You don’t need us to tell you that making a name for yourself in photography is tough. We can’t all match up to greats like Diane Arbus. Instead, we settle for selling a few prints, and plow more energy into our day jobs than the thing we love.
It can be devastating to accept that making money out of what you love isn’t a reality for you. Which is why we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a myriad of careers which, while not always 100% about photography, would allow you to use your skill. Some of them could become nothing more than sidelines. Other options discussed could easily make you a livable wage if you put your heart into them. So, without further ado; let’s look at the paths you could take to get your earnings in focus.
Let’s be honest’ there’s nothing original about wedding photography. Any photographer who’s tried to go far has considered it at some stage. But, if you never gave it a fair opportunity, it might be time to do so now. Taking pictures of people on their big day may not be what you had in mind. There will be disgruntled relatives and screaming children. Worse, you’ll have to shout to get anyone to listen. But, the positives far outweigh those niggles. Finally, you’ll get the chance to earn from your camera. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of helping couples capture the start of their lives together.
Bear in mind that, at least to start, this will be a sideline rather than a full-time opportunity. You’ll need to offer lower prices to build your portfolio. If all goes well, though, you could charge higher rates in the future. To make sure that happens, it’s worth developing a niche. You need something which sets you apart from other photographers out there. For this, turn to the style you use in your personal snaps. Then, find a way to make it fit your new medium. You’ll have a chance to practice the techniques you love, and your couples will be happy that they have something unique!
Contribute to stock sites
Admittedly, this option won’t sustain you. But, it’s a fantastic way to make some money on the side. There is a myriad of stock sites out there, such as Pexels and Flickr. Each of them is forever on the hunt for new photographs to add to their backlog. And, you could be just the photographer they’re after. All you have to do is provide proof of identification, and submit photographs for review. If you get accepted, you’ll earn royalties on the use of your photos. This option is also fantastic because people who use your pictures will need to credit you. Hence, you could gain a much broader audience this way.
Bear in mind that you can’t just submit your slush pile for this purpose. People who use stock images need and deserve good quality stuff. If you send your worst work, it’s unlikely you’ll be accepted. Keren Sechs from Shutterstock says, ‘We look for well-composed, well-lit images from photographers with a “point of view” that comes through.’. Keep the advice in mind, then go out there and get snapping.
Turn to teaching
They do say that those who can’t do, teach… No, just kidding. But, it might be worth supplementing yourself with some occasional teaching. After all, the chances are that you know a fair bit about cameras and editing software. There’s always a market for people willing to learn this stuff. You could still put your skills to use by filming classes in video format, and posting them on sites like YouTube. Here, you stand to make money from Google’s AdSense program. You could also gain an audience this way, and possibly sell more of your work.
Or, you could take to the physical world, and teach evening classes for adults. You could either do this through a company or work on a freelance basis. Whichever appeals, a little research is all it takes to get started.
Real estate work may not be the first thing you think of when you consider photography careers. But, taking good photographs is half the battle in this line of work. If you can make a house look good, the sale will be half done before the clients even see the place. All it takes is the skills you already have. You’ll need to consider lighting and choose the best angles.
You could work as an agent for an existing company. Or, you might want to branch out alone. In that instance, it’s worth getting people on board to help with the stuff you’re unsure of. It’s also worth looking into something like this list of the 10 best real estate website providers. After all, your photographs won’t sell anything if people can’t see them. Admittedly, there’s much more to this career than photography skills, so it isn’t for the faint-hearted. But, of all the options discussed here, this is the one that could lead you to the riches you always dreamt of. Perhaps not in the way you expected, but at least your camera will feature in there somewhere!
Blogging is another upcoming platform that photographers can take advantage of. Using advertisements and sponsored content, blogging is now a workable full-time job. And, an excellent blog needs good photographs. You could take that even further, and make your whole blog about photography. Even if you want to focus on another topic, though, photography will play a large part in how well you do. A blog should be a visual experience, and top-quality photographs are sure to gain you an audience. They add a touch of professionalism which is crucial to your success. Plus, an aesthetically pleasing blog is simply a much more delightful browsing experience. You never know; if you gain enough popularity, other bloggers may even ask you to take photographs for them!