Starting as a photographer is not a hill that is easy to climb, especially in a saturated industry. Trying to make your mark in the world of photography while also still making a living is hard, but not impossible.
Many photographers starting in the industry usually take on freelance jobs and most often begin as wedding photographers or assistant photographers. If you are keen on doing this and have both the flair and patience it takes to become a wedding photographer, we say go for it.
But if it isn’t your cup of tea, what else can you do? Taking on the road less traveled is a little easier with the help of the internet. There are plenty of options for you to take the types of photographs you want and either:
- Sell them for a specific price
- Get recognition for your skills and pave the path to more opportunities
Here are ten ways to help you earn money online as a photographer while also earning you street credit:
Take niche photos and sell them
This is one of the most common ways to earn money online with photography. Stock photography is a very viable way to make money while honing your skills and talents in the industry. It’s a much sought-after commodity by advertising agencies, companies with a small in-house production, publications, magazines, websites, and blogs. There is practically every kind of genre on the internet that you can sell your photos for, from nature backgrounds to the night sky, cityscape photos to construction site photos.
Write and Sell an eBook
Along the way of nurturing and honing your talent, you’ve probably seen and experienced quite a lot of tips, tricks, ups, and downs. Why not share it with people looking for information and helpful tips too? Sharing your experience in a space where other creatives are looking for guidance is a great way to make money and help the industry.
If sharing your experience isn’t something you’re keen on, why not write and sell a book on topics you are passionate about? Amazon and Barnes & Noble are great platforms to market your ebook. However, suppose you have a specific niche with a particular audience. In that case, you might want to try platforms that cater to niche audiences and topics. Payhip, Sellfy, and Blurb are all the various kinds of platforms that are great to start selling your ebooks.
Use social media to your advantage
There’s no denying that you can make money via social media. If you have the skills, the tools, and the time, this is a great time to invest it all on your social media and get the most out of it. Post pictures, create reels to show your tips and tricks, and add a link to your platforms where people can purchase your digital downloads. It’s also a great way to connect to interested clients looking for your unique style of photography.
Participate in photography contests
Participating in contests is a hit-and-miss situation. If you get selected, you get the prize money, plus recognition. It’s a fun way of breaking the monotony of making money through photography and a great way to have fun. After all, photography is a passion, and if you’re suffering a burn-out, you could lose that magic touch in your photos. So cut yourself some slack and join a competition.
Generate potential leads via Flickr
You can generate paid leads by building a database of your best work on photo-sharing sites such as Flickr. You may not earn money directly by uploading to Flickr, but it is a site to find photographers. This way, your work could lead to a full-time or consistently paid job.
Connect with organizers of local events
If you know of a local event happening in and around you, connect with the organizer to see if they’d like someone to take photos of the event. Chances are they might be looking for one, and you just landed your next job with your random cold call. Alternatively, these local events are also an excellent backdrop for amazing photos. The fairy lights twinkling, the merry-go-round in the background, and just people walking around create the perfect setup for carnival-themes photos.
Showcase your art on art platforms
Today’s designers, creators, and creatives have online profiles on platforms dedicated to their art. These platforms are also where art enthusiasts, business owners, and art buyers visit to purchase artwork or hire artists to work on specific projects. Platforms such as ArtFire or Saatchi Art enable you to sell your digital downloads and also spotlight your art and work to the masses. There might be someone searching for a scenery photo you’ve uploaded to create a niche canvas for their living room
Make money editing photos
To become a good photographer, you also need to be excellent at editing photos. If you look at online job postings, you’re bound to find photographers looking for assistance in editing photos. This could be another source of income for you, and who knows, you can also become the photographers’ assistant for bigger events. It’s always a good idea to grow your network as you’ll never know where it’ll lead you to.
Make gift cards
People are always looking for fun, unique and creative postcards and greeting cards. If you already have your website or a profile on an art or photography platform, why not put your designing skills to use and create digital downloads of greeting cards and postcards. Alternatively, you can also have them printed and delivered to your buyer’s address. It’s a great way to make and sell things to earn money.
Host a webinar or a podcast
Besides writing ebooks, you can also host a webinar or podcast for ‘how-to’ videos. Youtube is an excellent platform to host your ‘How-To’ videos, and so is LinkedIn. People want to learn new things, and there are also people on the lookout for fresh, new talent. Your videos might do well enough to earn you an income from YouTube videos, or they can also catch the eye of a potential client interested in working with you. Either way, it’s a win.