It’s not all that long ago that if you were having an event or promo shoot, you’d automatically hire a professional photographer for the day, pay all their expenses including travel and probably spend several hundred quid. Now, mobile phone technology is so good it rivals any Canon or Nikon, so you probably don’t need one!
So with that route rapidly closing off, how do you make money from photography?
With a bit of creativity and my top tips you don’t need to be left behind!
Sell Prints Online
Nice and simple you might think – but a road that more people should probably go down!
If you practice enough, there’s a good chance you’ve taken some amazing shots by now. So good in fact, that people are going to want to buy them. So why not start selling prints? There are different ways to make money by selling prints. Both options can be very easy to do and inexpensive.
The easiest way is by selling photos online through a third-party seller. They will do all of the leg work, process the order and send out the prints. In return, they provide you with a commission. There’s no reason why you can’t go through all your best photos right now, and upload them to a site. Start making money from the prints you sell today!
Another way of selling prints is a little bit harder. You have to print them yourself and sell them in shops and restaurants.
Say, for example, you’ve taken plenty of nice photos from your area. You could approach a cafe or a restaurant, and come to an arrangement where they display and sell your photographs. All you have to do is print them and give them a commission when they make a sale. They get artwork for their wall, you can get money in the bank. At the very least, you will have your photos displayed to hundreds, maybe thousands of people and it will get your name and your work out there.
Sell Your Photos in Galleries
Selling your photos in local galleries is a great way to make some money. But first you must figure out which of your thousands of photos are most appropriate. Photos that remind people of the local areas, such as nice views or local landmarks will sell. International landmarks, famous landscapes, and portraits of famous people may sell well to a large audience. But they could be less popular in a local market.
As a general rule, if you have random people in your photos, they won’t sell. Photographs of highly recognisable things work well. For example, a photo of the Eiffel Tower, the pyramids or an evocative seaside image.
If the local gallery decides they want to feature your photos, you will have to discuss pricing. Pricing differs in each situation. Some will allow you to rent wall space. Some will ask for a small monthly fee and a percentage of your profits. Others might handle all the printing and pricing but take a larger commission.
Sell on Stock Photography Sites
We’ve all heard of stock photography, but how do you make money from it?
You can sit around and wait for clients to find your photographs. Or, you can sell photos online by submitting them to a variety of stock photography sites. If you add keywords when you submit them, it makes it easier for people to find them.
Companies and businesses are always looking for stock photos. If your images fit what they are looking for, they will buy them. When I say buy, what I really mean is license. You can continue to sell photos time and time again, and make a good living if you have a large portfolio.
Start a Blog
My advice here is the same as it would be for any content! You can’t produce too much content, it keeps you relevant, visible and engaged with your audience.
Starting a photography blog is a great way to get your photographs seen. Creating a strong photography blog to complement your photography portfolio is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal.
Share Every Photo on Social Media
This is linked very closely to my last piece of advice. Instagram is a great source of inspiration for good photography. But, you can also use Instagram to make money by selling your images.
You can supply photos to businesses and blogs that constantly need images. Many photographers sell the images that they post on their page. All they do is add a link that allows you to buy their photos from a third party site.
Freelancers have the flexibility to choose what project they take. For example, it could be for a media company, a newspaper, an event, or a commercial shoot. They get paid by project/hour/day. To make money, freelance photographers have to market their work.
It is vital to have a strong portfolio and network to find new projects. And you should share every photo you take on social media. Why not? It gets you out there and noticed, people may even leave nice comments about your work and possibly even want to buy some of your images!
Getting into any competitive market takes a lot of hard work and dedication. If you don’t want to be constantly fighting for clients and jobs, you could consider teaching and/or mentoring to make money from photography.
Not everyone wants to learn from the internet. If you have the ability to teach, reach out to those people, and show them how it’s done, one on one. A good teacher can make a good living, whether it’s from group classes or one on one sessions.
I hope this article has shown you that there are many different ways to make money through photography. It’s like any skill – there are always strategies you can use to monetise yourself, you just have to put the hard work in, market yourself properly and the sky’s the limit!
If you want to check out the kind of stuff I post on social, you can follow my LinkedIn, Instagram or YouTube channels. There’s a real mix – everything from interviews with business and sporting legends through to stories from my nights out! Check it out and let me know what you think – I’m always happy to hear your suggestions, I read all the comments! Also take a look at my ‘day job’ – funding businesses of all shapes and sizes via Funding Guru.