Freelance Photographer Salary
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.Read More...
Much of the market for freelance work involves the use of images in stock photography. Advertisers and media platforms typically require a constant stream of photographs to help dress up web and print content. The problem faced by many freelancers is the use of their work without remuneration or credit. Successful freelancers must network extensively with advertisers and content providers to sell their work, and they must remain fairly vigilant about photos being used without permission or pay.
Most freelance photographers will have received some formal education or training in the field, either in college or from a separate set of specialized classes. Photographers must be fluent in a variety of camera equipment, such as lighting and development techniques. Freelance photographers may keep regular hours, but shooting schedules and opportunities vary. As such, the hours in this job are usually irregular. While freelancers may primarily work out of a studio, field work is far more common with this profession.
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
Freelance Photographers who transition into a Fashion Photographer position may see pay fall slightly. Median compensation for Photographer, Fashions sits around the $44K per year mark. Many Freelance Photographers choose to become Photographers and Commercial Photographers as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $18K less and $11K less, 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.
Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $44K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $56K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $87K in this role. Folks with more than two decades of experience actually report lower incomes overall; their average comes out to a mere $52K.