Wednesday, May 17, 2006

How Much Money do Photographers Make?

By John S

Interested in knowing the average salary of a photographer? Well the answer to such a questions is always a little more complex and therefore requires a little thought before a solid number is able to be given. First of all, it should be noted that there is a wide discrepancy between the earnings of photographers. Some make very little money, others spend more money than they make, while still others make decent livings, some of whom even make upwards of $100,000 a year. However, according to statistics the average photographer makes between $14,000 and $54,748 with the median falling somewhere in between those two numbers.

If you want to be a photographer who makes more money than average you’ll need to be very strategic with how you approach your career. Below are some tips to ensure that you earn as much as possible during your tenure as a photographer.

1) Get as much photography education is possible. This industry is very “status” oriented. The more education you get the better chance you have of finding someone will want to employ your services. Photographers with more photography and artistic education will earn more than those without.

2) Another equally important, if not more important element to a successful and profitable photography career is to shoot as many great shots as possible of high profile events or people. Being able to name drop, or event drop in this industry will ensure you can charge the best rates in the industry. Try your hardest to get a couple high profile people, places or things under your belt. To the average person or business your credibility will automatically shoot up. Imagine you’re looking to get some family portraits done and you have the option of choosing two different photographers. One of the photographers has photographed a couple of celebrities while the other hasn’t. You will probably be more likely to want the higher profile photographer. Buying photography is very emotional just like all other buying. While the photographer who photographs celebrities isn’t necessarily better than the other photographer, but the public will see it that way. Plus, when they tell their friends who their photographer is they will enjoy saying “they are the same photographer that photographed ____________ (insert high profile name or event here)”.

3) Get as much experience as possible and build a breathtaking portfolio. In this industry you can greatly improve your earning potential by having a strong eye for detail. Look at other photographers portfolios and incorporate all of the most eye catching elements into your own portfolio. Always present yourself in a professional manner and make sure you get to show people your work and talk about your accomplishments.

4) A photography career requires a wide degree of creativity. You’ll need to be able to change with the times and quickly change to meet someone else’s photographic expectations. Working as a photographer means you’ll be working in a very competitive environment. This is because many creative and entrepreneurial people feel passionate about this industry. You’ll need to ensure you separate yourself from the pact with your own unique style and good sense of creativity. Buy various style magazines and photography journals. Watch creative movies and learn as much about fashion as possible. The better your understanding of style the more employable you’ll be.

The above will hold true whether you are like half of the photographers out there today and self employed or if you are employed by a company or other institution. Being able to tell a story visually can be a very exciting thing. Now you just have to find a way to be able to do it and get paid for it!

Stare Photography School

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