Museum Market Banner
Museum Jobs header

Museums Associations Service Providers List Yours Articles Books Conferences Museum JobsMuseum Studies Contact Us


Asian Art Museum logo

Museum Photographer

Posted: October 30, 2014

Asian Art Museum


San Francisco, California, USA

Required Degree: BA/BFA

Full-time, Experienced

Salary: $50856 to $61069 + benefits

The Asian Art Museum offers an amazing opportunity for a talented and experienced photographer to produce images of exceptional quality and capture the essence of fine artwork.

The Museum Photographer, reporting to the Image Services Manager, will be responsible for photographing two- and three-dimensional objects including but not limited to paintings, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, metals, lacquers, jades, and other objects from the museum's internationally renowned collection of approximately 19,000 artworks and artifacts. The photographs will be used for purposes of print and electronic reproduction, research, study, conservation treatment documentation, and collections database. The Photographer must exercise care and skill in handling artwork safely and expertly in accordance with museum guidelines.S/he will work closely with a wide range of museum professionals including curators, conservators, and registrars.

• Prepares, sets up, arranges, and adjusts studio lighting and other professional photography equipment for the purposes of photographing both two- and three-dimensional artworks for print and electronic reproduction; plans composition and design unique lighting scenarios for all types of objects to meet museum standards and assignment objectives.

• Photographs objects of varying sizes and surfaces from all curatorial collections; produces images of exceptional quality.

• Processes images adhering to the digital imaging workflow, including but not limited to file naming and metadata entry at point of capture; prepares color-accurate image files for archiving, print, and electronic reproduction.

• Assists with quality assurance, post-production, and records management.

• Assists with the photographic documentation of various exhibitions, programs, and events.

• Troubleshoots and solves complex technical problems associated with professional imaging.

• Researches advancements in digital technology for art documentation and image storage to maintain current best practices in cultural heritage imaging and preservation; keeps abreast of developments in camera systems, studio equipment, hardware, software, techniques, and industry-standard accepted best practices.

• BA or BFA in Photography, Art, or related field from an accredited college or university

• Three (3) years of increasingly responsible experience in various phases of digital photography in a museum, gallery, or similar setting. Studio management experience preferred. OR an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.

• Experience constructing both studio and location-specific lighting, as evidenced by portfolio content

• Experience with digital capture of two-dimensional work using a copy stand

• Extensive theoretical and working knowledge of the principles and techniques of studio lighting and digital photography

• Thorough understanding of how best to employ techniques associated with tilt/shift functionality, panoramic stitching, and macro stacking; fluent in digitization and reproduction best practices utilizing professional-grade scanners and large format printers

• Excellent facility with both MAC and PC environments, Adobe Imaging Suite and other image editing software, and color-management systems, including CMYK conversions

• Good facility with peripheral systems such as e-mail, collections and digital asset management systems, and Internet browsers

• Strong written and verbal communication skills; exceptional organizational and analytical skills with good attention to detail

• Ability and skill to use good judgment and ingenuity in solving complex problems associated with photographing two- and three-dimensional art objects and in handling irreplaceable works of art in compliance with museum standards

• Ability to work both independently and as a team player in a collaborative, collegial environment; to respond with a sense of urgency and deliberation to constantly changing priorities

• Initiative and desire to research and learn new imaging technologies and to troubleshoot technical problems related to imaging

*$ 24.45 to $29.36 per hour (annualized equivalent of $50,856 to $61,069) with generous benefits package

*Please note: This position is represented by SEIU 1021. New hires start at the beginning of the salary range.

The Asian Art Museum is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art, with a mission of introducing the diverse art and cultures of the Asian continent to a global audience. Home to more than 18,000 works of art from over 40 Asian countries, we strive to be a catalyst for discovery, dialogue, and inspiration. With Asia as our lens and art as our cornerstone, we spark connections across cultures and through time, igniting curiosity, conversation, and creativity.

The Asian Art Museum embraces diversity in its mission, programs, and staff.

Application Website:

Museum Website:

Back to top

Museum Careers footer