Every photographer these days knows that making money from your photos can be very tough. With falling prices over the last 15 years, it has meant that photographers have had to diversify in order to make money from their photos. But whilst it is hard to make money from your photography, there has also never been a better time to do so. There are more opportunities than ever for a photographer and if you are willing to work hard and think creatively there is money to be made. So here are 6 ways that you can make money from your photos.
Getting paid to do a shoot may seem like the obvious thing to do. But what most new photographers don’t realise is that you can’t just rely on your select few chosen outlets or companies to hire you. For example, if you are a travel photographer, you can’t just rely on travel magazines for work. There is just too much competition and not enough work to go around. So instead of just targeting the obvious potential clients, try to think creatively about who else might be interested in working with you. For example, as a travel photographer, you can target everything from outdoor clothing companies to hotels and even car and campervan hire companies. This gives you much more opportunities for work.
Sell stock photos
For most photographers, selling stock photos is one of the best ways of making money from their photos. After all, if you have all of those photos sitting around on your hard drive you might as well make some money from them. But don’t be under any illusions, stock photography isn’t going to make you rich and you need a vast amount of images to make any sort of decent money from it. But if you have a collection of images covering a wide range of subjects or areas than it can certainly help you make some additional cash. But do your homework and chose the right stock agency to represent your work.
Look for stories
More than anything these days, what companies are looking for are stories. So a great way to try to make money from your photos is to look for unique stories that can either be told as a photo essay or even as a written story. Again rather than just targeting the obvious travel magazines, look for other companies that would potentially be interested in these stories. You can even do this just on social media for companies by offering to do a story whilst doing the work. Even in this day and age, there are still plenty o “untold” stories or even interesting new angles on already written stories that can be told.
If you have a large selection of photos, then another good opportunity is to sell prints of your work. But make no mistakes, you should treat this as a proper business and plan accordingly. Just putting up a few images on your website and hoping to sell them isn’t going to work. You should create a business plan and look at how you can promote and target potential customers. Needless to say that you also need to take into account your costs and postage and packaging which are imperative to your operating costs.
Contribute to blogs
One of the best opportunities these days for making money from your photos is by contributing to blogs. Whether it’s a tour company, a photography website or even a travel blog, they all present a great opportunity for work. Most blogs require content regularly and so if you can build a good connection with one, then you will be able to get regular work. But again, it’s important to do your research as blogs vary massively in how much they pay. Some will offer to just credit you for your work, whilst others will pay a small amount. It’s up to you how much you are willing to accept as a minimum, but at the very least you should ask for some sort of payment and not work for free.
Look for partnerships
In this age of social media, there are a lot of companies out there that are looking for great content creators to work with. So there is an opportunity to connect with companies that are looking for this sort of thing. The best way to approach this is to first make a list of brands that you admire and approach them with a clear proposal of how the partnership could work. Don’t just try to get freebies but offer them something that is going to be of value to them. Needless to say that if you have a mass of dedicated followers on your blog or social media you will be far more likely to find these opportunities.
These are just some of the ways that you can make money from your photography these days. There are lots of opportunities out there and as long as you are willing to work hard and think outside of the box you too can find ways to make money from your photos. But you have to make a concerted effort to actually get out there and do it as unfortunately, you won’t just get people breaking down your door to offer you jobs.
Photo credits: Kav Dadfar – All rights reserved. No usage without permission. Dreamstime.