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Navigating a photography career in Ireland 

Photo by Wallace Chuck for

The life of a creative is exciting, but can it can also be daunting to begin. The work is not always steady, and it can often depend on your existing resources and contacts. As the arts industries are often very competitive, only the best or most connected people will be booking jobs consistently. The photography profession falls into this category, as it can be quite difficult to set yourself up if you are just starting out and don’t have a portfolio of work to show off. 

However, there are still a lot of opportunities, especially if someone is passionate about their work and willing to make some sacrifices. There are several types of photography work that someone could do if they are interested in a career in the profession. 

One option is commercial photography – a broad field in itself, mostly focusing on photos that are used to promote a product or service. As a lot of advertising appears on social media, commercial photography and videography is a popular field for many photographers. 

Another option is to enter the field of wedding and event photography. Wedding photographers often get booked years in advance, especially once they develop a particular aesthetic. The main drawback is that this type of work can suddenly dry up – during the Covid-19 pandemic, wedding parties and large events were not a thing for quite a few years. 

Concert photography is another field that can be seen as quite prestigious, depending on the client list. This type of photography comes with its own set of rules and requirements, as very often it means working in the dark and trying to capture the performance and stage set up in such a way that conveys the atmosphere of the concert. Famous musicians or bands will often have a set photographer that will travel with them for the majority of a tour, to ensure they can capture plenty of behind-the-scene shots and the aesthetic of the photos is consistent. 

Fashion photography is another big field in the industry, however just as with other photography jobs, building a portfolio is essential. Projects can include photographic a design collection, editorial shots for a magazine, or even covering a runway show. Jobs for this type of photography would often be easier to find in one of the major fashion cities across the world, such as New York, Paris or London. 

There are many options for someone hoping to enter the field. For more insights from an industry professional, listen to my podcast where I talk to a photographer about working as a photographer in Ireland.

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