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How to Earn Money with Photography
You’ve probably thought about how to make money with photography before, but the process of actually doing it seems overwhelming. There are so many different types of photography, and all of them require some investment before you even start making money from your business. But don’t give up hope just yet. There are plenty of ways to earn money with photography that only require a little bit of upfront effort and no further expenses. Read on for tips on how to make money with photography.
12 Ways to Make Money with Photography
Making money with photography is certainly possible. If you build your business around your passion, you could make a very healthy living selling photography as a service. Here are 12 ways to help you get started.
1. Sell to Stock Photos Sites
For many people, being a full-time photographer is just a dream. It’s possible; however—you have to go about it smartly. Selling stock photos can be an excellent way for photographers who enjoy traveling and capturing beautiful images of nature or city life.
However, if you’re serious about becoming a full-time photographer, remember that selling photos mean something entirely different from selling prints. You can sell images as stock photos through micro stock sites like iStockPhoto or Shutterstock. These services allow users to submit high-quality digital photos uploaded and stocked. Once they are, others looking for quality imagery can purchase them directly from these websites. The user gets paid a small commission based on what each photo is sold for; if it goes over $100, you typically get 50% of whatever amount it sells for after commission is deducted.
2. Do Product Photography
A growing number of bloggers and media companies are looking for photographers to shoot their products. If you have some photography equipment and a basic understanding of how a camera works, you could earn money by photographing items for these companies. Just be sure that you know what kind of photographs they’re looking for, so you can tailor your submissions appropriately.
If you have a photography skill set, doing product photography for people selling products on sites like Amazon and eBay could be worth exploring. It’s not too hard to find clients online who need some photos of their latest listings.
You can offer your services on Fiverr or freelancer and make $5-$10 per photo shoot, depending on how long it takes you and what your turnaround time is. As a bonus, if these images get used, these sellers may end up promoting them for you via social media and their email lists.
3. Offer Photography Lessons
Most professional photographers started as amateurs, so getting your foot in through teaching others how to take great photos could be an innovative and effective way to move forward in your career. If you’re experienced in photography, offer one-on-one or group online or offline lessons at local schools and libraries. Or, consider working with educational centers on a paid internship basis; not only will you gain experience working under experts within your field, but it may also help create valuable relationships that could lead to future work opportunities.
Once you get some experience behind you, start offering your services for free online or at events; many times, people will pay for quality free services if they know what they’re going to get from a potential client.
4. Set Up an Etsy Shop
Sites like Etsy make it easy for you to sell your handiwork online. If you have a knack for creating digital art or designing tees, why not put your skills up for sale? You’ll need to create an account and then post some of your work, but after that, you can have new items listed in just a few minutes. Each listing will include a photo, so be sure they look professional and are well-lit to make your items appealing to buyers.
It’s free to open an Etsy shop, but they take 3.5% of every sale you make on their site. Also, make sure to research how to price your photos; if there is any confusion about how much something costs, customers will move along quickly.
5. Create A Website/Blog
If you want to make money from photography, you need a website or a blog. No matter how many photos you take and how much experience you have, no one will hire you if no one knows about it. A website is like your online photography portfolio. Your site should include information about who you are and what kind of work you do.
It is easy to set up a website nowadays. Many platforms such as WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix let you create professional-looking websites within a few minutes. They also provide all of their templates for free, so you don’t have to worry about any upfront cost. Ensure that your site has your information, portfolio, pricing, and contact details because it will be your business card online.
6. Sell Your Photos to Magazines and Other Publications
If you are an excellent photographer, there’s no reason you can’t be in business for yourself. Selling your photos to magazines and other publications is a great way to make money with photography—and it doesn’t have to take up too much of your time. Sell your photos to magazines and other publications online and offline, including services like Shutterstock or iStockPhoto.
You could also sell photo prints (that you created) to local shops or art stores or offer them as promotional products for brands that would like to use them as part of their branding campaigns. Photo buyers will often pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for quality images they can use in ads and elsewhere. But before you start snapping away, make sure to read some licensing tips, so you understand how to proceed safely and legally.
7. Sell Prints from Your Online Gallery
Set up an online photo gallery on a site and allow customers to buy your photos. Print prices should be reasonably high—you’re offering a service after all—but if you make sure your quality is top-notch and that you’re marketing yourself well, you should have no problem making money. Selling prints from your online gallery may seem intimidating at first, but don’t worry; with time and practice, it’ll feel just as natural as selling any other product or service. Plus, so many sites are out there, making it easier than ever for photographers to get paid for their work.
8. Become A Professional Photographer for Businesses and Corporates
Get in touch with various businesses and corporates that deal in photography. Offer them your services as a photographer on a contractual basis. If you get enough clients, you can earn some good money with photography. The key to becoming successful here has a website where you can showcase your work and present yourself professionally. This way, people can see what they’re paying for, which will make it easier for businesses and corporates to trust you and pay you well.
As long as you have an excellent portfolio, people will be interested in hiring someone like yourself. But if things don’t work out, remember there are many other ways to earn money using photography.
9. Do Freelance Work for Remote Businesses
One way to earn money with photography is by freelance work for small businesses. This means you’ll be working on-site at another company, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take photographs in your downtime or on breaks. Many companies allow employees to do a few side projects in their free time to not interfere with their primary duties.
