20+ Photography Business Ideas Guaranteed To Make You Quick Money (2021)

20+ Photography Business Ideas Guaranteed To Make You Quick Money (2021)

Looking to start a photography business but not quite sure what to start?

The good news is, there are so many opportunities to become an entrepreneur and build an innovative product/service in this line of work.

If you're looking to start your own photography business, there are several low-capital options you can choose from.

We put a list together below of the most profitable photography business ideas you can start today!

Here they are:

1. Start a film production company ($7.2M/year)

Hope Horner from Los Angeles, California, USA started Lemonlight about 7 years ago, a film production company.

  • Revenue: $600,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 45
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

I grew up in Johnson City, TN - a small town in the northeast corner of the state. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of moving to Los Angeles and starting my own business. When I was 18, I moved to LA to attend college and haven’t left yet.

I started my first business in 2008 when the startup culture was very limited in Los Angeles. Resources were scarce and it was difficult to learn how to start and run a company with no experience. Nonetheless, I trudged through the journey for a few years trying to figure it out. It was filled with some success and a lot of learning lessons, but ultimately, it didn’t end the way I had hoped. I spent a few more years working with startup companies and learning more about the landscape and how to hone my skills as a leader and entrepreneur.

In April of 2014, I started my second company, Lemonlight, out of a second bedroom with my two co-founders, Daniel Marlow, and Chad Rogers. Lemonlight’s mission was to offer small and medium-sized businesses access to high-quality, affordable video content that they could use to advertise their brand online.

how-i-started-a-500k-month-video-production-company-from-my-bedroom-in-la

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Hope Horner, on starting Lemonlight ($600,000/month) full story ➜

2. Start an online video editing business ($72K/year)

Sabba Keynejad from London, England, United Kingdom started VEED over 2 years ago, a online video editing business.

  • Revenue: $6,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

Tim and I met during an online hackathon. During the hackathon participants were encouraged to meetup for real. We actually got on really well, and stayed friends and kept spitballing ideas for a startup for years.

At this time, I was a design student at Central Saint Martins and I had recently won a competition for Sony Music creating an interactive music video for the band Hurts with my friend Virgil. Then soon after graduation, I started working as a creative technologist in London for a bunch of different advertising & branding agencies and a few startups too.

how-we-developed-a-6k-month-online-video-editing-software

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Sabba Keynejad, on starting VEED ($6,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a podcast production company ($240K/year)

Jeremy Enns from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada started Counterweight Creative almost 5 years ago, a podcast production company.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I went to school for audio engineering, initially wanting to produce records for bands and artists. After graduating in 2012, I interned at a big studio in my hometown of Vancouver, and while I learned a lot, I quickly realized that I didn’t have the drive (or financial ability) to show up at the studio at 8am and work (for free) until 4am six or seven days a week for a year or more before moving up into a position that might pay $10/hr and actually start getting paid to work on music.

I went home that night, started a profile on UpWork, got my first client three days later, and within six months had quit my landscaping job and was working for myself full time as a podcast producer.

After interning just a couple of days per week for over a year, while also working full-time at a retail job, I quit the internship and put my dreams of working in the music industry behind me. I worked a number of manual labour jobs including landscape construction and maintenance, tree planting in northern Canada, and others before taking a year off to travel, bicycling across Europe, and backpacking through the Balkans, and Asia.

how-i-started-a-successful-podcast-production-company

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Jeremy Enns, on starting Counterweight Creative ($20,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start a photo sharing platform ($24K/year)

Paweł Kadysz from Białystok, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland started Tookapic over 7 years ago, a photo sharing platform.

  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Białystok, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland

Back in 2013, I moved to a new house with my girlfriend. Our own house. It was a completely new chapter for us and I thought it would be nice to document it somehow. Naturally, I thought about photos. But I had no idea about photography.

I did have an old DSLR though. I decided to start taking photos daily and publish one on a Tumblr blog every day for a year. That was August 13th, 2013 - the day the idea was born.

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Paweł Kadysz, on starting Tookapic ($2,000/month) full story ➜

5. Start a film production company ($60K/year)

Latham Ford from Los Angeles, California, USA started No Idea Films, LLC almost 4 years ago, a film production company.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

I moved to LA 13 years ago, by way of Chicago. I began my career in entertainment as an actor. I had a great start to that career by being in many commercials like Lincoln Aviator, Toyota, Apple, Lexus and more. It was by being on set as an actor for TV commercials and film, is how I fell in love with producing.

