Personal account

What do photographers live on

Life around continues to find out how much they earn and what money the representatives of different professions spend. In the new issue - a photographer. Their fees depend on work experience, portfolio quality and specialization (advertising, stock photos, fashion, reports or various events like weddings and parties). Our heroine specializes mainly in wedding photography. We found out from her how much she earns, how she works and what she spends money on.




About 80 000 rubles

per month

Main expenses

5 000 rubles

housing and communal services

20 000 rubles


2 500 rubles


5 000 rubles

trip to Finland from St. Petersburg

16 000 rubles

advertising on wedding sites

5 000 rubles

gift to the young
to man

7 000 rubles

lens repair

15 000 rubles

help to parents

4,500 rubles

paints and canvas

How to become a photographer

I studied at St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts; I am not a photographer by profession, but I went to this institution for a creative profession. She took up photography in 2008, and since 2010, my hobby has become a favorite part-time job. The phrase "I bought a SLR, I accept orders for shooting" does not apply to me: the process of becoming as a photographer was very gradual. I realized that this could be the main income, four years ago, when there were more people who admired my photographs. She decided to quit her main job at that time and began to develop her hobby. The first customers came thanks to word of mouth. At first it was a family photo shoot, later I began to focus on weddings.

An important role was played by my dad's hobby - he was also engaged in photography. When I was seven or nine years old, he drove me to the famous Pushkinskaya, 10. Here I first saw the real photo studio and the process of the work of photographers.

Now I live and work in Moscow, I shoot in the Moscow region, St. Petersburg, cities of Europe and the near abroad. I love to travel, so I don’t hear the answer “Too far” from me. On the contrary, this is exactly what makes my work more interesting, and the photographs are more diverse. Wedding photography is one of my main and favorite areas. In my photos people live, love and enjoy! Each time it is a new experience both for me and for people, and each client has an individual approach, taking into account all the nuances and wishes. I also set aside time for shooting classic portraits, photos with children, friends and relatives. I am doing my best to keep pleasant memories not only from photographs, but also from the process of shooting and communicating with me.

Features of work

To get beautiful photos, you need to follow a few rules. There is a clause in my contract that I am not responsible for the work of other contractors - make-up artist, stylist, decorator, host. Much depends on them. If a bad host, then these are sad faces at a banquet, if a poor make-up artist, then this is a bride who does not like herself. Therefore, I try to recommend the contractors I have already worked with. All sorts of little things are also very important up to a beautiful coat hanger for a dress.

Wedding is a very important event, the approach should be appropriate. If one camera fails, I always have a second, as well as analogs of lenses that an ordinary person can not distinguish from each other. There is also a clause in the contract that if, for an emergency reason, I can’t shoot a wedding (for example, I break my leg), I will have to pay the same photographer. When I come from a wedding, I immediately copy all the photos to two external hard drives. I try to store these disks in different cities: you never know, the fire will begin.

The best part is preparation and work at the wedding itself. And the unpleasant thing is to meet the deadline. I process photos when a muse comes to me. Happens, until the last I reach, and already other photo shoots on the way. Therefore, every year I increase the deadline for photographs, now it is five months. About a month later I send some shots, usually this is enough for the brides to be patient.

Soon there will be 200 weddings at which I worked as a photographer. Over the past year it was about 25. From June to September it is almost every Friday and Saturday. In addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg last season, I shot weddings on Lake Baikal, in Astrakhan, there were photo shoots in Paris, Venice, Prague, Frankfurt am Main. Only Russians and Koreans have a fashion to be photographed somewhere in Paris, on Santorini or in Italy in wedding dresses. On foreign shootings, I get paid for the work, and I distribute the cost of the flight for several pairs. I pay for accommodation myself, because most often they invite me to visit. Usually I count so that it turns out four days, for which I manage to work and see the places. This May I’m going to rent weddings in Jurmala, and then on Santorini.

The wedding photographer’s schedule is scheduled for the year ahead. Now I know my schedule for next summer. All my friends are ready almost a year to say when they will have a wedding so that I can attend.

I am in demand due to the fact that I have my own style. In this style, he shoots a few guys in Moscow. This is a mixture of reportage and production shooting with file art processing. Many photographers shoot only reports, for example with arthouse notes. Many, on the contrary, are engaged in purely staging, as if making film photos with many details - flowers, shoes, veils. I have it all mixed up. I know how to do both, and everyone likes that the production photo turns out to be lively. At each meeting, I ask my brides why they chose me. My answer is a summary of what brides say: if all sorts of flowers and shoes can go out of fashion, then living emotions are not.

