How to Make Money with Photography

How to Make Money with Photography? Making money with a camera can be particularly tricky. Photographers need to choose their professional direction to earn income from their business. Sometimes they do not know what to want and exactly how to start.

Photography does not have to be only a hobby. In fact, it’s a great way to earn extra cash.

There are a significant number of ways to earn income for a photographer. A lot more than you could imagine. So, for example, did you know that there is a career called ‘technological photographer’?

In the era of high technology, you can make high-quality photos. Even from a smartphone! Then immediately process it in a particular editor that can improve the picture.

But how to make money on the Internet selling photos?

What methods exist, whether you will need a camera and how much is the average salary of a photographer?

Here there’s a list of online and offline ways to earn extra money with photography. With ideas ranging from a few hours to part-time projects.

Photo Stocks

There are many different stocks where, by uploading your photos, you can earn some money. There are many sites to sell pictures online.

Smugmug, Etsy, 123rf, Fotolia, Bigstockphoto, Shutterstock, iStockphoto, Zenfolio, Redbubble and many others. For each one, the more quality photos, the more deals. If you like commercial photography, this is great for you, since it is the best-selling type of picture.

Photo Stocks offer many opportunities but take a higher percentage of the sale. Photo Stocks allow you to place your photos, choose sales guidelines and print your work. Then you can send to the buyer. Those services usually will not promote you. Thus, for successful sales, you need your audience.

Photo Banks are very similar in their structure to Instagram. On Instagram, anyone can see all the photos of one author, leave feedback and interact with the author.

The main difference from social networks is that it consists of an exchange of money. But how much can you earn on this?

The average profits will be 500-1000 dollars monthly if you do this for more than six months. Revenue depends on factors such as the photobank, photos management, photos quality. Increasing the number of pictures is also a good idea so you can sell more.

In general, you must have more than 500 quality photos on your account. About 50 new ones should appear every month so that earnings would grow upward.

What is the primary advantage of Photo stocks?

  • A large number of potential buyers.
  • They can buy you one photo many times.
  • Over time, a client base appears.

A few techniques for photographers to earn money on photobanks:

  • Study in the photobank most popular topic, as well as the type of image: drawing, photo or illustration.
  • Be sure to use photo handling with Photoshop. It enhances the quality of pictures and helps to compete with other photographers. If you do not know Photoshop, we recommend you to watch video programs on Youtube or Udemy.
  • Publish often and many photos, on more than one topic. That may gather the mark customers around you.

Edit other people’s images

Do you know that you can generate money for editing other’s images? That is possible offering the service on retouching of photos. Also providing uniqueness of pictures.

The earnings from such method are not less than the creation of your photos. Thus, consider this technique for working on the Internet.

Photo retouching

To begin earning retouching photos, you need to be able to work well in Photoshop. You also need to have a small portfolio, at least from 3-5 works.

Find clients via freelance exchanges like Fiverr and Upwork.

Create unique pictures

For search engines the uniqueness of the photos is essential. So if the site has original images, then it has more chances to be in the top results.

Thus, webmasters often like to buy unique pictures on different exchanges.

How to make an image unique?

  • Switch the picture (improvement by 50%)
  • Image compression (30% improvement)
  • A watermark (10% improvement)
  • Rotate the picture 10 degrees (improvement by 10%)

But each picture requires an individual approach. Your goal is not to repeat what other people do. You aim to be creative and create unique images. These figures do not have to have copies.

Creating icons and pictures

Another way to earn income concerns the creation of images, banners, or photographs. To do this, usually, open a design studio room.

That is, build a website, fill it with their portfolio of works and start advertising.

Average price for studio services:

  • Creating 25 icons – $ 15
  • To pull a static advertising campaign – $ 25
  • Logo creation – $ 50
  • Dynamic banner – $ 100
  • A set of advertising photos – $ 200

The basic earnings of such studios are 3 000 to 12 000$ monthly. When such a studio works several years, so your business will pay back.

Sell picture printings

There are various ways of selling printed pictures. Print on canvas for a more professional look, or make budget options for those who plan to spend less.

Display your works in shops or at exhibitions. Having hard copies of your photos can be useful. Regardless of whether you started selling your work or looking for such opportunities.

If you are photographing in your studio room, post your prints, in a large format. Your customers will notice the photos. Such large-format printing will prove the work that you can do by increasing sales.

