Occ. Code 2209200


New York State Department of Civil Service

Classification Standard


A Photographer 2 performs a variety of both still and motion picture photography and photographic processing activities. The purpose of this activity is to impart information about the activities and programs of an organization for instructional or public relations purposes; to record various activities and events; to record and document research findings; laboratory specimens and medical subjects; and for identification purposes.

Photographer 2 positions are located in several agencies, with the largest number in the Department of Mental Hygiene, State University and the Department of Transportation.


Photographer 2 positions are characterized by the use of a variety of photographic techniques and equipment and of artistic abilities in the planning and conduct of photographic activities that will best illustrate the specific objectives of the assignment. The preponderant photographic activities and technical processes performed by incumbents include taking motion pictures, aerial photography, videotapes for educational and television use, and photographs which often require the use of special photographic staging and lighting techniques and which are used for informational, identification, teaching, public relations, and legal purposes. Incumbents also may make photographs of clinical subjects and microscopic photographs of lab specimens for medical and scientific purposes which may require the use of special lighting techniques such as ultraviolet or infrared and specialized equipment. Such activities require the incumbent to understand the ideas and concepts to be interpreted, and are a substantial, regularly recurring part of the work of the position. Incumbents may supervise and train a small staff engaged in photographic activities, and recommend photographic techniques to the client that will present the subject matter to be illustrated most effectively.

Photographer 1 is the entry level class in the Photographer series characterized by the performance of a variety of routine still and motion picture photography work involving the use of standard cameras and photographic processing techniques. The photography produced by positions in this class is primarily for identification, information, record, or publicity purposes.

A Photographer 3 is typically the highest level photographer position in an agency with responsibility for the supervision and direction of a photography unit involved in work of considerable scope and volume, and for performing highly specialized photographic activities in such areas as medicine, research and commerce. Incumbents use such techniques as photomicrography, ultraviolet and infrared lighting, fluorography, endoscopic motion picture photography, autoradiography and aerial photography, and such specialized cameras and related equipment as high speed cameras and motion picture production cameras. Such techniques may require the adaptive and creative use of photographic equipment. Photographer 3 positions work closely with and consult with agency administrators and others concerning the planning, scheduling, and organization of the photographic aspects of the project, and recommends ways to improve the effectiveness of the photographic material produced. An incumbent may operate motion picture equipment on essentially a full-time basis requiring the incumbent to conceive and plan the effects desired in terms of the composition, lighting, exposure and camera angles, to edit film, and to recommend improvements to original ideas in light of the potentialities and limitations of the equipment and processes used.

Photographer 4 supervises and directs a department’s photographic program, which has extensive and varied photographic requirements and a staff performing highly specialized photographic activities whose photographic product has nationwide impact in furthering the department’s objectives.

Positions classified in the laboratory and medical illustration series are engaged in full-time laboratory or medical illustration and photography portraying laboratory specimens, findings and procedures by means of photographs and line illustrations. Incumbents of classes in this series are required to have experience or training in scientific or medical illustration and photography.


As directed, a Photographer 2 performs black and white and color photography utilizing a variety of photographic techniques and equipment to record and document events and findings for instructional, informational, legal, public relations, and identification purposes.

Photographs sites from airplanes in flight, usually using a hand held camera.

Based on photographic requirements, determines number of exposures and time lapse between them required to obtain picture.

Makes photographs of a variety of medical and research subjects including photography of lab specimens often requiring special lighting and photographic techniques; and of clinical subjects for documentary and training purposes.

Develops exposed black and white and color photographic film in a darkroom in series of water and chemical baths to produce negative or positive prints.

Makes enlarged or reduced photographic prints from original negatives determining such factors as type of paper, tone and contrast, and other special printing requirements according to the needs of the client, using an enlarger.

As assigned, supervises and trains a staff engaged in photographic activities.

Recommends the photographic methods and techniques that will present the subject matter to be illustrated most effectively. 


Photographer 2 positions have close working relationships with their supervisors, with staff contributing to the project, and with individuals and groups for whom photographic work is being prepared in sharing ideas, and discussing specific ideas, and problems relating to the assignment. Incumbents meet and confer with vendors, and with technical specialists, program administrators and others furnishing advice, information, service and materials to the photographic program.


Incumbents in this class are supervised by a higher level photographer or administrative position which assigns and schedules work, and as required, provides information and advice concerning the requirements and objectives of the photographic assignment. Assignments typically are carried out by incumbents with considerable technical independence. Work is reviewed to insure that it meets the requirements of the project including photographic quality, and that the objectives of the project are achieved.

Photographer 2 is typically a non-supervisory class. However, incumbents may supervise a small photographic staff in making assignments, scheduling work and providing technical direction, guidance and instruction in the performance of specific tasks.


Photographer 2 positions use standard photographic equipment such as still motion picture and copy cameras, and photographic processing equipment, materials and supplies including developing and enlarging equipment.


As assigned:


One year of permanent service as a Photographer 1.





 NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.


Reviewed: 6/02