Working as a Portrait Photographer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a portrait photographer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $12.78 an hour? That's $26,589 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 Portrait Photographer Do

There are certain skills that many portrait 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 portrait photographer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 22.0% of portrait photographers included family portraits, while 15.2% of resumes included lifetouch, and 9.5% of resumes included customer service. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

How To Become a Portrait Photographer

If you're interested in becoming a portrait photographer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 54.2% of portrait photographers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.8% of portrait photographers have master's degrees. Even though most portrait 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 portrait photographer. When we researched the most common majors for a portrait photographer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on portrait 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 portrait photographer. In fact, many portrait photographer jobs require experience in a role such as photographer. Meanwhile, many portrait photographers also have previous career experience in roles such as sales associate or internship.

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Average Salary$26,589
Job Growth Rate-6%

Portrait Photographer Jobs

Portrait Photographer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Portrait Photographer
Cashier7.4 %
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Top Careers After Portrait Photographer
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What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Portrait Photographer

Portrait Photographers in America make an average salary of $26,589 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $33,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Salary

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Portrait Photographer
Portrait Photographer

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Portrait Photographer Demographics



58.0 %


36.8 %


5.2 %


64.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.6 %

Black or African American

10.8 %
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Foreign Languages Spoken


52.7 %


9.1 %


5.5 %
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Portrait Photographer Education


Art Institute of Pittsburgh

10.9 %

Savannah College of Art and Design

9.3 %

Hallmark Institute of Photography

8.5 %

Academy of Art University

6.2 %
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40.8 %

Graphic Design

9.3 %

Fine Arts

9.0 %


6.9 %
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54.2 %


20.3 %

High School Diploma

12.0 %


5.8 %
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Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Portrait Photographer

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Top Skills For a Portrait 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, 22.0% of portrait photographers listed family portraits on their resume, but soft skills such as artistic ability and computer skills are important as well.

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Top Portrait Photographer Employers

1. Lifetouch
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2. Portrait Innovations
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3. J. C. Penney
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4. Picture People
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5. Sears Holdings
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6. Nationwide Mutual Insurance ...
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Recently Added Portrait Photographer Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020