Is it hard to earn a living from photography?

Scottelly 7 35 United States
19 Sep 2012 6:12AM
I think the answer to the question is, "Yes, it is difficult to make a living as a photographer . . . if you don't get a full-time job, working for some photography company." Of course, there are photography companies that hire "photographers" to shoot photos in their "studios" at various locations. I've heard those jobs can pay decent money. Staff photographers seem to make a reasonable living too (for artists). I met a photographer who shot for the PGA. He traveled a lot, covering golf tournaments. He told me he was making about $50,000 per year . . . about what a Registered Nurse (RN), mid level computer programmer, accountant, or typical store manager makes here in the U.S.A. I would guess only about 10% of the working people make significantly more than that (like $60,000 or $80,000 per year or more), and about 80% of the working people here would most likely make significantly less than that (about $40,000 per year or less).

For a photographer to make that kind of money is pretty impressive, if you ask me. I would guess that the majority of "professional" photographers (photographers making their living exclusively or almost exclusively from their photography) would make significantly less than $50,000 per year. Interestingly, says that in Miami (where I live) the job of Photographer pays a median salary of $53,231.00, and the majority of photographers make between about $42,000 and $62,000. I find that hard to believe, but maybe they're right, and I'm wrong!


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lemmy 12 2.8k United Kingdom
19 Sep 2012 8:11AM

Quote:and the majority of photographers make between about $42,000 and $62,000. I find that hard to believe, but maybe they're right, and I'm wrong!

As you imply, it's hard to know. I suppose those figures would include medical photographers, police etc, so salaried. Most people think of photography as a business for the self-employed these days, I think.

Back in the 60s when I started, my local paper, the Kent and Sussex Courier, had 8 staff photographers. Those jobs are probably all freelance these days. Fleet Street has scythed its staffers until they all but extinct.

The business is probably heading in the direction of society here in general. a few at the top making shed-loads of money and the rest scraping by.
Focus_Man 9 481 631 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2012 9:07AM

Quote:Tax talk strikes me as having little to do with Sydney2's OP. His tax affairs are matter for him. I don't think the tax man is happy or unhappy with anyone's business provided they pay their due tax..

Apologies. Mea culpa

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