How to Make Money from Photography: 15 Profitable Ideas
When you buy something through one of the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
If you've honed your photography skills and learned how to take high-quality photos, you may be wondering how to make money from photography.
While your photography passion could just stay a hobby, if you have a keen eye for taking a great shot, you can cash in and enjoy a new income stream.
Whether you're an aspiring photographer just starting out or a professional photographer looking to bump up your earnings, this article is going to review different ways to make money from your talents online and offline.
- How to Make Money from Photography Online
- How to Make Money from Photography Offline
- Final Thoughts on How to Make Money from Photography
How to Make Money from Photography Online
Read on to learn how to make money from your photography talents in the online marketplace.
1. Photography Blog
A top way to make money with photography is to start your own website.
Once you've learned how to start a blog, you need to create content regularly and promote your articles on social media.
As traffic levels start to increase, you can monetize your site with adverts and affiliate marketing partnerships.
A few ideas for photography blogs include:
- Photography gear reviews
- Photography tutorials
- Photography jobs site
Alongside creating great content, show off your photos by linking your Instagram feed to your photography blog so people can see your skills!
Don't know where to start building your own website?
Check out the Affiliate Lab by Matt Diggity. He teaches students how to build, rank, and monetize high-competition affiliate sites.
2. Sell to Stock Photography Sites
Stock photo sites are always on the lookout for new, eye-catching photos to sell online.
Brands, businesses, marketers, and bloggers need original photos to use in their blog posts, social media, and marketing content and buy from these stock sites.
If you've built up a portfolio of stunning imagery, you can make money by selling them as stock photos.
Contact stock photography sites, such as:
If they like your images, they'll ''license'' your photos.
This basically means you allow them to use the photos in an agreed way, and your photos can be purchased repeatedly on the site.
3. Sell Photo Prints
Another great way to make money with photography is by selling prints.
While you can sell prints through your own website or social media, the easiest way is to sell through a third-party seller.
One option is the Etsy marketplace. This platform is a treasure trove of vintage and unique handmade gifts and gets on average 377.4 million site visitors each month, so you already have an established audience to sell to.
Create your photo listings on Etsy, and they take a $0.20 fee from each item when it sells.
When you get a sale, you need to print your photo and send it to the buyer.
Other options for selling prints online include:
On these sites, buyers can order digital versions of your photos or prints.
A benefit of selling on these sites is that they take care of printing and shipping, so you can be totally hands-off!
Learn more about the best websites to sell art prints.
4. Print On Demand Store
Photos can be used in many different ways and one profitable idea is to use a print-on-demand (POD) service and have them printed onto different products.
A few sites that offer this service include:
Customers can visit these sites, choose the art they like, and request it to be printed onto items like t-shirts, hoodies, phone cases, posters, wall art, home decor, and much more.
The POD company takes care of printing, delivery, and customer care, and you can enjoy passive income from the sale of your photos.
Check out this Printify Vs Printful review to see which one is best for you.
5. Photo Editing Services
Aside from selling photos online, you can make money by helping others edit their photos.
A few industries that use photo editing services are:
- Real estate
- Fashion and beauty
Photo editing requires you to be proficient at photo retouching, blemish removal, color correction, background removal, image resizing, and more.
But, if you're skilled at editing and know your way around the popular editing apps, this is one of the best ways to make money with photography.
6. Start a Stock Photography Website
A top photography business idea is to start your own stock photography site.
While this will take a little more time and effort to get to the money-making stage, the benefits include being your own boss and having unlimited earning potential.
Follow these steps to get started:
- Choose a niche and dominate it. Ideas include pet stock photography, medical stock photography, or nature
- Decide on your business model. E.g., pay per stock photo or monthly membership
- Start reaching out to photographers who you can get to contribute to the site
- Build your website and start adding content to the site. Learn more about how to start a stock photo website here.
Learn about SEO for startups to get your site noticed and start getting paying customers to your site.
7. Sell Photography Courses
If you've honed your own photography skills, you can start making money by helping others do the same.
Aspiring photographers and business owners need help with all aspects of taking photos. A few ideas for classes you could sell include:
- iPhone photography
- Nature photography
- Photography for Instagram
- Learn Adobe Photoshop
- DIY marketing photography
While it might take time to get your class noticed, this can become a lucrative income, with the Skillshare top tutors reportedly earning over $30K a year!
Get more ideas in this article detailing the best Learndash alternatives to sell online courses.
How to Make Money from Photography Offline
Now, we'll take a look at how you make money with photography in your local area.
8. Enter Photo Contests
Photo contests often offer huge cash prizes for the best photos sent in for a particular subject.
As a new or more experienced photographer, it's a good idea to test out your skills and enter photography competitions.
The payoff could be great, or even if you don't win, you'll still benefit by getting eyes on your work, and some of those people may even visit your photo site or social media accounts.
