Nowadays everybody can take pictures. Images can be taken for granted and some people may think there is no point studying photography. However, in the same way that everyone can write, and this does not mean they are professional writers, the same applies to photography.
Although the quick development of technology has made photography more accessible than ever, it has also expanded the employment opportunities related to photography. In the past, photography was mainly associated with freelance photographers who were dedicated to document social events (e.g., weddings) or with people who were specialised in the darkroom processes. However, nowadays the employment opportunities in photography have increased considerably.
For instance, the development of online commerce through websites and social media has increased the demand for commercial photographers. To work in this field, people need to have a wide array of skills unknown to the amateur or general users of photography. For example, commercial photographers need to master studio lighting, as it will involve photographing complex materials such as glass or metal. They will also need to be aware of composition principles and colour theory to know how to best arrange the products and the possible props.
Social media has also increased a demand for portrait photographers. This demand may emerge from corporations looking to increase their profile or from influencers looking for professional shoots. The latter has become a profitable career, as influencers require photographs to upload to their social media daily. Besides mastering lighting and composition, knowing postproduction techniques become essential to edit the photographs to a professional standard. Once again, these skills can only be mastered if studying and practicing photography.
The emergence of websites and online content has created a need for images. Hence, a niche has emerged in stock photography. To get accepted in any of the stock photography agencies, the photographer needs to show a professional level determined by the originality of the shoot and the quality of the image. Mastering photographic techniques is essential to attain this level.