15 Highest Paid Photography Jobs | 2021 Review

highest paid photography photographer jobs salary
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The thrill of being able to see things differently through the lens of a camera should be enough to fuel one’s passion, but we all know that isn’t entirely true. The issue of income is always present because we all need to survive while doing what we enjoy.

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Photography has evolved over the years from simply taking pictures in black and white to now requiring a variety of additional skills such as editing, videography, and so much more.

While every photography genre can earn thousands of dollars, there are fifteen photography jobs that are more financially rewarding. Join in as we go through our list of the highest-paid/paying photography jobs in the year 2021.

Is Photography a Good Career?

Photography is a good career because it allows you to use your talents, meet a lot of interesting people.

It takes you to a lot of interesting places, it gives you some control, and, most importantly, it pays well. All you have to do is put in the effort to make it happen and continue to learn the skills required to stay relevant.

Read: Top 10 Highest Paid Photographers in 2021

Do Photographers Make Money?

According to ZipRecruiter, ‘as of July 12, 2021, the average monthly payment for a Photographer in the United States is $3,593 a month.

However, the average pay range for a Photographer varies greatly (by as much as $2,000), implying that there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience.’

As a result, my answer would be yes!

Photographers do make money, and much of it is determined by their skill level, location, and years of experience.

How do Photographers Make Money?

There are numerous ways to make money with photography. You can sell prints, start a blog, share your work on social media, compete in photography contests, offer photography or retouching services, or teach.

You can monetize your photography skills depending on your personality and interests.

Later in this post, we will show the highest paid photography jobs.

How much do typical photographers make and what do photographers earn in each state of America?

According to indeed.com, a typical photographer in the US makes an average of $43,000 per year.

Here is a quick breakdown of how much photographers earn in each state in the US.

  • Alabama: $16.82 per hour
  • Arkansas: $17.80 per hour
  • California: $16.29 per hour
  • Colorado: $14.63 per hour
  • Alaska: $24.21 per hour
  • Arizona: $13.93 per hour
  • Connecticut: $15.64 per hour
  • Delaware: $16.59 per hour
  • District of Columbia: $20.56 per hour
  • Florida: $14.87 per hour
  • Georgia: $13.14 per hour
  • Hawaii: $15.21 per hour
  • Idaho: $13.46 per hour
  • Illinois: $12.83 per hour
  • Indiana: $18.03 per hour
  • Iowa: $13.87 per hour
  • Kansas: $15.37 per hour
  • Kentucky: $16.73 per hour
  • Louisiana: $14.76 per hour
  • Maine: $43.38 per hour
  • Maryland: $13.77 per hour
  • Nebraska: $32.87 per hour
  • Nevada: $13.72 per hour
  • Massachusetts: $17.08 per hour
  • Montana: $12.78 per hour
  • New Hampshire: $14.11 per hour
  • New Jersey: $15.23 per hour
  • North Carolina: $13.58 per hour
  • Oklahoma: $11.72 per hour
  • North Dakota: $16.63 per hour
  • Ohio: $14.37 per hour
  • New Mexico: $17.26 per hour
  • New York: $17.00 per hour
  • Oregon: $15.72 per hour
  • Pennsylvania: $15.73 per hour
  • Rhode Island: $17.85 per hour
  • South Carolina: $12.99 per hour
  • South Dakota: $20.60 per hour
  • Tennessee: $14.73 per hour
  • Texas: $21.51 per hour
  • Utah: $15.42 per hour
  • Vermont: $42.46 per hour
  • Michigan: $17.41 per hour
  • Minnesota: $17.81 per hour
  • Virginia: $14.59 per hour
  • Washington: $20.77 per hour
  • West Virginia: $16.56 per hour
  • Mississippi: $26.71 per hour
  • Missouri: $14.24 per hour
  • Wisconsin: $14.24 per hour
  • Wyoming: $17.15 per hour

These values vary based on your skill level, location, and years of experience.

