How Much Do Photographers Make?

How Much Do Photographers Make?

There’s no easy answer to the question of how much photographers make. It depends on a variety of factors, including what type of photography in which you specialize, how experienced you are, and how successful your business may be. However, there are some general trends that can give you a rough idea of what to expect. In this article, we’ll explore those trends and give you some insight into how much photographers make on average.


What Factors Influence How Much a Photographer Makes?

There are several key factors that will affect how much money a photographer makes. This includes:

The Type of Photography in Which You Specialize

A photographer’s income is largely dependent on the specialized type of photography you offer. Some genres pay more than others and some are more competitive. Here we’ll take a look at some of the most common types of photography and how much money photographers can expect to make in each genre.

Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is one of the most popular genres and one of the most lucrative. Wedding photographers can make anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 per wedding, depending on your experience and the size of the wedding.

Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is another popular genre and it can be quite profitable. Portrait photographers typically charge by the hour, with rates ranging from $100 to $250 per hour.

Commercial Photography

Commercial photography is a broad category that includes everything from advertising images to product photography. Commercial photographers typically work with businesses and are paid per project or by the hour. Rates can vary widely, but most commercial photographers charge between $300-$600 per hour.


Freelance Photographers vs. Company Photographers

Freelance Photographers

Freelance photographers are self-employed and typically work with clients on a per-project basis. You set your own rates and keep 100% of the profits from each project. The average freelance photographer makes $100-$200 per hour, with rates depending on your experience and the type of photography you’re offering.

Company Photographers

Company photographers are employed by businesses and you will typically earn a salary or an hourly rate. Salaries can vary widely depending on the company and your experience, but most company photographers earn between $40,000-$70,000 per year.

Experience Level

Experience is another important factor that will affect your income. Generally, the more experience you have, the higher your rates will be and the more money you’ll make.

Entry-Level Photographers

Entry-level photographers typically have one to three years of experience and earn an average of $30,000 yearly.

Intermediate Photographers

Intermediate photographers have three to five years of experience and earn an average of $40,000 yearly.

Experienced Photographers

Experienced photographers have five or more years of experience and earn an average of $60,000 yearly.

The Success of Your Business

Your income is also influenced by the success of your business. The more successful your business is, the more money you’ll make. So, how do you measure the success of a photography business? There are a few key indicators:

  • The number of clients you have
  • Your average project rate
  • The size and scope of the projects you’re working on
  • How much repeat business you get
  • Your overhead costs

Geographic Location

Where you live and work also has an impact on your income. Photographers in larger cities or popular tourist destinations tend to make more money than those in smaller towns or rural areas. This is because there’s more demand for photography services in these areas.



So, how much money can you expect to make? This answer depends on a number of factors, including the type of photography in which you specialize, your level of experience, and the success of your business. Generally speaking, freelance photographers earn an average of $100-$200 per hour, while company photographers earn between $30,000 and $60,000 per year. The most successful photographers can make much more than this. It’s not uncommon for top photographers to charge $5,000-$15,000 per wedding for photography services.