If you love taking photos and have got an excellent eye for a fabulous shot, then making money from your hobby would no doubt be a dream come true!
There are more ways than you think to monetize your photography, from offering your services to an interior designer to selling photo products online.
While not everyone will be able to make a full-time living from it, you may just find yourself with a lucrative little side hustle on your hands!
Here are the 8 best ways other keen photographers make money from their snaps.
1. Upload to Stock Libraries
Submitting your photos to a library of stock photos is a great way to earn some easy commission. Typically, you’ll receive a set amount for each image sold.
There are two kinds of stock libraries: those dealing with macro stock and those selling microstock.
Examples of macro stock companies include Getty Images and Alamy; to submit to one of these platforms, your images must be unique and exceptional: they can sell for thousands of dollars!
Many photographers make money by submitting their images to micros stock companies, like Shutterstock or Dreamstime. These photos sell for around a few dollars each, of which the photographer will get a small royalty.
2. Set Up an Online Store
With web builders so easy to use and relatively cheap, getting a website up and running to display your work and offer a selection of, for example, framed prints and originals for sale is a task that could be completed in the morning!
Alternatively, consider setting up a shop on a platform such as Etsy, which is geared toward small businesses and artisan sellers – you’ll immediately have access to a huge potential client base. You can take the opportunity to network with some of your fellow shop owners, too!
3. Start a Blog
A blog is a great way to get your work out there and seen by the wider world – include a link to your online store, so visitors can easily check out a print they’ve seen and loved on your blog.
Posting regular, high-quality content is the key to creating a successful blog. As well as using your blog as a portfolio, consider posting occasional how-to guides, such as advice on taking family holiday snaps, to keep things interesting and your subscriber numbers increasing.
4. Wedding Photography
This is big business, and your photography skills could earn you a lot of additional income if this is a route you’d be interested in pursuing.
It’s not for everyone: taking professional wedding photos is often extremely pressurized, and a lot of background and prep work is involved. Not to mention that the weekends will be your busiest times.
If you’re considering this avenue but aren’t sure if it would be right for you, how about getting some experience by working as a second shooter at a wedding or undertaking some engagement photography sessions?
5. Combine Travel and Photography
Suppose you love to travel, too, and are a talented writer. In that case, you could be perfectly positioned to make money selling your travel articles, with accompanying photos, to magazines, newspapers, or online platforms.
There’s a significant demand for travel-related content right now, so if you can take photos and write well, you could be uniquely positioned to make a career from your talents.
There are other potential outlets for your travel snaps, too: travel agencies, tour operators, or the local press might all be interested in taking them off your hands in return for payment.
5. Real Estate Photography
Another way to monetize your photography hobby is to contact a local interior designer or estate agent to offer your services. Before doing so, create a great-looking portfolio, and establish your rates – you may need to do market research for the latter.
Attending networking events is often an effective way to get new clients on board – or at least have the opportunity to hand them your business card! Look for events being held near you in the real estate or interior design niche, and get the word out to all your family members, friends, and colleagues that you’re open for business!
7. Sell Photo Products
You don’t need to limit yourself to selling prints, canvases, and the like. Think outside the box: posters, clothing, stationery, mugs, and other souvenirs emblazoned with your images are a fantastic way to make money from your photos.
The platform Sellfy is explicitly designed for this reason and even offers built-in print-on-demand services so that you can produce and supply the products as they’re ordered.
8. Go Freelance
Alternatively, why not offer your photography services on a freelance platform like Upwork? These types of platforms allow you to create a profile and portfolio so that you can match up with potential clients.
You can also browse the freelance jobs listed and apply for any that catch your eye. Freelance photography jobs could include developing and editing images, product photography, image manipulation, and curating a wedding photo collection.
Get Snap Happy and Start Taking Some Pics
As you can see, there are loads of potential ways to make money by doing what you love; photography is a skill, and if you’ve got the talent to take consistently great snaps, there’s a great chance that someone will pay for them.
So, whether you fancy trying your hand at travel photography or have been inspired to upload your photos to a stock library, this could just be the start of the adventure!