How Much Salary Can Photographers Make?

by Photo Shoot #Goals Staff
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photographer salary

Now more than ever people enjoy taking photos. You can log on to just about any social media platform and see photos ranging from someone’s lunch, a selfie, or a favorite moment of your friend’s most recent vacation.

But did you know that there is quite a bit of money that can be made from being a photographer? Many people make a living by capturing special moments. Today we’re going to talk about the salary of a photographer and what you can do to make more money.

Let’s Talk Photographer Salary

There are a lot of factors to how much a photographer can make. This can range from the amount of experience someone has, their online presence, and what type of photography packages they offer. If you only shoot senior photos, you’re likely to make a smaller salary than someone who offers wedding packages, senior photos, family portraits, and more.

The majority of photographers are freelance. This definitely has its pros and cons, but one of the biggest perks is that you can set your own prices. Photography is one of the few markets that doesn’t necessarily have an average salary due to the many factors that are involved. Depending on your rates, how established you are, and other factors, you can make between $21,000 – $80,000 per year as a photographer.

Factors That Impact How Much You’re Making as a Photographer


Location plays a huge role in how much you can make as a photographer. It’s also a double-edged sword. For instance, if you live in a large city, you’ll have a much larger pool of people who can become customers.

On the other hand, you will likely have a lot of competition as well. If you find yourself in a smaller town, there will be less competition and you might even be the only photographer around. You may have fewer customers, but many photographers are willing to travel.

Online Presence

When you’re starting as a photographer, it is important to create an online presence. It could make a large difference in how much you make with your photos. Social media platforms such as Instagram are a great place to showcase your portfolio, follow fellow photographers, and get inspired. It’s an easy way for potential customers to view your work and see what you have to offer.

Types of Photography

The types of photography you offer is a major factor in the salary you can make. This is a double-edged sword as well. On one hand, if you have several types of photography available such as weddings, maternity, family photos, senior shoots, and newborn photos, you are likely to make a lot of money than if you were to just shoot one of those categories.

You may hear more seasoned photographers say that finding a niche and sticking to it is how they make the most money. There are photographers out there who only shoot weddings and nothing else.

This is likely the only category where are you could focus solely on that type of photography and still make a lot of money. This is simply because wedding photography is the most profitable.


Just like any other job, most people prefer experience. If you are a beginner, consider offering shoots to your friends and family to get a bit more experience. This also allows you to build up your portfolio for potential customers to see if they enjoy your work.

How to Make Additional Salary as a Photographer:

Have Options

Like you read about above, having options when it comes to the type of photoshoots you offer is a great way to make more money. You may also want to increase the options when it comes to what packages you have available. Consider running specials or having promotions to increase sales.


Self-promotion can feel awkward and forced at first, especially if you’re just starting in the photography world. If you are a freelance photographer, self-promotion will be a key to your success. This can be something as simple as posting on social media about a sale you have on senior photo sessions, or posting to your Instagram story to let your followers know you have a new photo on your feed for them to check out. Never be afraid of self-promotion but also be cautious not to come off to sales pitchy and pushy.

Brand Yourself

Lastly, make sure you brand yourself. New photographers tend to miss the step. Branding yourself will help you stand out from other photographers and can even make it possible to recognize your work just by looking at it. Do some research and look at other photographers who inspire you to get an idea of how you’d like to brand yourself and your business.

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