Do photographers earn enough money to make a decent living?

Question by Anthony: Do photographers earn enough money to make a decent living?
I want to be a photographer, but I’m kind of worried that the pay isn’t well enough. I know people say don’t chase the money, but what good is it doing something you love and can’t afford to make a living?

Best answer:

Answer by Say
Generally no.

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4 thoughts on “Do photographers earn enough money to make a decent living?”

  1. I make a good enough living at it to support my family and live in a ski resort town. We ski 100+ days each year, and still have plenty of time and money for vacation.

    The important thing is to remember that it is a business. Anyone that says “Don’t chase the money,” is an idiot. If that is your attitude, you will never be financially successful.

  2. Tim hit on the root of the issue. It is more about being a VERY GOOD BUSINESS PERSON than it is photography itself. Just look at all the people on this forum asking what to name their photography “business”. 99% of them are totally clueless as to what a real business entails. I don’t know how this asinine thought process evolved, but for some reason, too many people today think all they have to do is buy a camera and *poof*, they are now magically ready to run a business. Funny, but if you asked them if just because they like to eat, does that mean they can run a successful restaurant, they would say of course not.

    If you want to be successful as a photographer, the place to start is with taking business courses in school and also learning MARKETING. At least with that knowledge under your belt, the business aspect should not be your downfall. However, it is still no easy path being successful as a *photography* business. You are up against an ever increasing dumbed down public who now accept much of the garbage put out by unskilled “photographers” as good work, and pay the cheap prices charged by these people. Many people who proclaim to be a “photography business” are not actually making a living at it. It is only a sideline for extra cash, and thus can get by with charging low rates. But again, too much of the general public is looking on their sub-standard work as “good enough” and paying the low prices instead of the higher costs that MUST be charged by a competent professional.

    Bottom line, I would say get in another field of work and keep photography as an enjoyable hobby.


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