How much a sports photographer makes a year depends largely on whether they are a freelance photographer or a staff photographer. Freelance photographers get paid per job, and their annual income is determined by how well they do at acquiring well paying clients. A freelance photographer also has the added expense of maintaining their own equipment. Staff photographers work for publications or for certain teams and generally earn a bigger salary as well as benefits. A sports photographer must have knowledge of photography and of the sport they are covering to ensure they get in the right positions at the right times to get the good shots.