MFAH Collections Photographer

Position Available


Date of Job Description March 29, 2023


  • Responsible for providing photographs of objects from the permanent collection of the MFAH, including Bayou Bend and Rienzi, with particular emphasis on two-dimensional works, such as collection photography and prints & drawings
  • Photographs, as needed, objects on loan to the MFAH for exhibition and research
  • Photographs exhibition spaces within the museum galleries, as well as at Bayou Bend, Rienzi, and the Glassell School of Art
  • May take video of MFAH kinetic artworks, temporary exhibitions and permanent collection galleries 
  • Consults with museum staff including curators, registrars, preparators, conservators, and designers to gather information to determine how objects should be photographed for specific projects
  • May also participate in the coordination of movement of artworks with Preparations Department to move objects to or within the Photo Studio
  • Stays apprised of new technology.  Should keep Photographic and Imaging Services Manager apprised of new trends, equipment and techniques
  • Other tasks as assigned

Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Must possess a broad knowledge of photographic processes, methods and new technologies
  • Must be skilled in matters of lighting, particularly as pertains to works on paper and photography
  • Must be able to work with museum staff from various departments and function well within a team-oriented environment
  • Must have command of a variety of professional cameras and equipment, including medium format, 35mm, copystand, electronic strobe, continuous lighting, and diffusers
  • Must be able to maintain photographic equipment and lenses in accordance with MFAH policies and agreed upon and accepted best practices
  • Must have the availability to judge and correct digital proofs for color, contrast, and density when compared to original objects
  • Must be able to support and implement photographic policies and objectives in coordination with the Photographic and Imaging Services Manager, which will directly support museum activities and goals
  • Must have knowledge of specialized software applications (including CaptureOne and Photoshop)
  • Must have the ability to use cross platform computers, operating systems and applications
  • Knowledge and/or familiarity with museum and art handling procedures will be a real plus for this role
  • Must be HIGHLY ORGANIZED and with demonstrated ability to work successfully with little direct supervision
  • Ability to assess priorities, work well under pressure; manage time efficiently, analyze and solve problems independently and when needed, collaboratively

Education and Experience:

  • Minimum of five years of direct or related experience in cultural heritage photography
  • A combination of experience gathered from technical photography school, apprenticeship and on-the-job training
  • BFA in photography and knowledge of art history preferred
  • Experience utilizing professional digital camera systems
  • Demonstrated ability to discriminate and adjust fine tonal variations and color fidelity of digital reproductions against original objects
  • Portfolio of work required


The MFAH is an organization comprised of 600+ employees and 1,000+ docents and volunteers. The museum is more than 100 years old and ranks nationally among the top 10 art museums in exhibition space, memberships, endowments, and attendance, with 1M visitors annually. Our multifaceted institution includes multiple gallery buildings, a sculpture garden, two art schools, three eateries and two (2) house museums for decorative arts. The encyclopedic collection numbers more than 70,000 works of art in a wide range of media. As an employer, MFAH offers a supportive, collegial and inclusive work environment and a competitive benefits package.


Title: Collections Photographer

Reports to: Photos and Imaging Manager

Classification: Non-Exempt/Hourly

Schedule: 35-hour work week – 9 am to 5 pm

Pay Rate: Please see “Compensation” below

Work Location: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (All campus sites)

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

Work will primarily be performed in photo studio.  Work will involve extended sitting and computer use.  With or without reasonable accommodation, the individual selected must have the capacity to perform effectively all essential functions. In addition to the other demands mentioned, the demands of the job may or will include: 

  • Must undergo and meet company standards for background and reference checks. 
  • Required ability to handle multiple tasks concurrently. 
  • Extensive equipment usage – cameras, lenses, computers and related equipment. 
  • Seeing, hearing, speaking, and writing clearly in order to communicate with staff, guests and others.  
  • Frequent sitting, standing and walking, which may be required for extended periods of time. 
  • Good vision or corrected by use of glasses and/or contacts for reading and viewing abilities. 

Equal Opportunities for All

At the MFAH, we believe that diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusivity are fundamental to our organization. We welcome all candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our organization and our pledge for workplace diversity, inclusion, and excellence.

Our commitment to our policy and practice of nondiscrimination represents more than good intentions. It provides for employment decisions that are made without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, or veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established by law or any other reason unrelated to your ability to join and contribute to our organization and support our mission to provide a museum experience for all.

Research shows that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that an applicant meets 100% of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if much of this job description describes you, then you are highly encouraged to apply for this role.

The MFAH is equally committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals interested in employment with the organization. As part of this commitment, we want to ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation needed to 1) participate in the job application or 2) interview process; 3) perform essential job functions; and/or 4) participate in the benefits and privileges of employment with the MFAH. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact the human resources department:


The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, offers an excellent benefits package that includes:

  • Medical Insurance: Employee and dependent coverage through a choice of managed health care programs
  • Dental Insurance: Employee and dependent coverage through two plan choices
  • Vision Insurance: Employee and dependent coverage through a vision program
  • Group health, dental and vision insurance coverage available and effective the first of the month following employment with the MFAH for this role.
  • Life Insurance & AD&D: Employee coverage at no cost to the employee
  • Long Term Disability: Employee coverage at no cost to the employee

The MFAH provides a generous schedule for time off under the following benefit categories:

  • Paid Time Off – Used for absences from work such as vacation, illness of short duration, and personal reasons. Hours are accrued biweekly, based on employment status, length of service, and hours worked
  • Reserve Time Off – Used for extended illnesses. Employees accrue up to 6 days per year, up to a maximum of 120 days
  • Holidays – Full-time employees receive ten paid holidays per year
  • Volunteer Time Off – The MFAH supports activities that enhance and serve the communities in which we live and work. Employees receive up to 40 hours of paid time off annually to give back and volunteer.

Other Benefits

  • Staff may contribute to the MFAH Retirement Savings Plan. Eligible staff contributing to the plan may receive up to a 5% matching contribution from the MFAH after one year of service.  (We also recognize prior nonprofit service which will provide for an accelerated employer match!)
  • MFAH Membership – Staff receive a free Family-level membership
  • Discounts – Staff receive discounts on purchases at the Museum shop and all on campus eateries and the Glassell School of Art.
  • Metro commuter subsidy available upon request


Salary will be commensurate with the applicant’s experience and the needs and requirements expressed in the job description.  The MFAH has set the pay range for this job and level as a general guideline and not a guarantee of the compensation amount or salary.  Additional factors considered in extending an offer include (but are not limited to) responsibilities of the job, education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, the needs and requirements expressed in the job description, as well as internal equity, and alignment with market data, and any related regulations or other laws.

Application Procedure 

Qualified applicants should apply online, which will be the most effective way to ensure consideration.  Application materials should include a cover letter, your resume or CV, a link to your portfolio of work, and if you prefer, a list of references will be accepted but not required at this early stage in the process.

Applications or letters of interest sent via mail, fax, or direct email to a staff member will not ensure consideration.  

Visit the MFAH Careers page at –

  1. “Click” on All current employment opportunities 
  2. Scroll through the listings to find this role. 
  3. “Click” and apply! 
  4. It’s that easy.