When one thinks of pursuing photography, it immediately brings to mind the image of Farhan’s father from the movie 3 idiots (2009), fighting and arguing with his son for whom he has spent all of his life’s savings, at the cost of his own comfort. He wants his son to be an engineer, which is a secure job option, as compared to photography with no guarantee of success. While Farhan’s passion prevails at the end of the movie and he is rather successful, alternate career paths such as photography are difficult paths to travel. With too many players in the game and seemingly sparse opportunities, one wonders how to make money with photography.
So while we got to thinking about it, we prepared a list of ways in which you can pursue your passion for photography while also making money:
1. Sell your photos online:
Many online platforms such as Shutterstock, Pexels etc. help bridge the gap between photographers and their clients. Clients looking for marketing collateral, business or any other purpose can swiftly purchase your pictures through these photo aggregators. You can also create your own online marketplace for photography to have more control over your work and earnings.
2. Teach Photography to Beginners:
As an expert working in the field of photography with an interest in teaching, you can conduct workshops both online and offline to teach photography to aspiring photographers. Discover online learning platforms such as SuperProf or start online consultation through Panther to begin your teaching journey.
You can even partner with leading camera brands as a mutually beneficial promotional exercise and teach photography using their specific features. Working with a brand also helps improve your own credibility in the market.
3. Rent Camera Equipment:
Lighting, lens or the camera itself, renting out your own equipment on a per day basis helps you recover initial investment costs of the expensive equipment. It also ensures a steady flow of income during slow weeks or months. With technology like Tiger, it has become easy to create an online rental marketplace to rent your camera equipment.
4. Participate in Contests:
There are many photography contents that are hosted at local, national and international levels depending on your field of interest – cooking, wildlife or landscape photography among others. The prices for these highly competitive events are lucrative and worth spending your time on.
5. Organise photo walks:
An interesting way to involve yourself in the travel industry, apart from taking pictures of tourists is to organise photo walks around your city to heritage sites, old parts of the town or food bazaars. Through pictures, you can take travellers through a journey into your city and what life is like for a local to create an unforgettable experience.
6. Collaborate with other photographers:
While you are struggling to get new clients or gigs, some other photographers may be neck deep in work looking for some additional photography help. You can work with them during your off season and while you’re at it, learn more interesting photography techniques used by different photographers.
7. Create a Photography Marketplace:
Rising up on platforms like UpWork and Fiverr is becoming challenging everyday. While photographers struggle to compete, the prices take a hit. In this scenario, it is best to start a photography marketplace that you are in control of and it is easier to create than ever before. You can discover peer to peer marketplaces such as Husky to know more.
8. Create a Photography Blog:
The best way to showcase your work is to build a portfolio through your very own blog. Display pictures and organise themes in your unique style to communicate to potential customers the kind of work you are capable of! Not just that, you could also promote and sell digital copies of your work through your blog.
Blogging also serves as a revenue stream through selling of ad space and promotional content. Once your credibility and readership is established, there is a lot to be achieved through blogging.
9. Help Small Businesses:
Businesses today can only hope to survive in the long term through their presence on social media. Images have become a powerful tool for communicating the intent behind a business as well as marketing their products online. You can tie up with small businesses such as restaurants and bakeries that regularly need photos for their marketing activities to ensure repeat business.
10. Cover Festive Photoshoots:
The highest paid photography jobs are the ones for festive occasions or events. Covering pre wedding shoots, pregnancy and newborn photoshoots, as well as weddings and corporate events bring in larger sums of money that could keep you going for a while. Selecting a niche such as newborn photography and building a reputation for it will fetch you higher rates as well as more business.
11. Join a Tour Company:
Team up with a travel company or organiser and earn while you travel. You can sign up with travel companies to take pictures of tourists, destination perspectives as well as to build their travel portfolio.
12. Learn Additional Skills:
While other points listed in the article point towards direct streams of income through photography, this point delves a bit deeper. To become a successful photographer, it is also essential to develop related skills such as editing but also business skills such as communication, marketing, writing, negotiation among others. The more the skills that you have picked up, the larger the chances of success in any stream of photography that you may choose.
Do you know more ways on how to make money as a photographer online? Leave us a few more ideas in the comment section below!