How much do Photographers in the UAE Make?

4 Mins read

If you are looking forward to making a career out of photography, it is paramount to understand how much you stand to make. Knowing how much different rates will offset your career as a professional freelance photographer in Dubai as you’ll have established your personal pricing strategy.

If you are reading this, then for sure, you ought to be aware that people do make a living from photography. If not, then we would not be having many successful photographers in the UAE who make a decent amount of this art. The main question that pops up in every aspiring photographer’s mind is which field they should specialize in.

In general, there are many types of photography that one can choose to invest in. However, they all don’t pay the same amount in terms of returns. Some gigs are more paying than others.

This post seeks to answer all your photography pricing options and how much you stand to make as a photographer for the different categories. The factors that might influence the income of those in this industry have also been covered in depth.

Job description

Before delving deeper into how much photographers stand to make, it is paramount first to understand exactly what they do. Well, for starters, photographers have an idea for designing and enhancing the pictures taken of events, people, animals, locations, etc.

Starting a freelance photography career in Dubai has been the better option for many professionals due to the amount of freedom one has to improve themselves.

But first, how does one become a photographer?

Well, to begin with, the most popular route to take is to first get a certificate or bachelor’s degree in photography, photojournalism, or any other related field. For many other freelance photographers in the UAE, this career path is taken mainly due to their passion.

One can still make money from photography, even without having taken any formal training. All they need to understand is how to use the equipment which they can perfect with continuous use.

Although there are currently too many photographers in the world, your skills, your motivation, and how you market yourself will help you to stand out from the rest. If you are just starting out as one, you shouldn’t expect the road to be less bumpy as it will take you a while before you begin seeing any good returns.

Factors that affect a photographer’s pricing 

1. Skills and experience

It goes without saying that an experienced photographer, especially one with the necessary skills and expertise in a specific field, will ask for more compared to a beginner. As you build your portfolio and learn how to perfect the art of photography, your value also goes higher.

Here is an average breakdown of the income of photographers depending on their experience:

Entry-level: $20,000 – $82,000

Mid-career: $23,000 – $100,000

Experienced: $27,000 – $120,000

Late career: $29,000 – $120,000

2. The type of photography

The industry you plan on joining has a significant impact on how much you stand to make as a professional photographer. If you have larger or more corporate clients, you stand to make more money. For instance, someone who takes food pictures of a campaign for a company stands to make more money than the photographer who takes landscape photos and tries to sell to a local magazine.

This is partly attributed to the fact that one of the clients is more loaded than the other, and their industry has more consumers than the other.

Some of the fields one can major in include:

Fashion photographer

Fashion photographers are sometimes referred to as the rock stars of the photography world. They get to experience new people, become more creative, travel more, and it is a rather simple category to build your brand.

Many people are even hiring freelance fashion photographers in the UAE to perform shoots, so they necessarily don’t have to be working with a specific company.

The biggest drawback to this type of photography is that it is quite demanding, so only those who can handle too much pressure can survive here.

The average earnings of fashion photographers are $59,000.

Wildlife photographer

Wildlife photography is as challenging as it is rewarding. It is a remarkable career to get into when you love interacting with nature and sometimes enjoy adventures. The job offers one satisfaction, but the fact that there is not always enough work that can make this a full-time gig makes it unreliable.

There is also potential danger from wild animals that you encounter, especially if you don’t have proper safety measures taken.

The average income for a wildlife photographer is $28,000.

Wedding photographer

This is probably one of the most popular types of photography that many people find easier to get gigs at. It is a people-centered category, and every opportunity you get enables you to better yourself even further.

Wedding photography needs someone who can handle the high pressure and can take the whole day under the sun with ease. Furthermore, unlike fashion shoots, weddings are mostly seasonal.

The average income for a wedding photographer ranges from $15,000 to well over $100,000.

Sports photography

Sports photography is a rather wide field as there are very many games one can cover. The standard requirement for this type of photography is that one should have good high-speed photography techniques that will help them to cover every moment with precision.

Once you decide on this type of photography, you may have to invest a lot of money in the equipment, so earning a good amount at the beginning might be hard.

The average income for a sports photographer is rather low, between $10,000 and $20,000.

3. The competition

As is the case for every other business, the more the competition, the less you can charge and make – not unless you are an established photographer. As a freelance photographer in the UAE, you should first conduct market research and find out how much the competition is charging as you don’t want to price yours too high or low.

4. The location

The location affects every type of business, in terms of how much one can charge. A photographer in a big city will obviously cost more compared to a person in the countryside.

5. Branding

How well do people know you? How big is your followers’ base? The more you invest in your brand, the more people will be willing to let go of more money for your services.


Taking up photography as a career needs motivation and the relevant skills to do so. It takes time to build it up, but it will be rewarding once you have established yourself. There are some good platforms out there that help one to offset their careers as freelance photographers in Dubai while still interacting with their peers.

    Write For Us