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Career and Education Opportunities for Photographers in Columbia, South Carolina

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for photographers in the Columbia, South Carolina area. There are currently 1,650 working photographers in South Carolina; this should grow by 14% to about 1,880 working photographers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for photographers are expected to grow by about 11.5%. In general, photographers photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products.

Photographers earn approximately $12 per hour or $25,580 annually on average in South Carolina. Nationally they average about $14 per hour or $29,440 yearly. Photographers earn less than people working in the category of Media Technical generally in South Carolina and less than people in the Media Technical category nationally. Photographers work in a variety of jobs, including: photographic specialist, forensic photographer, and fashion photographer.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including three within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a photographer. Photographers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Columbia include:

  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.


Benedict College - Columbia, SC

Benedict College, 1600 Harden Street, Columbia, SC 29204-1086. Benedict College is a small college located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,892 students. Benedict College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies.

Newberry College - Newberry, SC

Newberry College, 2100 College St, Newberry, SC 29108. Newberry College is a small college located in Newberry, South Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 977 students and an admission rate of 79%. Newberry College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated one student in 2008.

University of South Carolina-Columbia - Columbia, SC

University of South Carolina-Columbia, , Columbia, SC 29208. University of South Carolina-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,500 students and an admission rate of 59%. University of South Carolina-Columbia has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Film/Video and Photographic Arts, Other Specialties which graduated four and three 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: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.