risk level
Based on 624 votes
by year 2032
or $19.31 per hour
as of 2022

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Automation risk

24% (Low Risk)

Low Risk (21-40%): Jobs in this level have a limited risk of automation, as they demand a mix of technical and human-centric skills.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Originality

  • Fine Arts

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Manual Dexterity

User poll

34% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted there's a low chance this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 24% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Photographers will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Fast growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Photographers' job openings is expected to rise 8.9% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Low paid relative to other professions

In 2022, the median annual wage for 'Photographers' was $40,170, or $19 per hour

'Photographers' were paid 13.3% lower than the national median wage, which stood at $46,310

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Moderate range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2022 there were 47,380 people employed as 'Photographers' within the United States.

This represents around < 0.001% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 3 thousand people are employed as 'Photographers'.

Job description

Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects. May use lighting equipment to enhance a subject's appearance. May use editing software to produce finished images and prints. Includes commercial and industrial photographers, scientific photographers, and photojournalists.

SOC Code: 27-4021.00


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Leave a comment

Laurentiu Juravle (Low) says
I think that photography is a mix of emotion, talent, and technique. Sure, a robot can make a picture as beautiful as mine, but it can't capture the precious moments like a photographer.
Mar 28, 2024 at 09:26 PM
Owen (Low) says
Humans taking photographs of the world is a much more accurate and valuable approach rather than having AI generated images etc. It's more authentic
Aug 21, 2023 at 04:36 PM
Tomeu Ozonas (Highly likely) says
Product CGI plus Generative AI will supply most photographic needs, such as home decor and food. Stock images will be absorbed and or replaced by Generative AI. Blockchain digital watermarks can help to save some traditional artistic and commercial photography.
Aug 05, 2023 at 09:49 AM
Laurel says
I'm a photographer, and the photography industry is doomed. AI image generation technology already exists, so all that has to happen is for it to become mainstream enough to be cheap to produce and add to most smartphones. Not only will the image quality be better, but it can also produce multiple images at once. In fact, AI images can even be copyrighted in some countries. The worst part is that since photographers are not paid much, there will not be much motivation to save the industry.
Jan 10, 2023 at 12:50 AM
Tacio Philip says
A lot of photographers' jobs can easily be replaced by automated drones and some AI to select frames from a high-definition video. There's no secret or creativity in many photography jobs (almost all social events, products...).

And yes, I'm a professional photographer, but as Galileo told us, we are not the center of the universe. :-P
Sep 11, 2022 at 04:46 PM
jenna talia (Highly likely) says
drones. drones will fly around and take pictures
Mar 14, 2022 at 09:09 PM
Jo (Low) says
I think that a robot could take a photo if it was trained to, but it could never see beauty or creativity like a human.

For example, a robot could take photos with the correct settings and a cool angle, but a robot could never look at something and realize the true beauty and emotions that a human could feel.

So, a robot might take a photo with the correct ISO, AP, SP, and an angle that it has been programmed to look at. But never emotions because in the end, it's a machine.
Jan 03, 2022 at 06:01 PM
jagbar (Highly likely) says
Already happening with AI photos
Apr 22, 2021 at 09:17 AM
Abby (No chance) says
Robots could not take over the personal touch and creative ideas photographers use in every single shot. There is not programing that could replace a person for this job.
Mar 30, 2021 at 06:18 PM
isuzu222 says
The only reason this won't be replaced by robots is because the pay is so low there is no real reason to actively try to replace the profession. Also, this is easily a hobby profession/'freelancing' and will continue to have its niche just like we still have people using the Polaroids for fun.
Mar 04, 2021 at 06:08 AM
Derek says
Cashiers will be replaced and they are paid even less.
Sep 17, 2023 at 04:24 AM
Ryan (Highly likely) says
Several forms of photography, particularly product photography, have already been largely automated with locations where you can bring your product, place it in a lightbox set, and AI assists the (non-photographer) customer in taking a series of professionally lit product shots. They're quite effective, will be easy to expand to new locations. Many of the techniques will eventually be possible to extend to portrait photography as well.

AI algorithms are already deeply progressed in combing through google street view to crop and process landscape and urban photography according to classical composition standards. At this point, the primary limiting factor is the sample quality, but much of the principles used will be possible to extend to drones surveying scenic areas.

While the small field of fine art photography will likely be unaffected, the majority of commercial or stock applications of photography are very likely to be done "well enough" by automatization to satisfy the primary customers of the field.
Oct 15, 2020 at 07:07 AM
Celso Ribeiro (Low) says
Atividade que envolve dinâmica com grande variação que não se prevê..e o fator determinante que o robô (IA) não vai atingir...a Sensibilidade Humana.
Oct 02, 2019 at 03:37 PM
xenon2 (Moderate) says
AI can measure photo quality and take "infinite" number of photos, then based on selection will select best shots.
Imagine ball with lenses floating around, then from 100k pictures 100 is selected, based on "rememberability" and other defined patterns trained from famous photographers.
Aug 26, 2019 at 11:56 AM
Suffyim says
I think one reason photography will not be entirely automated is because robots can't exactly be inspired by anything.

From the little experience I have, I know it takes more than being knowledgeable and aware of the techniques of photography to take a good photo. Sure, it plays a role, but you need to feel emotion from the image to know that it is a good photo.

An AI can't do that.
Sep 06, 2022 at 04:24 AM
E says
I think e-commerce photography that is very technical could be replaced by robots but from my experience, I think it very unlikely and hard to imagine that robots will do better than agency talents for editorial/creative photography
Mar 28, 2019 at 02:25 PM

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