An updated post on various money making opportunities for photographers.
You may wonder:
- How to make money with photography in 2019?
- How to create a stunning photo website and/or become a teacher?
- How to earn money as a photographer ONLINE?
The good news is that there are answers to all your questions. If you want to finally turn your passion into an income stream, then this post is for you.
And if you decide to build a website business, you need to educate yourself on being an expert online.
Here, TOO, I have some tips on how to get started (the right way).
A quick overview of what to expect in this post:
Let’s get started.
First Things First:
How to Become a Professional Photographer?
Let’s face it:
Anyone with a camera can click pictures, but only a true professional can be called a photographer.
Photography is basically an artistic pursuit and you must be extremely disciplined in order to even consider making this a full-time career.
You need to become GOOD in photography if you want to make money with it. How?
- You learn the craft
- You assist professional photographers
Let’s talk about it a bit more.
1) Learn the Craft
Here’s the deal:
You can’t be a lawyer without going to law school. The same applies to photography.
You need to learn photography inside out in order to be a professional and even consider making a living with it.
(You can either take up a course on photography, read books or watch a ton of YouTube videos and continuously keep practicing in order to master it.)
What’s my most recommended courses for you?
Glad you asked.
If you’re a beginner, there are 2 resources I highly recommend:
You don’t need fancy gear to get started. What’s important is that you MASTER the skills you need as a photographer and these courses will deliver.
Check them out!
2) Assist Professional Photographers
This especially applies to aspiring photographers.
One of the best ways to not only learn more about photography but to also make some money in the process is to assist a professional photographer.
Helping fashion and wedding photographers is recommended since they are trained to work in a fast-paced environment.
In the process, you would also learn how to multitask and manage the pressure that comes with the career.
You would also be given a chance to gain more practice that you can use to create your own portfolio and show prior experience.
Considering that you have mastered the craft and built your portfolio, below are some of the most important ways on how you can possibly make money as a photographer.
How to Make Money from Photography? The 9 Ways.
1) Offer Photo Shoots
Doing photo shoots is a sure shot way of making money with photography.
Of course, you will need a budget since you might need to rent out a space to build a professional studio but you can get away with this by opting to do outdoor photo shoots exclusively.
Some top outdoor photo shoots include maternity, pet, headshot, family portraits, real estate, and pre-nuptial photo shoots.
2) Selling or Licensing your Images through Stock Photography Sites
If you already have a good collection of high-quality images, then you can earn a decent buck by selling them to stock photography sites.
In fact, this works great even for those looking for a steady stream of passive income. Some top stock photography sites include:
- BigStock, and,
To sell your pictures on these sites, simply sign up for them.
You will be required to provide your basic information along with some information to prove your identity. Upload the images along with the description, keywords and metadata and then the site will review them.
You can also go the traditional way.
The easiest way here is to place the printed image in a frame and go to your nearest arts and crafts fair to sell it. You can also opt to sell it during festivals or garage sales.
3. Sell Photo Prints
Before you learned that you can sell your images digitally, through stock photography sites.
But you can also make extra bucks selling actual photo prints.
If you want to go the DIY route, you’ll have to know what’s a good printer to use, the proper image size and resolution for printing, and overall taking awesome photos that people will WANT to buy.
ETSY is one of the most popular platforms that you can use to sell your prints.
Not everyone likes to do everything themselves though.
(I’m one of those people).
- 2) Involve the pros who’ll do all the legwork:
You can sign up to ImageKind now, select your best work and upload them on the site.
Then, this site takes care of all the “boring” aspects – like printing photos, processing orders, sending them to customers – for a small fee.
The reason why I love this option is because it’s stress-free.
You job is to take awesome photos and upload them to the site.
==> Click here to join ImageKind and start making money from the prints you sell!
4) Join A Tour Company
This option is amazing if you love travel as much as you do photography.
What is it about?
Basically, you apply to tour company and you get to photograph their clients. It could be à la street photography, cruises, taking photos of couples in front of the landmarks and so forth.
