How Many Hours Do Photographers Work?

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Working Hours for Professional Photographers 

If you’re considering a career in professional photography, it’s crucial to understand how much time you will be expected to put into your work. The short answer is that most photographers spend 35+ hours per week on the job, including weekends.

Let’s take a closer look at what goes into working as a professional photographer and how much of that time is spent in the field versus behind the scenes.

How Many Hours Does a Photographer Work?

Female photographer on the ground taking a photo.

In-Field Work

Photographers typically spend around 4-5 hours on-site shooting each day, depending on their specialty and project requirements. This includes travel time and setup/breakdown.

Photographers can also expect to spend additional time in the field scouting locations or reviewing potential shots before deciding which ones they want to capture. 

Behind-the-Scenes Work

Much of the work associated with being a professional photographer happens away from the camera lens.

After completing an in-field shoot, photographers can expect to spend several hours editing photos, selecting images for final delivery, preparing digital files for clients, and uploading images to various platforms (e.g., social media).

In addition, many photographers are responsible for their marketing activities and administrative tasks, such as invoicing and managing client relationships via email or phone.

This can add up to 10+ hours of additional work per week for a full-time photographer beyond the actual shooting sessions.

Do Photographers Make a Lot of Money?

Have you ever wondered if photography could be a lucrative career?

The answer is that photographers can make a decent living. 

According to recent statistics, the average hourly rate for photographers in the United States is $17.15.

While this may seem a little at first glance, owning your studio or business can significantly increase your earning potential.

The photography industry is all about networking and building a solid reputation, and with hard work and dedication, you can turn your passion into a profitable career.

So don’t let anyone tell you that photography isn’t a viable career option. You can make a decent living doing what you love with the right skills and attitude.

How Many Hours Does a Photoshoot Take?

When you think of a photoshoot, you might imagine a short and sweet session involving a few poses and some quick camera snaps. 

But the truth is, a photoshoot can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a whole day, depending on what you’re looking to capture.

If you’re after a simple portrait or headshot, it may only take 30 minutes to an hour.

But if you aim for a more elaborate and creative shoot, it could stretch into a multi-hour affair. And don’t forget that time spent preparing for the shoot, including hair, makeup, and wardrobe, can add even more hours.

So before you schedule your next photography session, be sure to plan accordingly and give yourself enough time to capture the perfect shots.

Is Photography a Stressful Job?

Photography is often called a dream job, filled with opportunities to capture moments and create art.

However, it’s not all sunsets and smiling faces. It’s important to acknowledge the stressful nature of this craft — the constant need to meet deadlines, the pressure to produce high-quality work, and the competitive nature of the industry.

Photographers invest hours in perfecting their craft, pouring their heart and soul into each project, and every assignment comes with its challenges.

But the stress is worth it for those passionate about capturing and immortalizing moments. Ultimately, the ability to tell stories through imagery makes it all worthwhile.


Professional photographers usually need to be prepared to commit 35+ hours per week towards their roles — including weekends — to achieve success in this competitive industry.

That said, it’s integral to keep in mind that not all of those hours are spent behind the camera lens; there’s plenty of work involved with being a successful photographer that must be completed offsite (such as editing photos or managing client relationships).

By understanding what goes into being a professional photographer ahead of time, you’ll be able to ensure your schedule is tailored accordingly.