March, 14
by RT

10+ Ways to Make a Side Income from Photography

10+ Ways to Make a Side Income from Photography

10+ Ways to Make a Side Income from Photography

Freelance photography

Becoming a freelance photographer is a very popular side income option being capitalized on by most people now. A lot of individuals - as well as businesses - are looking to avoid high photography costs by seeking freelancers who charge less. However, there are some drawbacks to being a freelancer. Persons hardly consider an online business as professional therefore finding serious clients that are willing to pay the asking price can be difficult. Many are quick to associate think “cheap” when they hear the word “freelancer”. A more important point of concern is trusting the client to pay in full after the work has been delivered.

Starting an online photography business

Outside of these concerns starting an online part time photography business is relatively simple; find a great site, set up a solid profile and watch the money roll in. The difficulty comes with establishing firm income streams on a consistent basis as there are millions of persons around the globe looking to do and doing the same thing.

Here are some ideas that can be quickly implemented in your business to ensure its continuation and to hedge against most competition.

 Teach Amateur Photography


Even among the ranks of amateur photographers, there are the unique few who have the talent to educate and inspire. Having a proven method or set of methods coupled with a very personable tutor is enough to keep clients in the rotation and referring others to your services. In looking to build a course, organization and delivery are key components. Therefore design a course manual or curriculum and have each student following with each planned lecture.

Focus on the Hot Spots of Town and become a Social Media Marketer


If there is a particularly trending club, bar or chill spot, consider approaching the organizers of the location and offering to shoot for them. Due to the sensitive nature of how a business wants to portray itself, be sure to get permission before shooting at that location. To ensure success, you must create iconic shots of people having a great time at that location. Add even more value to the equation by offering to place them on social media at a charge for marketing and promotion reasons and use that as a platform to getting repeat and new business.

Create Diet Shoots

While a person’s day may seem empty from the outside, everyone is usually busy with their own lives and our society has learned to thrive in spite of a very busy lifestyle. Offering smaller shoot packages ensures that both yourself and the client can have the best of both worlds. An example is to offer a 15 or 30-minute shoot for $50-$100 at a tasteful location during their break of lunch times. This will limit how far out a client will look for a location and you will be in and out in no time and you can book multiple shoots for a day.

Sell Photos Online


Web sites such as SmugMug, Shutterstock and iStockphoto all offer as much as 85% royalty payout on each accepted image that sells. Once the photographs are properly shot with great angles and lighting, you can build a great stream of monthly residual income.

Go into Rentals

If you happen to have a spare camera or enough equipment, think about renting your items starting with family and friends. Once the system is perfected, introduce yourself to other players and have your camera making you money even when not for your personal use.

Sell to Local Art Exhibitions and Shows 


Most happening art scenes and museums can be found in cities and townships, consider creating pieces and submitting it for exhibition and sale at those locations. Since you would be in town, you can create great local shots and sell them to the tourism departments. They are always looking for a new and exciting way to showcase that location as both a business and recreational attraction to new investors. Take excellent and breathtaking shots of your location and sell to the local government offices. It may end up being featured in an advertisement.

Take Portraits

Taking family pictures have been around for centuries and it will probably always be around. If you are great with children, you can also focus on taking baby, child and family portraits. If you can deliver solid results, the business will grow for free via word of mouth among other forms of advertisement.

Become a Serial Partner

A great way of establishing multiple income streams is by multiple clients and by extension multiple contracts. Through networking, collaborate with event planners to capture their small events and meetings. More established photographers often need a bit of help in managing their clientele. Partnering with one of these veterans is doubly beneficial for you in that you are being paid to learn from one of the best while networking within the general public and building a reputation.

Diversify Printed Offerings

There are new materials being made and experimented with every year. Offering specialty prints to your clients will expand their available photograph options. In addition, selling prints to art galleries, at art fairs and entering them in competitions can become lucrative via being offered contracts for your artistic vision.

Some of the more popular ideas being played with are using 3-D images and other composite designs to test the limits of artistry. Few photography businesses utilize lasers, therefore if you do not have the machinery, partner with a studio that can etch images into ceramic plates or have them placed it into a bubblegram.


If only one image is taken, enlarge it, cut it up and place each part of the image on wrapping canvas. This way multiple art pieces can be generated from one image. If the medium has to be printing paper, consider offering vintage shots as a means of interrupting your local space.

Shoot at Sporting Events

Talent is being discovered and going viral thanks to a photograph or a video. Take the time to know the sport being shot as your footage can be used as a recruitment video for many college and university programs. With the recent rounds of budget cuts to many institutions, it is not as easy the staff to go and sniff out great talent, therefore, become that easier path for them and do the legwork via great photo or videography.


Since beauty is relative to the beholder, have your best work entered into both local and international competitions. There are different categories for each piece work, therefore, feel free to take artistic license with each piece produced.

Author bio: Rana Tarakji is an entrepreneur and a contributing writer at, a lifestyle blog.


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