I easily meet people at weddings often think that I am a guest. But at a meeting with future newlyweds, I warn that in terms of shooting I am the main one, explaining this by the fact that when in a photograph with a beautiful arch, a receptionist, flowers and a little girl in a dress, a bunch of outstretched hands can be seen taking off the tablet, it comes out ugly. I believe that this is disrespect for the newlyweds. This is usually understood.

I had such weddings as in the film “Bitterly!”, When on a separate day the guys held a ceremony for themselves, and then with their parents, where everything was as the older generation would say. This happens in life, not only in the film.

The most unusual place where you ever shot was Altai. There is such silence, I realized that I had not heard such silence before. Even in the Astrakhan region, near Mount Bogdo. All Paris and Greece are beautiful, but not so atmospheric.

I process the footage myself, although I often visit thoughts about the retoucher. I also took marketing into my own hands. I publish on wedding portals and sites. I try to be friends with wedding agencies and organizers. 


The price of photography depends on the date and venue. On average, it is 5-6 thousand rubles per hour. Photographers who work at my level charge 5-8 thousand rubles per hour for their services. Hours are paid on the set, although then there is still a sitting behind the processing. It takes about 15 hours to process, deeply retouch and prepare the layout of a photobook of one wedding.

In some Tambov or Voronezh, brides on the palm, funny video clips, sparkles are still popular. At such weddings, other photographers work. I was interested: the wedding day of two photographers costs about 15 thousand rubles. In 2010, I myself shot at such weddings: pigeons, strange contests, fights ... I definitely took off five such weddings. Now they’re not calling. Those who are willing to spend a certain amount on their wedding, and have no such thoughts in their thoughts. Over time, I began to understand how much the wedding I am working on costs. On average, it is from 600 thousand to 1.2 million rubles.

My income is very unstable. It is more convenient to calculate how much I earn per year, because the main earnings are in the summer season. On average, 80 thousand rubles are obtained per month. I know that I can earn more, but my free time is more important and that interest in work does not disappear.

From June to September, I am engaged in wedding filming and photo shoots abroad and in far corners of Russia, from October to January I process the footage for the season. I don’t have a normal working day: I can work for 30 hours without sleep, and I can do nothing all day.

This year, all prices soared over the course. I slightly changed the price, so I am haunted by questions: "Why is it so inexpensive?" Some do not even write to me, thinking that my wedding day costs 70-80 thousand rubles. And I have it costs 40-45 thousand. The payment of the amount is divided into three stages: prepayment on the eve, part on the wedding day and another part on the day I give the photos. This is calm for the bride and motivation for me.


I live in Moscow, I pay only for utilities - this is about 5 thousand rubles. I regularly visit St. Petersburg. Constantly in search of inspiration. Every month I try to get to new places - cities, republics, countries. In February, I went to Finland, about 5 thousand rubles came out. If we talk about relaxation, then sleep at home - it's free.

I often have meetings in cafes and restaurants, I often meet with friends. About 20 thousand rubles are spent on food in cafes and at home.

High-quality professional camera and lenses are very tangible. A set of professional photographer pulls on a good foreign car. Do not forget about computers. Last month, I handed over the lens for repair, as I dropped it. I was told that it would cost 6-8 thousand rubles. Given that the lens itself costs 100 thousand rubles, this is a penny. There are also expenses for individual attributes: disks, business cards, websites, covers. At some photo shoots I work with an assistant, in this case I give him part of the fee. Last month I paid about 16 thousand rubles for advertising on two wedding sites.

Any professional is constantly improving their skills. To do this, you need to attend special courses, workshops, exhibitions, seminars and trainings. It also needs money.

I help my parents monthly; it's 15 thousand rubles. All my last savings - 50 thousand rubles - I gave for a driving school.

I don’t particularly follow the costs. Mostly money is spent on travel and entertainment. I am engaged in typical pleasant things - walks, films, books, drawing. I paint oil paintings. I am looking for inspiration in other works. I stick on the Internet, I go to art centers. This is much cheaper than attending workshops. Recently I bought several tubes of oil paints and a canvas for 4,500 rubles.

I can refuse shopping, I have few things at all - mostly jeans, sweaters. In February, I spent 2-3 thousand rubles on this, bought a white sweater and earrings. I also bought a gift for a young man on February 23, it cost about 5 thousand rubles.

Watch the video: HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH PHOTOGRAPHY - Things I wish I knew (December 2019).

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