How Much do Photographers Make?

Do photographers make a lot of money? What is the average pay for photographers?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, photographers in the United States earn an average of $45,440 a year, equivalent to $21.85 an hour. Photographers make 15% less than the average American worker.

Photographers in New York are the best paid, making $65,070 a year, while photographers in Montana make the least at $29,280.

  • Latest wage data is for May 2019
  • Pre-tax earnings; Wages only - does not include benefits
Photographer Wages by Percentile
Percentile Hourly Annually
90th $38.19 $79,440
75th $27.53 $57,250
50th $17.44 $36,280
25th $12.09 $25,150
10th $9.92 $20,630
Photographer Wages by State

In what states do photographers make the most? In what states do photographers make the least?

In the map below, green represents higher pay and red represents lower pay. Keep scrolling down to see a table with the average wages in each state.

State Hourly Annually
Alabama $18.79 $39,080
Alaska $20.45 $42,540
Arizona $18.85 $39,200
Arkansas $17.86 $37,140
California $26.19 $54,470
Colorado $19.02 $39,560
Connecticut $22.92 $47,670
Delaware $19.30 $40,150
Florida $15.46 $32,150
Georgia $22.25 $46,270
Hawaii $21.05 $43,780
Idaho $17.02 $35,390
Illinois $19.03 $39,590
Indiana $17.95 $37,340
Iowa $16.12 $33,530
Kansas $16.30 $33,900
Kentucky $17.68 $36,770
Louisiana $15.78 $32,820
Maine $20.11 $41,830
Maryland $22.83 $47,490
Massachusetts $28.39 $59,060
Michigan $23.97 $49,850
Minnesota $29.04 $60,410
Mississippi $19.97 $41,530
Missouri $15.72 $32,700
Montana $14.08 $29,280
Nebraska $15.81 $32,890
Nevada $14.34 $29,820
New Hampshire $18.85 $39,210
New Jersey $20.67 $42,990
New Mexico $26.38 $54,880
New York $31.28 $65,070
North Carolina $16.73 $34,790
North Dakota $19.52 $40,590
Ohio $18.40 $38,280
Oklahoma $15.27 $31,760
Oregon $18.43 $38,340
Pennsylvania $17.30 $35,980
Rhode Island $28.10 $58,460
South Carolina $20.21 $42,040
South Dakota $15.31 $31,840
Tennessee $20.31 $42,240
Texas $24.41 $50,770
Utah $25.66 $53,380
Vermont $23.23 $48,310
Virginia $19.74 $41,070
Washington $24.12 $50,160
Wisconsin $17.80 $37,020
Wyoming $18.31 $38,080
Metro Areas Where Photographers Earn the Most
  • Data is for the entire metro area, not just the city
Metro Area Hourly Annually
Washington, DC $32.73 $68,080
New York, NY $30.70 $63,850
Minneapolis, MN $29.61 $61,600
San Francisco, CA $29.58 $61,530
Los Angeles, CA $28.52 $59,330
Boston, MA $28.47 $59,220
Providence, RI $27.97 $58,180
New Haven, CT $27.02 $56,200
Detroit, MI $26.81 $55,770
Seattle, WA $26.36 $54,820
Photographer Wages by Year
Year Hourly Annually
2019 $21.85 $45,440
2018 $20.56 $42,770
2017 $20.17 $41,940
2016 $20.50 $42,640
2015 $19.37 $40,280
2014 $18.44 $38,350
2013 $17.88 $37,190
2012 $17.47 $36,330
2011 $17.59 $36,580