A common fallacy prevalent around us is that photography is not a well-paying profession! Rather, people actually believe that photography shouldn’t be qualified as a profession at all! Behind these preconceived notions, there lies an argument at the core of it - “Making money in photography is a real time struggle”. However, the only challenge is simply not knowing where to start!
There are innumerable ways in which photography can be a bread-winner for any photo enthusiast. Money can be created by clicking people (Wedding shoots, ceremonies, portfolio shoots, boudoir, portraits, sports etc.) and by clicking things (advertising shoots, travel, architecture, real estate etc.). But every person is entitled to have the resources and brand backing to sustain the fierce competition and poor demand in the real world with innumerable camera owners (Every camera owner can not be demarcated as a photographer!). However, there are other ways as well to passionately swim through the world of photographers and have a decent living out of your passion.
Here is a list of ways that can be a way to turn your hobby into a profession.
1) Participate in competitions! by Matt Lee
With access to over millions of photographic societies and clubs (including travel enthusiasts) in a handheld omnipresent device, the outreach to innumerable competitions is strengthened manifold. Most societies invite entries from potential candidates for their flagship and round-the-year competitions. A pre-disclosed theme (mostly, open to interpretations) or an on-the-spot theme is aired and candidates are required to submit their entries subject to some criteria. This is a fabulous way to earn prizes (mostly in the form of financial compensation) which are just a click away!
2) Sell your prints by Katlyn Giberson
A beautiful photograph is a work of art and there are always people who are fond of art! There are multiple ways to sell your hard work. You can
- Bring your framed copies and sell them at art and cultural fairs.
- Display your work at local art galleries in collaboration with other photographers
- Display your work at coffee shops and patisseries
However, always ensure that the quality of prints are flawless. For which, always get them printed from trusted printing companies like www.zoomin.com . A word of advice: Please avoid clicking people in them because these will be hung in other people’s office spaces or living rooms.
3) Use Online Platforms
It will be wrong to assume that only YouTubers get paid for the views that their videos attract. There are other websites and blogging platforms that are enthralled to pay their users if their posts meet certain qualifications. World Photographers Club, for that matter, is happy to reward its users a dollar for every 1000 views(Also like, shares, awards, votes and more). It is definitely worth a try to go ahead and upload because the sky is the limit!
4) Use a YouTube channel or start a photography blog
Bloggers make money through ads and sponsored content. If you’re an adept writer, another way to make money is to start your own photography blog. There are multiple ways to publish a blog, however, www.wordpress.com is a popular place to start. You can make tutorials, share tips and tricks, or write reviews on all kinds of photography gear and software.
Similarly, you can also make money by starting a photography channel on YouTube. It’s essentially the same content (tutorials, reviews, etc.) but in video form. However, your blog or YouTube channel needs to gain a good following before you can actually start making money from it. Always aim for the stars, because the word IMPOSSIBLE conveys in itself that “I’m Possible”.
5) Do stock photography
Stock photography is the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses.The stock photo industry, which began to gain hold in the 1920s, has established models including traditional macrostock photography,midstock photography, and microstock photography. Conventional stock agencies charge from several hundred to several thousand American dollars per image, while microstock photography may sell for around USD 25 cents. Professional stock photographers traditionally place their images with one or more stock agencies on a contractual basis,while stock agencies may accept the high-quality photos of amateur photographers through online submission.
There are plenty of stock photography websites online. However, do not share your account details on just any stock photographic agency website. Here are some established and accountable stock photography websites: istock by getty images, shutter stock, Petapixel (earlier Corbis by Bill Gates) and Dreamstime.
Here is a link to help you understand the stock photography market and jargons!
6) Become a paparazzo: Bollywood calling! by Zachary Staines
If you live in a place where celebrity sightings are a daily occurrence, paparazzi photography may be for you. Paparazzi photographers are well paid, but their job can also be highly demanding and competitive. Not a commendable option for everyone but it is definitely worth a shot. A word of advice: You must improve your interpersonal skills, invest in the right equipment—you’ll need a high-quality DSLR camera, a telephoto lens, and even a more compact camera to allow for taking photos on the sly and familiarize yourself with the celebrities and the areas where sightings are frequent and unnoticed.
7) Organise your own exhibitionby Soren Astrup Jorgensen
For a photographers, it is always a pleasure to the eyes and a comfort to the heart to fulfill this endless longing of exhibiting his work. So, if you have a theme and resources in mind, this is definitely worth a go! All you need is a decent place where the suitable gentry travels to or is usually interested in (popular cultural centers and community halls). Art appreciation is common and people love to take back home the pieces of art that they like. The lucrative incentive is the revenue that can be generated, but it has to be planned properly keeping the cons(mainly the cost) in mind as well.
8) Freelance for magazines and newspapersby Oria Hector
Contact your local magazines and newspapers and inquire about a possible freelance work. It definitely won’t be a stable job, but it’s a great way to earn some money on the side. Eventually, when you’ve established a relationship with a local publication, you can expect a steadier stream of work covering local events and snapping photos for features and news stories.
However, always ensure that you develop an engaging portfolio to ensure future work!
9) Do gigs as an assistant photographerby Kit Junglist
Almost every photographer needs an aid to help him improve his efficacy. It can be a good learning experience and a good opportunity to earn some money by helping out an established photographer on his assignments, like doing a wedding photoshoot on his behalf.
Just contact any local photographers near you and ask if they need an assistant or a second shooter. Try meeting people (and making friends!) in the local photography community by joining some groups or clubs. Networking is an important part of any photographer’s career, so start building your network now.
10) Start your own venture by Mohammad Nohasi
There are over 7.2 billion minds in this world but no replica of yours! So, the idea that is nesting comfortably in their needs a push. Go out, create something new for your own and for the world to see.
There are no limits to photography as a profession. Not even the sky!(Don’t forget the photos clicked in the outer space)
Written By Shivam Tiwari for World Photographers Club