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$$what overall average pros make$$

Discussion in 'People' started by panama, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Does anyone have a guess on what the average US wedding and or professional photographer makes in a year.
    The overall average from what I understand, if I'm correct,
    make an average of $26k a year.:eek: 
    Is this true:confused: ... I don't do it for a living...If it is true, I'm glad some of us have real jobs.
  2. Eye Spy

    Eye Spy Guest

    From what I've seen there are a lot of part timers biasing the averages. In my area you find a lot of otherwise "stay at home moms" taking it up as a pastime....that and real estate sales....if you know what I mean....
  3. So being a professional photographer isn't a real job? :mad: 

    You know, taking pictures for a living means a lot of hustling and hard work! I won't be offended by your comment! :wink:

  4. Yea.. sorry what I mean in definition of "real job" is that of one that will ensure a paycheck as long as you show up and do your job. Along with this... there are bennefits involved. Truth is there are very few Pros that make at least 80K. That's why I have a "real job"
    But again I wonder if it's true..... does a working pro make less than 30K. I just want to know if it's true.
  5. Photography is like being a actor. You can half arse it, and make under 30k, or you can hustle and make over 100k. It really depends on you and your skills.
  6. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    On another forum that I belong to this question was asked. Now this forum is exclusive and a lot of the photographers have elaborate home studios. The percentage was high 40% and that was $75,000 or more. I thought that was really high.
  7. Taylor


    May 21, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    $75,000 doesn't seem like a lot unless this is net earnings after the costs of equipment, upgrades, yearly training (like seminars and conferences), and other business expenses (e.g. consumables, travel, hydro, internet, phone, etc).

    Most pros should have a yearly upgrade budget of 20-30% of their gross income...
  8. Billy Ng

    Billy Ng

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hartsdale, NY
    As a car enthusiast, I belong to a few various automotive related forums, one of which happens to be tailored to Ferraris and Lamborghinis. One of the Lambo owners on that board is a wedding pro in Manhattan who I believe still shoots medium format film - he charges $25K per wedding and is booked 50 weeks out of the year (he takes two weeks off for vacation).
  9. dan1son


    Sep 24, 2007
    That's some good coin... but I thought this thread was about "average" salaries :tongue:.

    There are so many ways to make money in photography it's hard to give numbers. A good wedding photographer shooting full-time for themselves should be able to make enough money to support a family fairly easily. If you shoot for someone else you'll make less. If you're Gary Fong you'll make a lot more. A lot of wedding photographers also do portraits and stuff on the side to make some more money in the off season.

    I don't have a lot of knowledge about the money in sports, nature, stock photos, concerts, etc. It'd seem to me that could be harder since you won't make much until you're well known and able to work for large publications, but I could be wrong.
  10. i believe he is pulling your leg
    no one is going to pay 25K/wedding...
    that is ridiculous

    you didn't really believe him.... did you?

  11. Dito.... even pros that shoot weddings for celebs only charge between 12-18k... but not 25k. 50 weddings at 25k... that's 1.2 million a year. Hmmmmm:Curved:
  12. yea it depends on you, your skills, and how much you advertise and push your product. my friend makes an average of 150k/year!!!
  13. Billy Ng

    Billy Ng

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hartsdale, NY
    I didn't have to ... I've seen him work. And yes, there are PLENTY of people who will pay 25K a wedding. When your name is in the right circles, you become "the" photographer for the overly wealthy. Most of the weddings he shoots are million dollar + weddings (there are plenty of those to go around in these parts).

    He turns down more weddings (due to conflicts) in a year than I get to shoot.
  14. Billy Ng

    Billy Ng

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hartsdale, NY
    Yes it is.

    And these aren't for celebs. This is a circle where the celebs aren't rich enough or powerful enough to play in. The kinds of circles where the children of the family shuttle back and forth from their Greenwich homes to their private schools in helicopters. Not saying that all of his clients are that rich, but let's just say that I doubt any of his clients are worth less than 9 figures.
  15. Zee71


    Apr 1, 2007
    Queens, NY
    Maybe for some photography pays well, and for others it's so-so, but I'm sure both do it for the love they have and the artistic side that their images convey to the viewer. It captures those moments and events we all cherish. Some wanna-be photographers may do it for nothing, so as to gain experience and hone their skills to build their portfolio. Others like me and may be you, enjoy it and have a passion for photography, and like sharing your work (either here at the Cafe or elsewhere), and learning to better your skills. Who knows, maybe one day you'll capture that photo that might be worth millions (one could only hope!).
  16. LDB415


    Apr 26, 2008
    I'm afraid there's too much Missourian in my heritage to believe $25k for 50 weeks a year without seeing the bank deposits.
  17. Kemnik


    Aug 21, 2007
    San Jose, CA
    I agree with you, however I've heard Scott Bourne go on air and say he used to charge $25k per wedding. He wasn't lying and is a pretty wealthy entrepreneur. Not that it is what the market should pay, just saying it does happen.
  18. Extracted from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
    "Median annual earnings of salaried photographers were $26,170 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,680 and $38,730. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $56,640. Median annual earnings in the industry employing the largest numbers of salaried photographers were $22,860 in the photographic services industry."

    Salaried photographers—more of whom work full time—tend to earn more than those who are self-employed. Because most freelance and portrait photographers purchase their own equipment, they incur considerable expense acquiring and maintaining cameras and accessories. Unlike news and commercial photographers, few fine arts photographers are successful enough to support themselves solely through their art.
  19. Wow... thanks for the info Mike, your answer is exactly what I was looking for. You gave stats based on facts!
    As for Billy.. I am sorry friend, but I find it hard to believe that your friend makes over a million a year shooting weddings for those "in his circle" more elite and richer than celebs whereas celebs are to low in class for that circle.
    Call me a skeptic, but I just don't believe it.
    What is your million dollar wedding photographer's website?
    Again, no hard feelings... just true feelings of expression.:smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2008
  20. That's not the first time I have heard of rates that exorbant. It does happen and their are a few people that seem to command that kind of money. I don't know that their work deserves it, but that's a whole other issue.

    Check out the strobist for an article on a guy that does a entire movie like production for one shot and then sells the prints for a couple hundred grand. Amazing.
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