30 Best Cities for Photographers


30 Best Cities for Photographers

Ever wonder what the best cities are to be a photographer? You know, those pesky little things like number of jobs, average salary, cost of living, and locations? The people over at ValuePenguin did a little research and put together some interesting data points. I don’t know if it changes the way you feel about your beloved city, but it can sure bring some perspective to the table.

I guess if you don’t like your current city, there is always the option to move to a larger more populated city. the results below might surprise you – but if you want to see more – head over to the ValuePenquin study to see the results and top 100 cities for photographers.

Now, I will tell you, while my city of O’fallon, Il didn’t rank anywhere near the top “anything” – our closest city of St Louis, didn’t do much better. We are not in the top ten. St Louis rounded up #46 and we are in a suburb of the city. So, keep in mind, it doesn’t matter where you live, you can make your mark in any city you choose to. Sure, it’s awesome to see your city rank high, but the cost of living goes up along with it. I love living in the mid-west and when I get bored, I jump on a plane and photograph someplace else. I get to come home to a reasonable cost of living.

It sure is interesting to look over these numbers and talk to photographers in those respective markets for their take on all this. Point is, stop making excuses. No matter where you live – get out there and dominate. There is money to be made, you just have to find it. Now, if your city didn’t make the top of the list like mine didn’t – don’t get your panties in a bunch. It’s like any other survey. Take it with a grain of salt.




This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Yo Hernandez

    Cool to see our towns on the lists: Green Bay & Appleton!

  2. Jesse Francis

    First of all, the article is about the cities that are best to be a photographer in and make a living. Not about the cities that are the most photogenic or offer the most places to get great pictures. It’s about the business side of photography. Is the list right or wrong? Who knows. Surveys are all about the questions that are asked and the way they’re asked. I just noticed that quite a few on here sounded like they thought it was about how photogenic the cities were.

  3. dbur

    Why is the source of this data the FBI? What do they have to do with it, or is there another FBI I’m not aware of?

  4. Carlos Fordsen

    Like most surveys/reports that are posted on the “Internet of Things” it all depends upon where the data is mined. So there maybe some helpful information in here but most likely it will help you when you are on the road. Then again we usually have a destination in mind. Keep the options open because you never know where the next killer shot may happen!

  5. Mike Brint

    To put Toledo OH, and Kansas City, MO on the list and leave off Charleston, SC is laughable! I lived in Charleston for six years and return there every year. With the wildlife, the beaches, the historic downtown, the gardens, the markets, give me a break! I could squeeze every shot there is out of half these cities in a week and over a 30 year association with Charleston, I still find new and interesting things to photograph! Here is another gem: Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, PA pick any one of them. I have lived here for 25 years. The three cities named along with about four dozen smaller towns, villages, municipalities make up the Lehigh Valley. While the valley itself offers plenty of photo ops, the real treasure is in location, location, location (in real estate) jargon. We are 45 minutes to the Pocono mountains, 11/2 hours to NYC, an hour from Philadelphia, two hours from Gettysburg, three hours from Baltimore, 3 1/2 hours to Washington, DC, 6 hours from the heart of New England, and it goes on and on. Between the places I listed, none of us could fully cover that area in a lifetime of shooting! So I find your survey very flawed and put little credence in it!

    1. Sal Cincotta

      it’s ok mike. its not that big a deal. its just a survey. its not flawed. its based on several factors outlined in the report. you may not like or agree with those factors – but based on those factors – those are the results. while i agree with – location location location – that was not how this survey was conducted.

  6. Daniel McElmury

    I’m not surprised San Francisco is not on this list. I belong to various photography Facebook groups, I’ve been to photography conventions and workshops, and it is very rare that I meet another photographer from San Francisco. I’m not sure why that is, but it is what it is.

  7. patrick boury

    San Francisco is not #1? It’s not even in the top 10? This list is rubbish.

  8. Sal Cincotta

    sorry my internationals… i didnt conduct the study. 🙂 if i had to guess – i would guess access this demographic data is much more difficult internationally.

  9. William Kauffman

    One of my favorite cities is San Francisco!

  10. Clive Smith

    Title should be “Best cities for Photographers in America” !! what happend to the rest of the world

    1. Jo Anne Canapa Lefebvre

      Exactly..Canada has some beautiful cities!

  11. Kathy Verhoeven Weigman

    I made #4 for small cities! I was actually kind of surprised. It’s a great place to live, but like most places , a lot of new photographers pop up every year. Like Sal said, make your mark in any city. I think the most important thing is to build a sustainable business. Nobody can do shoots for $50 and remain in business for any length of time.

  12. Ms_Sunshine9898

    Houston didn’t even make the cut and we have some of the best photographers coming out of Texas!

  13. Arita Cimermane

    Nice! It would be great if you make “10 Best Countries for Photographers”!

Leave a Reply

Want more content like this?

Check out our recent posts

on camera direct flash tutorial thumbnail

On Camera Direct Flash Tutorial

Have you tried using on-camera flash for your studio portraits? As a professional photographer, I’ve always been taught to take the flash off camera to create more directional light. In this video of on camera direct flash tutorial for lighting, I will show you how to work quickly and easily using on-camera flash to create some very unique and interesting portraits.

Read More »
5 easy poses for boudoir photography thumbnail

5 Easy Poses for Boudoir Photography

Posing for boudoir photography is always a challenge. In this video, I will show you some easy tips to posing your clients. Not every client is a model – so we need to find an easy set of poses to get them started. Once they get comfortable in front of the camera, you can then work on more advanced poses and lighting techniques to build on for the images you create.

Read More »