Many amateur photographers are eager to take their hobby on as a full-time career. What is not to love? Many photographers have the opportunity to meet new people, scope out new products, travel, and get exposed to many exciting experiences. If you love photography, then choosing this path will never become boring.
However, people often wonder how much photographers actually make. This really depends on their field and what their expertise is. Wages can absolutely vary! Don't worry. I did the research for you, so you won't need to scour the internet for the average pay wages.
Commercial photography is what companies hire to advertise and market their products. It is the photographer's job to highlight the benefits of the products or services to lure consumers. Visual aids are always a marketing advantage, and there will always be a need for commercial photographers.
However, companies are more open to hiring skilled and experienced photographers with a proven track record rather than someone just starting off. If this is the path you want to take, you will want to beef up your portfolio to show off your skills. Success in this genre requires you to master post-processing to prove that the company won't also have to hire a photo editor - you want to be a one-stop shop.
The advantage of commercial photography is that there will always be new products and services to market. This isn't really an over-saturated area. However, on the flip side is the disadvantage. If your portfolio is non-existent, you will have a hard time thriving.
Money Talks: This is one of the higher-paying jobs you could get. Commercial photography can easily earn you around $100,000 per year and more.
Although the big bucks are in commercial photography, the more desirable option is fashion photography. This is definitely a saturated genre of photography - many people strive to be fashion photographers. A fashion photographer takes photos of models for magazines, advertisements, or a model's portfolio.
Some end up being street fashion, editorial, or runway photographers. To succeed, you should have a good grasp of composition and the best poses for different body types and styles to help your model.
The advantage of fashion photography has the chance to run into glamorous celebrities, and the disadvantage is how hard it is to make it as a successful fashion photographer.
Money Talks: There's room to grow and really rake in cash. However, the average salary is anywhere between $45,000 to $70,000.
If you feel like you shine when editing photos, this might be your perfect hustle! Photo editing can become tedious and, depending on your personality, annoying. Although I know my way around software like Light Room and Photoshop, I've grown to dislike the task of editing. I frequently feel overwhelmed (although, yes, it's fantastic) by all of the editing possibilities. I know some people that love this task and even find it almost soothing. If this is your jam, then work with it. You can do anything from altering the visual appearance to adding special effects. To succeed in this genre, you should know your way around photo editing software, be great at organizing, and be creative.
For you hermits out there, you will be happy to know that the advantage of being a photo editor is that you can do this in your pajamas at home, and there is no need to leave the comfort of your home.
Money Talks: The average salary is about $46,000 a year and more.
While photo editing is ideal for hermits, wedding photography is meant for social butterflies. Just like the title says, wedding photographers capture weddings. Weddings are typically one of the most special and memorable days in that couple's life. You need to be outgoing and engaging with the bride and groom and the wedding party and guests. If you are a half-glass-empty kinda person or someone who gets annoyed with happiness, then steer clear. This is best for someone who is naturally bubbly and outgoing.
Weddings will never stop - this tradition has been going on for centuries. So the advantage of this industry is having an abundant request for jobs, and the disadvantage is how draining and tired weddings can make you - you will be on your feet for several hours on a wedding day and need to move quickly.
Money Talks: The average salary is $50,000 a year and more.
A photojournalist photographs special events for magazines and newspapers. These photographers are there to capture sporting events, political rallies, stories that are developing, or anything else of interest. To be a photojournalist, you must tell a story and capture the perfect moments. You can either freelance or work for a news agency.
You have an opportunity to stay in the know and be involved in memorable events. However, you will need to know how to navigate large crowds and be at the right spot at the right time.
Money Talks: The average salary for photojournalists is about $42,000 a year and more.
Again, here's another genre that won't go out of style. Portrait photography will always be in demand for families, people needing headshots, and professionals. If you choose to be a portrait photographer, create a relaxing and friendly environment to create natural smiles, not forced ones. You want to ensure the person you photograph is happy with the outcome. Usually, portrait photographers work for themselves and have other freelance opportunities.
Money Talks: Portrait photographers can rake in about $50,000 a year.
Food photographers capture food to make the viewers' mouth water. This one is similar to commercial photography, except their specialty is food! Usually, these photographers take photographs for food magazines and reviews. In this environment, you will need to work fast and know how to photograph food in the best lighting while making it look appetizing. You may work with a food stylist to assist you.
Many food photographers can practice without much experience and have the potential to work their way up to make decent money.
Money Talks: The average salary is about $40,000 but can be much higher if you start working for more notorious brands.
Nature & Landscape Photographer
When you are a nature and landscape photographer, you have the opportunity to travel and see gorgeous landscapes. Wildlife photographers might even spend a few weeks trying to capture the perfect shot of the animal they want. You will definitely want a jam-packed portfolio and lots of experience to be successful. Working in this environment will require patience. You can spend countless hours just waiting for the right shot and will have to work around the natural elements for perfect weather.
Unless you're a homebody, there aren't many cons to being a nature and landscape photographer. This job will take you around the world, and you will gain so many exciting experiences.
Money Talks: The salary is a bit on the lower side at an average of $40,000 per year.
Related article: Wildlife Photography Tips
As the name implies, medical photographers snap anything related to the medical world. These photographs are usually used in textbooks and manuals, so they can get a bit gruesome - thinking of taking a picture in an operating room. This is definitely more technical than creative. The perfect person for this should be type-A and very detail-oriented.
The disadvantage of medical photography is the lack of creative freedom. The plus side, you can make a decent living.
Money Talks: You can expect an average of $55,000 a year.
Sports photography could fall under photojournalism; however, it has branched into its own genre because of the popularity of sports. And it doesn't stop with photographing a sporting event, which can extend into editorial, fashion, and even product photography.
Sports Photography is another sought-after career, just like fashion photography. This is a great career opportunity for avid sports fans. You should have a passion that almost reaches the passion sports fans have. If you've ever met a die-hard sports fan, you should know what I mean then! You want them to be happy with the outcome. You will also want to ensure you invest in the right equipment to photograph motion perfectly. You will need an arsenal of lenses depending on what sport you are trying to capture.
The disadvantage of sports photography is how competitive the field is. It can be tough to get into the scene, and you can be incredibly successful once you do. If this is your photography passion, try to network as much as possible.
Money Talks: The average salary for a sports photographer is $70,000 annually.
Your first step is to start building your portfolio if any of the jobs above pique your interest. And, of course, network your butt off so you can meet the right people who will help you advance in your career. Stay persistent, and you can turn your hobby into a career!
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