Is There Money to be Made in Photography?

Photography is a career that combines technical knowledge with artistic creativity. Like with most arts-related careers, though, many are skeptical about the ability to actually turn this into a career. Even with the proper education, can you make a good salary as a photographer? Let’s take a look at what you can earn in this field, as well as how you can earn more money.

Average Salary as a Photographer

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, photographers make around $36,000 annually, on average, with the middle 50% earning between $20,710 and $43,700 annually. This, of course, depends on a number of factors, such as your education level, the kind of photographer you do, the size of your employer, your location, and your skills. Photography is also a career you can do on a part-time basis, so if you’re working on an hourly basis, you can expect to earn an average of $17.30 per hour.

Owning Your Own Photographer Business

One of the ways you can earn more money as a photographer is to own your own business. This is definitely not the easiest path, but your earning potential is limitless when you work for yourself.

When you work for yourself, you can make money in two different ways. First, you can schedules shoots where you’ll be paid for your time to photograph a certain event or take shots a client wants. For example, you can photographer a wedding or you can be hired to take photographs of products for a business’ marketing material. Second, you can shoot what you like and sell the photography from there, in an art studio or to publications. Many photographers do a combination of both.

Types of Photography

Most photographers choose to specialize in one area and doing so can help determine the salary you’ll earn. Some of your options include medical photographer, crime scene or forensic photography, portraits photography, commercial photographer, and fashion photography, just to name a few. While in college, explore all of these options to figure out what you like and what you do best. No matter what specific field of photography, you’ll make more money if you have high-level skills and enjoy what you’re doing.

Best Online Photography and Design Schools

Full Sail University . Full Sail University's BS in Digital Cinematography synthesizes the concepts of traditional filmmaking with the technological tools that can be utilized. Courses include lighting and cinematography, aesthetics of scene composition, color theory, and creative writing. Full Sail's BS in Graphic Design, meanwhile, teaches students how to use the tools and software used by design professionals, and thereby sharpen one's design skills.
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