It seems that a lot of people want to become photographers. Especially in the age of the high powered capabilities of the iPhone, people don’t necessarily need a high quality DSLR to succeed and make money with photography. Everyone can call themselves a photographer.
So what are the things that make you stand out? How are you going to make money with your photography? What is it that makes you want to become a photographer in the first place? They key to understanding the secrets of the pros, is a lot more simple than you would think, and learning the skills necessary to become a photographer professionally is very doable if you simply know where to look.
Below are some of insightful tips to guide you on your path to making money from your photography. There are no get rich-quick schemes here. The key to everything here is to improve your skill by trying new things, and taking thousands upon thousands of pictures. However, having the right learning material and resources at your side to guide you in the right direction, can really make all the difference in how you progress, how your images come out, and ultimately, how you make money with photography.
1. Mastering Your Craft
Before you can even dream of making tons of money online with your photos, you have to master the basics. If you are completely new to the field, and most of the dials on your new DSLR are scary and intimidating to you, then I would recommend the Learn and Master Photography course. It’s incredible at giving you the detailed knowledge and understanding of all the factors that go into making a good photo, and how to become a photographer. Learning the basics, such as lighting techniques, composition, exposure settings, etc. are so essential to success, that you really won’t get very far without a solid foundational understanding. Even experienced photographers can benefit immensely from this course, as it has to much to offer beyond just the basics. The lessons go into much more useful detail about how to take a great photo, by introducing more advanced techniques that will open up new ideas for taking photos. Eventually and with the proper development, you may be able to take fine art landscape photos like these.
Another amazingly cool resource is in the realm of trick and special-effects photography. This kind of photography is in high-demand because not everyone can do it. Even professional photographers wouldn’t know where to begin. You definitely have to learn the specific skills and techniques to make these kinds of photos possible. Once you do however, you have a highly-marketable skill set to be able to hire out for specific shots. You can also sell these to stock photography agencies, as we will discuss later.
2. Pick Your Speciality
Probably the most common photography job that people think of when they think of professional photographers, are service-oriented. Namely, wedding and event photography. Although it requires a particular know-how, this is an incredibly lucrative business, and most people are willing to shell out insane amounts of money to ensure that they have beautiful pictures to remember their special day. It also takes a good amount of work to build up a sizable business, but this is definitely an achievable and profitably photography job to work towards.
Similarly, you can chose to specialize on your own personal area of interest. For example, sports photography is huge, as is fashion photography. There is also a large demand for high quality food and product photography. If you pick a niche and get really good at it, you can definitely make a living as a speciality photographer. Starting your own photography business can be hard however, especially if you don’t have a good understanding of what it takes to succeed. That’s why I would recommend this resource that explains how to easily start up & market a profitable photography business.
3. Selling Your Photography Prints Online
The idea of hosting your photos on a professional photography website seems intimidating and expensive. So what do most people do? They just post their art to Facebook and Instagram. Maybe you have a Flickr account, and it makes you feel warm and fuzzy because other photographers can see your work. However, if you are serious about making money with photography or getting a photography job, then you have to have your own website. It’s just that simple. You won’t get taken seriously without one.
The good news is that this is much more simple and affordable than it used to be! There are two website hosting services that are designed specifically for photographers that are really amazing. SmugMug let’s you design clean and beautiful pages for your website, with absolutely no experience required. They have a large collection of incredibly crisp themes that are pre-built for you to enjoy, or you can fully customize every page to your heart’s content. It is so much more than just a place to store your photos online, it is a platform for getting your pictures noticed. Getting your photos noticed online is another challenge all onto itself, and requires learning the secrets of SEO for photographers, social media, and other forms of online marketing.You may see me recommend this site a lot, but it’s only because I love it. I’ve stayed up late into the night designing my personal photography site to look cooler and cooler. You can also check out a more in-depth review of SmugMug here.
A great alternative to SmugMug is Photoshelter, the other top photography hosting website. They both have very affordable monthly subscription options, which is a real relief if you were worried that to have a beautiful website would cost thousands of dollars to design. Both sites allow you to have e-commerce options. Which means that people can buy your photos directly from your website, and you don’t have to do a thing – they just mail you a check! They also do great work at SEO, making sure that your photographs can be found in online searches. This is crucial if you are trying to market your work online. Both of these amazing options also have free trials, so they are definitely worth your time to check out if you are at all serious about your craft.
A third great option for creating your own photography website would be Wix website builder. Although less focused exclusively on photography like Photoshelter and SmugMug, Wix is a great platform that allows you to completely customize and create your own beautiful website with ease. It is a simple drag-and-drop interface, so no coding is required, and you can build a site design entirely how you envision it. You can check out a more in-depth review of Wix websites here.
4. Photography Jobs
Believe it or not, there actually are photography jobs online that you can apply for right now, that have a good chance of making you money in a short period of time. This of course presumes that you have developed the necessary skills, as mentioned in tip #1. No one is going to pay you for doing crappy work. Having said that, you don’t have to wait ten years to become a professional photographer, and start earning money with your photos. There are companies hiring photographers right now that need quality work from quality talent.
Remember how we mentioned iPhones, and how everyone is a photographer now? Well it turns out, that some companies actually want to pay you for those photos you take on your phones! Out of all the methods and avenues listed on this page, this is probably one of the quickest ways to start putting cash in your pocket right now for the photos that you already have taken.
5. Sell Your Photos to Stock Photography
The method of selling photos to stock photography agencies is a really solid, quick solution to make some money from your photos. However, unless you are doing this on a very large, fully-automated scale, this method only really works to supplement other areas of income. With that caveat out of the way, ImageBrief is a great company that will buy your photos to sell as stock photography. You can also check out the stock photography page to see a list of other recommended companies that will happily accept and pay you for your photos.
If you’re looking at all this stock photography stuff and are not really sure where to begin, there is a really helpful guide available to get you started selling photos to stock agencies.
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