Photography is an enjoyable hobby for some people, a lucrative career for others and sometimes it is a passion. Attempting a career as a full-time professional photographer sounds overwhelming, but there are others ways to monetize your hobby. Here are 5 tips on making money from your photography.
Stock photography refers to photographs that are sold to a database or agency and available for customers to preview and purchase. There a several different companies out there that will purchase stock photographs such as Shutterstock and iStock, but rates vary based on images.
Another option is uploading photographs to sites such as Flickr, where you can license your photos and then if they are later selected and used, you receive royalties. You could have amazing photos on your hard drive of maple trees, and you never know when someone is creating a project needing photos of maple trees, and willing to pay for them.
Selling prints is a simple way to make money from photography if they are good and an interested buyer discovers them. Companies such as Imagekind allow you to upload photos, obtain a designated URL and set your own price for your photos. There are countless other online forums to access that can also be used to showcase and display your prints, but there's also the option of setting up a booth at a festival or craft fair.
Choose your best work to frame and display. Have extra unframed copies on-hand and a lot of business cards. This route allows you to sell some things you already have, as well as, get future orders and meet potential customers.
Share your knowledge
Why not offer individual or group lessons to others? A talented photographer could offer training on photographer topics such as:
Getting to know your new camera
Setting adjustments for different shots and locations
Camera software 101
Post availability for services on social media, community bulletin boards or in a college newspaper and take advantage of the fact that these classes could be held anywhere, which equals more profit. Although not likely with big box stores, independent camera shops may also be willing to take a flier or some business cards and pass them along to customers.
Maintaining a photography blog is not a way to get rich quick, but it does get the images out there for people to see, possibly leading to sales. Selling advertising space on the blog is an easy way to make money once you have enough followers, and there are tons of companies out there that will purchase advertising space. Having a personal blog also provides the option of creating and selling online tutorials. Additionally, some camera companies could take notice of the blog and offer equipment in exchange for reviews on your blog.
Photograph local events
Planning on attending a festival or some youth sporting events? Set up a website and create business cards and/or fliers ahead of time, then head out to community events and shoot a variety of random candids. Pass out business cards or flyers to others in attendance specifying that they can view and purchase photographs from the event on your website.
There are many businesses out there that would love to purchase and have rights to a photograph of their sales booth or food truck at a festival or parents wanting photos of their son hitting the game-winning home run. Just clear things with the event coordinators ahead of time to avoid stepping on any toes.