A Day in the Life of a Military Photographer

One of the most important jobs in the military is that of the photographer. Here, a USAF photographer takes through a typical day for them.

In this video, USAF First Lieutenant Sam Eckholm takes us behind the scenes to show us what a day in the life of an Air Force photographer is like. Even as a USAF prior service member myself and someone who grew up in a big USAF base town, it took me an embarrassingly long time to learn that there was such a profession as military photographer. Since the time I was introduced to my first USAF photographer, I have been learning more and more about how photographers have been a linchpin in the military, often connecting those in combat to those at home and creating iconic moments in history. 

There is a saying in medicine: “the only winner in war is medicine.” I would think that this sentiment could be extended into photography. Most notably, Kodak Aerochrome, an iconic film, was made for reconnaissance missions, to help identify enemies who were easily able to blend into lush forests of green. 

Prior to my return to film photography, my uncle was a photographer for the US Navy, and he left me his Mamiya RB67 — the same camera I shoot to this day. Do you know someone who served in the military, in the US or abroad, as a photographer? Do you know what gear they used?