How to Make Money as a Photographer: TOP 12 Ways [2020 Updated]

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Photography is an art and if you are someone who wants to make money as a photographer, this article will help you in every aspect. Indeed, photography is a thing most of the people like to pursue. Regardless of the location in the entire world, you will find photographers in every single country and region.

On top of that, some people are making good money from photography. While some are not able to make even a single penny.

Hence, if you want to know the ways to make money as a photographer, you have come to the right place.

Let’s go ahead and unwrap each of the ways, one by one.

Best Ways to Make Money as a Photographer

1. Sell Prints Online

make money as a photographer

In photography, the more you practice, the better will be your photography skills and with this, you can sell prints online. Yes, for those amazing shots to capture, you will have to practice hard on your skills.

One of the best ways to make money as a photographer is by selling prints online. This is the thing that is in high demand and people are making some good money from it.

Now, among selling prints, there are tons of ways that you can opt for and make good money from the same.

Going ahead, one of the easiest ways to make money by selling prints online is by selling it through a third party seller. They will be responsible for doing all the legal work, prints and will send it to different print companies.

In return, each of those people will offer you commissions and as and when you will send prints, you can make substantial money in the long run.

Sell on Etsy


Speaking about another great platform to sell prints online, Etsy is another good one. Yes, this is a website that sells handmade products. As per the listing, pricing is kept to the least extents, and with this, you can expect that your photos will be sold at a larger scale.

Here, all you need is to print the image and put it straight on the website. After this, you can send the print to the buyer and in case of any refunds, you can ask for the same, without an issue.

Now, another way you can sell photos online is a little tough than the first one. In this way, you will have to print the photos yourself and then sell them to different shops and restaurants.

For example, once you have taken tons of good photos in your locality. Then, you can simply reach out to different restaurants, cafes and show them your photos.

Well, in this scenario, if they like your photos, they will buy it from you and you will get the money.

In this scenario, you can get your photo displayed to thousands of people from where you can get recognition.

2. Selling Travel Photography Stories

make money as a photographer

If you are a lover of travel photography, you can make the best of money by traveling. Yes, as and when traveling from people have increased, travel photography is coming in high demand.

There are different publishers who are looking for new content in which they will add those photos. In this scenario, you will prove to be useful where you can offer them photos and make money as a photographer.

Plus, with this, you can easily make money by selling photos or even videos of divergent destinations.

On top of that, if you are someone who is interested in writing, you can combine photography along with writing and deliver it as a complete package. Now, if you are eager to sell photography and writing, each of them has to be sold as a type of story.

Therefore, while taking photos in mind, you must make sure that each of the photos tells a story.

On the other hand, Newspapers and magazines aren’t the only things that need to travel photos. You can even go ahead and sell those photos to travel companies, operators, airlines, and many more.

More often, you will work with different clients and if you can go a bit further, then you can work with different organizations.

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3. Go with Wedding Photography

make money as a photographer

Well, wedding photography is one of the hottest niches you can capture and make a huge amount of money. Currently, there are tons of wedding photographers that are charging a humongous amount of money.

Also, this is a niche that will never get old and you will have constant work, all round the year. Hence, if you want to make money as a photographer, wedding photography is one excellent choice.

However, in wedding photography, you must note that the amount of stress, work, and preparation will be above par. In this scenario, you got to look at lightening and in many scenarios, you got to keep an assistant.

Also, you will be responsible to capture all the cherishing moments and make sure that you have a good practice.

Further, if you have just started with wedding photography, you can do the below work:

  • Work as a Second photographer
  • Photograph different engagement sessions
  • Create stylized photoshoot
  • Perform photography of different rehearsals

4. Make very own Photo book

make money as a photographer

Yet another least common way to make money as a photographer is by making your very own photo book. Currently, there are tons of galleries available online but when it comes to photo books, they have got their very own charm.

Photo books deliver different sorts of customizations and you can customize your photo book as and when you want.

Plus, you can even add text, develop frames, and even organize the collection of images, in the best possible way.

On top of that, you can even buy a photo book and customize it as per your taste and likings.

You must also know that photo books are cost-effective ones. Therefore, you can offer this service to people and at a low cost, chances are high they will buy the photo book. Also, photo books are one of the best gifts for friends along with family members.

They are a good choice to be shared with clients where some photographers even prefer to share portfolios along with the books.

This helps in preventing different internet-related issues and even makes look photography, a lot professional.

How to Create a Photo Book?

Well, moving down towards different ways to create a photo book, you don’t have to spend hours while creating your own photo book.

In this scenario, there are some websites such as Shutterfly that can create a photo book for you. Yes, they will take some days and will deliver the finished book to you.

Now, in this scenario, you must be careful in choosing different themes for your photo book. Using a theme, you can make your photo book look a lot more attractive and interesting.

