Employment of photographers is projected to grow by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Overall growth will be limited because of the decreasing cost of digital cameras and the increasing number of amateur photographers and hobbyists. Improvements in digital technology reduce barriers of entry into this profession and allow more individual consumers and businesses to produce, store, and access photographic images on their own.
Employment of self-employed photographers is expected to grow by 15 percent from 2010 to 2020. Demand for wedding and portrait photographers will continue as people continue to get married and need new portraits. In addition, corporations will continue to require the services of commercial photographers to develop compelling advertisements to sell products.
Declines in the newspaper industry will reduce demand for news photographers to provide still images for print. Employment of news photographers in newspaper publishing is expected to decline by 30 percent from 2010 to 2020.
Photographers will face strong competition for most jobs. Because of reduced barriers to entry, there will be many qualified candidates for relatively few positions.
In addition, salaried jobs may be more difficult to obtain as companies increasingly contract with freelancers rather than hire their own photographers. Job prospects will be best for candidates who are multitalented and possess related skills such as picture editing and capturing digital video.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition