How to make money as a photographer? 20 ways
Do you often take your camera with you on trips or, for example, are you fond of shooting on film? If you again bought a hard drive for new shots and filmed the fifth wedding of your friends, it’s time to think about monetizing your hobby! You can earn money from photos, and below we will talk about several ways to do this!
Advantages and disadvantages of being a photographer
There are advantages to working as a photographer: you plan your own schedule, meet different people, including famous people, you can constantly increase your salary, find bigger clients.
Photography makes life more interesting: it allows you to travel, attend major events, and talk about your ideas. There are also disadvantages: high competition, instability, multitasking.
The photographer not only shoots, but also stylizes the shooting, sets up advertising, and looks for clients. All these problems interfere at the initial stage. Of course, having received the first ten orders, some tasks can be delegated – only those that you like will remain.
Ways to make money from photography
Photo stocks are banks with thousands of frames, illustrations and videos. They are especially relevant for companies without their own image database: it can be both small beauty salons and large IT corporations.
There are two types of photo stocks:
- Microstocks are easy to get even for beginners, so there is high competition and low prices.
- On macro stocks, the author needs to go through moderation in order to work. Large companies, such as Gazprom, are often looking for pictures there, so there is a high profit from selling photos.
Beginning designers or manufacturers of clothing and jewelry – everyone needs to present their products. Therefore, catalogs and photos in them are a great tool for this. This option is suitable only for professionals: you need to be able to work with light, help the model pose, retouch photos with high quality.
Advertising shooting includes all existing genres. It is used for press announcements, posters, posters, booklets, packaging, etc.
Such frames should be remembered, cause a desire to purchase a product or service. It is worth noting that advertising images should show the benefits of the product. Successful photographers often make people feel like they own the product.
One of the proven methods is shooting weddings. This is a popular business option in the summer – you can fulfill 3-4 orders per week. Keep in mind that the work is physically demanding: the photographer usually spends 10-12 hours on his feet, and then about the same amount for image processing.
Main advantages: high demand, ability to travel (some photographers find orders abroad), profitability. For example, for one wedding recently, on average, they receive from 20 to 30 thousand. In Europe, salaries are higher: on average, from 1000 euros per day.
Shooting model tests and acting portfolios
One of the main ways to get a stable income: clients often come back and order more than one photo session a year, but 4 or 5. An expert working in the fashion or film industry must know the requirements of agencies and directors, anticipate changes.
Opening a photo studio is easy: you need a room, a camera, a table, a chair and a printer. All this will take no more than 300,000. At the same time, the demand for services will remain: people always need photographs for documents. In the future, you will be able to print albums or develop film.
The photographer can shoot reports for magazines or event organizers. You need to be able to shoot quickly, navigate in a constantly changing situation, find cool angles. If you are a reporter for a magazine, the average salary is 40,000 🪙 per month. It is more profitable to work with private customers: the cost of shooting is on average from 2000 to 7000 🪙 per hour.
If you are an art photographer, sell your images in galleries like Yellow Corner. Each work is promoted by the gallery and has a limited edition, and you get a profit – a percentage of sales, so you can earn from $ 5 to $ 1000 per month.
Business idea for landscape photographers. You come up with a beautiful route and gather a team of like-minded people. Take, for example, photography for the northern lights on the Kola Peninsula – such adventures attract many.
The more interesting the trip, the more you can earn on it. If you find it difficult to decide on the route, ask your audience about it. People are happy to share their opinions, and in the future, they may go with you.
If you have become an expert in your field, share your experience with others – create an online course or record a webinar. You may not reach a million students, but you can pay more attention to each participant.
Organize several workshops, and then open a photography school. The number of people who want to try themselves as a photographer is growing, so there is a demand for training.
Closed materials on the site
You can show finished photos for free, and the process of creating them is by subscription. Or, for example, people will pay to see the exclusive footage first.
Own photo studio
A great option for both beginners and pros. An inexperienced photographer will quickly learn how to work with light. An experienced photographer will increase income: he receives money both for rent and for work. You can start with 500,000 🪙.
Important: Delegate responsibilities. Over time, you will need to hire an administrator and, most likely, a marketer.
How to quickly sell an apartment? Present it beautifully: show advantages, such as a large area and high ceiling, beautiful finishes.
When a person searches for real estate on the Internet, he weeds out more than half of the options due to low-quality images. The photographer helps to avoid this. The price for shooting one object is on average from 1000 to 5000 🪙.
Important: keep in mind that you will need a wide-angle lens, as well as several light sources.
Maintaining your blog
Improve content quality and build a personal brand. It doesn’t have to be a superstar: you can make money with an audience of 1000 people. Your blog can become a platform for advertising novice bloggers and new stores. Let it be a social network or a site where others can express themselves.
For example, the photo contests "The most beautiful country" and "Wildlife in recent times" allow you to win up to 500,000 🪙. Among the prizes are expensive cameras, tours, advertising at exhibitions, etc., participation is almost always free.
Sale of photobooks
In the 2010s, it became fashionable to print photos and arrange them beautifully – photographers began to give pictures on branded flash drives, in unusual photo books and handmade albums.
Now selling photobooks is a way to stand out and increase the average check by 10-15 thousand 🪙. In addition, hotels and travel agencies need albums with beautiful shots from the places they sell tickets to.
Retouching is editing pictures: improving brightness, sharpness, contrast, correcting external flaws, changing the background and other improvements.
The services of retouchers are used by photographers, magazines, advertising agencies, individuals. The cost of retouching depends on its complexity – you can often make a profit from 50 to 1000 🪙 per frame.
Sale of photo products
Are you good at photography? Do you like to work with additional light sources? Have already changed several lenses and know what you need for what tasks? Then use your knowledge: open an online photo equipment store or, for starters, rent it out.
Often beginners need advice from successful masters. You can review their portfolio and help correct mistakes. The more famous you are, the higher the cost of the service. For example, for photographers with an audience of more than 100,000 people, this service costs from 20,000 🪙.