2008 Income Survey: Photographer Earning By Organization

Posted on 5/1/2009 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

To help measure how representative the survey results might be, responders were asked to indicate their affiliation with trade organizations. Close to a third (29%) of the total 136 respondents did not belong to any such group, while 25 (18%) belonged to organizations other than the choices provided in the survey.

Stock-licensing revenue by trade organization<
Organization Number of respondents Gross revenue Expenses Stock-licensing revenue Stock-licensing revenue average
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)* 52 $6,394,167 $2,457,209 $3,832,921 $73,710
Advertising Photographers of America (APA)* 7 $1,200,110 $478,800 $433,194 $61,885
Stock Artists Alliance (SAA) 37 $5,785,174 $2,262,168 $3,815,303 $103,116
Editorial Photographers (EP) 16 $1,441,053 $619,923 $485,338 $30,334
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) 6 $207,541 $93,926 $163,525 $27,254
American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP) 6 $518,148 $263,806 $342,190 $57,032
Association of Photographers (AoP), United Kingdom 2 $696,139 $428,531 $387,837 $193,919
Other 25 $1,829,633 $668,008 $963,028 $38,521
None 36 $3,472,608 $1,060,894 $2,114,100 $58,725
*Figures do not include the four of the five respondents with stock incomes of over $500,000 who are with ASMP and one who is also with APA. If we include those numbers The average gross revenue for ASMP members would be $285,423 and the average stock photo revenue would be $157,790. For APA members, the average gross revenue would be $810,234 and the stock photo revenue would be $274,799.

It should be noted that the Selling Stock survey only listed one trade association located outside of the U.S. A third (12) of the 36 non-U.S. respondents indicated they belonged to a trade association not listed. The survey attracted had respondents from 19 different countries, including 8 people from the U.K., 6 from Canada and 6 from Australia and New Zealand.

It is not surprising that members of Editorial Photographers (EP) earn less than ASMP members, because those in ASMP tend to do more high-paying commercial work than EP members. On the other hand, this sampling of ASMP members probably includes many who are much more successful than the average ASMP member.

Unfortunately, all these numbers really demonstrate is how difficult it is to get a representative sample of any of these groups.

Certainly the two members of the Association of Photographers in the UK are not representative. In 2007, six photographers of this very large organization responded, and their average stock income was $150,309. In 2008, one of the two responders was very successful, pushing the average up to $193,919.

Copyright © 2009 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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