How to write an effective photographer CV (with examples)
Photographers take professional photos in a range of settings and sectors. If you're applying for positions as a professional photographer, it's important to understand how to write a professional photographer CV that impresses potential employers. Your CV is where you show that you have the skills and qualities that an employer is looking for in a candidate. In this article, we explore how to write a good photography CV and look at examples of photography CV extracts that you can use to help write your own CV.
How to write an effective photographer CV
An effective photographer CV includes clear details that demonstrate past professional experience working as a photographer in settings relevant to the role you're applying for. It's important to write a new CV for every job you apply for, using the job advert as a reference to ensure that you demonstrate every skill that your future employer is looking for. Follow the steps below to write an effective photography CV that can help you to secure your first job in photography:
1. Read the job advert closely
The first thing to do before starting your CV is to closely read the advert of the role you're applying for. While you write your CV, use this advert as a reference. Make sure that your CV demonstrates all of the skills and experience that the job advert lists, and use keywords from in the advertisement to ensure that the recruiter clearly understands that you meet the criteria listed in the advert.
2. Include your name and contact details
At the top of your CV, write your name and contact details clearly. Make sure your name is easy to spot, followed by an address, an email address and a telephone number. This gives the recruiter lots of options to get in contact with you using a medium they prefer. If you have a professional website or an appropriate social media page, you can also include the web address for this here.
15 Lannister Avenue
Bridlington BI15 6HQ
3. Write a concise professional summary
After your name and contact details, the first section of your CV is a professional summary of yourself. Keep your professional summary a short and concise to capture your key skills and experiences and give recruiters a reason to read the rest of your CV. Include your key achievements, technical skills and past experience and aim for a short paragraph of around 50–80 words.
Example: A professional photographer with over five years of experience. Have photographed over 200 weddings in this time, specialising in capturing personal moments on film at small, intimate weddings in local settings. Experienced using Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras and accessories and highly proficient with Photoshop.
4. Detail your experience and education
After your professional summary, list your experience and your education. If you have professional experience, list this first as it is generally more important to recruiters than your education. If you have very little professional photography experience, you could list relevant qualifications in photography first, such as diplomas or degrees, detailing what you studied during each course and what practical experience you gained during your time studying.
Your experience as a professional photographer is one of the most important sections of your CV. List any photography positions you've held with other employers in chronological order starting with your most recent position and include the employer, position title and responsibilities for each position. If you've worked primarily on a freelance basis, you can list different projects you've worked on and what your responsibilities were on each project.
Cooper Dale Photography
Professional Photographer, 2018–present
Photographing weddings, birthday parties, christenings and other special events across the local area using a DSLR camera.
Arranging lighting to improve photo quality and arranging guests for group photos.
Editing photos using Photoshop, including airbrushing blemishes and correcting discolouration.
Received the most positive feedback out of all photographers at the company two years running.
5. Highlight your photography skills
In the final section of your CV, highlight any technical photography skills that may be relevant to the position you're applying for. For example, you might list the kinds of cameras you've got experience working with, the photo editing software you can use and the areas of photography you specialise in. This section is where you provide at-a-glance information about your technical expertise that meets the criteria listed in the job advert for the role you're applying for.
Digital and film photography
Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras with various lenses
Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom software
Wedding and event photography
6. Finish with a personal summary
You can also optionally include a personal summary at the bottom of your CV that includes information about your hobbies and interests. Hobbies and interests that are relevant to your career as a photographer are ideal, but you can also include interests that give recruiters a little insight into you as a person.
Example: An outdoors enthusiast with an interest in nature, walking and hiking, I love taking photographs of beautiful landscapes from around the many coastlines of Britain. I also enjoy playing board games and going to the theatre.
Photographer CV example
When writing your photographer CV, you can use the CV example below as a template.
27 Hillcrest Court
Liverpool LI21 7EH 07788 556677 David@davidbondphotography.co.uk
A professional photographer with over 10 years of experience in portraits and events photography, I have photographed some of the North West's most prestigious events, including the 2021 Local Heroes awards ceremony, in addition to private parties for multinational corporations. Winner of the Young Photographer of the Year award in 2020.
Bob Lyons Photography
Lead Photographer, 2019–present
Leading a team of photographers on large scale event photography
Liaising with clients to understand client requirements
Attending events and photographing ceremonies, groups and speeches
Editing photographs using Photoshop
Supervising a team of photographers and offering artistic direction
Freelance portrait photography for individuals, families and professionals
Arranging lighting and setting for attractive photographs in a wide range of indoor and outdoor locations
Editing photographs to remove blemishes and imperfections
Photography and Design
BA The University of Manchester
Studied photography, composition and aesthetic theory
Subjects included people, landscapes and still life
Obtained a first-class degree
Event and portrait photography using DSLR cameras with various lenses
Photoshop and Lightroom editing software
Leadership and management skills, including leading meetings and mentoring new hires
Arranging attractive sets and group shots
A creative thinker with a passion for all things artistic, I also paint in my spare time and enjoy visiting art galleries and museums. I have two cats and love to play golf when I have the time.
Tips for writing a photography CV
It's important that a photography CV is concise and clear and that it demonstrates to employers that you have unique skills in photography that make you the right choice for the role. Before you start writing your photography CV, follow these tips to make sure your CV stands out.
Format your CV attractively. Photography roles require an eye for good design and balance, so it's important to demonstrate this by making your CV visually appealing and clear.
Highlight your most relevant photography skills first. If you have a wide range of photography skills and have experience working as a photographer in different settings, highlight the skills that the hiring employer is looking for first.
Be concise. Many recruiters look through hundreds of CVs before deciding on just a small number of candidates to interview. Keeping your CV concise and attention-grabbing can encourage the recruiter to read it all.
Use white space. This can help to break up the text on your CV and make your CV appear cleaner and easier to read, especially if you're including a lot of information.
Include a portfolio of your work. As a photographer, your portfolio is just as important as your CV. Attach a copy of your portfolio, including all of your best work to demonstrate your skills to employers.
Divide into sections. Use headings, subheadings and bullet points to make your CV easy to scan through at a glance, and keep individual sections, like your experience or skills sections, clear.
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