12 Highest Paid Photographers in the World [2024 Edition]

Do you doubt that the job of a photographer can bring you much income? Think again, as the famous photographers mentioned in this article made a fortune thanks to their talent. Let’s discover the most important names in the industry, the styles they work in to become top paid photographers and achieve financial success.

1. Annie Leibovitz

Net Worth: $50 million

Leibovitz is the most popular female photographer, who became prosperous with intimate and creative portraits of many notable individuals. Her services are quite expensive as her reputation is flawless and her images have a serious cultural significance.

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She is also known as a photographer who contributed her works to Vanity Fair. Leibovitz’s most famous shots feature John Lennon and Yoko Ono, pregnant Demi Moore, and Queen Elizabeth II. Her pics are a mix of fine art and commercial photography with an exquisite artistic touch. The photographer’s compositions stand out with perfect lighting and vibrant colors.

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2. Lynsey Addario

Net Worth: $3 million

Lynsey Addario is one of the highest paid photographers, as well as an American photojournalist and famous war photographer. She attracts the attention of viewers with her eye-grabbing and impactive shots representing such themes as conflict, human rights issues, and the lives of people in war-torn regions. In her art, Lyndsey investigates such issues as the experiences of women in conflict areas, as well as the impact the war had on civilians.

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Her works appeared in such famous publications as The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time Magazine. She was bestowed with multiple awards for her photojournalism like a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 as part of a New York Times team for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Lynsey Addario has also the title of one of the five most influential photographers in the past 25 years.

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3. Cindy Sherman

Net Worth: $35 million

Cindy is widely regarded as of the most prominent self-portrait photographers. She stands out with her ability to turn virtually in other personas using makeup, costumes, and props. In her works, she explores traditional notions of identity, representation, and gender roles. Moreover, she has experience working with reputable brands, magazines, and makeup companies that leave only positive feedback about her work.

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She excels at her competitors by using a green screen when working on self-portraits. Another highlight of her art is that she works as a model, stylist, and a shooter. In 2011, a print of her photo fetched approximately 3.89 million at the New York auction, and it is considered the priciest photo ever sold at that time.

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4. Zhang Jinghna

Net Worth: $5 million

Having Chinese and Singaporean origin, Zhang Jinghua entered Forbes' 30 Under 30 Asia list yesteryear for her fashion photography.

In 2013, she received the Young Photographer of the Year award. Besides, her shots also appeared in Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. Zhang Jingha features the works for such reputable companies as Mercedes Benz, Canon, Elle Magazine, and Ogilvy & Mather Advertising.

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Jingna’s artwork is a mix of Asian and Western styles. Conducting a painterly/fantasy approach to her works, she manages to produce impressive fashion images. Her exhibitions took place at the prestigious Arts House, Japan Creative Centre in Singapore, and received the title of the Master Photographer of the Year.

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5. Andreas Gursky

Net Worth: $30 million

Andres is a well-known landscape photographer, whose shot, Rhine II (1999), fetched an incredible $4.3 million at Christie’s auction in New York. Besides, his other works usually realize more than a million dollars, making him a real star in the industry.

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The peculiarity of his works is that they have a very large size, reaching several meters wide. He also prefers taking pics from a high vantage point. Most of his shots are devoted to such themes as globalization, consumerism, and the impact of technology on contemporary society.

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6. Gilles Bensimon

Net Worth: $20 million

Giles achieved fame as a talented fashion photographer. She is known to be the International Creative Director of Elle magazine who made a considerable contribution to the development of the visual identity of all publications and editorial content.

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Her work at Elle had a great impact on shaping the aesthetics of fashion photography in the 80s and 90s. She is also known to take part in the famous top fashion America’s Next Top Model television series.

Being a prominent fashion photographer, Gilles Bensimon has cooperated with many prominent personalities like Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, and Kate Moss featuring their essence in her pics. Gilles also excels the competitors at creating iconic portraits when shooting actors, musicians, celebrities, fashion designers, and public figures.

