Median annual earnings of salaried photographers were $26,080 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,380 and $37,370. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,000, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $54,180. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of salaried photographers were $32,800 for newspapers and periodicals and $23,100 for other professional, scientific, and technical services.
Salaried photographersmore of whom work full timetend to earn more than those who are self-employed. Because most freelance and portrait photographers purchase their own equipment, they incur considerable expense acquiring and maintaining cameras and accessories. Unlike news and commercial photographers, few fine arts photographers are successful enough to support themselves solely through their art.