You’ve probably found our blog because you have invested in a nice camera body, a few lenses, maybe some filters, and you’ve been working on your photography skills for some time now.
You feel more confident about shooting daily, and you probably have more than a handful of albums of nice shots that people say are at least good (or even, “amazing!”) You are thinking of upping your game, and in your estimation, your equipment will be able to keep up with a few projects or side gigs.
You finally want to make money from photography, and you’re thinking of investing some more time in making this new personal enterprise work.
Well, there are more than a handful of ways to make money off your intellectual property, and if you are really thinking of digging to make photography your bread and butter, the industry is actually big enough to accommodate any number of photographers. Check out our list of moneymaking possibilities!
1. Small business photography
All businesses that make use of physical spaces need good photography. And you don’t even have to wait for them to contact you. You can call them, or send an email offering your services.
Businesses can put the nicely shot photos on their social media channels or websites. Create an online portfolio first so that your prospective customers would have something to look when you offer your services.
Don’t forget to offer your services to AirBnB, resorts, villas, apartments, and hotels, too. Rented spaces need the best possible photography, and if you can pull it off, you can get those checks rolling into your mailbox in no time.
2. Be a photography teacher
If you already have intermediate photography skills and you can compose most images with ease, it’s probably time to get some students and teach them the basics.
This is a huge market, especially for teens who have parents who are willing to pay for lessons. Go local, so you won’t have to drive too far to get to your students.
Alternatively, you can put up a website and create video lessons and offer a membership to customers so they can access the content. The digital landscape has changed how people get their learning, and in some cases, it may be more profitable to have actual lessons and video lessons available on your website.
3. Sell your photos
There are several ways to generate income from selling your photographs. The “traditional” way would be to submit photos to magazines and other legacy print publications, and they would purchase rights to print your images.
The second (easier) method would be to upload your work to websites like iStock and let people use your photos for a one-time fee. This is called royalty-free stock photography, and it can be a great source of passive income.
The more photos you can upload for different markets, the better off your monthly paycheck will be. There’s also an option of selling videos and animation, though this is only optional if you are focused mainly on photography.
4. Blog your images
This may not be the fastest way to earn your photography paycheck, but it is possible to earn passive income from running ads on your photography website.
The great thing about this approach is you can display your work and offer custom prints and rights to use on the same platform.
Think about it: when people like your photo so much that they’d like to hang it on their wall, they can order a custom print directly from the photographer.
If an agent of a publication, whether that publication be digital or print, says that your work is just perfect for their publication/s, they can talk to you about purchasing rights to use or print your photos. And then there’s the passive income.
Running AdSense ads on your blog will generate income as the number of views of your pages increase over time. Of course, you’d need to improve your photography blog’s visibility so more people will visit it regularly.
5. Hold a photography exhibit
Photography exhibits can be held in a variety of spaces, from public spaces to private art galleries. Or if all else fails, you can display your art in your yard and invite people to take a look.
The point here is that if you really want to exhibit your best photography and potentially sell them, you can display them via custom prints.
Don’t be afraid to show the public your work because who knows – it’s possible that your work will resonate with more than a handful of people, and you will be able to sell custom prints for a nice amount of dollars.
6. Tap social media
Since everyone else is on social media, why not bring your photography to Facebook or Instagram, too? There are a couple of ways that you can increase the likelihood of a sale through these channels.
You can create an online store via Instagram and Facebook and receive orders for prints there. Second, you can promote your exhibits and get online orders for exhibited prints.
People will share your work with their networks and this will widen your net of exposure. The more exposure you get, the higher the likelihood of getting more patrons.
7. Get into portrait photography
If you have been dreaming of establishing a photography studio for a steady income stream, this would be it. Portrait photography is easily the most in demand form of photography because people need portraits for a variety of purposes.
From head-shots to half-body shots, you can practice your craft while earning. You can use the income to invest more in your art, get better equipment, and more. The important thing here is that you are able to earn money from what you love doing, which is photography.
8. Join photography competitions
Like writing competitions, photography competitions are all over the Web. Just make sure that the website is legitimate and feel free to sign up for these competitions. The awards and accolades will definitely help build your confidence and improve your craft in the long term, too.