Photography Director Salary
With close to one-half of Photography Directors in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $38K to $119K per year and averages out to $61K per year. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Photography Directors report high levels of job satisfaction. Women make up a slight majority of Photography Directors (55 percent) survey respondents. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — slightly less than a third lack coverage. On the flip side, a fair number have medical insurance and more than half receive dental plans. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Job Description for Photography Director
Photography directors usually work on the set of a film or television show and are in charge of the production's cinematography and visual style. They often work with the producer and head director to develop ideas regarding this visual style, and they themselves often hire and manage several crew members who are in charge of the cameras and lighting.Read More...
In addition to establishing a film's style and visual look, photography directors may also add in media and art elements to the production, so graphic design skills are highly beneficial. They may also oversee photo-shoots for magazines, catalogs, and websites, which focus on still photography. They must always stay up-to-date with new trends in order to present appealing artwork to consumers, and strong aesthetic and creativity skills are essential in this position. In-depth knowledge of various types of camera equipment is also important in order to use the most suitable cameras for particular scenes. Photography directors are often given a budget which should be managed, as well, and a bachelor's degree in photography or cinematography is generally required for this position.
Photography Director Tasks
- Apply best practices for use of light, framing, and composition.
- Evaluate, manipulate, and publish photos using computer software.
- Photograph people, events, and items according client specifications.
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Pay by Experience Level for Photography Director
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $46K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $56K. For Photography Directors, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $89K. For some reason, Photography Directors with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $80K.