How To Make Money With Photography: 10 Ideas You Can Start Today


make money with photographyYou love taking pictures. Going out and seeing the world through a lens provides you with happiness and relaxation. While many enjoy photography just for the pleasure and joy that it brings, others are interested in learning how to make money with photography.

After all, no one would pass up making money doing something they love right? So just how do you go about making money with photography? It is much easier than you think. Here are 10 easy and fun ways for how to make money with photography that you can start using today.

10 Easy Ways To Make Money With Photography

#1. Sell Images To Publications

More and more media outlets are slashing their expense budgets and one big expense is having in-house photographers. As a result of this, these companies go out to the open market and either buy images from stock photo sites or from other image companies.

The good news is that you can sell your images to these media companies. You can reach out to the companies directly by looking through your favorite magazines and calling or emailing them. Their contact information is usually in the front of the magazine in fine print.

Another contact option would be to check out LinkedIn. See if you can stalk anyone at these companies to get names and then see if you have any connections. From there, reach out to your connection to get an introduction.

If you can get your photo listed, you have a foot in the door, making future sales of your photos easier.

#2. List Images For Sale On Stock Photo Sites

This is probably the easiest way to get started. Just create an account on sites like iStockPhoto, Snugmug, or ShutterStock to name a few, and submit some of your best work to get approval. Once approved, you can list your work for sale.

Note that there are some options, like 500px where you don’t have to get approved before you can sell. The catch though is that you have to pay a $25 fee to open an account. But if you can sell a few photos, that more than covers the account opening fee.

#3. Sell Images On Etsy

If you would rather have more control over your photo selling, then look no further than Etsy. The site will take a small fee for allowing you to sell on there, but you have much more control on Etsy than the options listed above because your Etsy store is your own. There is no approval to start selling and you can list and set up your store however your heart desires.

#4. Work For Your Local Newspaper

Reach out to your local newspaper and see if they need a photographer. Many times they do and all you need to do is go to events around your town and snap some pictures. It’s easy work and by putting a newspaper on your resume it adds a lot of credibility to you as a photographer.

The only catch is to make sure you charge the newspaper for your photos. They have budgets for this, so don’t think you should work for free.

#5. Improve Websites

There are a ton of poorly designed websites out there. If you come across one, reach out to the website owner and see if they would be interested in updating or improving upon the photos on their website. Most will be happy to have someone provide great, original photographs. Just understand that some smaller sites have a limited budget so you might have to reduce your rate accordingly.

Another option is to find websites that have pictures of their staff. Many small businesses have a section on their website about meeting the staff. In very few cases do they get these photos taken professionally.

This means they have a poor quality photo that leaves a lot to be desired. You can reach out to these companies and offer to take better photographs. You might have to sell them on the idea, but many would be open to it.

Start out searching for local small businesses and go from there.

#6. Create Products Of Your Images

If you think your photos would look great on t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, etc., you could open up a store on Cafe Press or Zazzle. In most cases, the store you create will be free and you can begin designing products with your photos for free. If you do make a sale, the website will take a small cut of the sale.

Additionally, with Zazzle, you can make money when others promote your products for you. It’s a win-win for everybody.

#7. Go To Clubs

One way to make money with photography that is overlooked by most photographers is to attend nightclubs on the weekends. I would suggest you get in touch with management and tell them that you want to take some pictures of the event. Many times they will be open to it because they can then buy your photos and put them on their Facebook page. This helps the club promote upcoming events and make more money.

#8. Get Your Name Out There

If you can get your name out in your community, you will have people reaching out to you for all sorts of photo needs. For example you can be the photographer for weddings, parties, anniversaries, or family portraits just to name a few.

I have a friend that plays violin and it’s amazing how often he gets calls from random people looking to have him play their parties and events. Over 90% of his income from playing the violin comes from referrals. Therefore, let everyone know that you are looking for work!

#9. Help Out Local Businesses

This could be a very lucrative option. Do you know of any realtors in the area? See if you can partner up with them and take the pictures of houses they are trying to sell. I can’t tell you how many crappy pictures I found when home searching. I am sure if you are smart, you can make a very compelling case as to why they should hire you.

Additionally, you can reach out to local companies and see about putting some artwork in their offices or places of business. You might even be able to take advantage of referrals and get some private clients as well.

While you might have to start your rates out low to get a foot in the door, once you build a reputation, you can raise your rates accordingly.

#10. Sell Photo Editing Services

While you won’t be selling your photos, you can still offer photo editing services. There are a lot of people that take their own pictures, but then don’t know how to clean up and edit the photos they’ve taken. By providing this service for them, you can earn a decent income.

Final Thots

How to make money with photography isn’t difficult. Know that some options listed here are more lucrative than others and some are much harder to break into than others. But if you have great photographs that stand out from the crowd, you can make money off of your photos. It’s all a matter of getting out there and promoting your work.

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1 thought on “How To Make Money With Photography: 10 Ideas You Can Start Today”

  1. working as a photographer is all about connection. if you know few people and do a few photo sessions, then you keep getting references. imagine how many people a photographer can meet on a wedding photo shoot? if the job was done well, then there will be more business from the wedding guests in the future. sometimes it is well worth it to do a few free sessions

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