Deciding to start a career in photography can provide a lifelong career that is incredibly rewarding, both monetarily and personally. However, this highly competitive and subjective industry can be difficult to enter. Learning how to nail your photography interview is just as important as putting together a stunning portfolio. Fortunately, you can learn the interview skills necessary to land a permanent photography job within your desired field. Begin by embodying the part of the ideal photographer and learning the common questions an interviewer may ask.
Embody the Role Entirely
Nailing your photography interview begins first and foremost with becoming the photographer the hiring manager wants to hire. While you still want to keep your personality, you want to show your best side and convey yourself as a hirable photographer. Below are three ways to do exactly that.
- Be the Part – Many photography studios will have a relaxed dress code for employees to cultivate a creative environment. However, this does not mean you should show up in jeans and a t-shirt. Wear your most professional, businesslike outfit. Imagine you are interviewing for a standard office job and dress appropriately. The first impression is vitally important for an interview, so make yours a professional one. In addition to your dress, cultivate the right mindset for your interview. Do not be too proud of your work and be open to feedback. Ensure that you maintain a positive attitude throughout each of your responses.
- Prepare a Relevant Portfolio – Photographers with only one portfolio are at an extreme disadvantage in this specialized and competitive industry. Prepare several types of portfolios for each type of photography in which you will seek employment. You may even have to prepare one specifically for the interview. Doing so will set you apart from other applicants. If you are interviewing for a gig as a wedding photographer, create a portfolio centered on portraits and event photography. Including landscape photos or abstract shots will detract from your relevance to this company. Additionally, bring a CD copy of your portfolio to leave with the interviewer.
- Highlight Education and Experience – Prepare a resume that highlights your education and experience. Be prepared to discuss your background with the interviewer as well. Do not neglect any significant experience; you never know when it may become relevant. For example, a job as an event photographer may be interested in any sales experience you may have, as event attendees will be asked to purchase pictures. Additionally, do not neglect your education. Having a degree from one of the prestigious Ivy League or Tier 1 photography colleges will set you apart from other applicants. Be ready to discuss specifically what you learned and how your degree with help you with this job.
Common Photography Interview Questions
Photography is an industry that is heavily dependent on creativity. As such, hiring managers are looking for answers that showcase your creativity and observational skills. According to Glassdoor, a website devoted to employment, below are the most common questions as reported by working photographers.
- What color are your eyes?
- How will your non-photography experience help you in this role?
- What is the last book you’ve read?
- What are your goals with photography and how will you accomplish them?
- What is your favorite movie?
- Have you worked with kids, weddings or other events?
- Why do you want to work with our company?
- Have you had any experience with customer service?
- With so many photographers, why should we hire you?
As illustrated by the above questions, a photography interview is far from the average interview for other jobs. Instead of preparing preset answers, be prepared to creatively think on your feet to find answers to unusual questions.
You Will Land an Ideal Job
Even though photography is a competitive industry, this does not mean it will be impossible to find employment. Embody the role as the hirable photographer, prepare job specific portfolios and be ready to answer unusual interview questions. With dedicated effort, honesty and creativity – you can land your ideal photography job.
About The Author
Andrew Green is a contributing writer and just starting his career as a professional photographer. Andrew mainly shoots weddings and corporate events, but is trying to break into the world of high fashion photography.