at The Obama Foundation (view profile)
Published January 25, 2024
Location Chicago, Illinois
Category Non-Profit  
Job Type Temporary/Term-Limited  
Apply Here
Cover Letter Requirements Recommended
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency $59,755
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency $74,670
Hourly or Salary? Salary


Purpose of the Role

The Photographer will provide archival and editorial-quality digital photography and digitization services to support the visual documentation of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) Museum collections, loans and potential loan materials, exhibition installations, and programmatic activity. Reporting to the Collections Manager and collaborating with a diverse range of internal stakeholders, the Photographer will play a leadership role in establishing, documenting, launching, and maintaining photographic and digitization protocols, workflows, and quality control standards to create a robust body of high-quality digital images; support and facilitate image preservation, discovery, and delivery through the adherence to metadata best practices; and enhance the OPC’s visibility and ability to serve as a model collecting, educational, and cultural resource and destination in keeping with the Foundation’s mission and values.

This is a term position with an end date of December 31, 2025

Core Job Responsibilities

  • Photographic Services: Provide digital photography and imaging services including artifact photography in keeping with cultural heritage best practices and in-house requirements for FADGI compliance. Proactively photograph and/or digitize priority two-and three-dimensional artifacts and fulfill other photo requests as requested and as time permits, including events photography, installation photography, studio portraits, and the production of high-quality digital prints and/or facsimiles. Perform all post-production editing and file renaming, add/update metadata and ingest assets into the DAMS system in accordance with established procedure.
  • Workflows and Quality Control Standards: Develop and maintain digital photography and imaging services protocols, processes, and training materials to facilitate and ensure the efficient production, archiving, and delivery of high-quality digital image assets. Utilize color management systems to build accurate input and display profiles.
  • Equipment/Workspace: Identify, purchase, set up, and maintain the software, equipment, and supplies necessary for the photographic services program to meet the Foundation’s programmatic, preservation, access, and quality control requirements; ensure that all relevant equipment and workspaces promote the safe and efficient handling and photography/digitization of collections and loan materials. Research newly available technology and recommend upgrades as necessary. Keep photography/digitization workspaces clean and well organized.
  • Work Orders: Establish/maintain a work order system for tracking and fulfilling photographic services requests. Ensure the on-time completion of work assignments and the delivery of requested image assets.
  • Database/Metadata Implementation: Utilize the Foundation’s collections management information system (CIMS), digital assets management system (DAMS), and other databases/technologies as appropriate to track artifact locations, create/update artifact and image metadata, support OPC projects, and facilitate image archiving, preservation, and discovery.Strategic Planning, Budgeting, and Procurement: Participate in strategic, operational, and project planning and budgeting processes.Other Duties as Assigned: Support other initiatives as required.

Key Deliverables / Outcomes

  • Lead the development and implementation of image capture and post-production workflows necessary to establish and activate a responsive and efficient
  • photographic services program to support the OPC’s collections management, curatorial, and programmatic requirements in keeping with cultural heritage best practices.
  • Establish, launch, and maintain safe and efficient, flexible, and functional workspaces to support the delivery of photographic services both on- and off-site in the lead-up to the OPC public opening and beyond.
  • Photograph/digitize priority artifacts (including Foundation-owned as well as loaned materials); complete the post-production processing and ingest of these images on a timeline to be determined in order to support the Foundation’s pre- and post-opening deadlines for the OPC.
  • Provide additional photography, post-production, and metadata services as needed to support the Foundation’s collections, exhibitions, marketing, and programmatic activities and requirements.
  • Provide support and expertise in planning, executing, and implementing the  Foundation’s existing and future technologies (including digital asset management system and collections information management system) to support the establishment of a robust, discoverable, and accessible digital archive of OPC- and collections-related image assets.

Required Qualifications

  • Knowledge and skills equivalent to completion of four years of college with course work in digital imaging, photography, or other relevant discipline. Minimum of five years’ experience in a photography studio, preferably in a museum or other cultural heritage organization; prior experience managing a photography studio and/or digitization program strongly preferred.
  • Substantive experience photographing historic artifacts and/or works of art of varying size and media, exhibition installations, building interiors and exteriors, and events and activities under challenging lighting conditions. Experience creating, documenting, and maintaining best practices for digital workflows, including precision color calibration and image accuracy.
  • Strong knowledge of digital photography techniques, including DSLR and medium and/or large-format digital cameras, studio lighting equipment, and color management for displays and printers. Advanced knowledge and skill in Adobe Creative Suite, particularly PhotoShop, Lightroom, Bridge, and Capture One software. Photogrammetry and/or video production knowledge and experience a plus.
  • Self-directed and service oriented; highly organized, with demonstrated ability to prioritize and multitask; strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Willingness and ability to travel and work long and/or unusual hours as necessary to accommodate operational requirements.
  • High level of visual acuity (with assistive lenses if necessary), fine- and gross-motor skills; ability to handle artifacts safely and efficiently and in accordance with supervisor training.

The salary range for this role is between $59,755 and $74,670.

Don’t check off every box in the requirements listed above? Please apply anyway! Studies have shown that marginalized communities - such as women, LGBTQ+ and people of color - are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. The Obama Foundation is dedicated to building an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible workplace that fosters a sense of belonging – so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to still consider submitting an application. You may be just the right candidate for this role or another one of our openings!

In the interest of employee health and safety during the pendency of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Obama Foundation is requiring that all prospective employees present proof that they are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, or seek a reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons, prior to their first day of employment.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply. If you are a qualified candidate with a disability, please e-mail us at if you require a reasonable accommodation to complete this application.