Top Tips for Making Money with Photography

Photography has become increasingly popular as a viable career option, with the rise of social media platforms and easy access to high-quality gear. It’s no longer just a hobby or passion project, but a legitimate source of income for those with the skills and determination to succeed. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your photography business, there are various ways to make money with photography. From renting out your gear to offering photography services, the possibilities are endless. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to monetize your photography skills and turn your passion into profit. So grab your camera gear, and let’s get started!

Rent Out Your Gear

If you’re not using your photography gear every day, you could rent it out to other photographers or businesses in need. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • List your gear on rental websites like ShareGrid, Lensrentals, and KitSplit. These platforms will help you connect with locals or travelers who need equipment.
  • Make sure you accurately describe the condition of your gear, and include any details about how to use it.
  • Set competitive rental rates. Check out what other people are charging for similar equipment to make sure you’re pricing your gear appropriately.
  • Consider rental insurance to protect your gear from damage or theft while it’s being rented out.

Renting out your gear is an excellent source of passive income. Just be sure to take good care of your equipment, so it stays in good condition for future rentals.

Sell Prints and Stock Photos

Selling prints and stock photos is a great way to earn passive income from your photography skills. Here are some tips for getting started:

Option Pros Cons
Sell prints on your website or social media channels No commissions to pay, complete control over pricing and branding Requires marketing skills and traffic to your online store/social media channels
Sell prints on third-party websites like Etsy or Society6 No need for marketing, built-in audience already exists Commissions taken by the platform, less control over pricing and branding
Sell stock photos on websites like Shutterstock or iStock Potential for high volume sales and passive income Difficult to stand out in a crowded market, low licensing fees

Interesting fact: The most expensive photograph ever sold is called “Rhein II” by Andreas Gursky. It sold for $4.3 million at an auction in 2011.

Selling prints and stock photos requires some strategic thinking and research, but it can be a good way to earn money from your photography skills on an ongoing basis. Just make sure to choose a strong niche and develop your marketing and branding accordingly.

Can you make good money selling stock photos?

Yes, you can make good money selling stock photos, especially if you have a talent for capturing images that are in high demand. However, the amount of money you can make varies depending on several factors, including:

  • The quality of your photos
  • The subject matter of your photos
  • The size of the stock library you’re selling on
  • The commission structure of the platform you’re selling on

Some popular websites to sell your stock photos include:

  • Shutterstock
  • iStock
  • Getty Images
  • Adobe Stock

Offer Photography Services

If you enjoy working with people and capturing important moments, offering photography services may be the right business model for you. Some tips to get started:

  • Determine which types of photography services you want to offer. Some examples include weddings, family portraits, real estate, and product photography.
  • Choose the right equipment for your niche. Different types of photography require different lenses, lighting, and other gear.
  • Build a portfolio and showcase your work online. Consider creating a website or social media profiles to display your photography services.
  • Promote your business locally. Attend networking events or reach out to wedding planners, real estate agents, or local businesses.

If you want to try a startup to streamline managing your photography services, you can use apps like StickyAlbums and Thumbtack or websites like ShootProof or Pixieset.

Interesting fact: The first photograph ever taken was in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, and it took about 8 hours to create!

Offering photography services can be a fulfilling way to monetize your passion for photography. With the right equipment, marketing, and networking, you can build a successful business that brings in steady income.

How do I offer photography services to my business?

  • 1. Identify what kind of photography services you want to offer.
  • 2. Invest in quality photography equipment, such as a camera, lenses, and lighting.
  • 3. Build a portfolio of your best work to showcase your photography skills.
  • 4. Create a website or social media presence to showcase your photography work and services.
  • 5. Market your services to potential clients through word-of-mouth, social media, and local advertisements.

With these steps, you can begin offering photography services to your business and attract clients who are in need of professional photography work.

Teaching Photography

If you love photography and sharing your knowledge with others, teaching photography can be a lucrative and fulfilling career path. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Create informative, engaging course content that appeals to your target audience.
  • Choose a platform to market and sell your courses: Udemy, Teachable, or Skillshare.
  • Build your email list by creating an opt-in freebie related to photography.
  • Promote your courses on social media, like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
  • Offer different ways for students to connect with you, such as office hours or live Q&A sessions.

You can use specialized apps like Zoom or Skype to teach online photography courses.

Teaching photography can be a fun way to share your passion, while generating passive income. With the right marketing strategy and quality courses, you can build a successful photography education business.

How can photography be a career?

Photography can be a fulfilling career for those passionate about capturing moments and stories through visuals. Here are a few ways in which one can pursue photography as a career:

  • Freelance photography: Photographers can work as freelancers and take up assignments for events, portraits, nature or product photography.
  • Commercial photography: Companies often hire photographers to create images for their advertising campaigns or product launches, providing a steady source of work.
  • Photojournalism: Photojournalists work for newspapers or magazines, capturing real-life events and stories, and presenting them visually through their photographs.
  • Wedding photography: Wedding photographers capture the most special moments in couples’ lives, providing an option for specialization.

Online marketplaces such as Etsy or Shutterstock also provide avenues for photographers to sell their photographs and earn an income. Becoming a photography teacher, blogger or creating and marketing photography-related products could also be viable career paths for those interested.

Enter Competitions and Apply for Grants

Entering photography competitions and applying for grants are other avenues for making money through photography. Here are some tips for increasing your chance of winning:

  • Find competitions that align with your style and expertise. Research previous winners to understand the type of photos that judges prefer.
  • Read the rules and guidelines carefully, and follow them to the letter.
  • Edit your photos for maximum impact, paying attention to composition, color, and lighting.
  • Consider the story behind the photos you submit, and explain them well in the captions or in a project statement.
  • Apply for grants that align with your artistic vision and social impact goals. Be clear about how you plan to use the funding to further your career or address a social issue.

Some popular photography competitions include the Sony World Photography Awards, National Geographic Photo Contest, and International Photography Awards. For grants, check out organizations like the Magnum Foundation and Getty Images.

By participating in competitions and grants, you not only stand a chance to win cash prizes or funding, but also get exposure and recognition for your work.

Should I enter photo competitions?

  • Entering photo competitions can be a great way to challenge yourself and improve your skills.
  • It can also provide exposure for your work and potentially lead to opportunities.
  • However, be mindful of the entry fees and the legitimacy of the competition.
  • Do your research and consider if the potential benefits are worth the investment.


As a photographer, there are various ways to make money while pursuing your passion. Whether you are looking to start a photography business or simply earn some extra cash, the possibilities are endless. Here are some key takeaways from this article:

  • Rent out your gear to other photographers or businesses.
  • Sell prints and stock photos online.
  • Offer photography services, such as event or portrait sessions.
  • Teach photography through workshops or online courses.
  • Enter competitions and apply for grants.

While making money with photography is possible, it requires time, hard work, and dedication. You need to invest in your gear, improve your skills, and build a network of clients and fellow photographers. However, the rewards can be much more than monetary – you get to express your creativity, capture meaningful moments, and inspire others.

So, go out there and start exploring the diverse world of photography! Whether you are aiming for a full-time career or a side hustle, remember to enjoy the process and stay true to your vision.

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