Freelancing allows you to pick and choose what you want to work on and how you want to do it. Of course, it also means there aren’t guarantees, but that’s the risk you take for the rewards of more freedom. Photography is a competitive field. It always has been, but that’s especially true now.
You are a photographer because you enjoy the art and craft of photography. You are a professional because you’re good enough for others to want to pay you for your skills. Now enjoy being a freelance photographer!
The businesses are reached online, and the business cards are our websites, online portfolios, and social media accounts. There are many ways to make money through photography. Depending on your personality and what you are interested in, you can monetize your skills in photography.
1. Sell Stock Photos
A stock image site, holds your uploaded image and video files and people and companies come to the site to buy rights to use your images. With multiple images numbering into the hundreds of thousands, buyers have a lot to choose from. If they choose one of yours, you get paid. Individual payments with most stock agencies are relatively low, but they can add up over time.
The fun thing for you as a photographer is that you can shoot whatever you like. As long as it’s in demand, your images, of literally anything, have a chance of getting chosen.
Some of the stock image sites:
2. Recommend Products. Earn Commissions.
If you enjoy using specific photo products, you can sell them. You can sign up as an affiliate through places like Amazon or Walmart and include links to these products in you videos and blog posts.
"The Amazon Associates Program helps content creators, publishers and bloggers monetize their traffic. With millions of products and programs available on Amazon, associates use easy link-building tools to direct their audience to their recommendations, and earn from qualifying purchases and programs."
3. Photography Teacher/Mentor
Help people learn new skills, advance their careers, and explore their hobbies by sharing your knowledge. Earn money every time a student purchases your course. This would involve planning, prepping and marking.
Online courses are extremely popular these days. People love to learn online. It’s convenient, it can be done from home and for the most part, it’s affordable.
Online live classes
If you have the ability to teach, work one-on-one with new photographers as an online tutor teaching the basics. You can work for a tutoring company or create your own website. You can also tutor locally and find leads online.
A good teacher can make a good living, whether it’s from group classes or one on one sessions.
Consultation and image critiques
New photographers may be able to tell that their images aren’t the best, but aren’t sure exactly why. Offer to review photos with tips for improvement for a small fee.
These critique sessions will benefit beginning photographers looking for more basic information to veteran pros wanting career advice, guidance and direction.
Another way to share your photo knowledge is to write and sell an eBook. Look to see what’s already out there before deciding on a subject. Platforms through Amazon and Barnes and Noble make it possible to get your title in popular online stores.
Not into the 'how tos'? If you’ve got a lot of photos of one location, from either your travels or because you live there, you can put together a travel guide to sell as an eBook. Include photographs of all the must-see locations along with a few travel tips.
Whenever people want to learn something or get inspired, they browse through videos to see what they can learn from others. If you have a tip or idea about photography – whether taking photos, using specific equipment or creating a product out of photos, you can start a channel and create some shorter tutorials to gain a following. It’s a great way to send people who appreciate your work to sign up for your photography course, visit your blog or purchase the products you’re using.
Review photo products - Most of us check product reviews online before buying, especially when choosing technology or other expensive products. If you have good technical knowledge about photo products, why not use it to prepare your own product review videos?
The photo industry relies on selling and upselling technology, equipment, and different accessories. Cameras, lenses, and flashes are the most common products you can review for money. Keep in mind that some people who successfully do photo product reviews might not be great photographers themselves. But their specific technical knowledge makes them eligible to make a living with professional reviews.
- YouTube ads. If you get a lot of views, advertising can be a good source of income. Read more about earning money on YouTube.
- Affiliate marketing. Add affiliate links in the video description and get a cut of the sale. For example, you can even review the products you already have with the Amazon Associatesprogram.
- Arrange paid sponsorships. Brands are looking for knowledgeable people to review technical products. Your first reviews will probably be unpaid and will cover the equipment you already have. When you already have a follower base, you can contact companies via email or Twitter to initiate paid sponsorships. Or, use sites like Famebit to find sponsorships by category.
Tips to help you start with mentoring
Follow classes from excellent photo tutors. Search for a topic inside the course platform and filter only the courses with the best ratings.
Perfect your portfolio and Instagram profile. Aspiring students will probably want to check your own work before subscribing to your class. Make sure your website or Instagram profile looks convincing before you launch your class.
Prepare enticing preview videos. Your potential students will check out your preview videos before buying your course. Make sure they include valuable information, but don’t give away too much—leave them wanting more.
Come up with your angle. Don’t just say you teach photography. Decide if you are a wildlife photography specialist or a staged photography guru. Maybe you are more into the technical aspects of photography or all about the art side of it.
4. Sell Your Presets
Many photographers in the past have personalized Lightroom presets that they use to edit their photos, so why not monetize them? Instagram influencers have been selling custom Presets for years, whether it’s on their own websites or via marketplaces like Etsy or FilterGrade. Instagram is their biggest sales tool. Sharing your presets with your followers is a great start to getting your product out there. Even if you only have a modest following, you can encourage buyers by offering your followers deals on your presets.
If you already have a website set up to present your photography - as a portfolio or pre-existing sales tool - you’ll want to add an online store to sell your presets.
3. Photog retouching service
Some of the most popular freelancer platforms include Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer.
One of most recent popular editing services is restoring:
Bring back your memories from old or damaged photos, including discolored ones, with option to colorize B&W.
4. Sell products
The number one best place to sell photos online is on your own website. That’s because:
You can set your own prices.
You have 100% control over how to display your photos.
You can set your own terms and conditions.
If your photos are wall-worthy, sell them as fine art prints. Building your own website may be a bit more work, but may also pay off more in the long run.
If you dont have website, you can auction your images on eBay or Etsy. You’re not limited to just selling prints and canvas. Put your shot on:
Print on demand companies:
5. Take product photography photos
The growth of the internet means a growing number of online stores, and those stores need good images of their products. Pitch websites that operate locally, or work with a company willing to ship products to you. Snap photos for local businesses websites. Photos speak volumes, and so do bad photos. Drop off business cards at local businesses and let them know you’ll snap magazine-worthy shots for their website.
6. Enter Photography Competitions
Photo contests is one way to make money that most people seem to forget about. It doesn’t take long to enter photo contests. Even if you do not end up winning, it will get your work out there. If you’re lucky, your work might even get critiqued.
Whatever the prize is, it’s worth a try because your work will likely stay up on the competition’s website. So even if you don’t win, you can still attract followers.