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Many amateur photographers get bitten by the shutterbug when they discover their talent for shooting creative photos.  Some of them invest in professional-quality cameras and photographic equipment to indulge their hobby, perhaps marketing some of their photos via stock photo agencies or using their talents to photograph occasional weddings or other events.  Over time, the amateur photographer may, through education, experience, and a developing reputation, become a professional photographer.

The photography field is quite diversified, but there are a few career specialties that merit our attention.  Fine art photography is for creative individuals who enjoy shooting photos for their artistic value; pictures of landscapes, nature, and wildlife are sometimes considered works of art, whether displayed in galleries or sold as prints.  Portrait photography is the art of recording individuals, families, or other groups of people, perhaps to commemorate a special event such as a graduation or family reunion.  Wedding photography involves taking a myriad of photos, both candid and artfully arranged, within a relatively short time span.  A wedding photographer must have good people skills and must be able to adapt to various locations and situations, taking advantage of good photo opportunities as they arise.

studio photo of a Norwegian Forest kitten Photojournalism is the ability to use photographs to tell a story about a particular occasion, event, or topic.  Photojournalists must shoot their photos of a scene without interfering or being noticed by the participants.  Editorial photojournalists focus on illustrating news events and other newsworthy occasions.  A good photojournalist will photograph and present subjects in a chronological and impartial way so that viewers can receive accurate insights from the photos.

Commercial photography, loosely speaking, includes specialties in many areas of human endeavor.  Some of these niches include advertising photography, architectural photography, fashion photography, portfolio photography, and real estate photography.  The various areas of specialization often overlap and complement each other, and many photogaphers are skilled at shooting several types of photos.

Is digital photography better than film photography?  Several years ago, film photographers could argue that film cameras produced finer, more detailed images than digital cameras.  As of this writing, however, digital camera resolution, image editing software, and photo printers have improved to the point that most photographers have adopted digital imaging technology.

For more info about photography careers and specialties, visit the Professional Photographers of America, American Photographic Artists, and American Society of Media Photographers websites.  For information about photography schools and educational opportunities, visit the New York Institute of Photography website.  Several photography-related magazines, such as Photographic and Popular Photography, are useful resources for photographers as well.

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