Freelance Photographer Salary

Commissions form a big slice (about two in five) of total compensation for Freelance Photographers. The median income in this area hovers around $49K. The pay spectrum stretches from $10.08 per hour to $102.91286804771241. Geographic location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Freelance Photographers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Less than one-tenth receive medical and dental insurance and fewer than one in twenty get vision plans. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 56 percent. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$18,236 - $72,208
(Median)
$18K
$30K
$72K
MEDIAN: $30,000
10%
50%
90%

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$10.08 - $102.91
(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
$18,236 - $72,208  
   
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).
)
$20,498 - $207,723  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 34
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 - $102.91  
   
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).
)
$20,498 - $207,723  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 113
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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 move into a Commercial Photographer role might bring in a slightly lower salary; Commercial Photographers earn $41K a year on average. 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.


Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $39K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $52K. For Freelance Photographers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $59K. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $47K.

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Experience Affects Freelance Photographer Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 19%

Mid-Career
up arrow 6%

National Average
$49,000

Late-Career
up arrow 4%

Entry-Level
up arrow 21%

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
47%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 6% dental benefits Dental: 5%
vision benefits Vision: 4% employee benefits None: 92%
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