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Freelance Photographer Salary

Freelance Photographers in the United States can expect wages of $25.00 per hour on average. Earnings generally vary between $10.06 per hour and $102.12859274583263. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Freelance Photographers report high levels of job satisfaction. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 56 percent. Less than one in ten have medical and dental plans, and fewer than one in ten have vision insurance. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$16,895 - $73,974
(Median)
$17K
$29K
$74K
MEDIAN: $29,080
10%
50%
90%

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$10.06 - $102.13
(Median)
$10
$25
$100
MEDIAN: $25.00
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$80K$160K$240K
Salary
$16,895 - $73,974  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,000  
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).
)
$20,274 - $210,096  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 38
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$60$120$180
Hourly Rate
$10.06 - $102.13  
   
Overtime
$13.91 - $152.05  
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$120K$240K$360K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,000  
   
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).
)
$20,274 - $210,096  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 126

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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' salaries tend to stay somewhat constant even when they advance into higher-level positions like Commercial Photographer. On average, Commercial Photographers get paid about the same as Freelance Photographers do. Freelance Photographers most often move into Photographer or Graphic Designer roles. However, the former pays $14K less on average, and the latter pays $7K less.

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 worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $37K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $51K. Freelance Photographers bring in $57K after working for 10 to 20 years. Folks with more than two decades of experience actually report lower incomes overall; their average comes out to a mere $41K.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Freelance Photographer Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 25%

Mid-Career
up arrow 12%

National Average
$45,000

Late-Career
up arrow 9%

Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 22 votes.

Gender

Female
56 %
Male
44 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

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