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The Top 10 Richest Photographers in the World

There are a lot of people out there who think that if you’re an artist, you won’t do well in the financial department of life because they believe that arts can’t be profitable enough and one can’t live off of that.

But they’re wrong. Art can pay quite well if you’re good enough in your chosen field. One of the most prolific and common field is photography. It’s one of the best ways to reflect and recreate our world, to save memories of good times and all kinds of life events, so that photography is present everywhere nowadays. Especially since the addition of smartphones and their better and better cameras, putting a powerful tool in almost everyone’s hands.

But it takes a lot more than just a camera to become good and it takes so much more to become a brilliant photographer. It’s then when photography starts paying off huge. So while the average photographer may not make more than a few bucks, maybe even nothing, a brilliant one instead can get rich on just photography.

The photographers we’re going to talk about are those who’ve risen above everyone else when it comes to their craft and not only that, but they’re The Ten Richest Photographers in The World right now:

10. Zhang Jingna

Zhang Jingna

Zhang Jingna is a Chinese-Singaporean photographer who made herself known to the world as zemotion. She studied fashion design at the Lasalle College of the Arts, picking up photography as a hobby from the age of eighteen and later going for it full time.

Her portfolio includes some world famous companies such as Mercedes Benz, Canon, Elle Magazine or Ogilvy & Mather Advertising. Her first solo exhibition, named Something Beautiful, took place in 2008 at The Arts House in Singapore and opened her path to winning numerous awards ever since. She now works most of the time in New York, London and Paris.

9. Timothy Allen

Timothy Allen

Timothy Allen is an English photographer who built himself a strong reputation by working with isolated communities throughout the globe and for his documentary project Human Planet, created for BBC. He studied in the Judd School and then the Leeds University, from where he graduated with a degree in zoology.

It was during those years that he went on a research project to the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, and the three months spent there made a lasting impression on him so that he returned to spend three more years there. That’s when his passion for photography began and at the age of 27 he received a diploma from Hereford. Besides his amazing photography work, he’s a filmmaker as well and works on multimedia projects, like the ones for the BBC.

8. George Steinmetz

George Steinmetz

George Steinmetz is an acclaimed American photographer who, after getting a degree in Geophysics from the Stanford University, he went hitchhiking through Africa and he made sure he took a camera with him as well.

His passion for photographing deserts made him well known and highly appreciated by the likes of The New Yorker, Smithsonian and the National Geographic magazine. He also uses an experimental aircraft that allows him to capture things that would be otherwise impossible.

7. Nick Veasey

Nick Veasey

By combining photography and unconventional means such as X-ray imaging to create stunning works of art, Nick Veasey attracted to attention of international galleries in Europe, North America and Asia.

His way of doing photo manipulations brought him lots of awards such as the IPA Lucie, AOP, Graphis, and his biggest pride is having created the largest X-ray ever, of a real size Boeing 777 jet.

6. Marco Grob

Marco Grob

Marco Grob is the living proof that a good eye and an attention to details are the most important things that make a good photographer and not just the choice of his subject.

After starting his career with still life photography, he became the highest paid portrait photographer in the world due to his extreme patience and carefully planned textures he uses. His portraits include the likes of Lady Gaga, Barack Obama and George Clooney, to name just a few.

5. Nick Brandt

Nick Brandt

Nick Brandt is an award winning wildlife photographer, with several published books about the African continent under his belt and astonishing photos of its landscape and inhabitants. His wide lens shooting style is now well known, giving extra volume to his images and making them look more real.

With a desire to preserve the ecosystems of Africa as much as possible, he started a non-profit organization to do just that.

4. GMB Akash

GMB Akash

GMB Akash is a photojournalist from Bangladesh, famous for his unique style and as well for his controversial choice of subjects. Most of the time his photographs tell the story of underprivileged people struggling to survive.

Newsweek, National Geographic and Vogue are some of the magazines that he collaborated with, receiving lots of awards and accolades and making quite a lot of money in the process.

3. Lynsey Addario

Lynsey Addario

With her photos featured in stories for the New York Times, Newsweek or Time magazine, Lynsey Addario stands out through her gritty and raw vision about the reality around us.

She became renowned for the strong images she took during conflicts in places like Afghanistan, Haiti, Congo or Iraq. She was taken hostage in 2011 in Libya along with three other journalists. Some of the awards Lynsey received are the MacArthur Fellowship and the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting both in 2009 and the 2008 Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography.

2. Gilles Bensimon

Gilles Bensimon

Gilles Bensimon is the former International Creative Director of Elle magazine and built a reputation as a celebrity photographer, with Madonna, Sharon Stone, Beyonce, Halle Berry and Linda Evangelista being some of the celebrities who posed for him.

During his early years, he was suffering from dyslexia so his mother directed him to the arts world with the hope that it will help him with his self-expression. After an early career start in the arts industry, he set the tone for the aesthetic of the fashion industry, with his images seen by over 20 million worldwide readers of Elle magazine. That also made him one of the richest artists in the world.

1. Morgan Norman

Morgan Norman

After graduating from the Gamleby School of Photography and starting working as a freelancer for various magazines, Swedish artist Morgan Norman stood out as an art photographer when he exposed some of his works at the Commedia Dell’arte and LIBIDO exhibitions back in 2008.

He then moved to New York and continued to develop his aesthetic skills up to a point where almost anyone in the domain would recognize his work’s unique features. His portfolio includes companies like Zenith or Vogue.


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