I’ve learned to fail and fail big. The more I have failed the more successful I became.

After shooting my Lexus commercial I was on fire to produce. I began writing TV ideas, turning them into scripts. I also began writing film scripts. The next step was actually producing them. I never stopped acting because being on set was my school. That is how I learned. Most producers start as PAs but I didn’t have to go that route, I was already on set as an actor soaking in the same information. Not to mention commercial money pays way better as an actor than PA.

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Latham Ford, on starting No Idea Films, LLC ($5,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a screen printing business ($960K/year)

Adam Tanaka from Nashville, Tennessee, USA started Life and Limb Printing almost 11 years ago, a screen printing business.

  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

I was all over the place with what I wanted to do with my life - anywhere from a radio DJ, to creating zines, then going to college for biology, dropping out, all the while playing music and touring in bands since I was 14.

From scrubbing those floors to working in their eCommerce department, I learned the inner workings of the production side of the business and knew I was ready to figure out how to launch my own company in merch.

The music I listened to in the 90’s played a major role in what I ended up doing as my career. I remember stuffing cash into an envelope and sending it to some of my favorite bands' addresses and within 2 to 4 weeks, I'd get a shirt in the mail. After opening the package, I would immediately feel the print and it was a mystery to me of how that print got on a shirt.

from-scrubbing-floors-to-running-a-1m-screen-printing-business

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Adam Tanaka, on starting Life and Limb Printing ($80,000/month) full story ➜

7. Start an online courses business ($60K/year)

Lidiya Kesarovska from The Netherlands started Let's Reach Success about 8 years ago, a online courses business.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: The Netherlands

Back in 2013, I had already discovered my passion - personal development - and had realized writing is the best way to express myself. So I combined these and started a self-improvement blog.

Starting the blog was the best decision and not giving up on it over the years (even when no traffic or money was coming in) was what helped me move forward.

It was first just a hobby and I knew nothing about blogging. Over the years, after publishing a ton of content, gaining traffic, learning about SEO, email marketing, social media, and all the ways to monetize a blog, it became a real business.

how-i-created-a-5k-month-online-course-about-blogging

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Lidiya Kesarovska, on starting Let's Reach Success ($5,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start a pet portrait business

Examples of a successful pet portrait business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a pet portrait business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a pet portrait business ➜

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9. Start a photo booth business ($3.6M/year)

Brandon Wong from California, USA started Photobooth Supply Co. about 8 years ago, a photo booth business.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: California, USA

My wife and I were wedding photographers. If you’ve been to a wedding lately, you’ve probably seen a photobooth.

The same was true 8 years ago. We saw booths everywhere, and started thinking… why not add one of those? We purchased the “old” style photobooth, the enclosed box. It became clear very quickly that at least two things could be done better. It wasn’t really portable and it didn’t take the prettiest pictures.

I contacted a few metal suppliers down here in Orange County and asked if they could put something together for me. I wanted something sleek and portable, but it also had to be able to take gorgeous pictures.

embracing-the-experience-economy-with-a-300k-mo-photo-booth-startup

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Brandon Wong, on starting Photobooth Supply Co. ($300,000/month) full story ➜

10. Start an explainer video business ($120K/year)

Marco Gatti from Tallinn, Estonia started Mediatopsolution OU about 3 years ago, a explainer video business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Tallinn, Estonia

I've always been a salesperson within the family company. A need I often felt in my relationships with customers, was the wish to communicate in a more attractive, engaging and persuasive way. I wanted to win them over and make sure they remembered my messages.

So I started looking for a powerful and innovative way to convey my communications. All this until I stumbled upon something that really caught my attention: the animated video that Robert Cialdini, a Psychology and Marketing professor at Stanford University, had used to promote his books “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. I liked it instantly: I found it immediate, engaging and easy to remember. And then I thought: of course if such a great mentor of the laws of persuasion has relied on this tool of communication, it must mean something!

