To do something that you love for a living is what most people dream. However, it's always hard to start your own business and follow your passion as we are afraid of changes, mainly because we don't know where to start from. That's why people keep asking me same question over and over again. How can I make money from photography?
Today I decided to answer this question for you and turn your dream of becoming a successful photographer into a reality. I've got a specific structure and a plan which you can follow and get maximum results, no matter if it's a wedding, portrait or commercial photography. Plus I looked at the challenges you might face to enter into the market and approximately how much money you will make depending on your skills.
Making Money as a Photographer In 2017
Whether you're looking to start your own photography business or just make a little bit of extra money in 2017, I have gathered all the interesting methods for you. There are some advantages and disadvantages with each of this and you have to keep in mind that none of them is easy. Especially if we consider the fact that the market is really competitive. However, the good news is that I will provide you with a marketing plan and a business strategy whether you're into wedding photography, portraiture, advertising or commercial photography. So that you can make money and most importantly maintain that success. Also, we're going to look at which areas of photography are the most lucrative and which areas of photography make the most money.
To make your life easier I even created an Infographic. However, I advise you to check the full article in order to get detail information and discover some extra methods as well.
Infographic: How to Make Money as a Photographer
wedding photographer + photo assistant/Second shooter
The wedding is the really special day because it's an important stage in every person's life therefore people are willing to spend a lot of money just to get the perfect photo. Plus they want video and the drone footage, so it's a huge market. Generally, a lot of beginners think that wedding photography is an easy thing, however, it's really hard and takes time to become a professional. But if you are a good salesperson and if you offer quality service than you can easily make good money.
In case if you are unable to find job as a wedding photographer you can always apply as a second shooter or assistant. Today a lot of photographers are looking for someone to work with, on different events. Particularly in the wedding photography, there is a lot of work that can be done as a second shooter which is actually a little bit easy compared to getting into this business alone and offering your service. There are also many studio photographers who also need an assistant who can help with lighting, so it's a really good way to learn from an established photographer about the industry you want to pursue as a living, rather than just a hobby.
online photography jobs
Submit Your Photos Online and Get Paid!
Do you want to get paid to take photos! Here's how you can make a full-time income submitting photos online. All you need is a simple camera, internet connection, and a little creativity to turn your hobby into a profitable business.
Nowadays millions of websites blogs and articles are published every day. The demands for stock photos is bigger than ever. Using the partnership with the world's biggest sellers of stock photography you can sell your photos to millions of potential buyers. Imagine getting paid for each download, which can easily make you hundreds of dollars per day.
I'm sure you already have some photos on your hard drive that you can start selling and making money today. So what are you waiting for!
free stock photos for commercial use
Stock or Microstock photography is the way you can license your images. Currently, there are websites where you simply upload your photos and agencies, newspapers or just private persons will buy your image. Plus there are some specialized stock photography sites that do certain things like nature photography and it's worth trying. The disadvantage with this system is that it's not made for making huge amounts of money with one image, that's why it's called Microstock, but if you have a collection of photos that you can license then this method is working pretty good and you can get a small amount for each sale.
So with this method, the best way is to upload at least 100 images within a different topic and see which one performs better. Currently, there are different websites like Fotolia, Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, iStock and they have all completely different deals, so you should definitely check the terms and decide whether you need to try or not. But I think you should give it a try as there might be thousands of images laying around on your hard drive, so why not upload them in a matter of minutes and then just wait until someone downloads and you make money out of it.
Social Networking Sites + YouTube Channel
It's a quite new thing for a lot of people, but the reality is that we all love social media and we spend most of our time there, which brings us to the conclusion that we can make money out of social media. How does it work? Well actually it's all about the followers, so the more people are interested in your photography the better you can market over social media. For instance, as a wedding photographer you can put out great wedding photos every day and somebody might be interested in your work.
This is a huge marketing that is only one side of the whole social media thing. Plus with huge followers, you can even reach out to brands and make a commercial photo shoot for them, which is again really profitable. So you are definitely missing an opportunity if you don't have YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest accounts because these platforms enable you to reach people from all over the world and to advertise your service.
