Photo Researcher

Find and acquire photos for publications.
picture of Photo Researcher

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $50,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Photo Researchers do?

Pages and pages of black text can be hard on the eye. Scattering in a few images of smiling children or scampering puppies can make even the most dense report seem friendlier, and it can compel people to read those words the Writer slaved over for hours. That’s where a Photo Researcher comes in. A Photo Researcher finds those photos and secures the rights to use them.

As a Photo Researcher for a large company, you may have a Photo Research Manager who assigns projects for you to work on. But if you work for a small company, or if you work for yourself, you need to hustle up your own projects and manage your own time.

At the beginning of a project, you meet with the Writer or the Publisher to discuss what images are needed. In order to do the job properly, you need to know whether the project will be published on paper or on the Web, whether the photographs should be in color or black-and-white format, and how large the artwork should be. In addition, you need to determine what sorts of images the text requires.

Searching for photos can take days or even weeks. Online databases may hold thousands of images, but they may not always be appropriate or available. Sometimes, you may even need to hire Photographers to take pictures for you.

Some images must be published with tiny credits, while others must be purchased. As you work, you keep detailed notes about these permissions, and you hand over all of that information at the end of the project.


Should I be a Photo Researcher?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Photography Researcher, Photo Researcher and Permissions Specialist

    How to become a Photo Researcher

    We recommend at least a Certificate. Check out these schools offering Photo Researcher-related education!
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