Photographer ADDED TO SAVED ROLES
Intelligence

Photographer

Photographers play a range of roles in the RAF, capturing everything from aerial reconnaissance images to public relations portraits.

Typical Responsibilities:

  • Gather photographic evidence for engineering, security and accident investigations
  • Print target identification images for aircrew
  • Shoot video training films

Similar civilian roles include Commercial and industrial photographer, Medical photographer,  Photographic laboratory technician or TV/film/video photographer.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

Scroll down to explore the opportunities as a Photographer in the RAF.

Key Facts

Full Time
Regular

Initial pay after training

£18,305 + Benefits

Pay during training

£14,783 + Benefits

Entry level

Airmen/Airwomen

Commitment

12 Years

APPRENTICESHIP: Adv Apprenticeship In Photo Imaging

Spare Time
Reserve

Initial pay after training

Day rates dependent on rank, role and experience

Entry level

Airmen/Airwomen

Commitment

27 days per year for 12 years minimum. Each year includes a 15 day block for general RAF training, which is taken over a two week period, and 12 days for additional/trade training, or training exercises.

 

The possibility of being deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

Locations

502 Sqn Aldergrove Flying Station, Co Antrim (Extremely Ltd Vacancies)
602 Sqn Glasgow - Ex-Regulars only
606 Sqn RAF Benson, Oxfordshire (Extremely Ltd Vacancies)
611 Sqn RAF Woodvale, Merseyside (Extremely Ltd Vacancies)
614 Sqn Cardiff, Glamorgan (Extremely Ltd Vacancies)
7644 Sqn RAF Halton, Aylesbury

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

‘I’ve always got a lot out of my job. Taking a great photograph and seeing it in print always gives you a buzz.'

Ian, Photographer

In the RAF

My Role

‘Photography is a very varied trade. I’ve been given intensive training in portraits, interiors and exteriors, technical photography, still-life studio shoots, lithographic offset printing and lighting techniques. A lot of my work is used for presentations and public relations.

When you’re asked to photograph a job, it could be anybody from the lowest rank right up to the Queen. It covers everything. I’ve photographed the Queen Mother, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen herself presenting the colours at a parade celebrating the 75th anniversary of the RAF at Marham.’

My Day

‘Every day is different. I’ve done a lot of technical shots of aircraft, run an offset printing section for a year and even photographed crime scenes, post-mortems and medical work for the police.

Most recently I’ve been processing and printing intelligence photographs for interpretation. For security reasons, I can’t go into details on exactly what I’ve worked on but it’s extremely fascinating work.’

 

Ian, Photographer

Training

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Full Time
Regular

Initial Training

Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you’ll also learn about the RAF lifestyle.

Specialist Training

The next step is a specialist training course at RAF Cosford, near Wolverhampton, which lasts about seven months. You’ll be enrolled on an Advanced Apprenticeship, the Technical Certificate and Key Skills element which will be delivered entirely in training. You’ll learn how to take photographs and train to use digital image manipulation software and other digital photographic processing techniques.

Additional Qualification Opportunities

As a Photographer you will be enrolled in an advanced Apprenticeship where you will gain a NVQ Level 3 in Digital Photography and Imaging when completed. There will also be scope for a NVQ level 4 in Digital Photography and imaging as you continue through the ranks. With training received an ability to gain Associate membership to the British Institute of Professional Photography.

Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities

As your career progresses, we’ll continue to train you in new skills. You could also have opportunities to complete management and leadership training.

Your First Tour

For your first tour, you’ll be posted to a photographic section on an RAF base in the UK where you’ll be able to put into practice and further develop the skills you learnt during training.

Your Future Career Prospects/Progression

You will initially join the RAF for a period of twelve years on a Notice Engagement with effect from 1 April 2015. After completing one year’s total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman, providing you pass a Trade Ability Test and Basic Trade Training. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is on merit by competitive selection.

Transferable Skills

The qualifications you can earn are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF – which means that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you’ll be well placed to find a new job. These include commercial and industrial photographer, crime scene/medical photographer, photographic laboratory technician, TV, film and video photographer, graphic illustrator and image consultant.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Spare Time
Reserve

Initial Training

Your training will start with a Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) consisting of 4 weekends at your chosen RAF Reserves Squadron, followed by a 15 day residential training course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. This training course will prepare you for service life in one of the most respected military forces in the world; it is also designed to help you tune into the military environment and way of life. As well as military training, you will learn about the core values, code of conduct and history of the RAF, as well as its unique lifestyle.

Specialist Training

After successfully completing initial training, you will be trained for your specific role in the RAF either at your squadron or another RAF station in the UK.

Requirements

Full Time
Regular

Job requirements

Qualifications:

GCSEs at Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) in English language, Mathematics or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in English and Mathematics.

All RAF ground trade recruits (except Air Traffic Controller – Senior Non-Commissioned Officer) must have or gain Functional Skills (FS) qualifications in English and Mathematics to graduate from Recruit Training Photographer, you will need to pass the Level 2 FS tests in Mathematics and English.

Age:

  • 16–30 (Must attest before 30th birthday)

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Spare Time
Reserve

Job requirements

Qualifications:

GCSEs at Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) in English language, Mathematics or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in English and Mathematics & BTEC National Certificate/Diploma in Photography, NVQ Level 2/3 in Photography or City and Guilds Full Technicians Certificate in Photography.

Age:

18 – 54 (Must attest before 55th birthday – Ex Regulars over the age of 55 may be considered on a case by case basis)

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

BE PREPARED

THIS ROLE REQUIRES YOU TO TAKE THE AIRMAN SELECTION TEST

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Full Time
Regular

Spare Time
Reserve