Being a photographer — and making money with that — is somewhat different than being any other artist. As a photographer, your professional and artistic ups and downs would mostly depend upon how well your work is perceived by your peers and clients.
More your work’s exposure to the above two species, more would be your chances for getting appraisal and appreciation. And, by the effect of these two, more will be the creative and financial freedom for you to pursue the artistic standards that you always imagined for yourself.
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Putting it simply, today’s blog is all about us answering how you can more money as a photographer. This, by and large, would cover how you can sell more pictures online and how you can make that extra money as a photographer so you could cover most of your daily trivial expenses.
To be honest here, making more money online as a photographer is neither all that tough like those other web marketing companies would like you to believe, nor as easy as those “just born” YouTube marketing influencers preach.
As a thumb rule, your money-making stream as a photographer would depend on how good you're at your art and how well you can show it online. Within a well-made cocktail of management, marketing, and shutter clicks would lie your secret to making more online as a photographer.
So, let’s have a look at what we’ll today be answering to help you make more money in your pursuit of artistic glory, and then jump right in:
Choosing the right niche in photography is directly related to how much money would make. But you knew that already, didn’t you? But when you're planning to give better exposure to your photography skills by going online, then you must keep reminding yourself of this importance more than usual.
Why so? Because once you decide to put your head under the internet’s spotlight, you will be in direct competition with many more masters —photographers who've been making a living in a particular niche alone.
Practicing and marketing yourself under a particular niche would help you build a reputation that will go a long way. Internet is full of people who are jack of all, but a master in none. You don’t need to go the same way and lessen your chances of making money as a photographer.
Now, let’s have a quick look at some of the popular niches of photography.
You can’t afford to sit at your computer desk to write an email and then attach your 10 best photos ever, just so you could send them to all your potential clients. That’s too much time wasted.
The more time you have, the more you'll take your creative force in the right direction. An online photography portfolio not only saves you time on emails but also helps showcase your best work to potential clients.
A portfolio makes you look tech-savvy, only puts your best foot forward, and you can get a lot of social media and organic internet traffic through it if you try only a little harder.
You don’t even have to know how to write web codes to get your portfolio online. With DotcomPal’s drag-and-drop photography portfolio builder, you get to choose from 300+ time-tested templates with just a few clicks.
When we say “sell”, it’s not just about selling. It’s about showcasing and selling. Websites such Pixabay, Unsplash, Pexels help you get more than decent exposure to your photography skills. As online content heavily depends on the use of graphics and stills, most content creators are always on the lookout for relevant images to tell their stories.
Though uploading images on such platforms doesn’t always get you paid, publishers putting your name under the image used as a credit may put you under the much-needed spotlight. However, some such websites do provide the image user with an option to pay the image creator for their piece — although an option that is seldom practiced by the downloaders.
In case you're more interested in getting paid instead of gold old “limelight”, then consider uploading on platforms such as Shutterstock. Here, you not only get to showcase your work but also get paid when a user downloads your images for use. The only drawback to this option is that you have to pay a cut to the hosting platform.
Why not just have the best of all three worlds, i.e., having an online presence where not only you get to showcase your photographs, but also let people download them, for free or at a cost, without having to pay any third-party anything.
Does such an option exist? Yes, it does. Having your own photography website that acts as an eCommerce store comes with every benefit that you may need to earn more online as a photographer.
With your website you get to choose who gets to download, what images, and at what price. Isn’t that amazing?
According to Statista, “In 2018, 31.36 percent of respondents who stated their income was high said they had photography as a hobby.” With advancements beyond imagination in mobile cameras, it’s easy to guess why people are only getting more interested in photography. Because it brings adventure, art, imagination, fun, traveling, and a good deal of professionalism (if a person can be so dedicated) under one roof.
What does that have to do with you? Everything.
Photography wizards such as photojournalist Steve Mccurry — of the “Afghan Girl” still fame — lifestyle photographer Erik Almas, and Phil Borges have touched and changed millions of photography aficionados around the globe for the better.
The best part about running a photography blog is that its scope isn’t limited to any one domain alone. You can just meet hill people if you want, interview them, eat their food (for free), and even live with them for a few days. All you would then need is to just capture the best moments of your trip and put them with some heart-touching captions, and your photography-cum-travel-cum-food blog is set to amaze your visitors.
As soon as your traffic is good enough, you can enter into ad programs for publishers run by internet corporates, like Google, and monetize your traffic by putting up relevant ads. You can also work as an affiliate for companies selling photography gear.
Once your blog is up and running with a visitor count that you think is enough, you can turn it into a membership (or you can build it membership from the very start). But what’s a membership?
"Memberships" are websites that host gated content. For those who may not know, gated content is the one that asks visitors for some kind of commitment (Sign up or monthly fee) in exchange for unrestricted access to the services/content of the website.
Social media brings us together for all kinds of reasons, needs, worries, vices, and virtues. Business or no business, everyone today is some kind of content creator in their right on social media.
But you being a professional should learn how to get into good brand building and business practices when engaging with your audience.
Social media today is one of the leading sources of web traffic for almost all kinds of websites and businesses.
You can use it too for your good, but only if you can keep a few things in mind.
Have a clear goal of what it is that you want to achieve through social media. Have a content strategy in place. Mind your posting schedule and frequency, the way you interact with your audience, be mindful of what words you use and the content you share, and, above all, track your progress.
This is where using social media and running a blog could come in handy. Photography, in 2021, in terms of the market size in the US alone, is well around $11 billion-dollar industry.
Now, this should include photographers getting paid and people buying and selling equipment, doesn't it?
Do you buy such equipment enough? Do you have a good idea of how to test and rank such products in a way that could benefit people who visit your social media handles and blogs? If yes, then reviewing photography stuff is for you.
With the growth of your influence as a reviewer, you would soon start getting video sponsorship from people making and selling such products, and such deals are, to say the least, are rarely cheap.
There’s no point in researching how big eCommerce is. It’s big (set to become 5.4 trillion US dollars in size, in 2022, in case you were curious). And it’s big enough to employ anyone who can come up with a product that can add value to the life of its buyer.
But where do you fit in this grand scheme? You can render your photography skills as a service to eStore owners by capturing their fine products under the best light and finest angle and help them curate an online catalog.
Business owners, especially jewelry stores, apparel lines, and hotel chains, are quite receptive to the idea of photographers who have an eye for putting the best versions of their products online.
The demand for such gigs mostly never dries up, and when you have done everything told above, then chances are it might never.
To make more money as a photographer, today is about what better ideas you can come up with in a world that is rapidly taking to online platforms in search of better content. The important thing to keep in one’s mind is that when you're a practitioner of an art form —photography, in this case — much of earning channels would mostly depend on how well you can diversify and market your art, and how many people you could reach in the best way possible.