10 Dangerous Photography Jobs

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Photography can be a case of life or death. It may sound absurd, but professional photographers often go to great lengths and compromise their safety in order to get the perfect picture. Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph Mount Everest or a mission to cover the Iraq war, many photographers risk their lives just to do their job. Here are 10 dangerous photography jobs:

  • Extreme Weather Photography
    Extreme weather photographers aren’t storm chasers, but they do have an eye for photographing hurricanes, tornados, thunderstorms and other severe weather in their most vulnerable state. As you can imagine, this job is nothing short of extreme. Extreme weather photographers have to get close to the storm when everyone else is running from it, which puts them at risk for injuries and often death.
  • BASE Jumping & Skydiving Photography
    Seeing the world from a bird’s eye view is the daily job of a BASE jumping and skydiving photographer.
    Although BASE jumping and skydiving have been perfected in many ways, there is still a considerable amount of danger involved in the process. For each jump, these photographers are responsible for taking pictures and sometimes shooting video of the person jumping, while making sure their parachute opens and they land safely as well. This type of aerial photography takes serious skills and a great deal of experience parachuting.
  • War Photography
    War photographers are literally at the forefront of conflict and life in war-torn areas, and have the most dangerous mission of all photographers by far. In order to capture quality photos that accurately report what’s happening, war photographers have to get close to the action and risk their lives for the sake of their job. They are frequently in danger of being captured, injured or killed while taking pictures of battle and events that need to be reported.
  • Travel Photography
    Travel photographers are sent all over the world to photograph breathtaking beaches, gorgeous mountain ranges and ancient lands that are destination hotspots. While the majority of travel photographers’ destinations are beautiful and safe, some are dangerous. International travel can be dangerous for photographers visiting war-torn and conflict areas, as well as places with limited civilization and few visitors.
  • Wildlife Photography
    Wildlife photographers not only get to travel to amazing places, but they also get to photograph nature’s most fascinating creatures. But, getting up close and personal with wild animals does have its dangers. Wildlife photographers risk being chased, attacked and killed by animals, in addition to getting infections and contracting diseases while in the wilderness.
  • Photojournalist
    Photojournalists are reporters who tell a story through photographs. They are often sent to cover car accidents, fires, natural disasters and other catastrophes, such as 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing. In order to get the best and most compelling photographs possible, photojournalists have to get close to the action taking place. In doing so, they run the risk of getting injured or killed while trying to get their pictures, and are often psychologically damaged by the horrific things they witness.
  • Underwater Photography
    Underwater photographers go to great depths to capture animals, plants and other marine life in their rarest form. Considered one of the most difficult yet exciting fields of photography, underwater photographers have to overcome a number of challenges and dangers while scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming. They may encounter heavy currents, tidal flow and poor visibility, which could cause photographers to get hurt or damage their scuba equipment. In rare instances, underwater photographers may get stung, bitten or hurt by animals while taking pictures.
  • Sports Photography
    Just like athletics, sports photography involves speed, accuracy and thinking ahead. Although most sports photographers are positioned on the sidelines, they aren’t always out of harm’s way. With their attention focused on the action, photographers may not have enough time to react to a 250-pound receiver running straight toward them or a line drive to the head. Unexpected injuries or deaths can happen in any sports game, and sports photographers are no exception.
  • Paparazzi
    The paparazzi is known for hounding their subjects and sometimes putting them in danger, but they also risk their own safety by going to great lengths to get photographs of celebrities, athletes, politicians and other high-profile figures. Paparazzi have gotten killed or injured in car accidents from racing to take pictures, as well as assaulted by the people in their photographs.
  • Adventure Photography
    From whitewater rafting, sailing, rock climbing and surfing, action/adventure photography is both exciting and dangerous. In order to get top-notch pictures, action/adventure photographers have to be a part of the action just as much as their subjects. Depending on the activity and level of difficulty, action/adventure photographers have to prepare, train and know what to do in the event that they fall, injure themselves, get lost and other potential dangers.
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