Photographer CV Guide + Tips + Example

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert
Last Updated: August 22, 2023

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A well-written CV is a great place to start if you want a photographer job. Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry! Our guide to creating a professional CV for a photographer job will help you make the most of your artistic and creative skills,  as well as your ability to solve problems and make decisions quickly.

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Photographer CV example (text version)

Judy Harrison

San Francisco, CA 94132

Summary Statement

Confident and dedicated photographer with experience in both professional and freelance photography. Holds nearly 10 years of working experience with great variety in order to tackle any photography job quickly and effectively. Intimately familiar with taking high-quality digital photographs, including framing, selecting and setting up lighting and determining advanced shutter and lens options. Prioritizes communication on the job to avoid errors. A candidate that combines a long professional career with dedicated freelance photography ideals and loyalty.


  • June 2018
    University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
    Master of Science Marketing Intelligence
  • June 2012January 2013
    University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
    Bachelor of Arts Digital Photography

Work Experience

January 2016 – Current
Spotlight Media Group – San Francisco, CA

  • Capture images as directed, taking all aspects into consideration, including outside lighting, shadows and lens requirements.
  • Edit and pre-edit images to ensure they are high quality and properly color-corrected.
  • Communicate effectively with clients or producers at all times to guarantee satisfaction, increasing 75% of client retention.
  • Direct photographer’s assistants to complete administrative duties and provide assistance while fostering their photography skills.
  • Surpassed outside client satisfaction average rates by 15 % within the first year.

January 2013 – January 2016
SGK – San Francisco, CA
Photographer’s Assistant

  • Provided assistance to the photographer in all aspects, such as administration, communicating with clients, organizing equipment and readily supplying needed tools in more than 40 projects.
  • Set up camera equipment quickly and correctly.
  • Performed minor editing and touching-up duties without supervision.
  • Answered client inquiries in person, by phone and by email quelling concerns, providing information, giving directions and relaying requests to the photographer.

January 2010 – January 2013
CoStar Group – San Francisco, CA
Freelance Photographer

  • Established a recognized freelance photography business and a portfolio of 60 faithful customers.
  • Set up personal photography equipment and created the best environment for aesthetically pleasing shots.
  • Received recognition from multiple local newspapers and magazines for outstanding work.
  • Mastered photography basics over five years of consistent work.


  • “Through the Street Lens”, featuring photographer – (2021)
  • “Photography New Stories”, curator – (2019)
  • “From your Phone to the Camera”, invited photographer – (2018)
  • “Photography Voices”, photographer – (2017)

Honors and Awards

  • San Francisco Bay International Photography Awards, finalist – (2021)
  • Smithsonian Photo Contest, contestant – (2019)
  • International Street Photography Awards, winner – (2018)

Core Qualifications

  • Digital enhancements
  • dobe Creative Cloud
  • Nikon DSLRs
  • Canon EOS 6 Mark II
  • Traditional and digital printing
  • Advertising and marketing
  • ighting expert
  • Organization

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • Professional Photographers of California (PPC) – (2022)
  • Bay Area Photographers Collective – (2021)
  • American Photographic Artist- APA San Francisco-(2021)
  • Photographic Society of America (PSA) – (2019)

Certifications and Licenses

Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) -(2019)


  • Business Basics for Photographers, Professional Photographers of California – (2022)
  • Cameras, Exposure and Photography, Coursera – (2022)
  • Seeing Through Photographs – (2022)
  • CPP Camp, Professional Photographers of California – (2021)

Profession Relevant Skills

  • Experienced in all different kinds of photography and strong aesthetic sense.
  • Technical knowledge of multiple camera technologies and editing programs.
  • Extensive communication, cooperation and service skills.
  • Critical thinking, analysis and strong attention to small details.


  • English
    Native or Bilingual
  • French
    Limited Working

5 essentials of a professional photographer CV

  1. Contact details

    Create a section at the top of your CV for your contact information. Without it, a potential employer can not reach you to schedule an interview. Include your full name, city, state and ZIP code, followed by your phone number and professional email address. If you have a LinkedIn profile and professional website, add those last. Use our CV sample for a photographer job to see how to format it correctly.

  2. Personal statement

    A personal statement, also called a professional summary, is where you introduce yourself to the hiring manager and pitch your best skills and related work experience. Your CV should include job-relevant skills, the number of years you have been in the industry and one or two of your most notable professional accomplishments. Your personal statement must be compelling and no longer than five short sentences to grab the hiring manager’s attention.

  3. Skills

    Every hiring manager wants to know what skills you bring to the table. Create a separate section for your job-relevant skills and display them in bullet points to make them easy to read. Include a blend of hard and soft skills that range from your ability to work well under pressure to your ken eye for composition, as our photographer CV example shows. If you are applying for your first job, include transferable skills. Use our sample CV for a photographer job for inspiration.

  4. Work history

    Whether or not you have work experience as a photographer, your CV must have a detailed employment history section. List current and previous employers in reverse-chronological order and provide company names, locations and the dates you worked for each. Add three bullet points of measurable achievements for every job you list. If you don’t have work experience in the field or if this is your first job application, mention extracurricular activities, volunteer experience, community service and professional and personal projects — anything that shows you have relevant work experience. Look at CV examples for photographer jobs for guidance on writing your work history section. 

  5. Education

    Hiring managers want to see your education credentials, so a photographer CV must include an education section. Add all the schools you’ve attended after high school if any. Use bullet pointsto include the name of the school and the year you graduated (omit the year if you graduated more than 10 years ago). List your high school information and any post-high school classes taken if you did not attend college.

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Do’s and don’ts for building a photographer CV

  • Use measurable achievements to describe your photography skills and experience.
  • Use action words to make an impact on your photographer CV.
  • Tailor your CV to your target photographer job.
  • Use keywords from the job description throughout your photographer CV.
  • Format your photographer CV so that it is easy to read by ATS software and human eyes.
  • Lie about your photography experience and skills.
  • Boast about your “incomparable” photography abilities.
  • Include irrelevant personal information such as your ethnicity and age.
  • Add skills and experience not pertaining to photography. 
  • Forget to proofread. A photographer CV with errors is unprofessional.

Top 4 tips for acing a photographer interview

  1. Learn about the organization first.

    Before the interview, take the time to learn about the company’s history, goals, values and people. Being able to show that you have in-depth knowledge about your potential employer shows genuine interest, dedication and commitment, which hiring managers love to see.

  2. Practice makes perfect!

    To practice for your interview, start by reviewing some of the most common interview questions, such as: 

    Write down possible answers as you review potential questions, and have a friend or relative practice your interview with you. This way, you can get comfortable with the questions and imprint the answers in your mind. Ask your interview partner to review your answers. You’ll feel confident and ready when it’s time for the real thing. 

  3. Have questions ready.

    Your interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions at the end of your session. And even if they don’t, it’s best to arrive equipped with questions about the job. Job candidates who ask questions are more likely to get hired than candidates who do not because it shows genuine interest and enthusiasm. 

    Some questions you might ask for a photographer job are: 

    • What are the biggest opportunities available to someone in this position?
    • What are the biggest challenges someone in this position might expect?
    • How do you evaluate success in this role?
  4. Gather references.

    You’ll need professional references quickly if the hiring manager is interested in hiring you. Prepare a list of two former colleagues and a former manager willing to speak to your abilities and will give you a stellar review. 

    If you are applying for your first full-time job, then ask a former instructor, volunteer coordinator, classmate or community leader who can vouch for your character and skills.

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