Over 93% of MCAD alumni are working and more than half (57.1%) are working in their field.*

This is no accident—MCAD’s photography curriculum gets students focused on their careers early and enables them to successfully transition from student to professional.

A photography degree can lead to a fun, versatile, and lucrative career. Professional and freelance photographers can take photos for fine art and commercial purposes. They may be hired by publications such as newspapers and fashion magazines, organizations such as museums and advertising agencies, and event planners for weddings and parties, to name a few.


Potential Careers

Fine Art Photographer

Fine art photographers sell work to individuals, galleries, interior designers, architects, libraries, community centers, churches, banks, hotels, government, and elsewhere on a freelance basis or by commission. Fine art photographers enjoy creative freedom not generally allowed to freelance or staff photographers, but they must also be extremely self-motivated.

Freelance Photographer

Freelance photographers are hired out on a job-by-job basis, a nice perk for those who prefer to make their own schedule or to work on a variety of different projects. Freelancers do many of the same jobs as staff photographers, but without the consistent schedule. Some freelancers specialize in areas such as portraits, aerial photography, weddings, food, sports, or fashion.

Medical or Forensic Photographer

This photographer may document medical symptoms and patient progress, crime scenes, and evidence, as well as autopsy results. Education or experience in criminal justice is often important in these positions.


A photojournalist documents history with a camera by photographing newsworthy people, places, or events. They typically work for a website, newspaper, journal, magazine, or television network and produce powerful photographs that capture the facts of the story they are covering.

Staff Photographer

Staff photographers produce images for websites, magazines, advertisements, brochures, catalogs, corporate reports, publishers, architects, or other individuals and businesses that want an event documented or an image that conveys a specific thought or story.

Studio Owner

Photography studio owners administrate independent studios or divisions of a larger firm, such as an advertising agency or a marketing division of a large corporation. This position requires business savvy in addition to artistic talents.


*Based on the 2019/20 MCAD Alumni Survey. Includes graduates from 1990–2019 reporting full-time, part-time, and freelance/self employment.

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