Start a YouTube Channel
The most challenging one is to start a YouTube channel about photography because you really have to put in a lot of hard work by uploading videos constantly to grow your business. Now when you're doing this you really have to provide value up front and the core mission of your YouTube channel has to be educational. To actually help people with their photography skills and to get more people into Photography or Filmmaking. That way you can create a nice community on YouTube.
So this is a perfect option for people who are really passionate about photography and particularly videography to grow your business, become popular and to pursue your passion.
Real Estate Photography
Interior & Exterior Photography + Drone Footage
People are always buying houses, or they want to rent a flat especially in a center of big city and I'm sure real estate market is huge. So the better the images from the real estate agents are, more people will be interested in to buy a house and the agent will be able to rate house at much higher price. So if you are a good photographer you can simply team up with the real-estate agent and you can both benefit.
Plus you have to remember that with real estate photography you have to take both exterior and interior architectural photos and sometimes it's always a good idea to use a drone to shoot areal photos. So that next time someone sees your image they stand out and properly represent the house which your team is planning to sell.
Conferences, Parties, Corporate Anniversaries and etc.
As a photographer, you can get into event photography which includes conferences, parties, corporate anniversaries because there are a lot of businesses and trade organizations which hire photographers to shoot events. So maybe if you target some of the smaller businesses who need to get more established images for their company you will get a chance to test things out a little bit and see if it's a right thing for you.
As an event photographer usually you have to take hundreds of photos and edit them in order to deliver it next day, especially when there is a conference or some special event. However, there are definitely some professional photographers who make good money out of event photography and they have completely different deadline depending on the project they are working on. That being said it's always a good idea to make a simple research in your area to see whether people are interested and to offer them your service.
Get Your Images into Galleries
Art Gallery & Coffee Shop
If you are really looking to do gallery shows or get your prints seen and sold, then it's something that's worth putting some effort into and reaching out to different people in order to get famous. Some places that might be good to start is actually a local business like a coffee shop. You can ask them if they can hang your prints in their store so that people will see your work and somebody might even buy your photo.
Now another way you can reach people with your photos is by selling prints online with a website like SmugMug or creating your own store and start advertising online. However, you have to keep in mind that's really hard but if you're willing to hustle then you can potentially make a huge money.
Start a Photography Business
Shoot Photos for blogs, Magazines, Individuals and etc.
Photography's one of the most competitive businesses you can get into because everybody thinks they are a photographer so you're basically going up against professionals as well as a lot of amateurs who do it for free. Plus people offer niche photography services such as commercial, wedding or advertising. So you should have a unique service to get new customers.
Plus you can do one-on-one photo shoots or just reach out to magazines and other companies. Actually, you can start advertising on the internet amongst your Facebook friends and see if they are interested in your work. Chances are there's somebody out there who's willing to pay to do a photo shoot so you should explore that opportunity.
Photos for blogs, Magazines, Individuals and etc.
I think we can all agree that being a Paparazzi is one of the most difficult jobs, but there is a huge business of invading public person's privacy and an ever-growing interest to know as much about celebrities lifestyle.
So the places like Los Angeles and New York are known to be the celebrity hotspots, so if you live there then paparazzi photography might be the best choice for you. But you have to keep in mind that it's are really competitive and you also should have some pretty expensive camera gear to get the perfect shot every single time you press the shutter button.
are they worth it?
There are a number of websites and actual print publications that every year do these photography annuals or award shows, where you can submit your work for an entry fee and if you were selected you will be featured. Some of the best ones are the Black & White Magazine and Communication Art magazine (Also known as CA Magazine).
These annual contests are open every year, so anybody can enter to submit their portfolio of work. All these magazines are well-respected publications, they are nicely produced and beautifully printed. So to answer the question if it's worth the money you pay to enter into the contest highly depends on your goals and what do you want to get out of this because. If you want to decorate your CV or just show the world your photos then it's a great opportunity and I recommend you to prepare your portfolio for the next contest.
I hope you found this article useful. These are just a few ways that you can earn some money from your photography. So I want to hear from you as well what do you think is the best way to earn some money in 2017. Also feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.