This Photographer and Social Influencer Makes Up to $100,000 a Year Hiking Mountains

A day job that involves being paid to climb and photograph mountains sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Alas, that’s exactly what Meghan Young does,making anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 per year from sponsored social media posts and photo licensing.

Young is featured in a mini documentary series by Bloomberg, entitled "Next Jobs," which showcases careers that didn’t exist a generation ago. It gives a greater insight into Young’s life  and that of a modern day “social media influencer.” At the time of writing, Young’s following stands at just shy of 200,000. Like many photographers, her income stems from various sources; many of the images she takes atop snowy mountain peaks are sold or licensed, while companies also pay for endorsements or appearances of their product on her Instagram.

Interestingly, rates vary based on what type of post a client is seeking. Prices start at $200 per day for an Instagram story, which of course disappears after 24 hours. If a client is looking for a permanent spot in her feed, it’ll cost closer to $1,500. Not too steep, in comparison to regular advertising rates.

As well as receiving pitches, she also makes them. Young says about 70 percent of the those she sends out hoping for some kind of sale or arrangement are turned down, but although she’s making money from posts, it’s still important to her to target brands who are relevant to her audience.

Speaking to Bloomberg, she said:

My job is to make it look effortless, to look like it’s the most fun ever and it’s never a job. But it is a job.

Her position falls somewhere between photographer and influencer. In part, she takes her own images and is in the business of selling photos. Meanwhile, her feed is filled partly with sponsored posts.

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LA M's picture

Brave new world....

Motti Bembaron's picture

New, definitely. Brave?...mmm :-)

imagecolorado's picture

A new Buzz Phrase from hell.

"Social Influencer" There's an overused term. Moving forward into Social Influencer land and doubling down on my push back with great optics.

Lets find "True North"

What's the average salary of a "Social Influencer?"

Evan Richardson's picture

"this photographer makes 100k a year hiking mountains". Ok... and this photographer makes 190K/year as a Devops engineer who also hikes mountains, but doesn't get paid to hock crap on social media that doesn't work...aka social media influencer. The point being?

Christian Möhrle's picture

Why so angry?

Evan Richardson's picture

Trust me, I am so far from angry over these flat tummy tea electric abs enhancer garbage influencers that it doesn't even register. "Social media influencers" are the latest thing to make you bang your head against the wall. I have yet to be "influenced" by any of these fake celebs

Musing Eye's picture

Congrats to her, combining two things that she loves to do and working hard to reach out to people who are willing to pay her to do it.