A Detailed Breakdown of a Pro Photographer's Income Streams

Photography has changed as a profession. In this video, I go over how I make my money as a photographer, including a full breakdown of my income streams and what percentage of my income they comprise.

When looking at the majority of photography books or taking career advice at university, you would assume that most of a photographer's income is from stock images, day rates, or license fees. However, in 2020, this has changed dramatically. Gone are the days where selling generic stock images is a feasible way to make a living, unless you are signed to a well-known archive agency who really values your work.

The introduction of YouTube, Instagram, workshops, websites like Fstoppers, and large camera exhibitions have made a massive change to how us professionals make their bread and butter.

In this video I go over exactly where my money comes from and what percentage of my income comes from each source. It is worth noting that the way one photographer to the next makes their money seems more varied than at any other time in the history of professional photography. There are still the die-hard photographers who make 100% income from shooting stills. But for many, like myself, we have chosen new and slightly more recession-proof business models. So, the composition of your income will more than likely differ vastly from mine.

If I didn't have the current business model that I do now, I would be in some real hot water during this pandemic. I also think that my streams of income can be replicated by almost any other photographer out there with not too much of a change to their day-to-day life. 

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10 Comments

Michael Breitung's picture

Ha great, I did a similar video just a few weeks ago. So here's the perspective of a non-pro photographer (just doing it as a side job)

https://youtu.be/Mr1Xah_EFbg

Scott Choucino's picture

Hey, that is great to see the different side of the coin!

Stefan Gonzalevski's picture

[Sorry, not photo related, but Moggy is beautiful !]

Scott Choucino's picture

haha. I have never had as many emails and DMs about a video as I have this one with her in it.

Stefan Gonzalevski's picture

All your videos are very interesting, and I don't often react, though I appreciate them and I am grateful for you taking time to make them, but I am weak when it's about cats :-D

Michael Comeau's picture

Truly one of the best YouTube photography channels, especially when it comes to business.

Great video Scott, I think one very important thing is to put a value on your time, not matter how low it is, so when you are doing something for a job you can work out if its worth it and when you get busy you can work out if its worth paying someone lese to do it. Far too often I have see people doing something to save a bit of money but could earn far more using the time working than saving. Probably not a problem at the moment.. lol. Income diversity is key, I call it client momentum. when you have enough clients you can pick and chose when you have too much work and you have enough to get over the dips. I worry the current dip is going to be bad and have slashed overheads in the hope I make it to the other side :-)

Dave McDermott's picture

My next photography purchase will be a cat.

A lot of people want to travel and also want to click lot of pictures with the help of the traveling options. I have checked some of the https://travelsites.com/photography/ sites which providing the money earning options through the traveling.

Thank you so much for the information and the inspiration Scott. You are so engaging and l love your kitten too but most of all l L.O.V.E your sense of humour and delivery. Thank you for making my day.
Big smiles, Sue :)