How to make money with Photography - The Amateur's Guide

How to start your earning from Photography

 1. Stock photos: (A detailed post will come up soon for mobile photography,) For now,  here is a list of stock photos websites.

Licensing your photographs is one of the most popular ways to “sell”  it online to brands, marketing companies, publishers, website designers and anyone who might have an interest in using your photos for their own purposes.
So here if you really wish to make a career and living out of stock photography, you need to think like your clients. You have to think how your photographs can use the image for their own purpose. Photographs that express ideas and those with human elements tend to get more popular.
There are a lot of stock photo sites to choose from, including:

  1. Getty Images
  2. Shutterstock
  3. iStock
  4. 500px
  5. Stocksy
  6. Can Stock Photo
  8. Adobe Stock
  9. Fotolia
  10. PhotoDune
  11. Alamy
  12. Twenty20
  13. Depositphotos
  14. Dreamstime
  15. GL Stock Images
  16. EyeEm
  17. Image Vortex
  18. Crestock
  19. 123RF
  20. Big Stock Photo
Please note that you cannot upload your photographs of recognizable humans without their permission, hence you will have to provide a permission letter signed and approved by them on the stock website

Selling on stock requires a lot of patience, you may not start earning immediately but once you have a database of many pictures on your profile it will start reflecting some profit and quality & uniqueness always wins.

 2. Sell an Ebook: If you are a local and have lots of photographs of your hometown and if you know your neighbour hood too, compile it to an ebook. Make a travel guide book, things to do, places to visit etc. It will look like a compact travel guide photo book. There are many portals where you can upload and sell your ebook (Google play, kindle) 

3. Sell Photobook: Have you ever thought of converting your photos in to a photobook? like a magazine or a coffee table book? You may publish them and give them as souvenirs  to hotels, event management companies etc which will be a good marketing strategy, you may use BlurbYork Photo, or Shutterfly to create, print, and ship them on the demand.

4. Sell photography prints and products: There are many sites and tools that can convert your photographs to prints like mobile covers, canvas prints, t-shirts, mugs and calendars 

You may also work with a local photo shop, and sell them your photographs and get a commission for each print.

5. How to sell your photography skills: Whether you’re shooting events, doing fashion shoots, or doing product photography, there’s a good opportunity to take advantage of the demand for professional photography. Here’s how to sell your photography as a service:

Here are some tips to build your network:
  • Print your business card and keep it handy— Yes, this is the first step. Not only does it professional but it leaves a good impression on the client and you never know when you will meet a client.
  • If you haven't yet heard of websites like Fiverr and upwork,  then its high time you do. Selling your photography requires a lot of networks and traveling, be prepared for that. 
  • Make a Linked in profile. Linked in is not just for 9 to 5 corporate job doing workers. It is for each and every professional, make your profile connect with other photographers, update your work experience. You may also send emails to other photographers for partnership or asking about any potential leads. Many events are posted on Linked in as well, make good use of it. Testimonials will do wonders
  • Attend workshop and networking events (esp startups)  where entrepreneurs and event organizers go — these people will inevitably have a need for a professional photographer in the future. Give them a good offer.
  •  Build your brand: Build a Facebook page, with your contact details, your portfolio, and your contact page. Some testimonials would do wonders here too. When it's business "NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS" also matters so build your audience on Instagram, facebook, twitter and other social media. 
  • Give free shoots initially, ask your clients to pay by promoting your facebook page and you on facebook, instagram and linked in. Word of mouth is one of best free kinds of promotion.

Tip: Before you start with anything, invest some time in yourself. Watch some photography youtube videos, read some photography related book, practice more and then once you feel you are confident enough, take the step ahead of making it a career. 

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  1. I also have a similar blog. Do check it

  2. Thanks for sharing these resources. Foap is also a good place to sell photos and get recognized as a new photographers.

  3. That's amazing guide. I will use the same things when I will sell my own photos..