At that moment I decided to use the power of video animations to increase the effectiveness of my business relationships with customers. But there was a problem: the existing services had exorbitant costs, about 10,000 dollars per minute, far too much for a company like ours. So I tried and made a video for my family's company myself. The first results were really not professional: I did everything, from the script to the animation including the audio, with my voice. I even recorded it in a small room, putting a sock on the microphone to reduce the reverb effect!

how-i-created-a-10k-month-company-that-makes-animated-explainer-videos

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Marco Gatti, on starting Mediatopsolution OU ($10,000/month) full story ➜

11. Start an aerial imagery business ($12M/year)

Robert Morris from San Leandro, California, USA started TerrAvion about 8 years ago, a aerial imagery business.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 30
  • Location: San Leandro, California, USA

I have always had a great interest in robotics. As a former U.S. Army officer, I led the first RQ-7B "Shadow" drone platoon in Afghanistan. After the Army, I consulted for Deloitte Consulting, where I organized the U.S. Navy's first Unmanned Surface Vehicle Community of Interest. One day I was talking to a friend who mentioned that agriculture could not see what was going on in the field as the only vision came from satellite data.

We even out-executed a competitor that Steve Blank was personally advising, by actually following his advice.

Satellite data has vast limitations amongst others due to the lack of data resolution and timeliness. Based on my experience, I realized that drones were not the solution either, so I looked into fixed-wing aircraft as a possibility to capture image data and making the field visible for farmers.

how-we-started-a-1mm-month-company-selling-aerial-imagery-for-agricultures

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Robert Morris, on starting TerrAvion ($1,000,000/month) full story ➜

12. Start a photo printing business ($18M/year)

Jainam Shah from Georgia started CanvasChamp about 9 years ago, a photo printing business.

  • Revenue: $1,500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 180
  • Location: Georgia

It’s so happened that one beautiful day, I was just hanging out with my father an evening while we were discussing our family photos. My father suddenly picked up one photo from the album and said, “This is one of the best photos of us. How amazing would it had been that we could find a way to frame our favorite photos artistically.”

I had zero experience, but I did know from my previous job in college that I was good at learning and collecting from data, setting up and building experiments over and over again, and making business decisions with the information provided to me. I believe that this is one of the most important qualities you can have to be a successful entrepreneur.

Suddenly it dawned on me that I should get the photo that my father likes so much, framed. But I checked out the market and saw that the market had split between low-cost providers that would personalize your products very cheaply (of questionable quality) and designers who would personalize your products very expensively (and still of dubious quality). And I only found an opportunity for business in personalized products that way. So I thought to focus on filling a gap which delivered more premium products but well below the designer prices.

how-we-started-a-1-5m-month-custom-canvas-prints-business-online

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Jainam Shah, on starting CanvasChamp ($1,500,000/month) full story ➜

13. Become a real estate photographer

Examples of a successful real estate photographer:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a real estate photographer:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a real estate photographer ➜

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14. Start a baby photography business

Examples of a successful baby photography business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a baby photography business ➜

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15. Become a travel photographer

Examples of a successful travel photographer:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a travel photographer:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a travel photographer ➜

16. Become a wedding photographer

Examples of a successful wedding photographer:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a wedding photographer:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a wedding photographer ➜

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17. Start a stock photography business

Examples of a successful stock photography business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a stock photography business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a stock photography business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Serban Enache's story on creating Free Stock Images a read:

Hi, my name is Serban Enache and this story is about Stockfreeimages, a Royalty Free stock photo platform that was launched in 2012 as a free image resource. We started in 2000 with Dreamstime.com, one of today’s top 10 stock photo agencies globally and later on launched StockFreeImages as a spinoff for designers looking for free stock photos that are safe to use.

While Stockfreeimages offers unlimited free access to web size downloads, high-resolution downloads may require a small fee which allows us to reward the contributors. Unlike other free image resources, any charge for high-resolution downloads is fairly split with the content creators, as it should be.

In December 2020, the site had 1.3 million registered members and more than 2 million free stock images and illustrations from 56,303 photographers. We add fresh new titles every day and we have images for all needs and budgets, but mainly for free.

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Serban Enache, on starting Free Stock Images ($0/month) full story ➜

18. Become a food photographer

Examples of a successful food photographer:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a food photographer:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a food photographer ➜

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19. Become a corporate photographer

Examples of a successful corporate photographer:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a corporate photographer:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a corporate photographer ➜

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20. Start a photography blog

Examples of a successful photography blog:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a photography blog:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a photography blog ➜

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21. Become a documentary photographer

Examples of a successful documentary photographer:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a documentary photographer:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a documentary photographer ➜

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