Jess Loeffler

Career Overview

Photographers produce images that paint a picture, tell a story or record an event. Commercial photographers take pictures of products, scenery or buildings.

Career Skills and Interests

Photographers have to communicate with people, reason and problem solve.

Photographers also have to use some math and science, and manage well, since most are independent. They also have to perceive and visualize to actually take good pictures. They also have to work with people and things.

Career Working Conditions

Many photographers have to have interpersonal relationships, and depending on what you do there might be physical work conditions.

They also have odd hours and some do quite a bit of travel.

Career Wages and Outlook

In Minnesota the average wage is $16.71 an hour and $34,760 a year

In the United States, the average wage is $13.70 and $28.490 a year.

The growth outlook in Minnesota is 16.8% and in the United States it is 12.5%

Career Related Occupations

Some related occupations of a photographer are, camera operators, choreographers, dancers, film and video editors, meteorologists, and musicians.

Program of Study

Program Overview

Photography programs teach how to create finished stills, video, and film products.

Program Admission

There is much variation on program admission, but some courses include

  • Computer Graphics
  • Electronics
  • Photography
  • Film and Videotape

Program Typical Course Work

Typical Course Work includes (but is not exclusive to)

  • Business Presentations
  • Cinematography
  • Computer Graphics
  • Digital Imaging
  • Digital Video
  • Field Production

Related Programs

Related Programs are:

  • Animation, Video Graphics and Special Effects
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production
  • Communication Tech
  • Journalism
  • Photography

Schools that Offer My Program of Study

Schools that offer this Program are

Any of the Art Institutes

New England School of Communications

Idaho State

University of Minnesota Duluth

College Choice

College Info

  • Size and Location- Located in Duluth, Minnesota. There are 11, 491 students enrolled there.
  • Admission Requirements- The deadline for admission to the fall semester is December 15. The test required is the ACT and the Writing Test. The average ACT score accepted is 24 and average GPA is 3.41.
  • College Expenses
  • Financial Aid- Tuition, Room, Board and Books is $22,082
  • Housing- Both Dorms and Apartments are available.
  • Some activities offered are, choral groups, drama or theatre, marching band, newspaper, orchestra, radio station, student government, TV station. They also have Fraternities and Sororities, and more.

Informational Interview

  1. What kind of tasks do you do on a typical day or in a typical week? Choose a subject, select the right camera, lenses, filters, and lighting. Also editing the images.
  2. What types of tasks do you spend most of your time doing? Setting up and finding something, or deciding how I'm going to set up.
  3. What excites you most about this job? Having other people see my work.
  4. What are some difficult or frustrating parts of this career? The most difficult thing is pleasing everyone, because the way you envision something is maybe not quite the same that someone else has.
  5. I really like doing film as well. Do you do that type of work in this career? No, not really.
  6. What characteristics does a person in this job need to have? Well, you need passion, patience, and you need to have an understanding of the subject.
  7. Do you usually work independently or as part of a team? I usually work more independently.
  8. What type of decisions do you make? What to photograph, what camera and filter to use. How to edit it, stuff like that.
  9. How does your work fit into the mission of the organization? Um, well, the 'mission' is to create things for other people, so I guess my work kinda is the mission.
  10. What types of advancement opportunities are available for an entry-level worker in this area? Well, if you start out as an assistant, you can move up to photographer, and if you were to work for a larger company, such as a magazine, you could be promoted to picture editors.
  11. I've read that stability is an issue in this occupation. Have you found this to be true? A little bit, but so far, I've felt pretty safe.
  12. Is this career changing? How? Yes, because you're not taking pictures of the same thing every day. Your subjects change, and in some cases, your style can change. And as technology changes, you have to change too.

Questions about working conditions:

  1. What kind of hours do you work? Honestly, they aren't very set. It really varies.
  2. Is your schedule flexible or set? Very flexible.
  3. Are those hours typical for most jobs in this occupation, or do some types of jobs have different hours? I suppose it's pretty typical, but if you worked for a big studio, where everything was appointment only, the hours would become significantly more set.
  4. Does this career include or require travel? Sometimes, yes.
  5. Do you have any health concerns associated with your career? Me? No, not really.
  6. How does this career affect your life style? I'm constantly in motion, it certainly keeps me flexible.

Questions about training:

  1. How did you prepare for this career? I went to college, and worked in a studio.
  2. How did you find this job? I was looking specifically for something like it.
  3. Do you have any advice on how people interested in this career should prepare? Go to college, take classes, also experiment on your own. Find someone to follow, or maybe work for to get a feel for it.
  4. What type of entry-level job offers the most learning opportunities? Probably assistant.

Questions about other careers and contacts:

  1. Do you know any similar careers that also use photography or involve film? Maybe film editor, or filming.
  2. I know that people in this career specialize in photography and editing. Do you know of any other specialties? Telling the story by just using an image, but that kind of falls under photography.
  3. I think I really like this career. But do you know of similar jobs that do not have this unsecured characteristic? Editor is about the best I can think of, unless you would work for a studio instead of working independently.

Plans to Reach Your Goal

To gain experience, I should put myself out there, and work on making myself better. Also, I should definitely go to college, and make sure I take the right classes here in high school, and in college.