Making money from your photography: a guide
People often like to make jokes about those who choose to pursue a career in the arts, as they are stuck in lucrative but mentally exhausting jobs.
However, those who choose to be innovative and hang tough during lean times can turn artful endeavors into a career.
If you have skill, it can be done. If you are lacking in certain areas, you can teach yourself to close those gaps.
John Kleinheinz Fort Worth has taken quite the liking to photography as a hobby, especially after he started enjoying considerable success as a hedge fund manager.
While he does it for fun, he has improved dramatically over time. Some of the shots he takes are so brilliant, he could hawk them for cash if he got wiped out tomorrow.
If you have an aptitude for snapping pics, you too can make a living from photography. In this article, we’ll share various ways you can take this skill and monetize it sustainably.
1) Sell photos through a third party
This is the most common way photogs make a living, especially in the beginning. They snap photos from locations around the world, or in their studio creating scenes that are currently in demand in the stock photo industry, and they upload them to platforms with a watermark overlaying it for security purposes.
While competition on common marketplaces can drive prices down to the point where it can be a struggle to support oneself at times, once a photographer develops a name for themselves, they can found their own website.
At this point, they can charge premium rates based on the quality of their work and their reputation, allowing them make a better living.
2) Take photos for media outlets
Once your name gets out there, it becomes easier to work with mainstream publications in the news media.
However, even smaller magazines and papers may be willing to pay you for your work if you can demonstrate your competency by showing off past projects.
Once you get a few high-profile placements under your belt, going this route can magnify your reputation exponentially, so don’t shy away from established players because they are ‘dying’ in the era of new media.
3) Work clubs and weddings
If you are looking for a quick and potentially lucrative way to build up your portfolio, try working club nights and weddings during the summer.
Some couples will pay in the high hundreds, and often, into the thousands of dollars for a wedding photographer that will capture the happiest day of their life in stunning detail.
Working nightclubs may not pay as much, but the money is decent, and the side benefits of this workplace may be attractive to you.
4) Start a blog
This may not involve selling your photography in a direct manner, but it is still a great way to make bank indirectly, if you are prepared to be patient.
Take the time to build up an audience that is in love with the photos you take, document the day-to-day life of a photog, and answer any questions they have through the comments section and through follow-up posts.
Soon, you’ll have the chance to earn money by selling gear through affiliate marketing tactics, e-books teaching essential skills needed to be a pro photographer, and through sponsored content that you negotiate with partners.