Freelance Photographer Salary

Median pay for Freelance Photographers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $24.78 per hour. Compensation ranges from $10.13 per hour on the lower end to $104.37840371430742 on the higher end. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Women Freelance Photographers who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. Medical and dental benefits are awarded to less than one-tenth, and less than five percent earn vision coverage. Work is enjoyable for Freelance Photographers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$19,042 - $74,497

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$10.13 - $104.38

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$19,042 - $74,497  
   
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).
)
$20,401 - $209,463  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 36
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$10.13 - $104.38  
   
Overtime
$10.10 - $101.37  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$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).
)
$20,401 - $209,463  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 115
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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 transition into a Commercial Photographer position may see pay fall slightly. Median compensation for Commercial Photographers sits around the $41K per year mark. Freelance Photographers most frequently advance into Photographer and Graphic Designer roles even though the median salaries are $17K lower and $10K 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.


Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $40K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $51K on average — a distinctly larger sum. For Freelance Photographers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $60K. Survey participants with more than twenty years of experience only make around $47K on average, though; this group reports a lower median than the one claimed by mid-career individuals.

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Experience Affects Freelance Photographer Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 23%

Mid-Career
up arrow 4%

National Average
$49,000

Late-Career
up arrow 4%

Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
57 %
Male
43 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
18%
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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