Easy Ways to Make Money from Photography


Technology has changed the photography industry, making it much “friendlier” to all. Without taking age or formal education into consideration, anyone can now upgrade their photography skills through various workshops, references on the internet, or even photo posting experience on social media such as Instagram.

With more digital cameras flooding the market, it is easier than ever for anyone to have their one primary camera – from professional DSLR camera, mirrorless camera to, of course, smartphone camera that has become more sophisticated than ever.

If you are interested in making some extra money by utilizing your photography skill, check out some of these tips:

1. Practice Photography Skill

According to photographer Rizki Syahmanda from Eight Motion Photography, the process one has to go through before becoming a renowned photographer is not as easy as it may seem.

Based on his observation, one can master their DSLR camera technically after 1-2 months of intensive practice.

“You can join a photography club, i.e. university or public club, or photography classes, and learn the basics of photography,” he suggests.

After becoming better at it, you can find specialization, e.g. by taking pictures of models, playing with compositions in food photography, street photography or portrait, landscape photography, and so on.

2. Make Photograph Portfolio

In order to sell your works, you need to have a portfolio containing the photographs you have created solely for this purpose or, in other words, not from lucky shots.

There are some ways to build your portfolio, i.e. by participating in photo hunts, or offering free service to take photos at company events, birthdays or weddings.

Get honest feedback by posting the results at behance.net or VSCO.com. From there, you can start looking for clients and "sell" your skill with more confidence.

3. Sell Stock Photos

There are various sites that accept photo contribution from public, i.e. iStock, 123rf, Fotolia, Bigstock, 500px, etc. If you are looking for a local site, you can try submitting your photos on ayofoto.com.

The photo collections sold at these image bank sites are usually quite comprehensive. You can find photos of cityscapes, architectures, human expressions, animals, still life, or food.

You can also make illustration photos, with models acting out some roles or expressions. These photos would be valuable for publications on media and advertisements.

Payment is usually made based on the number of downloads, or with profit sharing and royalty system.

4. Work as a Holiday Photographer

Today, going on holiday is not just about refreshing or relaxing with family, but also a chance to show off on social media. It is a good opportunity for you to offer your service as a holiday photographer.

One of many companies that offer this service is Sweet Escape, which provides its services in 195 countries, charging around $400 for a 2-hour photography session.

Who knows, this could be a good way for you to explore new inspiring locations while at the same time enjoying a nice break – thanks to your photography skill!

5. Use Photographs as Decorative Elements

Your photos can increase the value of an artwork or writing. One of the examples is photos in calendars that are distributed every year and needed by organizations and companies for branding purpose.

Photographer Jerry Aurum is someone who promoted his works by doing this trick at the beginning of his career. As mentioned in his book and blog, he used to collaborate with a small shop at his campus to sell calendars filled with his photography works – all of them were sold out. After that, he sent several calendars as portfolio samples to advertising agencies and companies. Long story short, a couple of days later, he landed a photography job for a company.

You can also use your photos as a decorative element on postcards, greeting cards, et cetera, and sell them online or through several established online shops.

6. Teach Photography

If you are lucky enough to have enrolled in a famous photography course or feeling unique for mastering a specific photography technique that is not easy to pick up from any tutorial class or tutor, you might be suitable to become a tutor yourself!

By being a photography tutor, you can help other people who have the same interest but find it difficult to develop the skills by themselves. You can offer your service on sites like seekmi.com, where you can match your student’s schedule with yours.

7. Work as an Event Photographer

If you have the experience of taking pictures at your company’s or your relative and friends’ events, you can start offering such service through your friends who run or manage an event organizer business.

As an event photographer, you should not only be able to take many pictures during an event, but also capture beautiful moments and present them in unique compositions.

If you have more time to get photography gigs, you can offer your service through multiple sites, i.e. freelancer.com, carijasa.co.id, or modelmayhem.com. The last site would be able to connect you with modelling communities looking to photographers.

Read also: How to Jump-Start Your Career as a Freelancer

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