So you finally decided to follow your passion for photography, unlike your friends who are probably sitting in an office right now. But now the question is how to turn your passion into a profession. There’s a very thin line between doing what you love and doing what pays your bills.
And the best part about photography is that the line diminishes when one chooses that path. Yes, photography is so much more than going on photo walks and travelling around the world to capture exotic pictures.
So, if you are looking for a way to earn cash and grow in the photography industry then you have come to the right place. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about making money with your photography skills.
Here are 16 Tips on How To Make Money With Photography
1. Earn from Stock Photography
You must have heard of stock photography. If not, then let me tell you that it is a way to publish your photos on a website. You earn cash once someone downloads those images.
Now, this one comes with a lot of unpredictability as you don’t know whether your photo will get downloaded or not.
But you can always use relevant tags to your pictures so that someone who may be looking for similar images, can find it. This is an easy way to earn money from photography. All you have to do is build a big portfolio as a high number of photos increase your chances of earning more.
2. Become a photography blogger
Now, this is something that a lot of photographers are doing to earn money as well as improve their skills. Having a photography blog is the best thing you can do right now. There are a lot of websites that allow you to post blogs. You can start on Wordpress for free and as your viewership grows, you can switch to paid options that allow you to earn through ads.
This one surely takes some time to build but once it does, you can expect a stable income. You don’t have to be the best writer out there. Just write the best you can.
3. Do freelance work
You may have heard of this before. A lot of photographers do freelance work for magazines or news agencies. If you don’t know how to become a freelancer, don’t worry it’s not rocket science. You can approach your local magazine or agency for work. Make sure that you have a good portfolio. The work won’t be stable in the initial stages but once you have built a relationship with them, you can expect stability and more connections.
4. Work under photographers
The best way to give a boost to your photography career and learn new skills is by working under a photographer or assisting one. The best part about assisting a photographer is that you get to learn something new every day as well as earn on the side.
There are many photographers who constantly need an assistant to cover photoshoots like wedding photographers or fashion photographers.
5. Support businesses
There are many small businesses out there who look for photographers who can click good quality pictures for their advertisements. Since a lot of them can’t afford a high-end photographer for their short term needs, they go for affordable photographers or photographers who are new to the business. It’s a great opportunity for you to earn as well as get professional exposure.
6. Arrange workshops
Are you confident about your photography skills? Why not arrange workshops and give people some tips and tricks to improve their photography. Yes, this is something that every photographer must experience at least once. You can make a lot of connections through workshops and charge hourly.
Make sure that you have something valuable to share so that people would want to come back.
7. Cover Events
Earning money doing photography is easy as long as you have the right approach. One of those approaches is by covering events. A lot of photography chose to make a career in Event photography because the event industry is massive. All year round there are events happening around the world. There’s definitely something happening around you right now.
So you should totally give it a shot if you want to make money with your photography skills.
8. Start a photography business
Starting a photography business sounds like a big deal but trust me it’s not. You can start a photography business right now without spending a dime. All you have to do is to own a good portfolio and get the first 5 clients. You can do that from your references.
A photography business is the best way to make the most out of your photography skills. You get to decide your charges and you are in full control. Make sure that you stick to your niche so that targeting potential customers becomes easy for you. Again, to make your photography business a success, you may even have to work more than your friends working in an office because once you get into the business, doing good photography becomes the least of your concerns. But it will surely be rewarding if you play your cards right.
Important read - How to Start a Photography Business from Scratch
9. Sell photos
Now this one is different from stock photos. Here you don’t earn from the commission but actually selling your photos. This can be done by setting up an online store. Create a website where people can see and purchase your work.
Again, with selling photos, unpredictability kicks in. You don’t know when or how many of your photos will sell. The key is to build a large portfolio, giving the buyer more options to choose from.
10. Participate in contests
This one applies to photographers of all ages, niche, and background. Photography contests are an amazing way to test your abilities as well as get decently rewarded for them. The best part about these contests is, you don’t have to be an expert to participate.
There, your skills are the judge. So, look for photography competitions where you can participate. It doesn’t have to be a win all the time. Sometimes losing also opens doors for opportunities. So, always look out for such competitions.
11. Make Money Editing Photo
Photo Editing or Post Production plays an essential role in the photography industry. And when photographers are swamped with images to edit, most of the time they outsource their editing to other people. And this is where you can shine. You can make money editing and retouching other peoples photos.
12. Sell Your Photo In Social Media
Yes, you heard that right. You can also sell your photo on a social media site. If a lot of people follow you on your online Handle then you already have a customer base. All you need to do is go to your most liked images and figure out what style is liked the most by your audience. Once you are familiar with that, you can start selling your images to people using online payment methods.
13. Become An Assistant Photographer
If you are a beginner, then this is a great opportunity for you. You can serve as the right-hand man to a professional photographer. This way, you can learn photography and also make money.
14. Sell Your Photos To Publications
This is also a great way to kick off your photography career. If you are someone who captures stuff that is newsworthy, then you can sell it to any print media.
15. Become a Social Media Influencer
If you are someone who has thousands of followers on Instagram, Facebook and twitter, then brands will automatically like to collaborate with you to promote their products and services.
16. Make a YouTube Channel
If you are well versed with photography then you can also make a youtube channel regarding photography. You can upload tutorial videos to teach beginners about the art.
What are the different types of photography?
Photography consists of many genres like portrait, food, event, wildlife etc. And if you are someone who is interested in learning more about the type of photography then you should check out our Type Of Photography blog. We have covered the most popular 21 genres of photography of 2020.
Just like any other profession, photography also comes with its own risks. You can’t always be sure that it will work. But the key is to remain fluid. It’s easy to make money with your photography skills. All you have to do is go for the option that suits you the best. Above mentioned ways ‘can’ help you earn money if you have a good portfolio and some connections.