Photographer, Commercial Salary
Job Description for Photographer, Commercial
The job of a commercial photographer is to photograph and document images which are often used in his/her company's promotional/advertising campaigns; these photographs may also be used in magazines, editorials, billboards, television commercials, and more. Aside from taking pictures for commercial use, these photographers may also be required to manipulate these images using computer software to achieve the company's desired feel and appearance.Read More...
Commercial photographers may work on their own or on teams, and are often employed within a company's design department and report to a creative director. They should be able to take initiative on their own and work well independently, but also communicate effectively and have a creative eye for design. They should also be very tech-savvy and stay up-to-date with all of the latest trends in the industry.
Employers of commercial photographers generally prefer those with extensive experience, a college degree, or a combination of the two. Prior experience is extremely important, and a portfolio of past work is always beneficial. Knowledge of, and experience with, industry-specific software is also recommended.
The workdays of commercial photographers will vary, as they may work regular hours, late into the night, or even on weekends or holidays. It often depends on the company which employs them and the particular industry in which they work.
Photographer, Commercial Tasks
- Photograph designated subjects, adjusting composition, and camera settings for optimal end result.
- Schedule photo shoots, test equipment, and interpret client requests.
- Review photographs and select the most suitable for the client.
- Edit and deliver photos, providing metadata and context as necessary.
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Popular Skills for Photographer, Commercial
Commercial Photographers who responded to the survey report just a handful of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Product Photography, Adobe Photoshop, Editing, and Adobe Illustrator are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Graphic Design as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Adobe Illustrator and Editing also typically command lower compensation. Most people familiar with Adobe Photoshop also know Editing and Adobe Illustrator.
Pay by Experience Level for Photographer, Commercial
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $33K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $43K. Commercial Photographers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $52K. Commercial Photographers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $59K.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Commercial Photographers that is 50 percent greater than the national average, Chicago offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Commercial Photographers will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+8 percent). Commercial Photographers in Philadelphia make 43 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers in Los Angeles and Atlanta also lean toward paying below-median salaries (3 percent less).
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Key Stats for Photographer, Commercial
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