31 Ways to Make Money as a Photographer

Hello humans!

I'm currently surrounded by chickens in Australia and I'm so freakin excited today to be talking to you guys about this topic!

It's kind of like a pep talk mixed in with a video and it is 31 ways of making money through photography (the amount of times I hear people asking how to make money through photography, it almost blows my mind!)  

If you have pretty good skills, there are endless amounts of ways of making money through photography.

If one of these ideas doesn't trigger your mind to think of business opportunities, hopefully the next one will. So let’s get started!

How to make money as a photographer

1. Wedding photography
2. Boudoir Photography
3. Maternity Photography
4. Infant Photography
5. Baby Photography
6. Kids Photography
7. Family Portraits

- Do you like the order that I put all that in? ;-) Do you see what I did there?

8. Animal Photography
How many people do you know that are obsessed with their pets? Imagine how lucrative that business is if you take just photos of the pets or photos of the pets and the owners together in funny ways for example. Oh that would be a hit!

9. Instagram photography
I just want to bust a little myth here because on my account right now I have 360K people following me. I have made very little money with my Instagram. It is my platform that makes the absolute least and I think a lot of people out there are gonna be shocked by that.

Of course you can monetize it, but the reason I don't is because I don't want to be selling to you guys environmentally destructive brands that are just fast fashion. A lot of the brands that have the money to pay for Instagrammers is fast fashion, and I'm not ok sponsoring that.

But I even know people that have millions of followers and aren't necessarily environmentally-conscious, that still don’t make a lot of money from Instagram.

10. Concert Photography
11. Festival Photography
12. Nightlife Photography

I used to work in a place when I was a bartender at 21, where there was literally specific photographers at nighttime that came in on the party nights and they would photograph everyone, to upload to social media, so people could tag themselves.

Baby Sorelle!

Baby Sorelle!

13. Special Niche Photography
For example sports photography or underwater photography, which can be sold to diving companies or scientists also need underwater photography. My friend specifically does pole dancers photography and my other friend does vintage retro photography, very specific niches.

This is the space where it can just go on forever - it can be anything you want it to be! It could be chickens with candles! You could have chicken candle photography! You don't know what people love, if you find a twist it can work.

If you like surfing, maybe it's photography of custom surfboards. It can be so specific and the more specific you get the more specialized you become,  the more you can charge because you know exactly how to take the absolute best photos in that niche.

14. Business Photography
This can include photographing stores, the offices or the staff members at the business. This includes restaurants, clothing stores, cinemas, yoga retreats, yoga centers, gyms - everyone needs photographs.

15. Real Estate Photography
There is always a house going on sale somewhere.

16. Business Events
17. Selfies

You can make them advance selfies and have an Advance Selfie University! That's mine :-P  

18. Social Media Photography
This is another endless niche that you can just go after and make it your own. As a business owner, in the past having worked in a marketing position many times, I know that businesses need endless supply of social media images in order to upkeep their social media and marketing. You can't have the same image go out on repeat.

You can even get a bunch of businesses on a monthly retainer and you just take 20 to 30 photographs for them so they they have one a day that they can post in social media. 30 photographs of their stores, of their staff, of their products, it is endless.

19. Headshots
This is for models, actors, business people, which can also be marketed as LinkedIn photography.

20. Editing and retouching for other photographers
I used to edit photographs before I even had YouTube and I was editing from Iceland for Australia - complete opposite ends of the world, and I was getting paid for it.

how to make money as a photographer

21. Stock Photography
But from the research I've done it seems that there's not a huge amount of money in this. I might be wrong!

22. Photography Assistants
This is what I was when I first started photography, and even though I had little knowledge of photography, I was already getting paid. Research your favorite photographers in the area and be like “hey, I'm real keen, love to help you out!” and most likely if you set up a good relationship and you guys get on, it's gonna be a great team and that's what it kind of comes down to.

As a side note, when I started photography, I offered my work for free, I did not want to take money because I was afraid that I was gonna actually suck so bad. I did do a little stint working for free but then it upgraded into money making pretty soon after that because I showed my work.

23. Event Photography
Think exhibitions and expos.

24. Teaching photography online
One way is YouTube, otherwise it's just selling straight through your website, selling ebooks, having your course on an online teaching platform such as Skillshare.

25. Local Paper
The newspapers always need to visually represent what is happening in the area, so journalists are always necessary

26. Photo Tours and Workshops
There are two ways that you can be doing this - one is through having a social media following like myself. I have run tours before successfully, they've all sold out. That's just one way to market them.

The second way - my friend has basically zero online presence, he doesn't actually do social media, he doesn't get it, he's very much a typical photographer, technically very skilled and he promotes his workshops just through online marketing and he always sells out his workshops and he runs a lot of them all over the world.

You're responsible for these people once they arrive so don't screw them over, do the right thing, organize the greatest, most kick-ass photo tour or workshop that they will ever have, that there will be, that they will be bragging to their friends about. You can charge a great price for that and travel the world while doing this as well.

how to make money as a photographer

27. Selling prints online
This should only be done when you're really good.

28. Fashion Photography
This is for designers to sell their clothes online and for magazines for example.  

29. Product Photography
Again this is an endless source of photography income because the world we live in right now means that companies need lots of photographs of their huge stock that they turn over.

Basically anything that needs to be sold online needs a photograph for it, just know that this is a very very fast-paced environment, you need to get the photos done as soon as possible so they can put them up online as soon as possible and start selling them ASAP.

30. Advertising Photography
These are the images that you'll see on Billboard's for example or on brochures. When I worked at an advertising company, one photographer for example kept on reselling the exact same image to this car company that he took a photograph of. ONE photograph that he was making about 20,000 or 30,000 dollars a year I'm pretty sure, just for them to use that photograph on all their advertising material! That is an endless amount of income for you. You have to be ridiculously good, but that is absolutely an option as well.

31. Paparazzi
Ew, but if that's something you're into, that is another source of income.

I hope you enjoyed this list, if you did please leave a comment and let me know which was your favorite way and which one feels like it's the right thing for you to do. Don't sit on these ideas, they're not gonna happen themselves, you have to take action now.

Until next time humans, peace from me and the chickens!