Capturing the world around, through the lens of a camera is a passion and a hobby for many. Photography is a powerful medium of expression. And, when this passion can earn you money and recognition, it gets even more exciting.
There are a few tips and insights that help a budding photographer to make his interest for photography monetarily lucrative. These tips can open a can full of opportunities to earn money for you to do what you love the most.
A crucial point to be noted here is that a photographer, however excellent he is can only benefit when he can effectively market himself. There may be hardships and struggles along the way, but knowing a few ideas and methods to present your talent to the world will help you in your journey.
The best bet for a photographer, just starting out, is to sell his photography services to cover events, to do portfolio shoots and the like.
- Photographing events: Covering events like birthday parties, meetings, club openings and weddings will give you enough publicity. If you work responsibly and if your work is good, then this method of selling services can be very lucrative. Before you venture into event photography, there are a few points that need to be kept in mind.
- Charge a reasonable fee, even if you are starting out. Do not cover events for free. Event photography requires concentration to capture the best possible moments and is a big responsibility. They are of great importance to the client and hence accountability from both sides is essential.
- Improve your communication skills and understand the expectations of the client thoroughly and deliver accordingly.
- Be prepared, and rent equipment if you don’t have top of the line stuff to cover events.
Also, try to intern with a professional when you are starting out to learn a few knick-knacks and handy tips that can come only with experience.
This type of work requires skill and a unique, aesthetic sense of presentation. Portfolio photography is remunerative and need not always pertain to fashion.
Portfolio photographs can be taken for models, real estate, pre-and post-wedding shoots and many such ideas. Understand the requirements of the customer and the purpose of the shoot. Get yourself ready with the camera equipment, lighting and location.
The best photographs from the shoot can also be a great addition to your individual portfolio.
If you have a passion for photography and are in the habit of clicking a lot of pictures, then another way of making money is to sell the best photos that you have clicked, beautiful moments that have been captured for posterity and scenic landscape photographed forever.
Selling prints of the best photos from your portfolio, is probably an easy method of earning money and a low cost one too.
But, how does one go about selling beautiful prints? Keep a sale. Get a gallery, a café, a resto bar or restaurant to display your photographs in exchange for a commission on sales.
Apart from these, the easiest way would be to sell the photographs online through your website or a third-party seller who manages all your marketing work and pays you commission on the sales. But remember that the market is very saturated so make sure your work is top notch.
There are a couple of online sites that facilitate licences and prospective clients can directly view your body of work and pay to use the photographs and albums, thereby earning you money.
Do free-lancing for local magazines and newspapers. Sell your photos to the local media, and if your work is good, then you may be called repeatedly to cover several local events and happenings.
Sell stock photos
Stock photography is an online trend of digitally displaying photographs and facilitating a sale of these images for creative and commercial purposes.
There are several stock photo websites which do all the legwork and display your photographs. You should tag your photos with suitable titles so that, their visibility increases and people can easily find your photos and buy them.
Stock photography allows you to reach out to prospective clients from across the world, instead of simply waiting for an opportunity to knock your door.
Stock photography can earn you decent remuneration if you take wonderful photographs and have plenty of them in different categories. You may not earn much if the choice and variety of photos you provide with is limited.
Stock photography is a very competitive field. There are a few points to be noted if you want to make cash selling stock photos.
- First, create a great portfolio. Investing time and energy in building a diverse and robust portfolio will go a long way in earning you that extra buck. Your portfolio should be a canvas for your creativity and technical expertise.
- Second, stock photography relies heavily on quantity. The larger the number of photos on display, the greater the variety that you provide to the prospective buyers is equivalent to the money you earn in stock photography.
- Third, choose a stock photo site whose terms and conditions are suitable to you.
“Microstock” photos seem to be the order of the day for online photo platforms. Microstock websites charge buyers for the photographs displayed on their portal and pass on the payments to the respective photographers who shot those images.
These sites display individual and small sized images too and hence are ideal for amateur and hobby photographers and beginners too. Once you are acknowledged as a valued contributor, some of these sites may not even charge you for displaying your work. Instead, they charge a percentage for each sale.
Some of the very popular stock photo sites are Shutterstock.com, Fotolia.com, Gettyimages.com, iStockPhoto.com, Shutterpoint.com and the like. It’s a challenge to earn cash selling stock photos. The wait may be longer and harder. To be found in scores of images displayed on these sites is a gruelling test.
