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
- Review photographs and select the most suitable for the client.
- Edit and deliver photos, providing metadata and context as necessary.
- Photograph designated subjects, adjusting composition, and camera settings for optimal end result.
- Schedule photo shoots, test equipment, and interpret client requests.
Photographer, Commercial Job Listings
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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. Those proficient in Adobe Photoshop are, more often than not, also skilled in Editing and Adobe Illustrator.
Pay by Experience Level for Photographer, Commercial
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Commercial Photographers. The average beginner in this position makes around $33K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $46K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $52K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $58K.
Pay Difference by Location
Commercial Photographers will find that Chicago offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 51 percent. Commercial Photographers will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+7 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Commercial Photographers is geography, with workers in Philadelphia earning a whopping 42 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Los Angeles and Atlanta (3 percent lower).