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Career and Education Opportunities for Photographers in Santa Rosa, California

For those living in the Santa Rosa, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for photographers. There are currently 13,800 jobs for photographers in California and this is projected to grow 15% to 15,900 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for photographers, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.5% over the next eight years. In general, photographers photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products.

Photographers earn approximately $17 per hour or $36,970 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $14 hourly or $29,440 annually. Incomes for photographers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Media Technical in California, and not quite as good as the overall Media Technical category nationally. Photographers work in a variety of jobs, including: newspaper photojournalist, crime scene photographer, and fashion photographer.

There are seven schools of higher education in the Santa Rosa area, including four within twenty-five miles of Santa Rosa where you can get a degree to start your career as a photographer. The most common level of education for photographers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a photographer if you already have a high school diploma.


Photographer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, photographers photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products. They also may develop negatives and produce finished prints.

Photographers decide on desired images and picture composition, selecting and adjusting subjects, equipment, and lighting to produce desired effects. They also develop artificial light, using flashes and reflectors. Equally important, photographers have to test equipment before use to insure that it is in good working order. They are often called upon to perform maintenance tasks needed to keep equipment working properly. They are expected to use traditional or digital cameras, along with a variety of equipment such as tripods and flash attachments. Finally, photographers manipulate and enhance scanned or digital images to generate desired effects, using computers and specialized software.

Every day, photographers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to visualize how things come together and can be organized. It is also important that they understand events and object details at a distance.

It is important for photographers to decide on and assemble equipment and required background properties, in line with subjects and conditions. They are often called upon to perform general office duties such as scheduling appointments and ordering supplies. They also adjust apertures and camera focus on the basis of a combination of factors such as lighting and film speed. They are sometimes expected to decide on project goals and equipment needs by studying assignments and consulting with clients or advertising staff. Somewhat less frequently, photographers are also expected to produce computer-readable, digital images from film, using flatbed scanners and photofinishing laboratories.

Photographers sometimes are asked to direct efforts of staff who are setting up photographic equipment. and design visual aids and charts for use in lectures or to present evidence in court. And finally, they sometimes have to test equipment before use to insure that it is in good working order.

Like many other jobs, photographers must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Santa Rosa include:

  • Camera Operator. Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.


Pacific Union College - Angwin, CA

Pacific Union College, One Angwin Ave, Angwin, CA 94508-9707. Pacific Union College is a small college located in Angwin, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,279 students and an admission rate of 76%. Pacific Union College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Photography which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.

Napa Valley College - Napa, CA

Napa Valley College, 2277 Napa-Vallejo Hwy, Napa, CA 94558-6236. Napa Valley College is a medium sized college located in Napa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,404 students. Napa Valley College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Commercial Photography which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Sonoma State University - Rohnert Park, CA

Sonoma State University, 1801 E Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609. Sonoma State University is a medium sized university located in Rohnert Park, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,912 students and an admission rate of 83%. Sonoma State University has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Santa Rosa Junior College - Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa Junior College, 1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401-4395. Santa Rosa Junior College is a large college located in Santa Rosa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,350 students. Santa Rosa Junior College has 3 areas of study related to Photographer. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, associate's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Photography, one to two year and two to four year which graduated four and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Art/Art Studies, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated two, seventeen, and zero students respectively in 2008.


Certified Forensic Video Technician: Forensic video analysis is an important science that can have a significant impact on the investigation process.

For more information, see the Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association website.

Certified Photographic Consultant: PMA awards the Certified Photographic Consultant (CPC) designation to individuals who successfully meet rigorous testing on photo and digital imaging technologies.

For more information, see the Photo Marketing Association International website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Santa Rosa, California

Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa, California photo by Njaelkies Lea

Santa Rosa is situated in Sonoma County, California. It has a population of over 155,796, which has grown by 5.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Rosa, 159, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Rosa are priced at $193,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty new homes were built in Santa Rosa, down from three hundred sixty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Santa Rosa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 27.6% of Santa Rosa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Rosa is 10.1%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Rosa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.1%, is less than both the national and state average. United Pentecostal Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Bennett Valley Baptist Church are among the churches located in Santa Rosa. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Santa Rosa is home to the Sonoma County Administration Center and the Quarry Picnic Area as well as Live Oak Park and Coffey Park. Shopping malls in the area include Montgomery Village Shopping Center, Saint Francis Shopping Center and Flamingo One Stop Shopping Center. Visitors to Santa Rosa can choose from Amansi, Astro Motel and Beautiful Weddings & Events for temporary stays in the area.