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Due to the decreasing cost of digital cameras and the increasing number of amateur photographers, the need for professional photographers is expected to shrink 6 percent by 2028 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In order to stand out from the competition for one of these limited roles, you’re going to need a cover letter that emphasizes your skills in composition, post editing and staging. Use a photographer cover letter example from Hloom’s extensive library to get inspired, and follow through with our writing tips to create a letter that helps you impress a hiring manager and land an interview.
The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:
Cover Letter Sections
At the top of every cover letter, include your name, city/state location, phone number and professional email address. By professional email address that means that the address is a reflection of your name and not a joke or personal interest.
Use a simple greeting followed by the name of the hiring manager or lead photographer. If you’re unsure of who to address, search the company’s social media page or website, or contact the company directly and ask. In the above example, you can see that Lance did his homework and addressed the email to the creative director Terry Holt.
Introduce yourself and explain how you found out about the photographer position. Briefly detail why you think you would be a good fit for the position or why you enjoy being a photographer. In this example, Lance notes that his professional studio shoot experience would be an asset to the company.
Use the body of the cover letter to elaborate on the details from your resume. Pick several skills or experiences that pertain to the job description and use those to help capture the attention of the hiring manager. In the body you can see how Lance brings alive the details of his resume to do something bigger: tell a story.
Complete your letter by thanking the recipient for their time and tell them you intend to follow up in the next few days. Follow Lance’s example and ask the person to contact you at their own convenience.
Close with a simple “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” and sign your first and last name.
This template is perfect if you’re seeking a bold visual statement, and also demonstrates that you are as up-to-date as your potential employer.
With its striking fonts and vivid coloring, this cover letter template helps you make a strong impression with hiring managers.
For job seekers who want to show off strong qualifications and experience without distracting bells and whistles, this clean cover letter example fits the bill.
The classic cover letter template is a good choice for job candidates with minimal experience who want to project a professional image.
This sharp layout places emphasis on job experience and major achievements, highlighting your abilities as a top-level manager.
This cover letter example is easily adaptable across many professions, allowing you to detail your experience, leadership skills, and technical expertise.
This clean template emphasizes your progressive, up-to-date experience and achievements -- the qualities that pioneering, cutting-edge companies seek.
This solid template lets you get to the point with your credentials, and why you are a good fit for the job.
When you need to get all the important details about your capabilities across without wasting space, use this compact, well-organized template.
Action verbs turn ordinary sentences like “I did” and “I can” into powerful statements like “completed photography classes at the local trade school” and “interned with the lead photographer for a local magazine.” Action verbs help quantify your experience and make it easier to grab the attention of the hiring manager. For photographers, choose words similar to those laid out here:
Edit: You might reference how you edited large batches of prints for clients.
Organize: Explain how you organized the photography for 20 weddings throughout the year, and collaborated with clients on desired poses.
Gain: If you gained proficiency in Photoshop through classes at the local trade school, mention it here.
Schedule: Tell the hiring manager about how you scheduled meetings with prospective clients to go over work agreements and contract specifics.
Communicate: Expand on your talent for communicating clearly with clients and subjects to create the most effective workflow possible.
Some companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) which scan your cover letter for keywords from the job description to eliminate as many as 50 percent of applicants from the job pool. These programs read your letter before a human ever does, and the more keywords you can match with your experience, the better your chances are at getting through to the hiring manager.
Read through the job description and pick out all the industry keywords. Some of these words could include art, cameras, clients, equipment, photography, weddings, events, portraits, Photoshop and professional. Pair these words with action verbs throughout the body of your cover letter. Take this for example:
“My thorough experience in handling cameras and equipment for clients’ events and weddings has been provided challenges for which I have provided apt solutions. Perfectionism is what drives my work and even if I capture the right moment with great lighting, I spend hours in post doing Photoshop edits to ensure that I deliver the best image.”Build a Cover Letter
You don’t want to regurgitate your resume in your cover letter. Pick out two or three instances that pertain to the job description and expand on those items using industry keywords and action verbs. Your cover letter helps strengthen your resume for the photographer job description by highlighting items as they pertain to each particular job. For this reason, it’s important to customize your cover letter for each job you apply for. This shows attention to detail and creativity, which are skills needed by photographers at every level.