The photography industry is evolving. There are more types of imagery a photographer can create today than at any other time in history. The future looks like it will contain more creative opportunities for image makers. However, there are more photographers than ever who can do the everyday work which is now having an effect on pricing.
Camera technology has also evolved and is now not the magic black box of the past. For the average photographer, doing average work, the rates are generally lower as talent within the industry becomes more sophisticated. That said, there are still many opportunities available for photographers, as technology simplifies the publishing process and channels and platforms multiply to satiate our appetite for content.
As with any purchasing decision we need to consider facts, why photographers are expensive and how do you know if a photographer is right for you? How much should you pay for photography services? The bad news is the range can be very wide and the final price will depend on the brief. Why are professional photographers so expensive?
The simple answer is, most photographers don’t work 40 hours a week photographing. Plus, at the high end there is a lot of time involved after the assignment, such as, editing and post production. A photographer must consider the use of the photograph, production involved to create the image and the expenses of being a photographer.
Semi-Pro: These are photographers who have ambitions to join the ranks of the professional. They may have another job or income source, but which they aim to leave behind. Sometimes their additional skills are compatible with their photography. Many compete with professional photographers for jobs these days as the landscape is changing around image and content creation.
A general Industry Breakdown
Professional: We can argue that a professional is anyone who is paid at least once for his photography. For the purposes of categorisation, a professional is someone who depends on photography to make living. More precisely, professionals who have a solid portfolio to represent their specialty such as product, lifestyle, food, portrait.
Top Professional: Is there really a top professional? In any industry, there always will be an élite group. In the case of photographers, some of the top image makers command over $10,000 per day, or $20,000 per image depending on the brief.