Photography is a lucrative business, and a competitive one. Now days everyone wants to be a photographer and escape their 9 to 5 job for the freedom their camera offers them. This article will introduce you to some of the many ways it is possible to make money through photography. Modern cameras make it possible to capture great images with little photography knowledge. While most professional photographers will cringe at the thought, the fact still remains that it is possible for amateurs to make money through their photography. 

Ways to make money with photograhy

There are numerous ways to make money through photography. I am aiming to create detailed articles about each method listed below. This list is not definitive and there is likely many more ways to make money through photography. Here are some of the comment ways that I have come across:

  • Stock photography: Stock photography is probably one of the more common forms of generating online revenue through photography. While stock photography is extremely competitive there is always a chance that your photographs will have market appeal and sell. Keyword trending is a great way to determine the types of photographs that are selling as well as reading stock sites forums. Often when there is a particular demand site administrators will post of requests for different types of photographs.
  • Wedding photography: Wedding photography is a very lucrative market and a highly competitive one at that. While many couples will chose the professionals with the most experience there is always couples out there that just cant afford the best of the best. This is where an amateur photographer with a decent DSLR and flash can make a great side stream of revenue. Wedding photography can pay great even for first time photographers. While it may be a daunting prospect to captures someone’s special day there are various articles on how to cover weddings that will definitely help you capture the right images. Just be sure to price your services accordingly as you don’t want to compete with the professionals just yet.
  • Night club photography: Night club photography has become a popular way for select photographers to generate revenue through their photography. Night clubs are often on the lookout for new photographers and offering to do the first job for free is a great way to get your foot in the door. Night club photographers can expect to earn around $50 an hour at most popular clubs. This is based on my experiences in Australian night clubs, international rates may differ.
  • Event / sports photography: Event photography is another via option for revenue generation through photography. Often if you can find a niche you are interested in an opportunity to get paid to cover it will present itself. Say for example you love skateboarding and begin taking photographs at skate parks and local hot spots the opportunity to sell images to magazines or online sites may present itself. It is important to consider that while your local magazines may not be looking for photographers, international magazine may value contributions from other countries skateboarding scenes! Finding your niche and getting involved in the scene is the key to success in event photography
  • Family/children’s portraiture: Family portraiture and children’s photography is a great way to generate revenue through photography. While it is important to adjust your rates according to the quality you can provide there are always families looking for family portraits to suit their budget. Being flexible with price and the amount of photographs you are willing to offer is the key to success in this area. Many professional photographers will charge a lot for just a few edited photographs. While they may be of superior quality, it is possible to offer your clients all your photos on disk for a lower price, often clients will value the sheer quantity to choose from and keep as apposed to a select few of high quality. 

What you will need

This is not a definitive guide to what gear you will need to make money through photography. Some people will make money with less gear and others will need more gear to help them excel. Here are some of the basics to get you going with your photography dreams:

  • DSLR – these days even a entry level DSLR will enable a photographer to capture great images
  • Wide angle and zoom lens – it is possible to pick up a lens that has wide angle and zoom capabilities otherwise two lenses is a great start. Often entry level SLR cameras will come with a kit of two lenses
  • External flash – in most cases the on camera flash just won’t cut it. Invest in a speed light to boost the quality of your photographs significantly. This is arguably more important than purchasing lenses.
  • Energy! Photography is not easy and to make money in such a competitive industry you will need a lot of energy and motivation. Just remember, if others can make a living out of photography – why can you?