If you want to earn the most money from your photography, where should you live? Forbes.com has compiled a ranking of American States which pay photographers the best salaries. If you live in Massachusetts, stay put; if you live in Iowa, you might want to pack your bags.
Salaries vary significantly from state to state, not just for photographers but for all professions, so while Iowa might pay the least, the list doesn’t take into account the cost of living (rent prices and real estate, gas prices, cost of food, etc.) and, more importantly, nor does it consider quality of life. Money does not buy happiness and let’s face it, very few start a career in photography expecting to become the next Jeff Bezos.
Two other aspects mentioned in this article stand out: firstly, that “employment in photography is projected to decline 6% from 2016 to 2026.” Photography is becoming more accessible but with the democratization of technology, having a career that is dedicated solely to image-making is set to become increasingly difficult. This ties in with the other slightly worrying fact: photographers earn an average annual income of just under $43,000, significantly less than the national average ($51,960). If you’re just starting your career as a photographer, unfortunately, your timing is quite poor. Diversifying your skills and offering a range of services is probably a smart move.
If you've suggestions of how to survive as a photographer in the 21st century, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.