photography careers that pay well

Thinking About Getting Into Photography? Here are Photography Careers That Pay Well

For the longest time, photography has been one of the best things that I have managed to learn. Now, the thing that most people do not know about photography is that it is not something that just has to be a hobby for you. It is one of those talents that you can easily monetize if you wish to turn it into a career and while it certainly is going to take time to develop yourself and hone your craft, it is not impossible.

However, before people get into photography, a lot of people actually go ahead and start wondering about the photography careers that pay well. I have to address the elephant in the room here and that is that even though there are careers that pay a good amount of money, you are not just going to get into one based on the fact that you have a camera.

Much like other careers out there, photography also requires you to learn, and the more you learn, the better you get, and the better you get at it and the better you get at it, the more you are going to be able to make as a photographer.

Therefore, we are going to take a deep dive into the world of photography as well as have a look at photography careers that pay well. After all, everyone wants to know how being a shutterbug can benefit them.

Photography Careers that Pay well

Does Photography Pay Well?

Okay, this is one burning question that I have been asked so many times that is not even funny, at this point. People wondering whether photography pays well or not will need to understand that it highly varies from the country to country, or even city to city. 

However, the internet is a wonderful thing and a quick search can actually reveal how much photographers can earn. At the same time, I would highly suggest that you take these earnings with a grain of discrepancy because all of this depends a lot on the experience, as well as other factors.

For those wondering, on average, a photographer can make as much as $51,154 per year based on statistics from However, there are a lot of companies that pay as high as $181,530 a year. This is not just pure luck as it all boils down to experience and how good your pictures are.

The better you are at your craft, the higher your probability of earning more money as a photographer. Rest assured, the information is certainly going to help you.

How Much Do Photography Teachers Make

Moving further, another thing that one must understand about photography is that you do not always have to be a photographer and make money. Now, I get it that you might be confused about this all but don’t be. You can actually go ahead and make money through teaching photography and while it does not involve as much field work, it still is a great way of getting started as you will be getting the chance of doing something you love and imparting your knowledge to others, at the same time.

In case you have been thinking about it. According to, a photography teacher can make anywhere from $45,160 to $59,734. With the average salary being $51,734. This is a year we are talking about and the more you know about it, the more helpful this is going to be.

Additionally, you have to understand the fact that salary can actually change because of various added factors such as education, certifications, actual skills, the number of years a photographer has spent in their profession, as well as other factors such as their work. Needless to say, in modern-day and age, there is a very easy chance that most of the photography teachers end up making more than what the stats might show. 

Men holding Canon Camera

How Much Does a Director of Photography Make?

Another thing that you have to keep in mind is that being a photographer has a lot of outreach in terms of profession and the prowess that you can get out of it. Most of the time, people are not really aware of the fact that there are chances that you can end up doing a lot better in your profession if you are just keeping a track of it and doing things the right way.

Now, you have to understand that being a director of photography is no small feat – as a matter of fact, it is one of the most prestigious things that one can do in the world of photography. Based on the information from Glassdoor, a director of photography can earn up to $84,509 a year in the United States, with an average salary being $67,246 per year. However, this is from a median, and there are chances that the director of photography ends up earning more than that a year.

Is Photography a Good Career?

Now, this question is something that has come to us more times than we can count, and honestly, I do not mind answering them at all because at the end of the day if you are looking to start a career, I would always suggest that you pick something that you are inherently good at because otherwise, you might not be able to get the experience that you are looking at.

If you have an eye for photography, I would highly suggest that you are looking into getting the right understanding and developing the experience, as well. After all, photography as an art form takes some time before you can master it and the more you know about it, the better it actually becomes. Therefore, it is always better that you are looking into photography as a career.

Yes, photography is an excellent career; however, it is not for everyone. You see, it is easy to pick up a camera and take a photo; most of us are carrying cameras with us in the form of smartphones. However, it is more important to understand that in photography, you have to be creatively good; you will also need to have a sense of photography, compositional expertise, and technical expertise, as well. A photography career is surely something that can be challenging and it will definitely give you a hard time but if you are steadfast in your pursuits, it can take you places. We have a complete guide on how to make photography a career you can read that too.

men holding camera

What are the Highest Paying Photography Jobs?