Up-sell can bring big money. The larger the format of imprinted pictures, the higher the revenue. To be sure that the print quality is excellent, check the image size and quality.

Direct sales

Concentrate on human deals if you feel the interest to the nearest audience. Sell in your city, university or place of work.
Local coffee shops will be happy to decorate their walls with your photos for a percentage of their sale.

There are benefits for both edges. The institution receives a free decoration, and your potential buyers see your work.

Image Booth Services

You can find an unlimited amount of activities and options if you go this way. Including parties, weddings, corporate meetings, and events.

Providing such a service may not be the best option for a novice photographer. The artistic opportunities here are few, but this is the right way to make money.

Portrait party

The idea is simple. Invite friends, bloggers, colleagues, and customers to your studio. Ask them to bring a couple of friends. You may also install this concept in your living room or with your friend, or in any other place of your choice. Capture portraits the night time away.

You can also think of a show with entertainment and food. Later you can offer to buy portraits or order a photo session.
Printed photos as a gift can also be an excellent way to thank for the time you spent.

These images will serve as an example of your work. Later other people can see your work, and you will expand your circle of customers.

Photographing in nightclubs

Photography in nightclubs will help you to get many skills that are necessary for paid work. If you’re new to picture taking, want to earn extra cash and gain experience at the same time, this is your option.

Even though the payment is not significant, but in the end, you can get a decent amount, if you take a few parties weekly. It will help you get such outstanding quality for the photographer as confidence. You will interact with a significant number of people at the same time.

Becoming a photographer in a nightclub is easy, you only need a flash. Cheap adobe flash versions do not work with ETTL. You will need to learn how to operate it in manual mode, giving you an entire idea of how the display works.

Running the screen is something that is important if you want to get a better paying job.

Participation in competitions

There are several contests for photographers with different prizes. Try to look for those that offer a cash award, and take part in them. If you take photos, then you should have a profile for involvement in tournaments.

Spend about one hour per day looking for and downloading photos for participation. This choice can be your favorite if you do not have a great deal of free time. But remember, this notion does not assure your success and is an unstable way to earn money.

Photos for public media

The genre of social media photography is new. But this will not mean that it is unrealistic to generate income on such pictures. This way of obtaining money is a real bomb.

People who collected subscribers on sociable platforms pay money to photographers. They do that for the sole purpose of being able to share pictures with other members of the media community.

Companies like Mercedes-Benz, Sony, Nike, and Vogue send professional photographers to distant countries. Then, they make an array of photos for advertising and develop the reputation of the brands. Often with only one smartphone.

But do not underestimate the work associated with such activities. These photographers accumulate an audience before they start gaining. They need serious time, persistence and commitment to collect the audience.

If you enjoy social networks and applications, you might well have excellent opportunities.

You can go to the site of the agency Tinker Street. It presents the task of many famous photographers from internet sites. There you can watch breathtaking photos and copy the way they work.

Aerial photography

Aerial photography for the needs of topography has existed for a long time. Now the creation of photographs taken from a great height has reached a new level of quality. Professional photographers became available for photography with the aid of drones.

Several companies produce drones, and they have different techie characteristics. The management of these unmanned aerial vehicles does not need extended training. Nowadays, it is almost automatic to take flight and make pictures with a drone.

This direction of photographic art is currently experiencing a period of improvement. Paying less than what a mirrorless camera costs, you can create great photos and videos.

This genre becomes more and more known every day. Not only among photographers, but also among customers. Its popularity is gaining momentum. You can photograph real estate properties, concerts, and people surfing. The possibilities are endless!

If you have always loved RC, then take pictures and video of flying drones.

Birth Photos

Birth photos are some of the most amazing pictures a client ever receives. The demand for such images is increasing.

Photographs of the first minutes of a person’s life need a different awareness. You need a lot of stamina and commitment.

These pictures support the purest, most sincere expressions of human feelings and emotions. Love, surprise, and joy are what attract people in this type of portrait photography.

If you want the path of Birth picture taking, you’ll be able to try yourself in this involved genre.

Moreover, it is becoming more popular. A photographer who knows to capture the most intimate feelings of people is gold valued.

Fine art and landscapes

When it comes to such things as wedding photos or real estate photos, it is clear that you can do the job. You capture events, ideas, objects and provide the customer with pictures and data.

But for landscaping photography, you need a different approach to making a profit. Panorama photographers make their money by selling pictures or creating photo albums.

