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5 Freelance Photographer Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your freelance photographer resume must showcase a strong portfolio of your work. Highlight your most compelling projects to immediately capture attention. Ensure to include your technical skills with cameras and editing software. Demonstrate your versatility and ability to excel in various photography genres.

All resume examples in this guide

As a freelance photographer, articulating the diversity of your project experience while maintaining a concise resume can be a significant challenge. Our guide offers targeted strategies to streamline your portfolio, ensuring your resume reflects your versatility without overwhelming potential clients.

Perfect your next application for the freelance photographer role with our quick guide on how to:
  • Format your freelance photographer resume to ensure that it balances professionalism with creativity, and follows the best practices.
  • Match the freelance photographer job requirements by including industry keywords on your resume.
  • Use various resume sections to showcase your skills and achievements to answer why you're the best candidate for the freelance photographer role.

Take inspiration from leading freelance photographer resume examples to learn how to tailor your experience.

The importance of format and layout in your freelance photographer resume

Consider you're an HR professional at company X, evaluating two freelance photographer candidate resumes. John Smith presents a simple, traditional, and easy-to-read resume. Edward Price, however, uses a non-conventional, often illegible format. Whose resume would you spend more time on to understand their experience? This scenario underscores the importance of your freelance photographer resume’s design. It should be simply formatted and clearly communicate why you are the ideal candidate for the role.

Achieve this balance by:

  • Listing your experience, beginning with the most recent and relevant, in reverse chronological order;
  • Ensuring your header contains essential information, such as contact details, a headline, and a portfolio link. Include a professional photo in the freelance photographer resume header if you have one;
  • Including only the most important and relevant resume sections to showcase your expertise and stand out from other candidates;
  • Editing your freelance photographer resume to be no longer than two pages if you have extensive relevant experience. Use your limited resume space judiciously.

Also, remember that your freelance photographer resume might initially be scanned by an Applicant Tracker System (ATS).

When it comes to ATS:

  • Opt for simple and legible fonts like Raleway, Rubik, Lato, etc., making your experience easy for the ATS to scan;
  • Use serif and sans-serif fonts, both of which are ATS-friendly;
  • Avoid overused options like Arial and Times New Roman, which, while suitable, may lack personality.

Contrary to a common myth, our recent study shows that the ATS can effectively process both one-column and two-column resumes. Learn more about this in the ATS myths guide.

Finally, when submitting your freelance photographer resume, always export it as a PDF to ensure all information remains intact, making the document easier to print, read, and scan.

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Always remember that your freelance photographer certifications can be quantified across different resume sections, like your experience, summary, or objective. For example, you could include concise details within the expertise bullets of how the specific certificate has improved your on-the-job performance.

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Ensure your freelance photographer resume stands out with these mandatory sections:

  • Header - the section recruiters look to find your contact details, portfolio, and potentially, your current role
  • Summary or objective - where your achievements could meet your career goals
  • Experience - showcasing you have the technical (and personal) know-how for the role
  • Skills - further highlighting capabilities that matter most to the freelance photographer advert and your application
  • Certifications/Education - staying up-to-date with industry trends
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • Portfolio of previous work showcasing a range of photographic styles and technical skills
  • Experience with various photography equipment and editing software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom)
  • Client testimonials or references to attest to professionalism and quality of work
  • Understanding of current photography trends and the ability to adapt to different styles or industries
  • Relevant photography certifications, courses, or education that highlight expertise in the field

Guide to your most impressive freelance photographer resume experience section

When it comes to your resume experience , stick to these simple, yet effective five steps:

  • Show how your experience is relevant by including your responsibility, skill used, and outcome/-s;
  • Use individual bullets to answer how your experience aligns with the job requirements;
  • Think of a way to demonstrate the tangible results of your success with stats, numbers, and/or percentages ;
  • Always tailor the experience section to the freelance photographer role you're applying for - this may sometimes include taking out irrelevant experience items;
  • Highlight your best (and most relevant) achievements towards the top of each experience bullet.

You're not alone if you're struggling with curating your experience section. That's why we've prepared some professional, real-life freelance photographer resume samples to show how to best write your experience section (and more).

