Making money from photography is something all photographers enjoy doing. Whether you’re professional or amateur there is always scope to make money from photography.
Everyone knows putting all your eggs in one basket is risky. the sensible thing to do is diversify. Luckily, photography offers many different forms of income. You will find in the beginning that income from each area will be small, but in combination, they can add up to a significant sum. The advantage of diversification is also protection because if one income stream dries up you have others to fall back on.
The sheer number of photographers has created a glut of very good photographs available to stock agencies. Likewise, many photographers are proficient at photographing weddings. That has led to prices for photographs and services falling. So what’s the solution?
Here are some ideas and ways you can make money from your photography.
Submit to Stock Libraries
This is a great way to earn a residual income that will last for years. There are two main forms of stock image library; those known as macro stock and microstock. Macro stock sells images at a much higher price, so images need to be unique; whereas microstock sells images at a very cheap price but at high volumes. Which is better for photographers? There are pros and cons to each, though common to both is a relatively low percentage of the royalties actually paid to the photographer. In both macro and microstock you will need to get model and property releases in a lot of cases.
Sell Your Work as Fine Art
Selling your photos as fine art is yet another path to go down. You are looking to produce work that people want to hang on their walls, and that has a message. Once again good marketing will help you to succeed in this area. The following is advice you can follow to enhance your chances of success in this area.
- A Project – Go with a themed project. Show your friends this work digitally to get feedback on the interest in this work.
- Promote – Make sure you have good fliers, posters, and perhaps a magazine feature on your work.
- Print Size – Its great to print large, but will those large prints sell? You could end up with a lot of leftover frames that you will need to store.
- Merchandise – Not everyone will buy the frames you have on display, even if they love them. Smaller items such as postcards or a coffee table book are great ways to diversify your income from an exhibition.
Online Art – Have your work available to buy online through a website.
This is similar to stock photography only you will get paid for the products that a company sends you. You will need to have great knowledge of lighting setups to photograph the items in a clean way, ready to be displayed on website or in magazine catalogues. It’s possible to do this as a freelancer, you may also apply for a job with a professional company specializing in this. There is always a need for product photographer to shoot jewelry, for e-commerce websites like amazon, 360 product shots for fashion apparels.
There are many ways to make money from photography, the above ideas that you could pursue. Though touched on with product photography, food photography can also be very lucrative. Have you used stock photography before? What’s your experience of micro and macro stock agencies, what’s your top selling photo? Is there any advice you’re looking for before you look to make money from photography? Please share your experiences with us in the comments section below.