If you do that, make sure to set up a photo website and/or a social media account. You’ll get to connect with your clients and possibly get reviews from them.
(Not to mention that they might book you again next time they are in your city.)
5) Become a Paparazzo
This is not my favourite but it’s still one of the ways photographers make money with photos.
Depending on certain factors, paparazzos can easily earn thousands for just one single picture.
However, it is extremely competitive and demanding. Also, be sure to obtain all the necessary credentials before beginning this gig.
Likewise, you should familiarize yourself with all the celebrity hotspots, and network excessively with others in the same field.
To become a paparazzo, simply buy a high-quality DSLR camera along with a telephoto lens. You must also have a small camera that you can use to click images on the sly.
You can choose to freelance and sell the images to newspaper or magazine companies or be a part of an agency.
6) Actively Participate in Competitions
People often do not consider participating in photography contests as even an option to make money.
Several competitions take place all over the world, and some are hosted by extremely famous brands like the National Geographic.
These competitions have a winning prize that is worth a thousand dollars and not to forget the recognition that comes along with it which can help boost your photography career.
7) Market Yourself as a Freelance Photographer
Get in touch with your local newspapers and magazines and ask them whether they are looking for any freelance photography work.
It goes without saying that such jobs are in no way stable. But, they do work great as a second job or a job on the side.
Once you have established a steadier relationship with these outlets, they will hire you consistently for covering local events and stories.
Capturing weddings, shooting sports events or any other event is also amongst the best ways to make a quick buck over the weekend.
The best way to get such gigs is to network, in person and through social media platforms constantly.
Always remember to market yourself everywhere as the more attention you get, the chances of you getting photography gigs will also substantially increase.
8) Become a Photography Teacher
Isn’t that the most obvious way of making money with photography?
Countless people are looking for a good teacher to help them learn the aspects of photography.
Based on how strong your knowledge about photography is and how well experienced you are, you can really easily make quite a bit of money just teaching students on a regular basis.
Whether through their own website, or through platforms like Udemy.
For some, this is already a full-time job.
9) Build Your Own Website (to Sell Your Photos or Teach)
Let’s face it:
While you can teach people in real life, I think a better option is teaching people ONLINE.
- First of all, after some time you’ll be able to leverage and expand your business.
- Second of all, your website will be global and will work for you 24/7/365 (if done correctly).
Without a doubt:
You CAN build a business an online business around your photography passion. Here’s how I did it myself (and how you can get started, too).
And don’t worry…
Setting up your first website shouldn’t be a challenge, nor do you have to be tech-savvy.
The only thing that I constantly emphasize when it comes to building an online business, is having proper guidance.
Again, I share my own journey and my #1 recommended platform for beginners in this post.
How to Make Money as a Photographer in 2019
When choosing a career that will help us earn a good amount of money, we often tend to focus on becoming an engineer, chartered accountant, lawyer, doctor, etc.
And only a few of us consider our passions like photography as a full-time job.
You’d be surprised but most popular full-time photographers today just incidentally knew how to make money with photography.
They just started purely on the desire to do something meaningful and worthwhile while being creative and fun.
With that said, if you want to make a living out of photography, I provided you with some of the tools/tips that you need in order to succeed.
As for the actual ways to earn income, the ones I mentioned above are the top ways on how to make money with photography.
Keep in mind:
Initially, it might be challenging to turn your passion into a steady stream of income.
That is why it is better to start it off as a second job and build your portfolio, knowledge, and experience in order to make this a profitable full-time job.
Keep practicing your photography skills until you master it!
Remember that nothing is impossible.
With patience, time and proper guidance you WILL achieve success.
Over To You: What Are Your Thoughts?
I’d love to hear from YOU:
- What is your skill level and your favourite genre?
- Which of the aforementioned money making ways appealed to you the most?
- Have you earned any money as a photographer yet?
Any questions, comments and suggestions on how to make money with photography in 2019 are welcome in the comments section!