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7. Tim Walker

Net Worth: $22 million

Tim Walker is one of the top paid photographers who contribute his works for Vogue, W, and Love Magazines on a regular basis. Considered one of the most inspiring photographers, she became famous thanks to her original and whimsical style.

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His shots feature fantastical and dreamlike words and include intricate sets, costumes, and storytelling elements. Tim tinkers with scale and proportions to distort an image and create an eye-grabbing reality to draw the viewers’ attention.

Walker conducted photo shoots for such stars as Kate Moss, and Harry Styles. Lily Cole, Edie Campbell, Tilda Swinton, Karlie Kloss, and much more. As Tim’s reputation is flawless and demand for this photography service is really high, this is no wonder that his income is quite large. Tim’s works prove that fashion can be depicted differently and broadened the notion of fashion photography.

8. Morgan Norman

Net Worth: $18 million

Morgan Norman is one of the highest paid photographers in the commercial field. He worked for many famous fashion houses like Vogue and Allure, the Wall Street Journal, the Swedish Royal Opera, and Cirque du Soleil.

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He rocketed to stardom in 2007 with the exhibition Commedia Dell’arte. The same year, Morgan also won the attention of many photography connoisseurs with LIBIDO, which was featured in the permanent exhibition of Nationalmuseum, Sweden’s main Museum of Art and Design.

In 2009 Norman was chosen as the representative of Hasselblad from the International Top Newcomers. The photographer also creates fashion films, some of which were presented at Cannes.

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9. Terry Richardson

Net Worth: $58 million

A portrait photographer admired by many people from around the world, Terry Richardson covers such themes as celebrities, indulgence, sexual ideas, nudity, and unusual humor in her beautiful artworks.

His images appeal to viewers with their quirky nature, and seeing glimpses of a celebrity or model’s natural self is always quite a treat.

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His works appeared in many popular fashion magazines including Rolling Stone, GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, i-D, and Vice, and were featured in advertising campaigns for Marc Jacobs, Aldo, Supreme, Sisley, Tom Ford, and Yves Saint Laurent.

He also worked as a director of many music clips like Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball.  In addition, the fans of Richrdson's art can enjoy his works in his Terryworld and Kibosh books of fashion shots.

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10. Mario Testino

Net Worth: $8 million

Mario Testino is a well-known fashion photographer whose works made a considerable impact on fashion, “Luxury realism” is a visiting card of his style that focuses on capturing subjects in a candid atmosphere.

In contrast, the majority of fashion photographers prefer shooting emotionless images. Mario Testino features the full spectrum of emotions of his models in pics.

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Moreover, Mario is honored to be named one of the world’s most prolific magazine and fashion trade photographers by “The Observer”. The shooter received many other rewards like Hero Award, British Style Award, Elle Style Award, and so on.

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11. David LaChapelle

Net Worth: $5 million

Being a famous American photographer and director, David LaChapelle is known for his surreal, bold, and often controversial shots. As he often mixes up fine art and commercial works in his photography, his approach to work is often called to be unique.

The photographer’s images stand out because of their vibrant colors pop culture references, and over-the-top compositions that confront social standards and norms.

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LaChapelle’s style is original and recognizable, and his clients are prestigious brands and publications, so this is no wonder that he is widely regarded as one of the highest paid photographers. He also conducted photoshoots for such celebrities as Madonna, Lady Gaga, Pamela Anderson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Michael Jackson.

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12. HitmanPro

Net Worth: $2 million

Our list of the wealthiest top paid photographers would not be complete without Peter Lik. He comes from Australia and is known for his panoramic and landscape photography. Peter earned almost half a billion dollars selling his photography. Besides, one of his shots fetched a record price of $6.5 million at an auction.

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His works are exhibited in 15 official galleries as well as multiple stores worldwide, so the chances to discover his works in your local art spot are quite high. Vibrancy and attention to detail are what characterize the photographer’s style.

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