Take a look at this big list of photography contests worth entering in 2023.
9. Wedding Photography
Who doesn't love a good wedding!?
And you can be a part of that special day by helping the happy couple get high-quality images of when they say ''I do''.
Wedding photography pays a decent wage, with the average salary being around $53,161 in the US.
To start making money as a wedding photographer, make sure you:
- Put together a solid portfolio of professional photos
- Advertise your services on social media and in your local area
- Get experience by shooting for friends and family
- Set up a website to promote your wedding photography services
After taking the time to market yourself and build a solid reputation, you'll be able to make a decent income with this type of photography business.
10. Landscape Photography
Landscape photography is the art of capturing natural landscapes so the viewer feels like they're transported into that scene.
There is a huge demand for landscape photos, with various businesses online and offline purchasing this type of imagery.
A few places to sell landscape photography include:
- Stock photo websites
- Tourism organizations
- Travel publications such as National Geographic
Once you've built up a name for yourself in this industry, you can make a decent amount of money selling landscape photos.
To bump up your earnings, you could sell courses and tutorials on sites like Udemy, teaching others how to get that ''perfect landscape shot.''
11. Sell Photos at Art Fairs
Another way to earn money with photography is to sell prints at local art shows and art fairs.
Attending art shows as a vendor is cost-effective, with the fee to set up your own stall usually being very low.
Plus, you never know who you might meet at an art fair, and alongside selling your photos, you may meet someone who wants to work with you on future projects!
Search Google to find shows in your local area. Type in:
''Your city/town + art fair or art show''
Information about any upcoming shows, with details of how to enter, will come up.
As there'll be local people attending these shows, make sure you have a good selection of local photos that might pique their interest.
12. Event Photographer
As a commercial photographer for events, you may be asked to shoot photos at a range of places, such as nightclubs, grand openings, birthday parties, festivals, or celebrity events.
Many of these photos will end up in marketing materials and on social media.
If you love attending parties and events yourself, this is an ideal way to combine this with your love of photography, as you'll most likely get into these events FREE!
To become a successful event photographer, you must:
- Create a portfolio
- Advertise yourself
- Make connections in the industry
- Set your prices
- Reach out to contacts
Start getting yourself out there to events and taking photos for free. Experience counts, and you'll meet the right people!
13. Real Estate Photography
Real estate agents and interior designers need professional photography shots of the homes they're promoting to help get customers interested.
As a real estate photographer, you may be asked to shoot the inside of homes and the outside, and some agents may ask for video content.
Start by building a portfolio of your work. Estate agents and interior designers will want to see you know what you're doing!
Next, create a service package and rate sheet detailing what you do and how much you charge for it.
To get clients, you need to network and market yourself. Consider setting up profiles on sites like:
And never underestimate the power of word of mouth! Talk to friends, relatives, neighbors, colleagues, and local real estate agents to let them know you're available for hire.
14. Photography Tour Guide
Leading photography tours is one of the more unique ways to make money with your photography skills.
Have a think about the interesting landmarks and great photo opportunities in your local area that would work well on a tour.
Put these details into a description of your photography tour alongside some of your own amazing photos.
Also include information on the tour length, cost, equipment needed, and who it's right for. To get customers, share these details on:
- Your social media
- Your website (if you have one)
- Photography and tourist groups
- Partner with travel agencies or sites like Airbnb
With a little marketing, you should be able to get sign-ups for your photography tours. And always remember to ask for reviews, which will give your tours validity!
Learn more about how to start a photography business and market it for success.
15. Teach Photography Classes
While e-learning is popular, many people still like to learn in the real world.
If you have little experience teaching, gain experience by teaching basic photography skills to your friends.
To start making money, you could start teaching one-on-one classes or local group photography lessons.
A few ideas for classes include:
- Basic camera settings and how to use them
- Understanding of exposure, including shutter speed, aperture, and ISO
- Specialized classes like wedding photography or travel photography
Final Thoughts on How to Make Money from Photography
Now you know how to make money from photography, you can start profiting from your passion!
It depends on your interests and personal skills and which method you decide to focus on.
But whether you sell prints, sell via a personal online store, teach classes, or become a commercial photographer, there's an opportunity in the photography industry to suit everyone!
Want more ways to earn from your creative side?
Check out how to make and sell art prints for extra cash.
Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?
Yes! I Love to Learn
Learn How I Built My Niche Site Empire to a Full-time Income
- How to Pick the Right Keywords at the START, and avoid the losers
- How to Scale and Outsource 90% of the Work, Allowing Your Empire to GROW Without You
- How to Build a Site That Gets REAL TRAFFIC FROM GOOGLE (every. single. day.)
- Subscribe to the Niche Pursuits Newsletter delivered with value 3X per week
My top recommendations