What Are the Best Ways for Hobby Photographers to Make Money

There’s a myth perpetuated that photographers either do it for a hobby or they’re experts earning money. The truth is, the general public appears to flow inside the grey region between the two.

The fake dichotomy that photographers are either hobbyists making no cash or specialists making full-time cash would not bear in mind the sizeable subset of photographers who have complete-time jobs, but still, make some aspect money from pictures. I did precisely this through my university stages, and even as it wasn’t big portions of cash, it changed into important supplemental earnings. I take into account on the time wishing I knew of greater ways that I may want to earn a bit at the aspect from my photography, and with the intention to that stop, I’ve determined to list all the approaches I made cash even as technically nonetheless a “hobbyist.” I’d additionally like to kindly ask all and sundry who have had success in this region to share their methods within the remark section for those photographers inquisitive about monetizing their hobby.

I’m going initially a curveball, and apparently, the course that made me the most money while I changed into a hobbyist: licensing my photos to be used. I notion this changed into just an extension of selling your snapshots on stock websites (which I will go back to), however everything I did with licensing occurred out of doors of it.

I become contacted on 500px about an image I had taken and how the lady contacted me wanted to use the stated photo on a greeting card. They provided me a charge after which royalties on each card sold with my photo on it. I agreed, and quarterly, I would get a cheque for a few hundred bucks, although this did start to lessen over time. From this, I contacted some other small card corporations and offered any other two snapshots with comparable systems. Had I had extra time, I suppose I ought to have stretched this similarly with other avenues outside of greetings cards. For example, the style of enterprise use prints from photographs continuously, albeit normally through agencies.

I’m sure no longer certain if this is morally grey, however, didn’t ever have lawsuits — pretty the opposite in reality, as I had a lot of praise and thanks. Every yr, I would go to a motorsport event with a press bypass. It’s an especially small occasion — albeit popular — and they granted me a press pass when I applied (which is an awful lot less difficult to get than human beings suppose). I shot the vehicles both racing and on show, and as a petroleum-head, thoroughly enjoyed myself. I got here returned home and spent an hour here and there enhancing the snapshots into a fairly big, but carefully curated gallery. I shared this gallery in every organization and forum to do with the occasion and covered my touch facts for the drivers to buy a digital download file for them to very own and print for non-public use.

The first year I included my prices, my time, after which some. Every virtual report I bought turned into cheap (searching again, too reasonably-priced), and most drivers and people worried about the activities bought a picture or three. I went lower back and did the equal again the subsequent 12 months, and even now, I will fortuitously do it again if I don’t have any bookings on the applicable days. Events are a great manner to network and doubtlessly sell your paintings, even though ensure you tread carefully, get permission from the organizers, and do not pass round photographing households and then trying to scalp them for money!

Paid Shoots

This is going to be contentious: I made money at the same time as a hobbyist by way of occasionally paid shoots for human beings and small groups, wherein I charged less than a full-time photographer. In my protection (it is surely extra offense), I’ve in no way had trouble with folks that undercut, as they could seldom provide the identical level of provider, however it’s something I did if the opportunity arose. A lot of small begin-ups, humans, and agencies who do not care that a whole lot for images will have small finance to work with you. They can not find the money for the total-time experts — or just won’t pay that much — however have slight photographic needs you could cater to.

My words of warning in this tip: you will need to do it well. Get insurance, write up a settlement, and act as a commercial enterprise to avoid getting stung; they won’t eat into your profits a lot.

Unfortunately, with this approach, it’s now not possible for everyone. However, a positive-fireplace manner of making a few money on the aspect together with your digital camera is shooting current affairs. I know photographers who’ve traveled to capture neighborhood troubles and newsworthy happenings and then contacted news and media retailers to promote the pictures. I have performed this myself too, and it’s miles less complicated than I had expected. The internet has multiplied the call for pix and films of current affairs tenfold, and the costs aren’t bad.


This is an elaborate one, however, you can have fulfillment in it if you’re persistent and smart. While I did sell a few prints via inventory and comparable sites (once more, I’ll come again to it, I promise), I did better selling domestically and privately online. Go to neighborhood artwork shops which sell images prints, ideally with a fantastic instance print, and spot if they will inventory your creations. Contact as many stores as possible for promoting your prints so that you ought to do little or no leg paintings your self as soon as they’re up and geared up.

I had more fulfillment with prints selling the file for one-time print functions and exhibitions (all of which have been too far away for me to ever see in person). Back then, I made sure I covered a line within the description of my pix about contacting me for prints after which, my touch information. I turned into in no way inundated (although I don’t shoot a lot of panorama images, which is famous for family prints), however, I made a few on-the-facet cash via this too.

One final tip which I did not comply with via with myself, however, I realize a photographer who had success with it, is getting a stall at neighborhood fairs. Make a few incredible prints of your work, then installation a stall at art or Christmas fairs and markets.

Duane Simpson

Internet fan. Zombie aficionado. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Alcohol enthusiast. Spent several months exporting UFOs in Jacksonville, FL. A real dynamo when it comes to exporting gravy in Tampa, FL. Spent 2001-2004 implementing saliva in Edison, NJ. Had moderate success getting my feet wet with junk food on Wall Street. Practiced in the art of building Virgin Mary figurines in Tampa, FL. Practiced in the art of marketing Roombas in Phoenix, AZ.

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