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Do photographers make good money in South Africa?

Two photographers taking pictures of a lake in the mountains.

Are you wondering whether photography can be a lucrative career in the vibrant landscapes of South Africa? The country’s photographers have an average hourly rate of R357.26, which paints a promising picture.

This article will delve into the nuances of photographer earnings and how they match up against other creative professions. Stay tuned for insights that could flash up your financial future!

Key Takeaways

  • In South Africa, photographers earn about R 13,713 per month on average. The top ones can make up to R 38,400 monthly.
  • Hourly rates for photographers are around R357.26 in 2023, while freelance photographers get about R360.65 per hour.
  • Compared to other jobs like videographers and photo editors who can earn more, photographer’s assistants also do well with an average yearly salary of R 103,820.
  • Location affects how much money photographers make. For example, Johannesburg and Cape Town often pay more.
  • Experience and working in areas like weddings or wildlife photography can help photographers earn higher incomes.

Understanding the Photography Profession in South Africa

A group of photographers conducting a nature photography workshop in a scenic outdoor setting.

In South Africa, photographers capture moments and tell stories through their cameras. They work in different areas like wedding photography, wildlife shots, or making art. People pay them to take pictures for events or buy their photos from galleries.

Some photographers teach others how to take great pictures in workshops.

Being a photographer in South Africa means you need to know about copyright laws to protect your photos. You might work alone as a freelancer or with other people at big events. It can be fun but also hard because you have many things to do like editing pictures and finding new clients.

People who are really good at photography can make more money by selling books with their photos or teaching special classes about taking better shots.

Average Salary of a Photographer in South Africa

A group of diverse photographers discussing their work at a Cityscape Photography studio.

Photographers in South Africa can expect to make around R 13,713 every month. But what they earn changes a lot depending on where they work and how much experience they have. Some might start at R 13,000 monthly while others who are really good at their job can make up to R 38,400 each month.

The money photographers get per hour also varies. In 2023, the average hourly pay is about R357.26. Over a year, this could mean making around ZAR 360,699 if you work plenty of hours at that rate.

Yet not everyone will hit that number – many photographers might see an average yearly paycheque closer to ZAR 232,930 with an hourly rate near ZAR 112 instead. And for those snapping pictures in Johannesburg? They’re looking at roughly ZAR 10,000 per month on average.

Comparing Photographer Salaries with other Professions

Photographer salaries in South Africa can vary greatly compared to other professions, so understanding the compensation trends and factors influencing these differences is essential.

To find out more about how photographer salaries stack up against other professions in South Africa, read on!


Videographers in South Africa are making good money these days. They earn about 325,900 ZAR a year on average. Some even make up to 503,200 ZAR! That’s more than many photographers can expect.

Plus, they get paid around R251.43 for each hour of filming.

People who make videos often have bigger paycheques than those taking pictures. The reason is simple: videos can be complex and clients love them for special events like weddings and adverts.

This means videographers have lots of chances to earn more, especially if they’re skilled at catching all the action and telling a story with their cameras. With the right experience, they might see their bank accounts grow quite nicely!

Freelance Photographer

Being a freelance photographer in South Africa can pay well. Some top professionals really make good money. On average, they earn R 308 each day. It’s like having full-time work but with more freedom to choose jobs.

Even better, the hourly rate for these photographers is around R360.65 in 2023.

Freelance photographers set their own hours and pick what kinds of photos they want to take. They keep track of their income and watch out for things like taxes and social security themselves.

Since they’re not tied to one employer, they chase after different projects which can boost how much they make even more. But remember, it’s up to them to find work regularly if they want a steady paycheck.

Photo Editor

Photo Editors in South Africa play a big role in the photography industry. They make pictures look their best by changing colours, fixing light, and more. In Johannesburg, a Photo Editor can earn up to 245,300 ZAR each year.

Some might get less around 117,440 ZAR. But in Cape Town, they can make even more—up to 283,700 ZAR yearly! The lowest they might earn there is about 150,000 ZAR.

Their skills with editing mean they can ask for an hourly wage of R302.52 on average. This job asks for people who know how to use special computer programmes and have a good eye for detail.

Because of this skill set, Photo Editors add real value to the photos that photographers take. This helps everyone from brides wanting perfect wedding shots to companies needing great images for ads.

Photographers Assistant

Working as a photographer’s assistant in South Africa can be an exciting start to a career in photography. People in this role make about R 103,820 each year on average. Their pay may vary, from around 16,700 ZAR to 19,300 ZAR monthly.

This depends on things like how much they know and their education.

In places like Cape Town, the money is even better. A photographer’s assistant there can earn close to 228,500 ZAR annually. Of course, that’s if they are really good at what they do and have a lot of experience.

Even those just starting out don’t do too badly — with the lowest salary being about 209,700 ZAR per year. It shows that where you work as an assistant matters when it comes to your pay cheque.

Factors Influencing Photographer Salaries in South Africa

Understanding frame rates and wedding videography is crucial as these factors can significantly impact a photographer’s earning potential. (link to “what is frame rate in wedding video”).

Understanding Frame Rates and Wedding Videography (link to “what is frame rate in wedding video”)

Frame rates make a big difference in wedding videos. Think of frame rate like the heartbeat of a video; it’s how many pictures flash by each second to create movement. Wedding videographers often pick high frame rates for dreamy slow-motion shots that look amazing.

They may use speeds like 120 or 240 frames per second (fps).

Choosing the right frame rate is crucial for capturing those special moments just right. With higher fps, you get smooth, flowing footage that can turn a quick smile or laugh into a beautiful moment to remember forever.

It’s tricks like these that let wedding videographers create films that feel magical and full of emotion.


In conclusion, established photographers in South Africa can earn a good income.. with the average annual salary being ZAR 360,699. Factors such as experience and location.. influence photographer salaries in the country.

While freelance photographers may have varying income levels based on their projects,.. the photography industry in South Africa offers opportunities for photographers to earn a decent living.

Overall, being a photographer in South Africa can lead to a rewarding and financially stable career.. with potential for growth and success.


1. How much do photographers earn in South Africa?

Photographers in the Republic of South Africa might see different amounts on their payslips, but generally, a photographer’s salary often reflects their education level, skills, and experience. Plus, it can vary from one job market to another.

2. What factors affect how much money photographers make?

A handful of things shape earnings – like whether you’ve got a diploma or not, how many hours you’ve worked, and even your gender can sadly influence pay because there’s still a bit of a gender pay gap in some places.

3. Is there a minimum wage for photographers in South Africa?

Yes – just like other jobs here, employers must stick to the rules around minimum pay that help everyone get fair wages for the hard work they put in.

4. Do professional photographers get extra benefits?

Many times they do; incentives such as premiums or bonuses add up nicely on top of regular salaries for those snapping pictures professionally – especially if they’re salaried employees within big companies.

5. Can living costs affect what photographers need to earn?

Absolutely! The cost-of-living changes depending on where you live and work within South Africa which means what looks like good money in one place could be just enough to cover basic needs somewhere else—something both employees and employers keep an eye on when thinking about payroll tax and employee compensation.

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