15 min. to read
While most of us get into photography simply for the love of the craft, the dream of generating some income from the effort is always an added attraction. Making that dream a reality isn't necessarily as difficult as you might think. The key is knowing the markets available and those that best suit your work and lifestyle. Let's take a look at some of the possibilities and the pros and cons for each one.
Not every professional becomes an established photographer. You have to jump through a lot of hoops and find your way to make money. Many photographers learn basic photography skills before they start earning money. And only learning and then working helps them. So, what paths can you take when entering the photography profession?
Let's get this one out of the way first. Because it's one of the most difficult ways to sell your photos. Why and how does a photographer make money? There are plenty of ways to offer your work as “wall art”: a Facebook page, SmugMug, 500px, and many more. The problem is that you're competing with thousands of photographers in this market and it takes more than just great photos to make sales. But if you set yourself a concrete goal to earn money from photography, then you can hardly do without some tips.
You need two things to succeed in this market:
I don't make these points to discourage anyone. I think it's great to “throw your hat in this ring.” Just do so with a realistic attitude and don't get discouraged easily.
Here's one that many photographers don't think about. There are many sites (online stores) out there that will print your photos on greeting cards, coffee mugs, cell phone covers, towels, pillows shower curtains, and a whole range of other products. Pixels.com, for instance, lets you offer your work as prints on different media, framed or unframed, and on a wide array of photo products. You create and upload the images and they take care of the printing and shipping.
Pros: This is a somewhat easier market to sell in, especially if you create your images with the products in mind. Some of the marketing is taken care of by the site, and you don't have to worry about printing or framing. You have several different ways to sell each image.
Cons: This is also a highly competitive market. The more unique your work is, the better your chances. The worst problem with this, though, is profit margin. You can't put too much markup on your work on top of the charges for printing and shipping without pricing yourself out of the market. A typical sale on a phone cover, for instance, might net you $5.
Yes, there's still a good income to be made from selling stock photos. Agencies like Shutterstock and iStock are cutting checks to successful stock photographers on a regular basis. This has been a viable market for decades and it's still going strong. Also working with different styles you can decide which one is closer to you. For example, you like product photographs or real estate photography. Or maybe you're drawn to portraits. If you have a lot of photos on hand, you might want to think about giving this one a try.
Pros: You can sell specific rights to a single photo many times over. It's like renting your work out to publishers and other users rather than letting them buy it. No printing or shipping is involved; buyers download the digital photo. Working on stock photography sites can bring you a stable passive income.
Cons: The competition is tough. Some of the best photographers in the world sell stock photos . Standards are very high. your photos will be evaluated before acceptance. (This can actually be helpful in learning to improve your skills.) You'll need to make a LOT of sales to make a profit. Pricing for one-time use of a photo can be as low as twenty-five cents. It can also be hard to ensure that users adhere to licensing restrictions.
What do you know about the work of a freelance photographer? Some photographers make extra income by working on assignments or selling journalistic shots to local, regional, or even international newspapers and magazines. If you can write an article, that's a big plus. It's not a bad way to get your name out there and it can get you into some great events. Most often it is aspiring photographers who do freelance work.
Pros: Great exposure for your work. The pay can be good, especially if you're offering an article/photo package.
Cons: You'll need to be available on short notice much of the time. Building a reputation can take time. The work is usually sporadic.
Can photographers make money in more interesting ways, or even with their favorite hobby? This category covers a lot of ground. Weddings, events, portrait shoots, product photos, real estate, insurance photos, and similar services are all ways to make good money with your photos, with various amounts of work involved. Comparatively, this may be the best way to make a profit with your camera, but that's debatable.
Pros: You can choose the types of photography that suit you. If you like working with static subjects, shoot products, or real estate. By the way, portrait photography has been and will continue to be one of the most sought-after among others. If you like working with people, shoot weddings or portraits. There's plenty of demand for almost any type of photographic service if you can break into the market you like.
Cons: Depending on the type of services you're offering, equipment costs can be considerable. Travel may be involved in many situations. Your local photography session might have some adventures. You'll need people skills, even if you're just shooting products because you're going to be dealing with customers. You're going to have deadlines. Some genres, like weddings, don't offer second chances. And the profession of a wildlife photographer is quite dangerous.Sell Your Travel Photography Stories
What is the main purpose of a photograph? Art photographers use it to share stories that are important to them. What can you do if you choose to travel photography? For those who love silence and nature, landscape photography is perfect. Wildlife photographers will find their outlet in exotic countries. And that's not all the way while traveling. Do you want to show the world how people from other continents live? It will be fascinating both for you and for those who see these photos.
It is at the same time the most beautiful and the most difficult job for most experienced photographers because they must capture all the tenderness and beauty of that event photography. Wedding photographers know how to work fast and qualitatively to make money by photographing.
Before you become a photography expert is advisable to attend photography courses or sell photography gigs to learn about the chosen type of photography and the necessary equipment. You can of course just read a few blogs. Unfortunately, this will not give you all the information you need about your future job. And of course, such courses often share different ways to make money.
How to monetize photography:
These are the easiest ways to make money in photography that you should start with. And when you gain enough skills, learn how to monetize your abilities, and find a convenient way to earn money, you can even start to tell other people tips for photography jobs.
To begin with, they go through a lot to become a master. They try their hand at different industries, many of them starting with stock photography. As their skills are developed, they move into commerce, fashion, or other industries and create many different ways to make money.
You can conclude from our article that in order to become a photographer, you need to acquire certain skills and understand what type of photography appeals to you. When you get into your stride, you will realize that you are no longer faced with the question of how to earn money as a photographer. You've already been earning it and having fun with it for a long time.
Portrait photography has been a favorite for a long time.
Prices range from $25 to $500+. Consequently, your price for photography services depends on your skills and experience.
You can start with discounts on holidays, or on large orders. And then you'll get regular discounts.
You can sell them on your website or on sites like Squarespace or Photoshelter.
Don't forget the water sign. It is desirable to expose the photo in low resolution. Read well the rules of the site before adding photos (relevant to many stock sites).
Ideally, yes. But if you feel you're perfect in more ways than one, then don't need to limit yourself.