Work Experience
Independent Commercial and Real Estate Photography Specialist
  • Managed and successfully delivered over 50 commercial photography assignments for various local businesses, enhancing their product visibility and customer engagement.
  • Provided high-quality, edited photographs for 20+ real estate listings each month, significantly increasing online listing views and potential buyer interest.
  • Cultivated a strong personal brand through social media platforms, resulting in a 30% increase in year-over-year client acquisition.
Work Experience
Freelance Fashion Photographer
  • Collaborated with major fashion magazines including Vogue and Harper's Bazaar on 15 editorial shoots, enhancing the publication's visual appeal.
  • Streamlined the editing process using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, reducing the project delivery time by 40% without compromising quality.
  • Developed an extensive network of models, stylists, and creative directors, leading to a consistent flow of high-profile photography projects.
Work Experience
Freelance Wedding Photographer
  • Provided photography services for over 100 weddings, mastering the ability to capture candid and emotional moments that create lasting memories for clients.
  • Expanded service offerings to include drone photography, allowing for innovative angles and perspectives that differentiated my portfolio and increased booking rates.
  • Conducted photo editing workshops for aspiring photographers, enabling them to improve their skills and grow their freelance businesses.
Work Experience
Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer
  • Secured contracts with three national parks to create compelling nature and wildlife photography for promotional materials, which boosted visitor numbers by 25%.
  • Implemented a digital asset management system for storing and organizing over 10,000 photos, ensuring quick and easy access for client queries and licensing requests.
  • Initiated a partnership with a local gallery to showcase my landscape photography, resulting in sales and commissioned projects with private collectors.
Work Experience
Freelance E-commerce Product Photographer
  • Established a successful e-commerce photography service, supporting 30+ online retailers in showcasing their products effectively, thus boosting their sales conversions.
  • Optimized the use of natural lighting and portable studio setups to produce clean and consistent product imagery for client websites and catalogs.
  • Provided comprehensive photography packages, including on-model and flat lay formats, which allowed clients to achieve a cohesive visual branding strategy.
Work Experience
Freelance Photojournalist
  • Engaged in photojournalistic coverage for local newspapers and online media outlets, capturing over 200 assignments that included community events, sports, and political rallies.
  • Enhanced storytelling through visual narratives, contributing to a publication receiving regional journalism awards for excellence in reporting.
  • Pioneered the use of social media live-streaming at events, expanding the outlet's audience reach and engagement metrics by 50%.
Work Experience
Freelance Travel Photographer
  • Partnered with travel agencies to produce vibrant and engaging travel photography content from 40+ destinations worldwide, enhancing package sales by 35%.
  • Monitored and strategically updated an online portfolio that attracted the attention of travel magazine editors, leading to several feature publications.
  • Offered travel photography workshops, equipping participants with the skills to capture professional-quality images during their travels.
Work Experience
Freelance Food Photographer
  • Contracted by culinary magazines and restaurants to create enticing food photography that effectively showcased the artistry of the chefs, increasing magazine subscriptions and restaurant bookings.
  • Developed a unique style that highlighted the texture and color of the culinary creations, attracting a following that included food bloggers and industry influencers.
  • Coordinated with food stylists and restaurant staff to ensure that each photo shoot reflected the ambiance and quality of the dining experience.
Work Experience
Freelance Music and Band Photographer
  • Worked closely with emerging local bands and artists to create promotional photography that conveyed their image and brand, leading to increased fan engagement and gig opportunities.
  • Adapted various shooting styles and techniques to match the genre and aesthetic of each musician, resulting in a diverse and dynamic creative portfolio.
  • Facilitated artist branding workshops, focusing on the importance of visual storytelling in the music industry and how to leverage it for career growth.
Work Experience
Freelance Corporate and Headshot Photographer
  • Collaborated with local businesses and startups to create professional headshots and team photos that enhanced their professional digital presence and corporate branding.
  • Offered mobile photography studio services which made photo sessions more convenient for clients and increased my booking flexibility and service reach.
  • Conducted in-depth pre-shoot consultations to fully understand clients' vision and brand identity, ensuring the final photographs aligned with their strategic goals.