Some companies may even offer a budget for freelancers; it all depends on what you’re shooting and how much work you have available! To find these gigs and apply directly, check out Flexjobs. Their database consists of thousands of jobs from hundreds of companies looking for photographers willing to freelance during off-hours and weekends.
10. Become an Aerial Photographer
If you’re interested in shooting weddings events or want a change of pace from other forms of photography, then you might consider learning how to shoot aerial photos. It’s an exciting field that can earn you thousands of dollars per day. All it takes is an investment in a drone and some practice—but make sure you do your research first.
Some areas have specific regulations on drones because they may be seen as invasive or intrusive; you don’t want to get fined for running afoul of local laws. Aerial photography is stunning and tends to attract more money than regular shots. You should look into buying a new camera if you decide to go into aerial photography.
11. Be A Wedding or Event Photographer
If you have a passion for photography, why not parlay it into an exciting side business? Many wedding and event planners offer photographers their services, making it easier than ever to earn money snapping pics. To get started as an event or wedding photographer, reach out to local planners and businesses looking for someone to shoot special events; once they get to know you and your work, they might put in a good word that leads to additional gigs.
Build out your pricing structure many people charge per hour. In contrast, others charge per day. Find insurance coverage if necessary note: depending on where you live, insurance may be relatively easy to obtain, and then take some test shots—you’ll want to make sure you can turn around high-quality images quickly.
12. Provide Framing or Printing Services
A fantastic way to earn money while making something you love is by providing framing or printing services. This may sound like a new venture, but if you already have a camera and some editing skills, you’re off to a great start. Framing is a unique way of making prints because they can be customized in various shapes, sizes, and styles. You can also tweak your photograph in several different ways: it can be printed on paper or canvas; it can be manipulated through photoshop for maximum impact; it can be turned into an image wrap for added dimensionality, etc.
The possibilities are endless. People like printed photos —especially images that carry emotional weight—and usually pay a premium for them. So, give it a try. It might just become one of your most profitable photography products. Also, having high-quality images means people will want them printed, which means even more profits for you. Finding customers is relatively simple as well.
Tips to Market your Photography Business
Being a photographer doesn’t mean being isolated from the rest of the world. There are many ways to market your photography business, whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist. The photography industry is one of the most competitive businesses globally, so it’s essential to market your business effectively if you want to stay afloat in the competition. Unfortunately, many photographers don’t know where to start to promote their business and improve their revenue. This guide will give you tips on how to market your photography business effectively and help you land more clients and make more money.
Here are top tips for marketing your photography business:
1. Create a Website & Establish Your Brand
You’ll want a website that shows off your talent and creativity. Your portfolio should be at least 20 images, but don’t forget to include a contact form, work history, and information about you, as well as content on how clients can book appointments with you.
2. Be Professional in Your Appearance & When You Interact with Others
It’s no secret that looking professional from head to toe can do wonders for you, but when you are dressed professionally, people will treat you as a professional. Treat everyone with respect, always be punctual and provide excellent customer service.
3. Get Familiar with Social Media Platforms
The best way to market yourself is by getting involved on social media platforms. Share your photos and connect with others in photography groups and post images you take of exciting things you see daily. Utilize hashtags when posting so that others can find you, primarily if you use sites like Instagram where tagging isn’t required for posts to be found easily.
4. Participate in Contests & Photo Walks
Several photo contests are held each year, which help build a following for photographers who enter them. You can find out about these by searching online or looking at photographer’s blogs. Some contests may require an entry fee, while others will only require that you agree to give their sponsors publicity by posting images from it on social media and giving links back to their site as credit when you post images from other events as well.
Tips for Shooting Better Photos
Being a photographer means that you have an eye for what makes a photo great, but it also means knowing how to take advantage of opportunities. From knowing how and when to use flashes and taking time to notice background elements, these five tips will help any photographer shoot better photos.
1. Pay Attention to Light
Light is probably one of the essential parts of a good photograph. Before you start snapping away, look at how light and shadows fall on your subject. Good lighting can instantly improve an image and make it stand out from others. Whether natural or artificial light, pay attention to where it’s coming from and what direction it’s traveling in. This way, you can avoid harsh shadows and create images that almost glow on their own.
2. Use Shutter Speed
A slower shutter speed allows more light into your camera, giving you faster shutter speeds while maintaining exposure. It also allows for special effects like motion blur when used with moving subjects like cars, waterfalls, traffic lights, etc. Using a slow shutter speed will capture movement in a photo rather than freezing everything in place, which might appear still in a photo taken at average shutter speeds. If you’re planning on photographing sports or other fast-paced activities, pay attention to what shutter speed your camera is set at and be prepared to change it accordingly if needed.
3. Learn from Others
Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you want to take a picture! Many people out there have been doing photography for years, and they can help you get better at it by sharing their knowledge. Whether online or in-person, learning what makes certain photos effective will only help improve your skills over time.
There are many ways to earn your bread with photography. Depending on the style you shoot in and your interests, you can find job opportunities as a pure commercial photographer and a wedding photographer. In both cases, you may consider selling photos online or by other means.
You can also pursue the more commercial ways to earn: shooting material for advertising purposes, participating in photo competitions, or providing photographs to companies that need them for their website, brochures, and the like. If you want most of all to sell your exclusive work, however, it will undoubtedly be good to work professionally and make some money with photography.