15 Ways To Make Money As A Photographer

15 Ways To Make Money As A Photographer

More and more, people are looking to begin their own business.

Some want the excitement of being an entrepreneur while others would like to be able to work from home and not have a boss.

If you are looking for a career change, or just want to make some extra money on the side, becoming a photographer can be an excellent option.

Running your own photography business will indeed take hard work and dedication, but it also carries many benefits! In this blog post, we will cover 15 ways to make money as a photographer.

How Do I Become A Photographer?

First, you should choose a specialty and hone your skills. Whether it is wedding photography, maternity sessions, senior pictures, or pet photography; you need to pick one style of photography and master it.

To become a good photographer, you must capture thousands of pictures. You need to understand lighting, composition, posing, and how colors play together to make beautiful images.

In addition, understanding editing techniques for Photoshop or Lightroom will give you an edge over other photographers because you can offer additional services to your clients after the shoot.

How Much Money Does a Photographer Make?

According to statistics from Payscale, the median salary for professionals in this field is around $31K per year in the US.

Photographers make more in New York City and Los Angeles than in other parts of the country.

However, keep in mind that their salaries usually depend on the number of years they have spent practicing their profession and whether they get paid by the hour or get hired for an entire assignment.

15 Ways To Make Money As A Photographer

Following are some of the ways on how to make money as a photographer.

1. Photograph Small Businesses

Small businesses are always looking for good graphic designers and photographers to help them improve their marketing efforts. If you take a look at Craigslist or any other advertising website, you will find numerous postings offering photography jobs.

The nice thing about photographing small businesses is that they usually hire people on an hourly basis, so the income potential is high.

  • Market Competition [6/10]
  • Earning Potential [5/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

2. Teach Photography:

You can always teach people how to improve their photography skills and make some money on the side.

A great way to start teaching would be to create a photography blog and upload photography tutorials. If you want to be able to teach people in person, you should consider opening your photography studio.

  • Market Competition [5/10]
  • Earning Potential [4/10]
  • Experience Required [Expert]

3. Sell Your Photos on Stock Websites:

If you are already an established photographer with many clients, consider selling your best shots as stock images.

Some photographers make thousands of dollars each month by licensing their photos through websites like ShutterStock and iStockphoto.

  • Market Competition [8/10]
  • Earning Potential [7/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

4. Sell Digital or Printed Copies of Your Work:

Another way to make money as a photographer is by selling photos as prints or as digital copies.

Selling photo prints online requires you to have a nice portfolio of professional images that people will be willing to pay. You can upload your images to companies like SmugMug and Snapfish.

  • Market Competition [8/10]
  • Earning Potential [6/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

5. Write a Photography Blog:

Blogging is another great way to make money as a photographer. While you can simply write about your life experiences, it is also advisable to post photography tutorials and offer online classes.

  • Market Competition [3/10]
  • Earning Potential [5/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

6. Work for Magazines:

If you are good at taking photographs of celebrities or events, magazines may be interested in hiring you.

If your work gets published in magazines and newspapers, you will be able to establish a strong reputation for yourself and raise your fees.

  • Market Competition [4/10]
  • Earning Potential [6/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

7. Invest in Your Art:

If you are serious about photography, then consider investing in your art by purchasing better equipment and attending seminars and workshops.

Even if you spend a little money on yourself every month, it will pay off in the end because you will be able to improve your skills dramatically.

  • Market Competition [5/10]
  • Earning Potential [5/10]
  • Experience Required [Beginner]

8. Conduct Photography Workshops:

If you already have extensive experience in the field of photography, then conducting workshops will be a great way to earn some extra income.

You can organize group sessions at your workspace or rent out an educational facility for all-day conferences.

  • Market Competition [4/10]
  • Earning Potential [7/10]
  • Experience Required [Expert]

9. Become a Social Guru:

One of the best ways to make money as a photographer is by becoming active in social media.

You can upload new photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest every day to promote your work.