Quantifying impact on your resume

  • Include the number of photography projects completed to show your experience and reliability.
  • List the percentage of repeat clients to demonstrate client satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Specify the number of photos published in magazines or online platforms to highlight your exposure and professional reach.
  • Mention any growth in social media followers due to your photography to indicate your influence and marketing skills.
  • Display the number of photography awards or contests won to showcase recognition in your field.
  • Quantify the revenue generated from photography sales or commissions to illustrate your commercial success.
  • Document the range of photography genres you've worked in by number to prove your versatility.
  • State the number of countries or locations where you have done photoshoots to reflect your adaptability and international experience.

Action verbs for your freelance photographer resume

When it comes to applying for a job, there’s one thing you need to remember (it’s valid for both your resume and your cover letter). Use action verbs! They give your application more depth, prove you’re able to take action, and also help you showcase your strengths!
Read The Guide

What to do if you don't have any experience

It's quite often that candidates without relevant work experience apply for a more entry-level role - and they end up getting hired.

Candidate resumes without experience have these four elements in common:

  • Instead of listing their experience in reverse-chronological format (starting with the latest), they've selected a functional-skill-based format. In that way, freelance photographer resumes become more focused on strengths and skills
  • Transferrable skills - or ones obtained thanks to work and life experience - have become the core of the resume
  • Within the objective, you'd find career achievements, the reason behind the application, and the unique value the candidate brings about to the specific role
  • Candidate skills are selected to cover basic requirements, but also show any niche expertise.
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Showcase any ongoing or recent educational efforts to stay updated in your field.

Bringing your freelance photographer hard skills and soft skills to the forefront of recruiters' attention

Hard skills are used to define the technological (and software) capacities you have in the industry. Technical skills are easily defined via your certification and expertise.

Soft skills have more to do with your at-work personality and how you prosper within new environments. People skills can be obtained thanks to your whole life experience and are thus a bit more difficult to define.

Why do recruiters care about both types of skills?

Hard skills have more to do with job alignment and the time your new potential employers would have to invest in training you.

Soft skills hint at how well you'd adapt to your new environment, company culture, and task organization.

Fine-tune your resume to reflect on your skills capacities and talents:

  • Avoid listing basic requirements (e.g. "Excel"), instead substitute with the specifics of the technology (e.g. "Excel Macros").
  • Feature your workplace values and ethics as soft skills to hint at what matters most to you in a new environment.
  • Build a separate skills section for your language capabilities, only if it makes sense to the role you're applying for.
  • The best way to balance freelance photographer hard and soft skills is by building a strengths or achievements section, where you define your outcomes via both types of skills.

There are plenty of skills that could make the cut on your resume.

That's why we've compiled for you some of the most wanted skills by recruiters, so make sure to include the technologies and soft skills that make the most sense to you (and the company you're applying for):

Top skills for your freelance photographer resume:

Digital Photography

Photo Editing

Lighting Techniques

Color Correction

Adobe Photoshop Expertise

Adobe Lightroom Proficiency

Camera Operation

Lens Selection

Image Composition

Photography Equipment Maintenance


Creative Vision

Attention to Detail

Time Management

Client Relations


Problem Solving





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If you failed to obtain one of the certificates, as listed in the requirements, but decide to include it on your resume, make sure to include a note somewhere that you have the "relevant training, but are planning to re-take the exams". Support this statement with the actual date you're planning to be re-examined. Always be honest on your resume.

Listing your education and certifications on your freelance photographer resume

Don't underestimate the importance of your resume education section . As it may hint at various skills (and experience) that are relevant to the job. When writing your education section:

  • Include only higher education degrees with information about the institution and start/end dates
  • If you're in the process of obtaining your degree, include your expected graduation date
  • Consider leaving off degrees that aren't relevant to the job or industry
  • Write a description of your education if it presents you with an opportunity to further showcase your achievements in a more research-focused environment

When describing your certifications on your resume, always consider their relevancy to the role. Use the same format to describe them as you would for your education. If you're wondering what the best certificates out there are for freelance photographer roles, check out the list below.

