So you’re wondering who the highest paid photographers are. When you make a career out of photography, you are taking a gamble. You might struggle to sell your work for decades. Or you might become a household name and sell your photographs for millions of dollars.
If you are aiming to make a living off of your photography, then you should think about studying the greatest of our generation. These are the highest paid photographers in the world:
1. Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky is known for his landscape photographs and frequently shoots from a high vantage point in order to capture as much as possible. In 2011, he sold a piece for 4.3 million dollars, which is the highest anyone has ever paid for a photograph. Normally, his work sells for upwards of a million dollars, making him a well-known name in the industry.
2. Annie Leibovitz
Annie Leibovitz is a celebrity photographer. Her work features modern celebrities posing as characters in fantasy landscapes. She helped Caityln Jenner come out as a trans woman, photographed John Lennon on the day of his death, and took the now-famous portrait of the Queen with her grandchildren.
3. Lynsey Addario
Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist who has photographed war zones and international conflicts. She has been to the Middle East, Darfur, Chad, Haiti, and the Republic of Congo and had her work published by The New York Times, TIME, National Geographic, and Newsweek. Even though she has achieved great fame, her work has not always been easy. She went missing in Libya in 2011 but was released after five days. She was also brutally beaten and sexually assaulted while on assignment.
4. Richard Prince
Richard Prince is known for his rephotographs. Rephotography is the act of repeating a picture at the same site with a time lag between the two images, which creates a ‘then and now’ view. One of Prince’s rephotographs was the first to be sold for more than one million dollars at a New York auction.
5. Terry Richardson
Terry Richardson is worth five million dollars. He has taken photographs for Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and Harpers Bazaar. He also directed multiple music videos, such as Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball. Richardson’s photographs are highly sexualized and punk in style.
6. Gilles Bensimon
Gilles Bensimon is a French fashion photographer and the former International Creative Director at Elle magazine. Bensimon appeared on the reality show, America’s Next Top Model, as a photographer. Outside of shooting contestants, he has also photographed Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Tyra Banks.
7. Cindy Sherman
Cindy Sherman is an abstract photographer best known for her conceptual portraits. She typically shoots her photographs in a series that tell a narrative. One of her most famous works consisted of sixty-nine black-and-white photographs meant to subvert female stereotypes in arthouse films.
8. Nick Brandt
Nick Brandt is a nature photographer who captures endangered species. He never uses a telephoto lens (which allows subjects to be photographed from a distance) because he does not like the separation from his subjects. He is also against Photoshopping and enhancing his photos, but his work still sells for up to $200,00 apiece.
9. Nick Veasy
Nick Veasy works with X-ray imaging and digital prints. Some of his photos are partial photo manipulations with the help of Photoshop. His work has been featured in famous advertising campaigns like Adobe’s Creative Suite and Downy Fabric Conditioner. He has also won several photographic and design awards.
10. Morgan Norman
Morgan Norman is a commercial photographer. He graduated from the Gamleby School of Photography in 2003 and began working as an assistant to Carl Bengtsson. Norman’s work is often dark and moody. He frequently takes portraits of significant Swedish figures and international stars.