  • Market Competition [8/10]
  • Earning Potential [8/10]
  • Experience Required [Expert]

10. Shoot Portraits:

Portrait photography is a great way to make money as a photographer because many people are interested in upgrading their picture quality, especially when it comes to headshots and family photos.

If you have an eye for detail and the patience to work with people, then this could be your ticket to earning more money.

  • Market Competition [8/10]
  • Earning Potential [6/10]
  • Experience Required [Beginner]

11. Shoot Events:

Event photography is another excellent way to make money as a photographer. If you are interested in working with events, take a look at weekend job postings in your local city.

Since recording events for posterity is also invaluable in many cases, people will be willing to pay you good money for your services.

  • Market Competition [8/10]
  • Earning Potential [7/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

12. Enter Photo Contests:

While winning a local photo contest will not make you rich overnight, it is still a great way to promote your work and get noticed by people who are interested in hiring you.

  • Market Competition [9/10]
  • Earning Potential [8/10]
  • Experience Required [Expert]

13. Get Gigs as an Assistant Photographer:

If you have enough time to take photos yourself, then getting gigs as an assistant photographer will be a great way to make money in the field of photography.

While it may not pay much in the beginning, you will gain valuable experience and knowledge that can help your career in the future.

  • Market Competition [4/10]
  • Earning Potential [5/10]
  • Experience Required [Beginner]

14. Participate in Exhibitions:

Another way to make money as a photographer is to participate in exhibitions. Some cities and art galleries conduct exhibitions every year, and the organizer usually needs professionals to take photos of the showcased artwork or artists.

  • Market Competition [8/10]
  • Earning Potential [7/10]
  • Experience Required [Expert]

15. Get Commissions from Companies:

Another way to make money as a photographer is by charging companies commissions for taking photographs of their products.

This can be an excellent opportunity for you because you will not only make money but also get the chance to take photos of things that interest you.

  • Market Competition [7/10]
  • Earning Potential [6/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

Ways to Market Your Photography Business

While it is not easy to make money as a photographer, you can always use certain strategies to market your business. The following are some of the best ways that you can use to promote your work and generate new clients.

  • Use social media:One of the most effective ways to market your photography business is by making profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. You can upload new photos every day to show potential clients how good you are, and this will help increase your following in the long run.
  • Participate in seminars:Another great way to market your photography business is by participating in seminars and workshops from time to time. This will allow people to get to know you and give them a chance to see your work in real life.
  • Contact local businesses: If you already have extensive experience in the field of photography, then reaching out to local companies and offering your services is a great way to market your business. You may even get some jobs from this approach. Also, don't forget to make business cards and include your contact numbers on them.
  • Post fliers: Another way to market your photography business is by making fliers and putting them up around the neighborhood or city where you live. You can place these fliers in cafes, malls, and other public places that attract a lot of foot traffic, and this will help you to get more clients in the long run.
  • Start your own website: One of the best ways to market your photography business is by creating a website and monetizing it with Google AdSense or other relevant advertising programs. This will enable you to promote your work and generate new customers and clients from all over the world.
  • Participate in social media contests: While entering yourself into a photo contest will not directly help you make money as a photographer, it is still a great way to get noticed online. If you are able to stand out from the competition and generate some buzz around your work, then investing time in these contests can be well worth your while.
  • Create a portfolio: One of the most essential ways to market your photography business is by creating a portfolio and showcasing it on your website or social media pages. You can add links to this portfolio in all of the promotional materials you create, including flyers and business cards. This will help people learn more about you and your work, and it will also give you a better chance of getting hired to take professional photos.

Final Verdict:

All of these strategies for making money as a photographer are quite effective, and most photographers find it easy to make several hundred dollars per week by following the tips outlined in this article. However, keep in mind that you will have to work hard and do your best to market your business if you want to generate any profit. If you are up for the challenge, then there is no doubt that these methods can help you become successful very quickly.

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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