How Much Do Wedding Photographers Make?

Melinda Harcourt

September 26, 2022

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Whether you’re new to the industry or have been a photographer for years, there’s probably been a point along your career where you’ve been curious about how much other professional photographers are earning.

While ‘experience’ can be an influencing factor (e.g. entry-level vs. experienced), your income doesn’t necessarily correlate with the number of years you’ve been in business. It also doesn’t matter whether you’re self-taught or hold a degree in photography. We have sailors in the Six-Figure Business Map who are still in their first year of business AND already hitting their six-figure goals!

2022 Global Survey: How Much Do Wedding Photographers Make?

Rather than speculating or relying on Google search results, we decided to survey our international community to find out the average earnings across the wedding photography industry. Factoring in different local currencies and the number of years they’ve been in business as a full-time photographer, we received a total of 400 responses.

Please note that the data below has been collated based on our survey pool from major regions. Some regions had more respondents than others, potentially skewing the results, so we’ve also included other references found on Google.

Australia – 2022 Average Photographer Income

How Much Do Wedding Photographers Make

According to our Australian-based survey responses, the majority (19.4%) are earning between $75,000 to $100,000 AUD, followed closely by 18.1% earning between $100,000 to $150,000 AUD.

This is slightly more than Seek’s reported average annual salary of $55,000 to $70,000 for photographer jobs in Australia.

USA – 2022 Average Photographer Income

How Much Do Wedding Photographers Make

Based on our USA-based survey responses, the majority (18.3%) are earning between $50,000 to $75,000 USD, while 17.1% are earning between $35,000 to $50,000 USD.

According to the 6.4k salaries reported to Indeed, the average photographer’s base salary in the United States is $43,969 per year.

Canada – 2022 Average Photographer Income

average photographer income canada

According to our Canada-based survey responses, the majority (72%) are earning between $35,000 to $50,000 CAD.

This finding correlates with Talent.com’s finding that the average photographer’s salary in Canada is $38,854 per year.

United Kingdom – 2022 Average Photographer Incomeaverage annual photographer income uk

According to our UK-based survey responses, the majority (28.6%) are earning between £15,000 to £25,000 GBP, followed by 23.8% who are making between £25,000 to £35,000 GBP.

This more or less correlates with Check-a-Salary’s reported average photographer salary in the UK being £24,352.84.

Europe – 2022 Average Photographer Income

average photographer income europe 2022

According to our Europe-based survey responses, the majority of photographers fell into an even split of 25.6% earning between €50,000 to €75,000 EUR and another 25.6% earning between €15,000 to €25,000 EUR.

New Zealand – 2022 Average Photographer Income

average photographer income new zealand

According to our small pool of New Zealand-based survey responses, the majority (25%) are earning between $35,000 to $50,000 NZD.

On the other hand, Talent.com reported $58,858 as the annual photographer salary in New Zealand.

Variables that can influence your income potential as a photographer:

  • Location – where you’re physically based
  • Market – the supply vs. demand available in your local market
  • Availability – the maximum number of bookings you’re willing to take on in a year
  • Presence – how easily people can find you & the services you offer
  • Services – the variety & number of services you offer
  • Pricing – your “starting from” rates & how you’ve set up your packages
  • Diversification – whether you also sell prints, presets, offer mentoring and/or other means of earning additional income

These are just some examples of the variables that can play a part in determining your earning potential. However, these should be taken with a grain of salt! It’s more about how business-savvy you are – your ability to create desire around what you offer by truly connecting with your audience, your commitment to investing in your knowledge, and your dedication to liberating your mindset from self-limiting beliefs.

If you’re just starting in photography, here are some hot business/ mindset tips!

We’ve collated some business and mindset tips from photographers currently earning from $100k to upwards of $300k for your motivational boost! Ranging from 1-2 years of experience through to over 10 years of expertise, this is your sign to start somewhere, anywhere, TODAY.

India from @indiaearl

India Earl and Jai Long

Location: Utah, USA

Years in business: Over 1o Years

Average annual income: Over $300k USD

Big tip:

“Stop waiting to make more money when you’re “better” or more “qualified/experienced/talented”. You can start making that money the moment you decide to stop feeding your fears!

👋 Say hi to India Earl: Website | Instagram

Nikki & Dani from @_untamedcreative_

Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Years in business: Over 1o Years

Average annual income: $150-$200k AUD

Big tip:

“Get yourself out there and photograph what makes your soul light up. Even if it means you have to do heaps of free shoots to get your creative juices flowing.

👋 Say hi to Nikki & Dani: Website | Instagram

Myriam from @cremeuxphoto

Location: Montreal, Canada

Years in business: 3-5 Years

Average annual income: $100-$150k CAD

Big tip:

“Stop wasting time trying to do everything yourself, especially the tasks you are not the best at. Ask for help and put your valuable time into what you are best at.

