portrait photography, commercial photography, scientific photography, forensic photography, medical photography, digitized photography, multimedia photography or photojournalism.

  • Employment requirements

    • A bachelor's degree in visual arts with specialization in photography
      Completion of specialized training in photography in high school, college or specialized training schools
      Extensive on-the-job training under the supervision of a photographer is required.
    • Experience in, or knowledge of computerized photography or digital imaging may be required.
    • Creative and technical ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are required.
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