The demand is for good-quality content among small businesses and advertisers. Your photographs need to tell a story and clients are very good at scouring the vast heaps of images and photos and come up with the best content suitable for their requirement. Therefore, the better the quality and quantity of your photographs, the better the prospects of earning money through selling stock photos.
A good photography website and the prospect of money-making
The importance of a slick website or blog to display your work cannot be underplayed. Setting up a website that shows off your body of work gives prospective clients in different parts of the globe to utilise your talent.
Your website is like a virtual store displaying the images that you have captured. This is a convenient and economical way of selling your photographs to a large number of clients across the world.
Your own photography website means you can market and sell your work at your own terms and find prospective customers outside of the people you already know and work with. Creating a good photography website and making it financially lucrative has some pre-requisites.
Give a professional touch to your website by buying themes from open source website creation tools like WordPress and customise it to suit your requirements.Software options are available in plenty to build your own website and blog. These themes are like providing the framework for a structure whose content can be customised according to individual preferences.
If you can afford it, then you can also go for a professional designer to create a functional website that is tailored to suit your photographs.
Have a clear understanding of online terms like domains and web hosting and the like. A catchy domain name is nothing but the name of a web address that sends prospective clients and viewers to your website.
The domain name takes them to the correct server and hosting refers to the place where your website and the files therein are stored. Some technical understanding of creating a website for your photographs will help you make an informed choice. This may also help you in sustaining the website in the long-run.
To start a website, you need to buy hosting with a custom domain name. Avoid free services or free hosted sites.
Choose a theme or template that is suitable for your photos and business and customise it as per the requirements. Pick on a few quick setup options to increase the visibility of your website.
Apart from building a website, create a blog to go with it (on the same domain). A blogsite is ideal if you wish to provide business information and update your virtual with new content.
A blog is a medium of expression to show-off your latest work, give news and information about your photographs.
A website to showcase your photography talents and a blog giving out the latest updates can certainly improve your prospects of earning money from photography.
Do all that it takes to provide customers with the information they require. These factors usually determine the conversion of general viewers into clients who are willing to pay money for your work.
The importance of sharing photographs in social media and its capacity to earn money for you
Social media visibility is extremely important for a photographer. In today’s highly competitive atmosphere, the relevance of your work holds good when you are consistently visible to your viewers.
Good photographs along with clever marketing via social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other such social media gives your work the exposure to reach out to your target clientele.
Thus, social media is an invaluable means for increasing your business. A few tips to utilise this powerful medium can make you get the best out of it.
Social media options are plenty. Choose the right platforms. Decide whether you want to focus only on visual content (Instagram, Pinterest for example) or would like to have written content for your photographs such as Facebook which helps in user interaction.
Choose only those social media platforms which are beneficial for your line of work. Maintaining too many accounts is an arduous task in the long run. Evaluate your options every now and then, and see how you can achieve better results.
Create an attractive profile which is detailed and informative.
Once you are done with choosing the right social media for displaying your photographs, then the next important task is to shoot or edit photographs and images that are suitable for that platform.
Images when adapted to suit different media become more visually appealing and may quickly capture the attention of your niche audience.
If you want your work to be noticed, then be consistent. Your prospective viewers and eventual clients will be interested only if they see regularity, consistency and high quality in your work.
The more consistent and serious you are about your work, the easier it becomes for the audience to notice your work.
If you wish to provide written content along with visual content, then engage and interact with the viewers. Get to know what they would like to see and learn to value feedback.
This will fetch brownie points and improve your visibility. Good quality content and engagement with the viewers and clients is the key to gain recognition in social media platforms.
Social media has millions of members across the world. Brand your images to prevent duplication.
Social media platforms give photographers a good opportunity to increase their selling options and help them earn money.
Other ways to monetize your photography business
- Teaching and conducting photography workshops is another way of earning money. This comes only with experience.
- Blogging on photography can earn you money from sponsorships and advertisements.
Photography is a very competitive and demanding field. However, for those who love it, it’s an immensely satisfying line of work.
A picture that is shot beautifully lives on long after its maker and acts as an indicator of its times.
If your images have this ability and are of high quality, then the above-mentioned tips and tools may help you make financial gains from photography.