👋 Say hi to Myriam: Website | Instagram

Brendan from @brendancreaserphotography

How Much Do Wedding Photographers Make

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Years in business: 1-2 Years

Average annual income: $150-$200k AUD

Big tip:

“Even as a new photographer, think… How can I help others within the community? Perhaps you’ve only photographed a handful of weddings, have you gone through and selected every photo including a bouquet or the floral arrangements and sent it directly to the florist from them? What about the makeup artist, venue, dress designer? Yes, your email may fall on deaf ears and you might not get a response, but you also might make a connection within the industry that proves to be priceless in the longterm and be known as someone who will go above and beyond for others.

👋 Say hi to Brendan: Website | Instagram

Janine & Janice from @jjmtphotography

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Years in business: 3-5 Years

Average annual income: €100-€150k EUR

Big tip:

“Enjoy the journey and experiment as much as possible with all aspects of business and creativity. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and fail.

👋 Say hi to Janine & Janice: Website | Instagram

Grace from @gracetorresphoto

Location: Florida, USA

Years in business: 1-2 Years

Average annual income: $150-$200k USD

Big tip:

“Try everything until you find what you like! Once you do, work on not only perfecting your craft but also your client experience, your workflows and all of the backend things in your business. It’s so important to have efficient processes and systems in order to scale.

👋 Say hi to Grace: Website | Instagram

Oli & Steph Prince from @oliandsteph

Location:  Isle of Skye, Scotland

Years in business: 1-2 Years

Average annual income: £150-£200k GBP

Big tip:

“Niche down as quickly as you can, and then only show the content you want to photograph on your website and socials. Also, don’t be afraid in invest in your business, education is key.

👋 Say hi to Oli & Steph: Website | Instagram

Ryan from @ryanmichaelsphotography

Location:  Northern CA, USA

Years in business: Over 10 Years

Average annual income: $150-$200k USD

Big tip:

“If you treat your craft like a business, the industry will handsomely reward you. The market is flooded with artists that eventually fail, not because of lack of talent, but rather, because most do not put enough emphasis on the BUSINESS of photography.

👋 Say hi to Ryan: Website | Instagram

Ash from @ashleighhaasephotography

Location:  Melbourne, Australia

Years in business: 5-10 Years

Average annual income: Over $300k AUD

Big tip:

“You don’t need all the newest and most expensive camera gear to be successful. Your art, creativity and passion will help build your dream biz.

👋 Say hi to Ash: Website | Instagram

Dave & Ang from @dave_and_ang_photo

Location: Michigan, USA

Years in business: 1-2 Years

Average annual income: $150-$200k USD

Big tip:

“Master your gear, stop comparing yourself to anyone except who you were yesterday and how you treat people is far more important than any preset you’ll ever use.

👋 Say hi to Dave & Ang: Website | Instagram

Kevin from @imagesbykevinweddings

Location: Sydney, Australia

Years in business: 5-10 Years

Average annual income: $150-$200k AUD

Big tip:

“Know exactly who your ideal client is and create a product for them that you are super proud of and love.

👋 Say hi to Kevin: Website | Instagram

Kelly from @kellyoconnorphotography

Location:  Texas, USA

Years in business: 1-2 Years

Average annual income: $100-$150k USD

Big tip:

“You have to spend money to make money. Invest in yourself and invest in your business!

👋 Say hi to Kelly: Website | Instagram

Ty & Bryce from @oceanwaycollective

Location:  Newcastle, Australia

Years in business: 1-2 Years

Average annual income: $100-$150k AUD

Big tip:

“Invest in yourself and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there into the world.

👋 Say hi to Ty & Bryce: Website | Instagram

Tim from @tdphoto

Location:  Kansas, USA

Years in business: Over 10 Years

Average annual income: $150-$200k USD

Big tip:

“Learn the business side as soon as possible! So many things about taxes and expenses that I wish I had known at the very start. A good CPA is worth their weight in gold!

👋 Say hi to Tim: Website | Instagram

You can create YOUR economy.

Without downplaying genuine extenuating circumstances, mindset is often one of the biggest reasons behind our successes and hardships in business.

Here’s the hard truth: There’s no such thing as a hard economy. There is only YOUR economy.

You can choose to allow yourself to be pushed around by the media, the government, the economy, your family, your friends, etc…OR you can choose to take responsibility for your own life. It’s your choice to make!

Don’t wait and hope for something outside of your control to be in your favour. Success is a limitless resource, there’s enough for everyone. Even if there are 100 other photographers in your small town, that doesn’t mean you have to experience proportionately less success. Success will always flow down the path with the least resistance to whoever wants it the most and is taking the biggest risks and actions.

If you are willing to take responsibility for your own economy, you’ll become your own success story.

Stop reacting, stop making decisions based on scarcity and fear. Start proacting and start inviting abundance into your life. 

Ready to build a six-figure photography business?

The Six-Figure Business Map is our signature 12-month course for wedding photographers, videographers, and creatives who are ready to:

  • Build a sustainable, six-figure business with 100% clarity
  • Step off the hustle train to win back your time & creative energy
  • Create with purpose & serve with heart

jai long six figure business map

🏴‍☠️ Our next enrolment will officially reopen at 9AM on the 21st of November 2022. Join the waitlist now!

