I have a lot of friends who have taken up photography over the past year. While they are getting great at using their cameras, many of them are still stumped on how to make money as a freelance photographer. Just like any other hobby or skill, it can be difficult to get your foot in the door of the business side of things.
Today we will discuss ways in which freelance photographers can make money. Photography can be a great side-hustle and can also blossom into a full-time career.
Can You Make Money As A Freelance Photographer?
The short answer to this question is: Yes! There are many creators out there that make money with freelance photography.
From an online business perspective, is a niche just like every other topic. Every audience and market segment has its own sets of wants and needs. Creators and business-owners can come up with ideas to solve the problems of their audience.
While the amount of money will vary based on your monetization methods, it is possible to make money by building an audience around your photography skills.
Before selling your photography services, it is best to first learn about your audience (or potential audience). Every audience can be broken down into segments based on a variety of factors. This includes obstacles, finances, expertise, and interests.
When it comes to getting paid for freelance photography, a few basic audience segments come to mind:
People Looking For Photographers
This one is a no-brainer. You have a camera and the customer needs someone to take photos of them. This can include parties, weddings, photoshoots, and many of types of consumer needs for photography.
People Who Want To Learn Photography
Outside of people looking for photography services, there are many people who are looking to take up photography for themselves. This creates a need for people to teach photography and give their opinions on cameras, lenses, and other types of photography-related gear.
People Who Need Stock Images
People don’t just hire photographers to take pictures of their friends and family. There are many people who run businesses or websites that are constantly looking for images to add to their projects.
People Who Want Photography As Art
While photography has functional purposes, it can also be used for artistic expression. There are people out there who purchase prints of photographs as art pieces for their homes and offices.
RELATED: Grant Hosler Of GT Visual Productions Talks Video Production And Photography
5 Ways To Make Money As A Freelance Photographer
1. Find Paid Photography Gigs
There are always people looking for professional photographers. By getting paid gigs, you can make money while increasing your presence in your surrounding area.
To begin finding paid photography gigs, keep an eye on local Facebook groups and newspapers. You can also talk to other photographers in your area about methods they use to find paid gigs.
2. Start A Blog Or Website
Starting a blog or website can have multiple perks when trying to make money as a photographer. A website can work as a home base as a way to show off your portfolio or offer your paid services.
By starting a blog, you can also write articles and tutorials for people who want to learn photography. As your blog’s audience grows, you can leverage the traffic into sponsorships, affiliate deals, advertising, and other monetization methods.
PHASR uses Bluehost for all of our web hosting needs. Click here to get started!
RELATED: How To Start A Blog In 8 Simple Steps
3. Start A YouTube Channel
Much like starting a blog, starting a YouTube channel can help you teach others how to grow their photography skills. The audience you build on YouTube can be leveraged into other paid opportunities. If your audience grows big enough, you may also be eligible for YouTube’s advertising program.
4. Sell Stock Images
Selling stock images is a great way to make some extra money without having to attend weddings or other events. You can take pictures of anything and sell them to businesses who need photos. For example, a recipe website may have a need for food photography.
There are many stock image websites that accept photos from photographers. Some of them pay commission based on sales. Others do not pay, but require attribution for its users. This helps you can get the word out about your photography. You can also reach out to businesses directly to see if they have any photography needs.
5. Sell Your Photography As Art
Selling photography for artistic purposes can be a very fulfilling experience for photographers. Art-based photography can be personally fulfilling as it allows you to express yourself.
That said, this may be one of the more difficult ways to make money with photography. In order to sell your photographs as art, you need to find someone who sees the same subjective monetary value in your work.
If you want to start selling photography as art, I would recommend talking to local art galleries and other artists in your area. They may be able to show you the ropes and help you find opportunities.
6. Offer Paid Photography Lessons
While you can find almost any information on the internet, some people love one-on-one lessons when learning a skill. When it comes to photography, this could include in-person lessons, or digital lessons by using Zoom or Skype. While video chat-based lessons may not be as good as hands-on lessons, it does open you up to potential customers outside of your geographic area.
What Is The Best Strategy To Make Money As A freelance photographer?
The best strategy for making money with freelance photography will differ from person to person. Everyone has different skills, interests, and lifestyles. What money-making methods work best for one person may not work for another.
Before committing to a specific style of content and monetization, take a look at your own wants and needs. Burnout is a very real obstacle for people who make content or run online businesses. Picking a strategy that does not work for you will ensure that you get quickly burnt out and stressed.
At the same time, feel free to experiment and try new things. You never know what you may like in the future, or what works best for your business.
Do You Want To Get Paid To Be A Photographer?
We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to make money with freelance photography. Were there any methods or strategies that we missed? Let us know on social media!