The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an average annual salary of $37,190 for photographers, as of May 2013. The median income was $29,280 per year. At the low end, 10 percent made $17,770 or less. At the high end, 10 percent made at or above $66,360.
Among the top employment sectors, photographers in the motion picture industries had the highest average salary at $66,150 per year as of May 2013. Independent photographers averaged $43,470 per year. Among states and territories, the District of Columbia was the highest-paying for photographers at $66,130. California was next at $53,280, followed by New York at $49,480.