While achieving six figures in your business is a HUGE financial win, it’s important to remember that it shouldn’t be the only goal you’re working towards. Financial goals are a great motivator however you should never go into business just to “make money”. It’s about staying true to your passion and purpose while finding new ways to serve those around you.

“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”

– Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

To stay motivated and on track, celebrate all the different wins along your entrepreneurial journey. Whether that’s enjoying more work-life balance, being able to quit your full-time job, taking your family on a dream holiday, or conquering your limiting beliefs, acknowledge every achievement, no matter how small or big.

Every win is a result of your hard work and your commitment to levelling up. So don’t discredit yourself by only focusing on your monetary achievements!

We’ll love and leave you with some more of our favourite tips…

“Learn business and selling early in your career. Don’t be so obsessed with the technical stuff. There are so many average photographers that are making millions because they know how to sell and they know how to do business.”

Lorryn Smit, South Korea

“YOU are the key. Your personality, your ideas, the way you make people feel. Lean into what you do well and deliver it above and beyond. Be patient and trust the process, staying steady and consistent matters more than you think. Eventually, it will all create momentum and you’ll see your hardworking start to pay off in incredible ways. Go out of your way to build connections with other vendors in your industry and ALWAYS treat them with respect and kindness. OWN that you are a photographer, screw imposter syndrome. Introduce yourself as a photographer when people ask. BELIEVE that you are and others will too. I’ve gotten lots of referrals when I started doing this.”

Hannah Pascual, USA

“Make decisions like you are already running a successful business, don’t skimp on things that matter – systems, branding, education. Set out your 90 day goals. Figure out your ideal client and focus on them. Whatever you put out in the world, you’ll receive more of that so only publish/post/talk about what/who you wish to attract.”

Lei Lei, Australia

“Right now is the best time to pursue your dreams.”

Jasper, New Zealand

“Try every branch of photography until you can say, “This is what I love doing and I want to know more”. Be patient and invest in yourself, that means read about cinema lighting, how to sell, and specially about personal finances.”

Adriana, Mexico

“Invest in coaching so you can get a proper start instead of figuring out everything by yourself like I did. It’s only from this year (because I joined the BM) I got more confident about raising my prices and now I’ve earned the most since I started, even when I don’t work for 5 months this year because of my maternity leave. Next year I’m planning on doubling this years income.”

Manon, Belgium

“Truly define who you want to work with and WHY you want to work with them. Then; create a plan to reach them. They’ll bring out your best creative self and hence, you’ll attract even more clients while remaining true to your art.”

Astrid, USA

“Take the time to train and upgrade your communication skills, and sales. This is major major major important when it comes to making a living with your art, and without them you may all too often feel rejection, constantly undervalue yourself, or not see your financial goals met so that you can begin to live the life you initially dreamt about.”

Michael, Montreal

“If you’re scared, go scared.”

Adler, Portugal

“Be EVERYWHERE! Google, insta, Facebook groups, local shops, friends. Make sure people know you exist and talk about you.”

Sidonie, France

“Be open, say yes a lot; especially at the beginning. Always remember that people hire you back because they want to work with YOU. The service you provide is as much (if not more) about the customer service than it is about your technical skill. (And sometimes speed is more valuable than perfection!)”

Chelsie, USA

“Don’t be afraid to show up or ask other professional vendors to do partnership with you. Be bold and work hard when other people are sleeping. Be persistent, even if at first things don’t go as you wish.”

Fox ‘n Prey, Denmark

“Dont build your business around others. I made the mistake of making choices because thats what everyone else was doing. I chose not to do things because I was worried about what the industry would say or think. This caused me to have a very slow growth in the beginning. Once I decided to not care about what others did, thought or said… my business grew and I grew more confident. Confidence builds businesses. “

Samantha, USA

“Have things like insurance, medical aid, savings plans in place from the get-go! Prioritizing your income is so important. It’s less about HOW MUCH money you make, and more about HOW YOU SPEND the money you make. Money management is key, especially in our industry!”

Cherize, South Africa

“Please please do not shoot for less than you deserve; because you lose money and also the couples’s respect at most of the times. Find out what kind of couples/ weddings you want to shoot and show them to your followers. And do not quit!”

Derya, Turkey

“Being good at photography is one thing but actually building and running a sustainable business is another. Either you or your photography business will run out one day or another if you do not also deal with all of the business aspects of your photography business. It’s only a pain in the ass if you make it so. Save yourself a lot of worrying, stress and also save your free and personal time – this is so important too.”

Max, Switzerland

“My biggest tip is to trust in yourself, get help where you need it and just keep going. You can do it! I’m in my first year and I didn’t have a lot of bookings when I decided to go fulltime. But I hustled and did everything I could to get enquiries, turn enquiries into bookings and do a good job at and after the wedding. And I’m sure, there is so much more to do and learn and optimize. My unrealistic goal was to earn what I earned in my main job before. And yes, I already passed that milestone, trying to come as close as possible to 50.000€ this year. 🥳”

Anne, Germany

Meet the Author

Obsessively wordsmithing and hyping the living daylights out of anything and anyone, Mel is our in-house word nerd and coach.

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).

COPYWRITING COACH

Mel

she/her

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