How you can make money online as a photographer| 18 top ways

“I’m a photographer and how do I make money online as a photographer?” This article answers that question and highlights different ways on how you can make money online as a photographer.

Capturing beautiful moments is so thrilling to you but having a camera, computer, and love for taking pictures can be so boring and saddening if you don’t have enough cash. The beauty of mother Earth is so much that you can’t let an image slip by you. Even though doing what we love brings its own rewards, it is still very much okay to earn money doing what you love — taking photos. But there’s more than the usual career paths like wedding photography. Thanks to the internet, there are different options available to you than ever before.

That being said, though you may enjoy using your camera, you also probably wonder how you can make money online as a photographer.

Can you get paid doing something you love? Can you make money from crafts?

Yes!

So let’s see how you can make money with photography online.

#1. Sell Stock Photos

make money as a photographer

Stock photography grew rapidly during the internet age, and it’s still an applicable way of making money as a photographer. These stock photos are used by websites, bloggers, publications, organizations, companies, advertising agencies and more. You can sell stock photos of any category — to progress or gain ground, try to take photos on topics, themes, issues and concerns that aren’t yet well covered.

Shutterstock, Getty and iStockphoto buy images to sell on their platform.

Their terms and conditions are available on their websites. You wouldn’t have to “be the salesperson”, nor do you have to create a website to showcase your work as they make it very easy for you since they do all of the marketing.

#2. Edit photos

This time, it’s not taking photos, but there are chances of accumulating Photoshop skills either through practical experience or through learning via an online Photoshop course.

We know that not everyone is skilled at photo editing and this is where freelancing comes in.

You can sign up on Fiverr.com as a seller and create a gig by editing people’s photos.

Whether you remove the background, change the eye color or remove wrinkles, there’s plenty of work for you.

In the case where you’re as good with words as you are with the camera and want to showcase your photos, you’d be wise to combine the two and create a blog. You can earn money through advertising and can also generate additional hype for another income avenue like an eBook.

You can write posts sharing your new photos and even tell the story behind them on your blog, share a link to your YouTube videos, your portfolio and share your product links.

Plus, you can also build a name for yourself, meet new people and have complete creative control over your craft.

#3. Create Digital Products

You can take your photos and create amazing templates out of them for others to download and use as well.

People make photo cards, calendars, brochures, save the date cards and more.

Visit Etsy and browse through the photo templates to inspire you. 

#4. Create an Online Photography Course

Online courses are very popular these days. Most people love to learn online and because it can be done from home and for the most part, it’s affordable.

If you’re a skilled photographer, you can teach others photography. Checkout Udemy or Skillshare and see the courses they offer to inspire you.

#5. Sell Prints

People still love prints. You can take beautiful photos of the beach, mountains or any other scene and sell them on your website, Etsy or through social media.

#6. Sell a Photography eBook

Writing and selling an eBook is another way of making money as a photographer by sharing your photo. Before deciding on a topic, check out to see what’s already out there. Platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble have made it possible to sell your eBook in popular online stores. ‘How to’ guides do well, but you’re only limited to your imagination.

#7. Join Photo Contests

Even as a beginner, your skills are good enough to win a photography contest. It’s not only experts who join these contests, after all. Usually, in these photo contests you will be competing with an eclectic mix of experienced and expertised photographers of different levels. 

You have nothing to lose. Photo contests can help boost your confidence and make you gain some exposure even if you don’t win any of the cash prizes.

There are tons of photo contests out there, and the grand prizes can go as high as a few thousand dollars which is not bad at all. Here are some to check out: 

#8. Do Photography Tutorials on Youtube

I watch lots of Youtube videos and there are chances you do too.

Anytime I want to learn something or get inspired, I browse through videos to see what I can learn from others.

You have a tip or idea about photography –  is it taking photos, using specific equipment or creating a product out of photo? You can start a channel and create some shorter educating tutorials to gain an organic following.

It’s definitely a great way to compel people who appreciate your work to sign up for your photography course, visit your blog or even purchase the products you’re using.#

#9. Sell images from your own website

Selling more photos from your own website can help you keep more profit for yourself. If you are looking for a platform, Photocrati and Photoshelter are popular choices or options.

#10. Sell photos to magazines

Magazines need a selection of different high-quality photos. They are several publications you can search for to pitch to online. But here’s a tip, take a look at the magazine first to get an idea of the type of images they publish.

#11. Create Photo Products

make money as a photographer

You can take tons of photos of flowers, sunsets, and animals with beauty in them and create products out of them. Let’s say you’re a dog lover, you can take beautiful photos of your pet and make things like:

  • calendars
  • wall art
  • canvas bags
  • apparel
  • iPhone cases
  • coffee mugs
  • stickers

Visit Teespring, create a free account and then use your photos to create some of the products listed above.

There are tutorials and articles in their training center. They’re a print on demand company, so you don’t have to stock merchandise

Printful is another great option. You can sign up for a free account and start creating stunning print on demand products like t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, phone cases – you name it (anything).

#12. Sell Photography Products and Supplies

Do you have specific photo products you enjoy using? You can sell them.

It may be a new camera, photo editing software, a tripod, lens or lighting. But if it’s definitely something you use and enjoy, you can sign up as an affiliate on places like Amazon or Walmart and include your affiliate links to these products in your videos and blog posts.

#13. Work as a photography tutor

You can work one-on-one as an online tutor to teach me photographers the basics and critiquing their shots. You can as well tutor locally, find leads online, work for a tutoring company or even create your own tutoring website or YouTube videos

#14. Create a travel guide

Perhaps you don’t like writing but love travelling. So if you have a lot of photos of one location, from either your travels or your neighbourhood, you can create a travel guide to sell as an eBook. Be sure to include photographs of all the must-see locations along with a few travel tips.

#15. Sell your photo on a greeting card

With a little bit of prose or a joke, your images can definitely make excellent greeting cards. You can then pitch to card companies, or create and sell them yourself on platforms like Etsy.

#16. Build a following on social media

This option best works well combined with diverse ideas to promote an eBook, for example. Popular Instagrammers sometimes get paid to take photos of a product and share it with their followers.

#17. Sell fine art prints

If your photos are wall-worthy, you’d consider selling them as fine art prints on your own website. Building your own website will be a bit more work if you have little or no web design skills, but may also pay you off more in the long run.

#18. Start Your Own Niche Photography Business.

Finally, here’s the last and most obvious way to make money as a photographer on my list—starting your own niche photography business.

Building a website that offers a diverse range of photography services is a good means to make money, but if you are really serious about your career and want to earn more money, you need to find your niche.

If you enjoy taking photos of animals, start a pet photography business. Do you love traveling? Then get into travel photography.  Just be sure to keep it focused on one or several related niches, as it helps you increase your credibility and build your reputation for being an expert in that particular niche.

You may be asking why? Think of it this way: a client wants to hire a photographer for his wedding, he definitely won’t hire a photographer who does real estate photography, headshots, and the occasional weddings here and there. Instead, he’ll hire a photographer who exclusively specializes in weddings.

The point here is that people need a photographer who does not only know what he/she is doing but also has the required skills and experience to be the best person for the job.

So, if you want to start your own photography business, stick to one particular niche—and be the best at it.

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