Today we would like to present you the 50 most popular photographer interview questions with answers which will be helpful for both the interviewers and the candidates.
If you are an interviewer, remember to prepare for an interview. Check-in advance the candidate’s profile, work, style, etc.
If you are a candidate, we have some good news for you! Already now, at the moment of reading this article, you are almost fully prepared to take a photography job interview. You already have everything that is really required, meaning the talent, the creativity, and the passion. However, no matter if you apply for a freelance job (for example to photograph a wedding) or for a stable job in a professional photo studio, marketing agency, media company, etc., we strongly encourage you to take some time before an interview and go through the checklist below. With that, you will be sure that you did all you can to grab the opportunity of getting the job of your dreams.
Let’s get started!
How to prepare for a photography job interview?
- Do the necessary research (of studio, company, shooting place, expected weather conditions, etc.).
- Review once again the job offer (if it is a freelance job, review a message from a client).
- Prepare your portfolio and recommendations.
- Prepare your outfit.
- Plan the route.
- Prepare a short presentation about yourself.
- Practice your answers to the most popular photographer interview questions.
For more tips, check our free guide on how to prepare for a first job interview.
“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us” Ralph Hattersley, American photographic educator, journalist, and photographer
Photographer interview questions 2021
Why did you decide to become a photographer?
By asking this question, the interviewer wants to know your primary motivation for this job and the path you went through to be in this place today. When answering this question, you don’t be afraid, to be honest. Don’t hesitate to say that it was a coincidence or the opposite, that it was your passion since your early childhood. However, for most people, a decision to become a photographer is a result of many factors and needs. If you ask them “why did you choose this profession?” the most common answers usually are:
- to create,
- to express me and to stand out,
- to capture the important moments of life (family events, travels, etc.),
- to capture and share the beauty of everyday life,
- to share the emotions.
What is your experience in photography?
This is also one of the guaranteed photographer interview questions.
If you are an entry-level candidate and this is going to be your first photography job, don’t worry. What counts most is anyhow your talent, creativity, and skills. Show the interviewer the best pieces of your work. Show that you are passionate, dynamic, and full of ideas.
If you are an experienced photographer, prepare your recommendations and portfolio. Remember to update it with the most recent projects. A good portfolio should be neither too long, nor too short – every interview is limited in time. If you want to increase your chances, try to make your portfolio as diverse as possible. Show your flexibility, broad interests, and open-mindedness. It is always worth mentioning even the smallest projects that you realized outside of your usual genre. Maybe you have some experience as a product photographer (capturing products for advertisements, catalogs, websites, etc.)? Maybe you have experience in social media photography?
What do you like photographing most?
When it comes to this question, it is hard to give a good tip that will work for everyone. All in all, you know best what you like to capture: portraits, babies, pets, events, landscapes and nature, travels, food, objects (products), etc. In fact, the list is endless.
Maybe one tip could be to try not to limit yourself to one category only. Even if you know for what photographer profile your future employer (or client) is looking for now, you never know if he or she will not be interested in using your other photography skills in the future.
What inspires you?
This is another example of one of the most popular photographer interview questions and here also you know best what to answer. Take a moment to think about what is boosting your creativity and imagination and how did it change (or not) since the beginning of your artistic activity. Here are some proposals:
- nature (going for a walk, watching wild animals, watching the sky, etc.)
- biographies and artwork of famous photographers
- browsing the internet (social media, blogs, etc.)
- new equipment
What are the key skills for a good photographer?
Photography is a combination of both talent and skills. The talent is a blessing but it is up to you if you decide to develop it further or not. When it comes to skills, this is something that you can definitely work on if needed. Here are the main skills required for every photographer, regardless of his style and genre:
- paying attention to the details,
- good planning skills,
- a knack for organization,
- networking and communication skills.
In your opinion, what makes a good photograph?
This is also one of the most frequently asked photographer interview questions. It is hard to imagine a photography job interview without this question.
Many factors are deciding whether a photograph will be considered good or not: lightning, the rule of thirds, lines, colors, but also authenticity, originality, conveyed emotions, and many, many others.
