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Unusual Photographic Careers

Updated on March 28, 2015

Unusual Photographic Careers

Underwater photographer in action
Underwater photographer in action | Source

Doing what you want and making a living from it is probably everyone's dream. If you like taking photos then perhaps you can reach this dream.

It takes dedication, perseverance, know how and the right attitude, but it can be done.

Every time we think of starting a career in photography we usually think of the most usual ones like wedding photography, fashion photography, nature photography and event photography. In fact there are many other careers that dwell with photography but are seldom heard of.

It is not that hard to make a living in the photography business, especially if you happen to pursue a career that does not have that many photographers (therefore competition) doing it.

Here is a list of some of the most uncommon ones for you to consider but like any other photographic career or any job worth pursuing, you need to get in contact with the right people, have the necessary skills ,training and knowledge plus make the necessary introductions and contacts.

Aerial photography

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

If you have seen movies or shows then you have probably seen the work of a unit still photographer.

These are the people who take still photographs of the sets, the props and scenes to be used not only for marketing purposes but to maintain continuity within the production.

Everything needs to be in place as it was during the previous shoot or scene. If a lamp and a couch were in one place, the unit still photograph through the pictures, will make sure that the lamp and the couch are in the exact same location for the next time that a scene will be shot.

But one of their main functions is to take nice shots of the production itself and these are used in the majority of marketing and promotions like the movie posters you see when you go to your favorite theater to watch a flick.

A still photographer always travels top every location where a production is being short and this usually means long hours, often difficult terrain and uncomfortable environment but this also involves building a good rapport with the rest of the crew as everyone knows what to do and everyone respects each others occupation.

Macro photography


An Aerial Photographer is the one who takes up to the skies in a plane or helicopter. Their job usually involves working with governmental agencies to map and generally oversee the growth or changes in an area whether a wild, untouched location or in a suburban center.

Their work can also be for large real state outlets, cartography companies or land surveying organizations.

But they can also take nice shots and these can be sold to tourist or others who like this type of scenery like large landscape views. They can sell their work to commercial publishers like for a calendar purpose or for a travel magazine or tourist board.

Like aerial photographers, underwater photographers can work for the same industries like publishers, cartographers, tourist's boards government agencies, local dive shops, hotel chains and they also can make it a lucrative occupation by supplying seldom seen images of the beautiful underwater world to anyone interested in it. Keep in mind that this is a world which is not often seen by most of us, at least not in person.

Another quickly growing industry using underwater photographs is the marketing and advertising world that are always looking for unusual and eye popping images featuring their fashions or products.

Plus an underwater photographer can also find work when a production team needs to shoot some underwater scenes. So the option is always open and like many of these careers, they can also intermingle and change roles depending on the clientele.

We should also consider that many underwater photographers are employed by military agencies and federal agencies as well as by the drilling and energy industry.

Do any of these photo careers appeal to you?

See results

Microscopic photography

Image of a rust mite
Image of a rust mite | Source



Macro photographers generally work as freelancers taking photographs of interesting things that they can then sell to science journals, wildlife publications and as stock photography plus there is also a market for prints to display in galleries and as home decors.

Here you need some specialized photo gear the same as underwater photographers have their own specialized gear, macro photographers will need macro lenses, tools to secure and hold specimens, a ring flash and small tripods.

To take it a step further, macro photographers can transition to do photomicrograph where one specializes in capturing images of microscopic elements and things.

"A micrograph, or photomicrograph, is a photograph or digital image taken through a microscope or similar device to show a magnified image of an item. This is opposed to a macrographic image, which is at a scale that is visible to the naked eye. Micrographs are widely used in all fields of microscopy." Wikipedia

Pet Photography

CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

Another unusual photographic career which has recently taken vast steps to be recognized as a true photo career is capturing images of pets as a pet photographer (not nature photography) but taking photos of people's pets.

This is much the same as taking portraits but there is a need to be extra patient and understanding pets in general as well as having a real, natural love for animals in general.

Not only do people who love their pets will often commission photos of their "family" members but do not forget trade shows or competitions like dog shows and for use in calendars.

Another photo career that is seldom spoken of is astro photography. Here the photographer capture images of astral bodies for use by scientific publications, and lover of celestial bodies not to mention their use in specialized magazines as well as some governmental agencies.

"Astrophotography is a specialized type of photography for recording images of astronomical objects and large areas of the night sky. Besides being able to record the details of extended objects such as the Moon, Sun, and planets, astrophotography has the ability to image objects invisible to the human eye such as dim stars, nebulae, and galaxies. This is done by long time exposure since both film and digital cameras can accumulate and sum light photons over these long periods of time." Wikipedia

Harlequin Shrimp/underwater photography

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

Sphinx from »The Neverending Story/movie still photography

(CC BY 2.0)
(CC BY 2.0) | Source

© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 3 years ago from Miami, Florida

      GusTheRedneck: lol...thanks

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 3 years ago from USA

      Hi Luis -

      Just a reminder... I enjoy your good work.

      Gus :-)))

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 3 years ago from Miami, Florida

      peachpurple: Thank you. lol... cats are naturally curious.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i like the cat photo, my kitty would let me that close

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 3 years ago from Miami, Florida

      alancaster149: thank you and a great year to you too!!!

      easylearningweb: Thank you very much . Glad you liked it

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 3 years ago

      Very interesting, Luis. I never quite thought about all the different jobs for photographer other than the traditional photographer. Who knew. :-)

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Great stuff, Luis, if you've got the 'lolly' (folding stuff). In the words of the Beach Boys, 'Wouldn't it be nice?'

      I daresay there are ways in that don't cost the earth, but 'Rome wasn't built in a day'. Wish I could put the clock back 40-odd years.

      Have a Prosperous New Year 2015.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 3 years ago from Miami, Florida

      sallybea: Thank you. The cat is my favorite

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Love the macro stuff, especially the rust mite. Spectacular!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 3 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Ericdierker: Thank you. Go ahead and try them all until you find your niche....

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A very interesting article indeed. Thank you for sharing this information with us. I would like to try them all.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 3 years ago from Miami, Florida

      thebrownbear; Thank you

    • thebrownbear profile image

      thebrownbear 3 years ago

      Interesting, thanks for sharing.