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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.

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Sections of a Photographer Cover Letter

The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:

Resume 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.

    Example

    Heading

    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.

      Example

      Greeting

      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.

        Example

        Introduction

        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.

          Example

          Body

          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.

            Example

            Closing

            Close with a simple “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” and sign your first and last name.

              Example

              Signature

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              Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

              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.

              Importance of Using Photographer Job-related Keywords

              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.”

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              Match Your Photographer Cover Letter to a Resume

              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.

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              Additional Creative Industry Cover Letters

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