Working as a Lead Photographer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a lead photographer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $11.97 an hour? That's $24,893 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -6% and produce -8,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Lead Photographer Do

There are certain skills that many lead photographers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed artistic ability, computer skills and interpersonal skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a lead photographer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 25.4% of lead photographers included photographic equipment, while 18.6% of resumes included photoshop, and 8.6% of resumes included family portraits. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

How To Become a Lead Photographer

If you're interested in becoming a lead photographer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 55.6% of lead photographers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.1% of lead photographers have master's degrees. Even though most lead photographers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a lead photographer. When we researched the most common majors for a lead photographer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on lead photographer resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a lead photographer. In fact, many lead photographer jobs require experience in a role such as photographer. Meanwhile, many lead photographers also have previous career experience in roles such as sales associate or internship.

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Average Salary$24,893
Job Growth Rate-6%

Lead Photographer Jobs

Lead Photographer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Lead Photographer
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Top Careers After Lead Photographer
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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Lead Photographer

Lead Photographers in America make an average salary of $24,893 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $28,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Salary
$24,893

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Lead Sales Photographer National Aquarium
Lead Sales Photographer National Aquarium
Sharpshooter Imaging
Sharpshooter Imaging
02/25/2020
02/25/2020
$25,04402/25/2020
$25,044
Lead Sales Photographer Great Smokey Mountain Railroad
Lead Sales Photographer Great Smokey Mountain Railroad
Sharpshooter Imaging
Sharpshooter Imaging
02/13/2020
02/13/2020
$25,04402/13/2020
$25,044
Lead Photographer
Lead Photographer
Sharpshooter Imaging
Sharpshooter Imaging
01/24/2020
01/24/2020
$23,47901/24/2020
$23,479
Lead Photographer
Lead Photographer
Sharpshooter Imaging
Sharpshooter Imaging
01/24/2020
01/24/2020
$26,08801/24/2020
$26,088
Lead Photographer
Lead Photographer
Sharpshooter Imaging
Sharpshooter Imaging
01/22/2020
01/22/2020
$24,52201/22/2020
$24,522
See More Recent Salaries

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Lead Photographer Demographics

Gender

Female

48.4 %

Male

47.2 %

Unknown

4.4 %
Ethnicity

White

63.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.6 %

Black or African American

11.5 %
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.7 %

French

11.1 %

Mandarin

4.9 %
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Lead Photographer Education

Schools

Full Sail University

9.7 %

Art Institute of Colorado

7.5 %

Brooks Institute

6.0 %

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

6.0 %
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Majors

Photography

35.0 %

Graphic Design

10.8 %

Business

9.7 %

Fine Arts

7.3 %
Show More
Degrees

Bachelors

55.6 %

Associate

17.1 %

High School Diploma

14.2 %

Masters

5.1 %
Show More

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Lead Photographer

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Lead Photographer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 25.4% of lead photographers listed photographic equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as artistic ability and computer skills are important as well.

Best States For a Lead Photographer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a lead photographer. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Lead photographers make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $39,947. Whereas in Connecticut and Massachusetts, they would average $39,559 and $39,241, respectively. While lead photographers would only make an average of $38,060 in New Hampshire, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Lead Photographer Jobs:
3
Highest 10% Earn:
$65,000
Location Quotient:
2.71
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Lead Photographer Jobs:
4
Highest 10% Earn:
$109,000
Location Quotient:
2.98
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Lead Photographer Jobs:
8
Highest 10% Earn:
$108,000
Location Quotient:
1.66
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Lead Photographer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a lead photographer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless lead photographer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Lead Photographer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless lead photographer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

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Top Lead Photographer Employers

1. Lifetouch
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$33,758
Lead Photographers Hired: 
111+
2. CADY
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$44,608
Lead Photographers Hired: 
22+
3. Glamour Shots Licensing
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$43,795
Lead Photographers Hired: 
16+
4. Kodak
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$67,785
Lead Photographers Hired: 
13+
5. Picture People
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$37,011
Lead Photographers Hired: 
12+
6. Inter-State Studio & Publishing Co.
3.3
Avg. Salary: 
$35,827
Lead Photographers Hired: 
11+

Lead Photographer Videos

Recently Added Lead Photographer Jobs