Can You Make Six Figures (or More) as a Photographer?

can you make six figures as a photographer

December 12, 2023

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If you grew up being told that photography isn’t a “realistic career”, you’re far from alone.

These are just some of the most commonly asked questions on Google:

“Is photography a realistic career?”

“Can you make a lot of money as a photographer?”

“Is family photography profitable?”

If the ongoing ‘Passion vs. Pay’ generational debate wasn’t enough, you’re also getting bombarded with conflicting mantras like “do what you love” and “follow your dreams”.

You’re stuck at a crossroads, deciding if you should:

  • Play it safe (and keep photography as a casual side gig)
  • Quit your job (and go full-time with your photography)

That yo-yoing battle gets even trickier if you’re currently in a well-paying job. Do you sacrifice the financial stability to pursue your passion or should you juggle both until you feel “ready”?

Let’s be real, okay? This internal conflict between overcoming your self-limiting beliefs – without disqualifying rational anxieties – and deciphering what’s best for your future and happiness is…a sanity-testing dumpster fire.

The truth is, we will never feel “ready” to do things that scare us.

Valuing financial security and avoiding the chance of failure, the fear of leaving our comfort zones to step into the unknown is a natural self-preservation instinct.

In saying that, no one else can decide when it’s time to quit your job and go all-in on your side hustle for you, let alone take action on your behalf. Not your partner, not your parents, not your friends, not Jai.

You are 100% responsible for the decisions you make or don’t make, and the outcome.

Now that we’ve covered that…

Let’s circle back to your original question, “Is it possible to make six figures as a photographer?”

YES, it is possible.

Will it happen overnight? No.

But, it’s probably more possible than you’ll allow yourself to believe…Before joining the Six-Figure Business Map, there was no way that Natalia knew she’d be making $600K in bookings in her second year of business!

Sure, that might sound like an unrealistic benchmark to compare yourself to. However, it doesn’t change the fact that, with the right business and mindset foundations in place, making $100,000 (and over) is a very possible reality in YOUR future!

While this blog is focused on achieving your financial goals, it’s just as important to set non-financial goals.

Whether it’s mindset shifts, booking a dream client or finally filming a reel, every win is a win, no matter how big or small it may seem. These are the moments that will reinforce your ‘why‘ and motivate you to keep pushing, even when the going gets tough.

From hitting six-figure milestones to major mindset shifts, here are just some of the recent wins we’ve celebrated in the Six-Figure Business Map community

– or scroll past these screenshots, to the bottom of the page, for our final thoughts on the six-figure debate – 

🥳 Jenn quit her full-time job to pursue photography full-time

six figure business map review

Celebrate with Jenn: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Nada hit six figures while focusing on a new niche

six figure business map six figures review

Celebrate with Nada: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Jess surpassed her previous annual salary, in her first year of being a full-time photographer

six figure business map jai long review

Celebrate with Jess: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Kayla raised her prices and doubled last year’s total income

Celebrate with Kayla: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Sarah rebranded and launched her new website, with an 80% increase in daily traffic

sarah business map review

Celebrate with Sarah: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Dion is celebrating a “pinch me” moment of being her own boss

dion six figure business map feedback

Celebrate with Dion: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Cameron is embracing a huge mindset shift and enjoying the process

cameron six figure business map review

Celebrate with Cameron:  Instagram


🥳 Laura has hit her first two five-figure months and added video to her photography packages

laura six figure business map review

Celebrate with Laura: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Asher crushed his “unrealistic” goal of hitting six figures…2 years early

asher six figure business map review

Celebrate with Asher: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Isaac hit his first double-digit months and is working towards his first $100k milestone

isaac six figure business map review

Celebrate with Isaac: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Shane successfully booked his first 1:1 coaching client

shane six figure business map review

Celebrate with Shane: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Hayleigh booked her first-ever travel elopement in her #1 dream location

hayleigh six figure business map review

Celebrate with Hayleigh: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Emmy is nurturing her mindset and booked her highest wedding package

emmy business map jai long review

Celebrate with Emmy: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Chuck’s been hustling his new website launch and has already booked 3 weddings in the lead-up

chuck six figure business map jai long

Celebrate with Chuck: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Tony entered a photo into a competition and won a prize

tony six figure business map course review

Celebrate with Tony: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Holly booked a commercial shoot at more than double her previous rate

online course for photographers review

Celebrate with Holly: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Taylor is loving the “community over competition” approach and nailing it

online course community for photographers

Celebrate with Taylor: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Cassandra successfully converted and booked a high-end client

online course for wedding photographers review

Celebrate with Cassandra: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Aly has been converting her pre-booking consultations and booked two international weddings

aly business map review

Celebrate with Aly: WebsiteInstagram


🥳 Micah booked $93.1k of work in 11 months and has begun teaching a university course on brand design

micah jai long business map course review

Celebrate with Micah: WebsiteInstagram


Earning a secure income as a photographer IS a valid concern, but don’t let it become a roadblock.

Prioritising your financial stability and earning potential is a valid concern – especially in the current economic climate.

The last thing you want to do is make a life-changing decision (like quitting your stable 9-5 job in a huff) and start a photography business, without a clear roadmap.

No, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get all your ducks in a row before making the switch, BUT you do need to lay down some core business and mindset foundations to build upon.

No, you don’t have to have all the answers either. But, you CAN learn from and surround yourself with people who DO have the answers. 

People who can guide you in the right direction towards your goals, teach you the “shortcuts” and save you from making time-and-money-wasting mistakes.

Making the big leap, you’ll want to set yourself up for success in every possible way – even more so if you have a family to look after or other financial obligations. Your bills aren’t going to magically pay themselves off.

I’m probably preaching to the choir *yes, stifle that yawn, please* but I can’t emphasise enough how crucial it is to have some form of a game plan in place.

Highly dependent on your current situation and your goals, this could be anything like:

  • Asking for a sabbatical so you can spend time building your business before officially making the leap
  • Setting aside three to six months’ worth of expenses as “emergency savings” while you find your feet
  • Investing in a business coach or free/ paid education that will help you to fill any gaps in your knowledge
  • Joining a like-minded community that you can lean on for support and accountability

Most importantly?

Set your goals with intention and take action with conviction. Don’t wait for permission.

Start taking action towards your goal of being a full-time photographer NOW

If you’re committed to becoming your very own success story, apply to join the Six-Figure Business Map course and community today!

apply to join the six figure business map

Betting on yourself is the best gamble you’ll ever make. 



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Meet the Author

Obsessively wordsmithing and hyping the living daylights out of anything and anyone, Mel is our word nerd and coach from Melinda Harcourt Copywriting.

You’ll also find her regularly dropping hot website/ biz tips inside the Business Map and yelling at people for downplaying their wins (“big” or “small”, every win is still a win).




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