Freelance Photographer Salary

In a profession for which the median take-home is approximately $50K, close to two-fifths of overall earnings for Freelance Photographers arrives through commissions. Compensation ranges from $10.08 per hour on the lower end to $104.8790788141846 on the higher end. Geographic location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Less than 10 percent receive medical and dental insurance and fewer than one in twenty get vision plans. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Women make up a slight majority of Freelance Photographers (56 percent) survey respondents. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$18,879 - $74,750
(Median)
$19K
$30K
$75K
MEDIAN: $30,252
10%
50%
90%

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$10.08 - $104.88
(Median)
$10
$25
$100
MEDIAN: $24.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$18,879 - $74,750  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,787  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$20,519 - $209,119  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 35
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$10.08 - $104.88  
   
Overtime
$10.10 - $101.37  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,787  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$20,519 - $209,119  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 114
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Job Description for Freelance Photographer

Freelance photographers usually find that the job has two sides, a creative side that involves the photography of subjects and a business side. Most photographers find the creative elements of the job to be rewarding enough to be willing to endure the vagaries and hassles of the business side. Most photographers will specialize somewhat in the subject matter they shoot. This specialty is usually based upon the aptitude and interest of the photographer. For instance, some photographers will work in nature and landscapes. Others will work in urban settings or portraiture. Some may specialize in sports work.

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Freelance Photographer Tasks

  • Edit photos.
  • Determine and use the best photography equipment for the situation.
  • Perform photo shoots for clients.
  • Meet with clients to discuss needs.

Common Career Paths for Freelance Photographer


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Freelance Photographers who advance into a position like Commercial Photographer may end up working for a little less. On average, Commercial Photographers take home $41K annually. Freelance Photographers most frequently advance into Photographer and Graphic Designer roles even though the median salaries are $18K lower and $11K lower, respectively.

Freelance Photographer Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Freelance Photographer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


The average beginner in this position makes around $40K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $51K. Freelance Photographers bring in $59K after working for 10 to 20 years. Freelance Photographers who have racked up more than two decades of experience report lower incomes overall; the average sum for this crowd comes out to only $47K.

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Experience Affects Freelance Photographer Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 18%

Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

National Average
$50,000

Late-Career
up arrow 6%

Entry-Level
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 17 votes.

Gender

Female
56 %
Male
44 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 6% dental benefits Dental: 5%
vision benefits Vision: 4% employee benefits None: 93%
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