Another thing is that a good photograph must also serve its purpose: to capture memories, to advertise and sell a product, to attract attention, to provoke the discussion, to document an event, a crime, a scientific experiment, etc.
And finally, it is worth mentioning that photography, like any other art, is very subjective. The same picture for one person can be exceptionally good and for the other – average. Before the shooting, always talk to your client, determine his/her expectations and keep them in mind during the whole work process. Remember, that most people will not be able to say if a photograph is technically well taken, but they will be able to say on the spot whether they like it or not. And for them, this is a definition of a good or a bad photograph.
What is the biggest challenge of being a photographer?
Photography job brings many challenges. Most often, photographers complain about:
- need to stay constantly up to date with the new photography techniques and equipment,
- searching new clients, advertising, social media marketing, and competition,
- rejection and criticism,
- irregular and unstable incomes,
- prices of the new equipment,
- estimating and negotiating,
- image security and copyright, especially online.
How do you educate yourself to take better and better photographs?
There are many ways to firstly learn and then to develop your skills and talent in photography:
- formal education (university or college degree, photography diploma, etc.),
- internships, apprenticeships, and mentoring programs,
- online courses, training, and tutorials,
- photography books,
- photography magazines,
- photography blogs, websites, newsletters, forums, and challenges,
What are your goals as a photographer?
Photography is an exceptionally creative field of art, offering numerous opportunities for professionals. Impossible to list them all, here you can find some ideas for the photography short and long-term goals:
- learn how to shoot in manual,
- start own business,
- create own website, blog, social media account and post regularly,
- find new clients,
- learn new photography technique(s),
- learn new editing software,
- start shooting a different genre,
- take online course or training,
- participate in a photo contest,
- exhibit your work.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This is another typical photography job interview question. Similar to the previous one, this question is aimed specifically at your long-term goals. It also checks if you intend to pursue your photography career or if it is just a temporary hobby, so be careful. Even if your future employer (or a potential client) is not offering a long collaboration but rather a one-time job, for sure they want to work with someone who loves his job and takes it seriously.
Depending on your current level in photography (beginner/amateur, professional, veteran, etc.), your goals will be different. For beginner photographers, a good goal could be to get a diploma in photography, to build a solid portfolio, and gather recommendations. For the professionals, the goal may be, for example, to start their own business or to be more present in social media. The veterans, may for example decide to become photography teachers! It is really up to you to decide.
Other Photographer Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why did you decide to apply for this position?
- How did you develop your interest in photography?
- How long have you been a photographer?
- What does photography mean to you?
- What is the best advice you’ve received as a photographer?
- Do you have any formal education as a photographer?
- Whose work has influenced you most?
- What is the one thing you wish you knew when starting your career?
- Who is your favorite photographer?
- How would you describe your photography style?
- Among your works, which one is your favorite and why?
- What do you consider your biggest success?
- What do you like to photograph most in your free time?
- Do you prefer to work for your family and friends or for the people who you don’t know?
- Do you prefer to work indoor or outdoor?
- What is your biggest strength?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- What do you do to always stay focused?
- Do you like working with people?
- Do you like working with children?
- What is for you the most rewarding in being a photographer?
- In your opinion, what is the difference between a professional photographer and a hobby one?
- How do you do to stay up to date with the new photography techniques?
- How do you do to stay up to date with the new photography equipment?
- What equipment is a must-have for you?
- What kind of gear do you use?
- What is your favorite lens and why?
- What program(s) do you use for photo editing?
- What, in your opinion, is more important: a shooting itself or post-production and editing?
- How do you prepare for a shooting?
- Do you do any research before a shooting?
- What is the most important while shooting a portrait picture?
- What is the most important while shooting a baby picture?
- How do you handle disagreements with clients?
- How would you handle a client who is unhappy with your work?
- Describe your typical working day.
- If you could advise someone who wants to start a career as a photographer, what would you say?
- Why should we hire you?
- Do you have any questions for us?
Companies hiring photographers in the U.S. (2021 updated)
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