The main reason why a lot of people become photographers or take up photography as a hobby is because they love cameras, photographs, editing photos and everything else that comes with this job. Being a part of this industry means to enjoy every single day of work, to never stop polishing your skills, to learn about nature and human nature, while most of your friends spend their days at work writing on Word or filing Excel sheets. Yet, their days at their office are always paid, while your art cannot be used to pay your bills. This is the question that everyone wants to be answered: how to transform your hobby and passion into something profitable?
Photography is a very saturated industry, with tons of photographers and “photographers” who offer their services in every field, genre and price range. However, with the right amount of passion and dedication, there is simply no way that you will not manage to make enough for a living, at least a mode one when starting. Here are some of the best ways you can make money as a hobby photographer.
Sell printer or digital copies of your photographs
Everyone loves well-shot photography. In the past, the availability of art was only limited to some small circles of companies or individuals. However, in these modern days, a lot of companies are offering high-quality shots at a very good price, from just a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. But why should you use a reseller when you can easily sell your pieces all by yourself? There are many sites available online where you can make your own portfolio where visitors can freely browser your photos in very high quality, and they can choose the one they love. You can then offer them a printed version on a canvas or a digital license.
Enter photo contests
There are a lot of competitions out there that can reward you with equipment such as camera, stand and lenses, they could also pay you cash, or even give you the chance to work on your own project (funded by them). Even if you do not manage to win, participating in photography contests is always a sure way to make new connections, and to have your website and work shared on external websites. It is good both for exposure and your SEO which can bring in more clients.
If you are looking for photo contests, check out yournal.com.
Sell your photos on stock sites
If you have a big enough portfolio of photographs, you should try selling them on stock websites. These platforms gather thousands and millions of pictures and then re-sell them to marketing agencies, companies and media. In return, you will receive a commission every time your work has been downloaded. The amount of money you receive per download depends completely on the platform you have chosen, the type of license you have agreed upon and a lot of other factors. Keep in mind, that the prices for starters on these types of websites are usually low, so if you want to make some serious money, start focusing on quantity rather on quality.