Starting at Photography? Here's How to Make it Profitable

Some people are visually-focused. They’re drawn to light and color and love studying the composition of items in a space. Often these people make for excellent photographers. Some people inherently understand that taking photos is not just a way to remember a scene in the future, it is a way of showing another human being how you see the world. Given how magical the art of photography can be, it’s no surprise that there is money to be made working as a photographer. The key is figuring out the business side of things when starting a photography business. The following post will explore how to begin making a profit off of your photography work.

Make Sure Your Work is as Good as Possible

Foremost, as with any artistic industry, practice is important. Because of the internet, there are now hundreds of thousands of competitors producing all forms of artwork. Many of these people are releasing their photos, videos, writing, and film for free online. This means that the standard for quality has risen dramatically. As you work your way through the rest of this information, make sure you are taking the time out each day to improve your skill behind the camera. Try reading a book or a few articles a week related to photography theory or the rules of composition. Take photos of things you typically do not photograph.

Consider Hiring Yourself Out for a Day

The most standard way to make money from photography is to be paid to take photos someone wants. Examples of this include, wedding photography, baby photography, sports photography, portfolio photography, and event photography. To begin making money in this way, you will need to develop a portfolio. This can be hosted on your website or on a social media platform that presents images at their highest quality. It may take some time to build up your portfolio enough to begin charging the rates you desire, but if you consistently produce beautiful photos and people can see them, you will find yourself being hired out for a day or more to take photos for someone.

Consider Working for a Photography Company

If you don’t want to run the business yourself, you can seek out a photography company and find work with them, though this route will be harder to pull off and because the company will take a cut of the profit, you will likely be making less money. This being said, you’ll avoid a lot of the headaches that come with booking clients and marketing the business, so the trade-off may be worth it to you.

Sell Your Photos Online

Alternatively, if you do not want to be told what to take pictures of, you can take your own photos and sell them afterward. Again, you’ll need an online presence as well as a portfolio. Building these up will probably take you some time. According to, there are countless websites designed specifically for people to buy photos off of. All you need to do is upload your images (with a watermark provided by the website or yourself) and then wait. Even though these sites don’t pay much per photograph, they can be quite lucrative depending on what you photograph.

Take Photos That People Need

To make the most money off of this when starting a photography business, you need to photograph things that people are regularly in need of images for blog articles and ebook covers. Typically, this means a stock-photo style image of over the top emotions and different social scenarios, like office work or family dinners. It might be worth reading up a little bit about how people respond to photographs psychologically. Of course, you may also need to factor in the price of paying models to pose for the scenes.

Consider Gallery Showings and Contests

In addition to the above options, you can also enter your photos into contests, some of which boast prizes over $10,000. You can sell prints of your images on your personal website, and you can enter the art world by displaying your photos in a gallery. Often for a gallery exhibit, you’ll need several photos all along the same theme or idea.

Starting at Photography business? Here's How to Make it Profitable

With the above options kept in mind, you are well on your way to selling your first image as you get going on starting a photography business . Take note that each of the photography career paths mentioned above requires at least some form of an online portfolio. Even if you begin on a social media platform, you likely will need to have your own website at some point. If you have only just begun, your portfolio should be your primary focus. It’s really hard to sell your work if people can’t see it.

The post Starting a Photography Business? Here’s How to Make it Profitable appeared first on Mike Gingerich.

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