7 Ways Photographers Make Money and How You Can Too

A career in photography is probably one of the most popular choices today. There are many reasons for this. First of all, photography has expanded and these skills are required more than ever. Visuals have taken over the world. At the same time, more people are pursuing a career in photography because of the very nature of the job.

This profession allows creative individuals to be just that – creative. Still, it is not easy to become a professional photographer as it requires a lot of skills and business knowledge. However, one of the biggest reasons why photography is so popular is because it is possible to make lots of money in different ways and, today, we are going to talk about those.

Harry Potter Wedding

1. Weddings

Wedding photography is a niche where a lot of photographers end up. It is a unique job that involves catching genuine emotions and memorable moments that most people have once in their lifetime. Given the fact that weddings are all about perfection and pleasing the young couple, there are a lot of requirements, but at the same time, it pays really well.

What’s really great about wedding photography is that you can always find work. People get married all the time and, if you are able to establish a good reputation in this niche, it will sometimes be difficult to fit new customers into your schedule.

2. Online Competitions

A lot of photographers that don’t have stable work or are honing their skills to apply for various online competitions. For example, the GuruShots amateur photo contest is a great way to earn some money, rewards, and gain valuable contacts that can help a beginner climb up the ladder and become a pro.

There are many daily photography online competitions, as seen on this site, and a lot of amateurs, as well as professionals, are able to win lots of money by applying regularly. However, it is important that you also make lots of photos and work daily so that you can have good material to compete.


3. Event photography

Event photography is one of the oldest ways photographers make money, and it still works. Wedding photography can also be viewed as event photography but it has become a niche of its own because so many photographers specialize and work only in that area. There are many other events that require photographers and plenty of opportunities to go around.

Some of the most common events are birthdays, corporate events, baby showers, bar mitzvahs, and so on. Your salary will be based on your experience, reputation, and portfolio. This kind of niche requires a long list of contacts and a good business approach.

Kate Moss wedding dress

4. Stock photos

If you have a vast portfolio of photos and you don’t know what to do with them but you need to make some money, a good option to consider is selling them through stock photo websites. There are a lot of media and marketing agencies, as well as various business organizations looking to purchase stock images and, in most cases, they go to these sites to find what they are looking for.

The process is quite simple. Create an account and upload lots of images so that you can sell as many as possible. The commissions aren’t great, but if you sell a lot of photos and constantly add more, you can create a stable source of income.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Paparazzi

5. Paparazzi photos

Paparazzi can either be freelancers or employed full-time for certain agencies. When working for agencies, you usually have a fixed salary and bonuses for great photos that sell well. If you are a freelancer, you have the option to cut out “the middleman” and sell photos yourself. That way, you end up with more money.

However, going solo requires a lot more work and carries higher risks. Even though paparazzi get paid really well, this is a very challenging style of photography, a guide to making a career out of it can be found here, and only a small number of people can really do it.

6. Product photography

Advertising has always been an industry favorite for photographers. One of the niches in advertising is to become a product photographer. In this line of work, photographers are required to create images of products and present them in the best light possible. It also requires good photo editing skills so that you can expose the right features and make the images appealing.

Couple Recreating Photos from their Wedding Day

7. Travel photography

A lot of travel agencies require travel photographers as full-time employees so that they can photograph destinations, their events, tours, and tourists as they are traveling. On the other hand, you can also make money working for various government agencies that travel around the world, media outlets, newspapers, etc.

Consider these 7 options and see where your skills and preferences fit best. You can even try multiple options simultaneously and see where you hit it off.

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