There is big money to be made with photography today. Thankfully for us, this is a career choice that works well for the location independent home business owner. It’s also a work-from-home idea that has tons of opportunity for self-paced learning. Even if you don’t have the skills today, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn.
In today’s post, we are looking at 13 ways you can make money with photography.
This is perhaps the most obvious of opportunities when it comes to cashing in as a photographer. Everyone wants to memorialize special moments in time.
- Family Portraits
- Senior Pictures
- Sweet Sixteen Parties
Christian from The Click Cartel says, “If you want to make money in photography, but you don’t have a lot of technical skill, you can totally do this. The trick is to find a niche that you love, and then learn a few key setups really well.”
Sell Stock Photos
You don’t need to be a professional, however. So many people today are making money selling stock photos online to website owners and news organizations. Check out this post for 13 places to get started.
Sell Smartphone Photos
You don’t even need a fancy camera to make money from your images. There are several sites that offer smartphone apps for capturing photo content on the go.
Sloane Levin had this to say about Scoopshot, “My time using Scoopshot has been fulfilling. I’ve always really enjoyed taking pictures and being able to make some money off of them as well as been really cool. This app has also encouraged me to get out and see my new surroundings. I’m originally from the Chicago area, and I recently moved to Greensboro, NC. When I see interesting assignments get posted, I have the urge to explore my new area and see what kinds of interesting things I can find and shoot. I’m an amateur photographer, so I never expected to make money from doing something I’m passionate about, but getting a few extra dollars in my pocket while I explore, is ideal for me. My photo gallery has expanded so much in just a couple of months, and my skills have increased as well. Scoopshot is great and one of the apps I use most on my phone.”
And Brett Unger said, “Scoopshot is one of my favorite apps! Ever since I downloaded Instagram a few years ago, I found out that I was kind of good at taking pictures. As that account got more and more use, the likes and comments started to pile up, and my friends encouraged me to try and sell the scenery pictures I was taking. I didn’t know how to go about that, so I felt like my work was going to waste. When Facebook bought Instagram, and the rumors started flying about people’s personal pictures being sold without any compensation going to the photographer, I knew I had to find a different platform to make money from pictures I knew were good. Scoopshot not only gets me money, but it allows me to get professional recognition for photos that otherwise might be taken without me knowing and gaining a profit for another party.”
Sell Unique Photo Items
You can also opt to sell your images as prints and gift items. There is a big consumer market for canvas, wood and metal landscape and object prints.
Local Business Photographer
No business website is complete without great photos of the venue. Many photographers have carved out a niche staging and photographing restaurants, event locations, entertainment venues and more. If you want to make it big, consider becoming a Google Trusted Photographer as we discussed in this recent post.
Real Estate Photographer
Regardless of the industry, images make sales – or break them. Many experienced professionals have partnered with real estate agents or FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sellers to capture the shots that will sell a home. While those new to this niche usually charge by the hour or job, a must-hire shutterbug may be able to catch a commission of the sale.
If you love teaching others, consider offering photo tours of local attractions. We recently spoke to a man supplementing his retirement income by showing amateur photographers around Yosemite. Not a bad way to spend your workday if you ask me! See Pat’s interview here.
Photo Editing Services
Maybe you prefer the more technical side of things. Photo editing is big business today. Almost no photo goes untouched. There is cropping, manipulating and enhancing to be done. You will need above-board Photoshop skills, but services can be offered to clients online and locally.
Social Media Photographer
This opportunity lies in the business client category. This person may be responsible for attending events and locations to capture moments to post to the business’ social media profiles. This is a great opportunity to work with not only brands but also non-profits.
Second Shooter Photographer
If you don’t have the portfolio to get hired as a wedding photographer yet, offer your services as a “second shooter” to gain some testimonials. You will need to offer a reduced rate since you are not acting as the primary photographer, but it can be a great way to earn some extra cash in your free time.
Little League Photographer
Most children’s sports organizations already have established relationships with professional photographers. But, many parents today are not only interested in those stuffy posed photos, but they also want action shots.
Ask your local leagues if you can take some action shots during the games. (Please ask first so you don’t look like a creep.) You may even need to pay the league a couple of hundred bucks for the opportunity. Hand out flyers to the parents and let them know they can purchase shots of their kids on your Smugmug site. Some people can earn up to $1,000 per game this way!
Photo Album Design
We all have tons of photos lying around in drawers, boxes and on our phones. SOMEDAY we are going to get around to creating photo books… Not.
Most of us don’t have the time, patience or skill required for such a task. This is where you can make money creating photo albums. A service like Zookbinders can make your job a lot easier.
Profit from Instagram
We recently talked about Stylinity as a way to make money from Instagram selfies. But, check out this guy who made over $15,000 in 24 hours by simply offering his Instagram photos for sale. He offered a signed print of any photo for just $150. Granted, this is going to work best if you have a large following and a particular niche. He primarily photographs interesting people on the subway and around the city.