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The top 5 certifications for your freelance photographer resume:

  1. Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) - Professional Photographers of America
  2. Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) - Adobe
  3. Master of Photography (M.Photog) - Professional Photographers of America
  4. Photographic Craftsman (Cr.Photog.) - Professional Photographers of America
  5. Qualified Drone Photographer (QDP) - Professional Photographers of America
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The more trusted the organization you've attained your certificate (or degree) from, the more credible your skill set would be.

Best practices to your freelance photographer resume summary or objective

To start, how do you know if you should include a resume summary or a resume objective ?

  • Resume summaries are ideal for freelance photographer professionals with more experience, who'd like to give a quick glimpse of their biggest career achievements in the top one-third of their resumes.
  • On the other hand, resume objectives serve as a road map for recruiters. Candidates use the objective to show how their experience aligns with the freelance photographer role they're applying for while showcasing the North Star of their career (or where they want to be as a professional in the next couple of years).

The resume summary or resume objective could be the perfect fit for your freelance photographer resume. The function of both is to highlight your professionalism succinctly. So, keep your writing specific: include no more than four sentences and target your application to the role. Here's how these specific resume sections help the freelance photographer candidates stand out.

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Resume summaries for a freelance photographer job

  • With over 10 years of experience capturing vivid storytelling through the lens, this seasoned freelance photographer specializes in event and portrait photography. Technical prowess in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom combined with a remarkable portfolio showcasing high-profile clients, including a cover feature for a prominent lifestyle magazine.
  • An imaginative visual artist, recently transitioned from a successful 7-year graphic design career into professional photography. Brings a keen eye for composition, expert-level Adobe Creative Suite skills, and proven success in creating compelling visual narratives in digital marketing campaigns for large tech firms.
  • Former marketing strategist with 5 years of corporate experience now pursuing a passion for freelance photography. Unique perspective for commercial and product photography grounded in consumer behavior insights, enriched with advanced camera and editing proficiencies, including achievements in doubling online engagement through imagery updates for a leading retail brand.
  • A precise and detail-oriented ex-journalist ready to leverage 8 years of story-chasing and environment-adaptive reporting into a dynamic freelance photography career. Exceptional skills in candid shots, current affairs documentation, and on-the-go editing, culminating in an award-winning photo essay published in a major national news outlet.
  • Eager to explore the world of freelance photography with a fresh and versatile approach, this enthusiastic individual brings a deep admiration for storytelling and a keen desire to learn and master the technical aspects of photography. Committed to honing skills through practical experience and contributing a unique perspective to every project undertaken.
  • Aspiring to blend a lifelong passion for visual arts with professional expertise, this dedicated newcomer to freelance photography aims to excel in capturing emotive imagery while mastering technical skills. Driven to create impactful visual content and eager to collaborate on projects that resonate with today’s diverse audiences.

Additional valuable freelance photographer resume sections to stand out

When assessing candidate applications, recruiters are often on the lookout for elements that go beyond meeting standard requirements and technical expertise.

This is where extra sections could play a key role in showcasing your unique skill set and personality.

Make sure to include sections dedicated to:

  • How you spend your free time, outside of work. The interests resume section also goes to show your personality and transferrable skills; and may also serve to fill in gaps in your experience;
  • Most innovative work. The projects resume section brings focus to what you're most proud of within the field;
  • How you're able to overcome language barriers. The language resume section is always nice to have, especially if communication would be a big part of your future role;
  • Industry-wide recognitions. Remember that the awards resume section should highlight your most noteworthy accolades and prizes.

Key takeaways

  • All aspects of your resume should be selected to support your bid for being the perfect candidate for the role;
  • Be intentional about listing your skill set to be balanced with both technical and people capabilities, while aligning with the job;
  • Include any experience items that are relevant to the role and ensure you feature the outcomes of your responsibilities;
  • Use the summary or objective as a screenshot of your best experience highlights;
  • Curate various resume sections to showcase personal, transferable skills.
freelance photographer resume example

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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He has written more than 500 resume guides and deep-dive articles on how to create your resume and cover letter, that inspire job applicants to make a resume to be proud of. His work has been featured in Forbes, Zendesk, HubSpot, and Business Insider, and cited by top universities and educational institutions, like Thunderbird School of Management, Rochester University, University of Miami, and Udemy. Volen applies his deep knowledge and practical experience to write about career changes, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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