What is a professional photographer’s salary?

Annual salaries range from $98,500 to $18,000, with the majority of Professional Photographer salaries currently ranging from $29,000 (25th percentile) to $40,000 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) earning $55,000 in the United States.

A Professional Photographer’s average pay range varies greatly (by as much as $11,000).

15 of the Highest Paying Photography Jobs | 2021 Review

These are the highest paying/paid photography jobs. They include;

1 PHOTO EDITOR

A photo editor works on photographs after they have been taken in order to improve their design and visual appeal.

Some photo editors work for publications such as magazines or websites, while others are self-employed.

Photo editors frequently use specialized software to adjust lighting, exposure, color saturation, and other settings that affect how a picture looks.

A photo editor earns about $16.10 per hour on average per year.

This is one of the highest paid photography jobs.

Read: 15 Best Free Video Editing Software For Android, PCs, iOS, And Mac

2. Photographer’s Assistant

A photographer’s assistant assists the photographer with anything they require prior to, during, and after a photoshoot.

This could include communicating with clients to set up photoshoot appointments, booking studios or other locations to shoot at, and transporting equipment such as additional lighting for a photographer.

Photographer’s assistants can also assist in the editing phase, preparing photos for clients with digital enhancements.

A photographer’s assistant makes approximately $14.33 per hour.

3. Stylist

A stylist creates outfits for a model or subject by selecting clothing for them to wear during a photoshoot.

They frequently work on photo shoots for magazines or fashion publications.

Stylists use their knowledge of fashion to ensure that each person being photographed looks exactly how the director wants them to look.

A stylist’s hourly wage is usually around $14.80.

4. Wedding Photographer

A wedding photographer captures images before and during weddings. Wedding photographers strive to make each photograph timeless and beautiful, and they understand how to capture their subjects in action.

They may take candid shots or pose people for photographs, and each collection of photographs is typically edited after the wedding before being delivered to their clients.

A wedding photographer earns approximately $17.24 per hour.

This is one of the highest paid photography jobs.

5. Photojournalist

A photojournalist is someone who takes photographs and displays them in a way that tells a story. They frequently concentrate on current events or developing news stories.

Photojournalists create a narrative effect by editing and arranging their photographs in specific ways.

Actually, photojournalists may work as freelance photographers, but they may also work for publications such as magazines and newspapers, as well as online or television outlets.

A photojournalist earns an average annual salary of $35,751.

Also read: How Much Do Journalists Make In 2021 | Full Job Description

6. Photo Retoucher

A photo retoucher improves aspects of digital photos by editing and adjusting picture settings.

Photo retouchers frequently work in industries such as fashion, where each photo requires a unique look.

Basically, they use software to remove blemishes, smoothen wrinkles, and mask body modifications like tattoos on the subjects in the photos they work on, in addition to adjusting elements like brightness and color saturation.

Every hour, a photo retoucher earns an average of $18.69.

7. Lighting Technician

A lighting technician works as part of a crew or team to install, program, and operate lighting equipment. Setting up standing lights to increase the brightness of a room or using gels to change the color of lighting fixtures can be examples of this.

Lighting technicians can also work on film sets, events, and stage productions.

A lighting technician earns an hourly wage of $18.88 on average.

8. Makeup Artist

A makeup artist in the photography industry designs and creates makeup looks for models or recreates makeup looks for private clients, such as brides, who are having their photos taken.

Makeup artists collaborate closely with stylists and hairstylists and have extensive knowledge of color theory, makeup materials, and how to apply makeup in a variety of ways on a wide range of skin tones.

Many makeup artists work freelance, but some may also work for agencies or salons that employ beauty teams.

A make-up artist earns approximately $28.95 per hour.

9. Freelance Photographer

A freelance photographer runs their own photography business and only accepts projects on which they are passionate and eager to work. Freelance photographers may specialize in a particular subject, such as children, pets, or family portraits.

They may have their own photography studio, or they may shoot on location.