No-one hires landscape photographers to shoot and have a photo. Landscape photographers do it themselves, then market the images.

Photographers working in the style of fine art do the same. Either fantastic picture artists who take photo art pictures in order. Or landscape photographers to photograph particular landscapes.

But most often the work of such professional photographers takes time. It goes to the customer, not by straight paths. Designers of the art of painting and landscape photography usually use other ways. It takes time and a long way to profit from their work.

Wedding photography

Wedding photography is the most profitable and stable niche of the photographic market. You make relationships on a regular basis. Almost all newlyweds want a memorable day to remain not only in their storage.

One day of work at the wedding can bring more money to the photographer than every other method.

The entrance threshold for the wedding photography market is low. The base of potential customers is inexhaustible. Especially if you have many acquaintances aged over twenty.

Here some advice if you plan to engage in wedding photography:

Do not do it for free

No matter who your client is, find a price that will suit both of you. The profession of a wedding photographer is a lot of work and a huge responsibility. You will continue to work on photographs which will be of high value to the client. This job is worthy of payment.

Find a mentor

Of course, you would like to do your projects as best as you can, but if this is your first wedding, then you are not ready. There are always a million things you need to know! It is best to learn them in practice.

Find an experienced wedding photographer with years of professional experience and follow him.

Take the equipment for rent

If you start, then most likely, your fleet of photographic stuff is not enough. In a wedding photography, technical equipment is essential. To get high-quality wedding photos, you’ll need equipment from top-end rulers. This fact will not imply that you have to invest several thousand dollars in the first wedding.

There are various places where for only a couple of hundred bucks you can rent any camera equipment. For instance, you can lease the Nikon D600 and 24-70mm f / 2.8 for less than $ 200 for five days.

Communicate more

Make contact with the groom and bride. Understand desires and objectives of who, what and in what form they want to see in their wedding album. The better the relationship, the better photos will be.

Property Photography

The private real estate market gives the photographer an opportunity to earn money. Agents need the house photos to sell it. For example the façade, the interior, and even the garden.

Establish the price for your service and adhere to these figures in negotiations. The average price for this type of photography depends on the region. So before you set a bet, try to find out the sale price range for your area.

A few ideas for setting a cost:

Fixed rate

Photographing the facade of the home is the same kind of work, you can establish a fixed price for it.

You need to have an irreproachable reputation for demanding a share of the sale. In that case, ask for it!

Variable rate

Set the bet depending on the cost of the object to photograph. When photographing a shack at the price of fewer than 50 thousand dollars, expect a smaller fee. Getting rid of something worth more than a million dollars can bring you higher fees.

An essential plus of this type of picture taking is that the photographer does not need a lot of equipment. Mirror camera, wide-angle lens, and tripod, in most cases this will be enough.

Stock Photo

To enter the stock picture taking market is a difficult task. The industry is robust for beginning photographers on entering the market.

People look for and buy those photos that should help them in offering their goods or services. Keep this in mind when you work on pictures for sale.

To sell photos through the stock can become a source of income for you. Some people earn good money with a stock image.

Artistic Photography

Sale of artwork photos is the most challenging way to make money. The competition is high. The market runs by plenty of professional photographers trying to sell their work.

Three things to think about before you start:

Form an audience of viewers

People hardly ever buy photos of an unidentified writer. If they even heard the edge of your ear about you, the chances of selling pictures grow.


The best way to start earning by offering photos as items of art is to show people your work. Also, create a community of admirers of your imagination. You can do this through your Facebook page. Quality is critical!

Sold uniqueness

How to Make Money with Photography? Sold uniqueness! Your photos shouldn’t only be of high quality. There has to be something in them that will allow you to stand out. Recognizable author’s style will help you to sell your fingerprints to users.


What are your thoughts? How to Make Money with Photography? Do you agree with what we have included on our list? What prompted or amazed you from this list? Do you have questions about ideas?

Let us know what you think!

Creating, editing and enhancing images is a lucrative sphere on the web. It does not need you to buy expensive hardware.
It is enough to have a computer that can create and process images in Photoshop. You will spend less than having a decent camera.

With a good camera, you may do an offline business that will bring a high income as explained in that list.

This list is, first of all, a great way to start a discussion. Earning money as a photographer is not easy. When we have more ideas on how to turn our photos into revenue, the task becomes much more relaxed!

James Heidel

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