How to Make Money From Photography
It’s every artist’s dream, getting to express themselves and pursue their passion—all while being able to make money from photography. To be able to ditch the idea of being a “struggling artist” and embrace the possibility of making real money doing what you love…that doesn’t have to be a pipe dream.
There are ways that you can use your unique talent and passion for photography and use your skills to make actual money with what you can do. You just need a little inspiration and the right drive to make it happen, and here are some of my favorite tips on how you can get started.
Sell Your Prints Online
If you’ve been taking photos for fun up until this point, chances are you have quite a few favorite shots in your collection. The thing that most people don’t realize is that their favorite shots can actually earn them a little money.
There are so many people out there who love photography but don’t have the talent or the opportunity to capture the types of photos they would want to display in their home. You can sell actual prints or you can sell digital copies of your prints for others to print at home if you don’t want to handle the printing process involved in these prints.
There are multiple different platforms that you can use in order to sell these prints. You can sell them locally through shops, coffee shops or fairs, or you can set up your own Etsy shop and sell them to people from all over the world.
Look Into Lifestyle Photography
There are a lot of photographers who think that their only option as a “professional photographer” is to be a wedding photographer. However, being a wedding photographer can be a lot for people who have no interest in being in the wedding industry. Dealing with brides and expectations of people’s biggest day of their lives can be a lot.
If you like the idea of capturing photos of other people’s biggest life moments, but aren’t quite ready to jump into weddings—then lifestyle photography is a great option. You can take photos for influencers, of people’s families or for small businesses. The best part is you can choose who or what you want to shoot.
Simply put, don’t give up on the idea of being a professional photographer of others just because you don’t like weddings. There is no better time than the present to start creating a portfolio so that you can get clients and start taking beautiful photos of what you want to capture.
Create a Coffee Table Book
This is one of my personal favorite ways to make money off of your photography skills and to exercise your creative muscles. If you have ideas for series of shots, but aren’t sure if you want to go the route of displaying a series in a gallery—consider putting those photos into a book.
There are so many people who love photo books or coffee table books, and you just need the right idea and the right photos to make it happen. Don’t limit yourself to what everyone else is doing to make money with your photography skills—push yourself to think outside of the box.
License Your Images to Sell Online
Flickr has been one of the best sites to help photographers sell their photos online. All you need to do is request a license through Flickr and you can sell your photos through the platform and through Getty Images.
When you license your photos, people can pay to use them, so you can earn money from your hard work. Take a look at Flickr to get a better idea of how permissions and pricing works. There are so many people who are looking for beautiful photos for their website, and who will be willing to pay you to use your images to help grow their brand.
Look Into Real Estate Photography
This is a fun way to see beautiful homes, expand your portfolio, and make some money while you do it. Both real estate agents and interior designers are always looking for professional photographers to take photos of the home they are looking to sell or the home they just finished designing and decorating.
The great thing about real estate photography is that it is fairly simple and straightforward, making it a great way for you to get your feet wet in the professional photography world. You can also create your own packages, rates and contracts to make sure that you feel comfortable with how you are being compensated for your work.
Plus, there are plenty of platforms that you can use to meet clients and start your business—Meetup.com, Upwork and local networking events are all great places to start finding clients to build your photography business through.
Start Working As A Second Photographer
Want to make money as a photographer, but not quite sure where you want to go or if you want to start your own business? That’s not a problem. You can start making money with photography by being a second photographer or assistant photographer to established professionals.
You will need a good portfolio and you will need to be able to show the primary photographer that you know what you are doing. Photographers, particularly wedding, fashion and family photographers often need assistants and this is a great way to earn some side money and figure out what you want to do to make money as a photographer.
While you won’t have as much creative control working as a second photographer, it is a great, pressure-free way to explore the options in the world of professional photography.
If you have a true passion for all things photography, one of the best things that you can do is start pushing yourself to make money doing what you love. I hope these tips inspire you to start using your photography talent to earn an income you will be proud of.