They typically earn around $36.71 per hour, depending on their skill set and the number of gigs they get, among other factors.

10. Model

A model works as the subject of photoshoots, displaying products such as clothing, makeup, jewelry, and other accessories.

Models can also work as visual subjects for photojournalists in their photography stories. Many models, particularly those working in the fashion or commercial industries, are represented by an agency.

A model’s hourly wage is around $22.00.

This is one of the highest-paid photography jobs. Also, read about the highest paid models.

11. Commercial Photography

Commercial photography encompasses images created for marketing and advertising purposes, ranging from product shots to full editorial content!

It has different niches, each of which generates its own type of income.

Commercial music photographers, for example, create visual content for album covers and posters. In terms of income and payment, this is vastly different from, commercial photography for a massage parlor or perfume bottle.

A commercial photographer can expect to earn around $100,000 per year. This amount includes license fees, which are paid to the photographer in exchange for the right to use the photographs commercially. 

Licensing governs how and for how long an image can be used, with rates varying according to usage and duration.

12. Fashion Photography

Fashion photography is a specialized field that focuses on presenting clothing and wardrobe accessories in the best possible light.

It is deeply ingrained in marketing because the goal of this niche is to sell a lifestyle or idea associated with the clothing to increase sales.

Fashion photographers frequently succeed in selling the items to whoever sees the photograph(s).

A fashion photographer can expect to earn around $21 per hour.

Read: How To Start A Photography Business In 2021

13. Real Estate Photography

Real estate photographers contribute to the housing and rental markets by lubricating the gears with beautiful images that entice people to buy.

It’s nearly impossible to avoid hiring a real estate photographer, so these image-makers have a distinct advantage in the field – especially since their photography is seen as less of a luxury and more of a necessity!

A real estate photographer’s hourly rate is usually around $29 per hour.

14. Portrait Photographer

Portrait photographers are likely to be in high demand indefinitely. Your potential clientele truly includes anyone and everything – even pets!

People get portraits taken to commemorate specific life events (such as high school senior portraits), to commemorate the family (such as family portraits), to celebrate milestones in love (such as engagement photos), and to take professional photos for career purposes (headshots).

A portrait photographer’s annual salary is typically around $43,000.

This is one of the highest-paid photography jobs.

15. Landscape/Nature Photography

Landscape photography is one of the most ideal jobs in photography. The idea of simply traveling around, documenting our journeys, and photographing the world around us is enticing.

In practice, it is a difficult photography niche to break into.

There are a few paths you could take to become a landscape photographer as a career – all of which require a significant amount of effort and even some luck.

A nature photographer can expect to earn around $40,000 per year.

This is one of the highest paid photography jobs.

FAQs on the highest paid photography jobs

What is the highest-paid photographer salary?

The salary of a photographer is determined by factors such as location, skill level, experience, and even marketing and business skills. According to ZipRecruiter, annual salaries can range from $102,000 to $14,000.

What is the highest-paying photography job?

There are numerous jobs in photography where you can earn a lot of money. Wedding photography, commercial photography, product photography, and so on are just a few examples. The best-paying photography jobs are also determined by a variety of factors.

How can I make more as a photographer?

Photograph small businesses, teach photography, sell digital or printed copies of your work, sell your photos on stock websites, start a photography blog, invest in your art, lead photography tours and workshops, and become a social media guru. e.t.c

How much should I charge for photography?

Professional photographers typically charge between $100 and $250 per hour or between $25 and $100 per final edited image. Day rates for birthday parties range from $300 to $500, and weddings range from $1,000 to $3,000 per day.

Which type of photography is most in demand?

Landscape, architecture, wildlife, and photojournalism are among the highest-paying jobs for photographers.

Conclusion

If photography is your passion, you can safely turn it into a source of income. All it takes is hard work and a constant desire to improve your skills. Don’t forget to market yourself and your skills in a variety of ways.

We’d love to hear about your experiences in the world of photography.

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