Making Money in Photography

"You do not have to be a professional to start making money in photography"

Whether you are a beginner, hobbyist or professional photographer, it is possible to make money with your camera.

When most people start thinking about making money in photography, they commonly think that they have to set up a studio. While setting one up can eventually be very profitable, it requires much more overhead than just the camera equipment. There are building leases, advertisement, utility bills and more.

There are many more avenues to making money with photography that cost much less and are not as risky.

Once Secret Ways of
Making Money in Photography

Insurance Documentation - Many insurance companies hire freelance photographers to photograph damages to a property or vehicle in order to better determine liabilities.

The best part about this avenue is that all you really need to know how to do is use a point and shoot camera, and the photographer usually gets paid per job as a subcontractor. The more shoots you are able to do, the more money you make.

Not very artistically challenging but very easy to do and offers good income even part time.

If you are interested in this route, John Carroll has written a great book that covers all the ins and outs of the business. To learn how to get started, who to contact, and read more about what his book offers, Click Here!

Stock Photography - For a bit more of a challenge, but also more competition, stock photography is becoming very popular.

Many companies, often online companies, require quality photographs that they can use and manipulate for advertisement purposes. Instead of hiring photographers they purchase these pictures from an online broker's stock. These brokers host photos from many different photographers that specialize in different styles and techniques; they offer a one stop shop for the buying and selling large quantities of photographs.

The key to this game is quality, quantity, and knowing what the industry wants. It takes a while to get started making money in photography selling through brokers, but once the photos start selling the profits start to snowball.

The good thing about getting into selling stock photography through online brokers is the low initial investment and the encouragement of creativity. Some new photographers get frustrated because they do not see commissions soon. My advice is to be patient, research what the industry wants, and keep taking pictures.

Follow this link for more stock photography tips

eBay Product Photography - eBay is huge. Many prominent sellers are small mom and pop businesses. They go to yard sales to find good deals and then sell the product for more in the auctions. They extent of their photography experience is using that point and shoot camera that they take with them on vacations.

These sellers, and even small time sellers, and finding out that good product photography makes a huge difference in the final sale price... This is where you come in. It is easy to set up a controlled lighting environment for product photography. The great thing is that a light box or tent (controlled lighting environment) does not take up much space and can easily be set up in a garage or spare room.

This takes a little preparation and startup money for advertisement. I would start off with controlled lighting booths that cover three major areas: reflective metal objects, dolls and cloth, and wooden objects. The point is to have these different booths set up so that minimal lighting corrections will be needed. Practice shooting different items in each booth to get a general lighting arrangement and setting that pertains to the particular booth.

Once these are all set up and you have some nice example photos to show potential customers. Take some ads out in the paper or Thrifty Nickel. It can be pretty basic:

"eBay Product Photographer - Make more in the auctions with a professional product photo." (then give contact info and general pricing).

After doing it for a while, setting up and taking the shot should only take about 5 minutes and you can easily charge $5 to $10 per shot (you want to make your money in quantity). This is great for a part time business and can even become a full time gig in medium to large cities.

I hope that this has opened your perception up to different ways of making money in photography. If a studio is still what you want, the ideas above can be very helpful in generating some startup capital.

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