Now, when you are looking into photography as a career, you have to understand that finding a photography job is not as easy as one might think, to be honest. Why? Well, in most cases, you are not making a lot of money if you are not doing it right.

Still, for those interested, we are going to discuss some of the highest paying photography jobs and you would be more than surprised to find out some of the information shared.

1. Freelance Photography

I do understand that you might be overwhelmed by going freelance in the world of photography, but hear me out. I have discussed the salaries of photographers above and when you look at what you are making a year on average and then comparing with all the money and time you have put into learning photography, it all does not make sense from a job’s standpoint, right?

Therefore, the best paid photography job is going to start by having your own business. Some of the most creative and lucrative photographs that you can find in the modern day and age were shot by freelancers. If you do have a camera and enough gear, finding proper photography gigs is not going to be difficult.

Another important thing that you must understand is that success in freelance photography is less about how good of a camera you have and more about the business ethics and sales experience you have. Some photographers have both and they excel in this field, and that is just one thing everyone must know.

What’s even better is that with freelance photography, you are never really bound to a single type of photography. Since you are not on anyone’s payroll, you can master various forms of photography and learn more and more about them.

Some of the most popular photography jobs that freelance photographers take place in are.

  • Fashion Photographer
  • Sports Photographer
  • Product Photographer
  • Events Photographer
  • Assistant Photographer
  • Stock Photographer

2. Content Creator

This might be a bit of a controversial opinion but if you are looking to earn well in photography, I would highly suggest looking into the world of content creation. However, this does not only come from photography as you also would require to have some level of skill in videography as well.

The purpose here is simple, you create content that people find relatable, and the better your content is, the more people you would attract and that would result in a lot more than just a direct revenue stream. Content creation is not an easy thing and to be honest, I cannot really call it a side hustle. It is one and done sort of career that you have to dedicate a lot too, and in some cases, people run away from it because of the tougher start.

But once you have made waves here, the rest becomes a lot easier and honestly, much better.

3. Wedding Photographer

The whole idea of becoming a wedding photographer is polarizing at best. Why? Well, you are going to find so many people who would be in favor of it and at the same time, so many people who would be against it. I am going to tell you why.

The thing with a wedding photographers is that a lot of people do not understand why they do what they do and the point here is simple and not what many people would agree with. Why would anyone leave a stable paying job for something that is not as stable?

Well, once the word gets out that there is a photographer who is really good at their work and is charging a good amount of money, you would automatically realise just why people are interested in paying so much for photography.

Plus, we cannot overlook the demand for some stunning wedding pictures and how people are willing to pay a lot just so they can have their hands on great looking photos. The point is simple, becoming a wedding photographer is not easy because of the added cost of equipment but if you are good at taking pictures and know how to monetize yourself, you are good to go.

photography careers that pay well

Frequently Asked Questions

A lot of people ask this question all the time and honestly, one of the highest paying job in photography happens to be the job of a freelance photographer as you basically are running your own photography studio.

This is going to sound strange, to be honest. But most of the time, becoming a wedding photographer is the right way of handling things as you are able to make a good amount of money taking pictures and shooting videos, as well.

If you are wondering what type of photos sell best, then you can start with single photos, as well as candid shots, and wide-angle shots. These are some common shots that sell really well and are never to be overlooked.


Having photography as a career is definitely something that is overwhelming, to say the least. I do understand that most of the times, people are not sure what they are getting into or where they should start from. However, the good news is that if you are steadfast in your pursuits and you know what to do, you will be able to make big in the photography career with ease.

That is why it is always important to choose a career with great care because if you do end up in the wrong hands or on a wrong path, things might not work as well in your favour as you would want to.

Robert frank

Robert Frank

Hi, I’m Robert Frank, a videographer fascinated by the fusion of technology and art. As a self-proclaimed ‘Gimbal Maestro’, I’m here to help you achieve smooth, professional-looking videos.

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