In this scenario, you can add one theme for the entire book or use separate them for different pages.

Further, once you have decided on the themes, you can then go ahead and start choosing different photos.

In this scenario, you must avoid similar photos most of the time. With a similar time, you can make your photo book a lot boring than usual.

Also, you can give priority to brighter images over darker ones. If there are too much sharpness and contrast in a photo, it can ruin the entire thing.

Further, while choosing among different resolutions for photos, you must keep them large, as much as possible.

Plus, there are different photography sites that offer maximum along with minimum photography size limit.

From there, you can adjust photos and make the best photo book of your choice.

5. License with the help of Flickr and Getty Images

License with the help of Flickr and Getty Images

Going ahead to find the best ways to make money as a photographer, licensing with Flickr and Getty images is another better one. Yes, Flickr is helping thousands of people who are eager to start making as a photographer.

In this case, if you have a Flickr account, you can easily license your photos with Getty along with Flickr. With this, the moment people will use your photos, you will get money for the same.

Additionally, every member of Flickr can turn on the “Request on License” link right on photo images. This link will show right to the licensing information and whenever a member makes a request, you will get money for the same.

Also, the platform will contact the member and you can then tell them about releases, permissions along with pricing.

In such a scenario, you must always show your best photos on Flickr and the ones that can bring money to you.

6. Sell Photos in Galleries


Yet another way to make money as a photographer is by selling photos into local galleries. Although this may sound like an old idea, you can easily sell your photos in galleries and make good money.

Now, in this scenario, you will have to do the research on different galleries and see what they accept. With this, after you have done the study and research, then you can easily sell your photos to them.

As a general rule, if you are someone who clicks photos of people, chances are high that those photos won’t sell.

Therefore, you got to click photos of different sceneries and buildings that can help you to earn money.

Further, there can be times when you will have to discuss the pricing with gallery owners. Here, you are free to set the pricing as per your liking where some people can ask you for a small monthly fee.

The pricing section is an absolutely individual choice and you can easily adjust it, as and when you want.

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7. Selling on Stock Photography sites

Selling on Stock Photography sites

You must have heard of stock photography before and if you want to make money as a photographer, stock photography is another better choice.

There are two cases where you can sit back and wait for your photos to sell. Or else, you can easily sell your photos online and generate money from the same.

In this scenario, your work must be to submit photos on different stock photography websites. Also, you can even add different keywords which can make it easier for people to search for your photos.

Also, there are plenty of companies along with businesses that constantly look for stock photos. If your images resemble to what they are looking for, then you can make substantial money from the same.

You can easily continue to sell your photos on your preferred time and as and when you want. Like, there are no sorts of restrictions in this scenario and can make good money with it too.

In terms of the commissions you will get, it varies a lot depending on the sites you are using. Therefore, you can visit different websites and see each of their commission rates.

8. Opt for Club Photography

Club Photography

If you are searching for a specific type of photography, club photography is one of them. Currently, night clubs are becoming the latest trend, and tons of people go to different night clubs. On top of that, there are promoters who want photos of their night clubs.

With this, you can grab the opportunity out here where you can offer them such sort of photos. Indeed, in this type of photography, the competition will be low and you can make substantial money from the same.

On the other hand, promoters will not hesitate to pay the photographers as they are getting fame for posting photos on different social media handles.

In this case, you can notice that almost all of the club photographers are in their 20s. With this, you can make out that if you are eager to perform club photography, you don’t need tons of experience.

If you are someone who is eager to expand your photography, you can go to a club and start clicking pictures. However, you will have to take permission from club owners if you are willing to take photographs.

Still, in many clubs, you are allowed to take photos which is another better thing. And, as an added bonus if the promoters like your photos, they can start recommending you to other clubs.

With this, your photography business will start running and slowly, you can earn brilliant money from night club photography.

9. Go for Real Estate Photography


Another good way to form money is to supply your services to an indoor designer or land agent. Determine who you’d want to figure with. find out local photography job rates, and take a glance at some sample images for land photography.

You’ll then get to create your own package. It should include a rate sheet, a contract, and other detail to form sure the entire process goes smoothly.

Then, all you’ve got to try to do is the network and identify potential clients! or Facebook groups are great platforms to seek out local land events. You’ll also attempt to find connections at design-related conferences or events.

Regardless of how you’re networking, don’t overlook the facility of word of mouth!

Make certain to let your family, friends, and colleagues know that you’re looking to attach with new clients. Additionally, create a social media page targeted only for land photography.

10. Give assistant to other photographers

Give assistant to other photographers

Well, if you have just started out to make money as a photographer, you can start off by giving assistance to different photographers. Yes, this can be one of the best ways to learn photography and under guidance, you can learn this skill, to perfection.

By assisting photographers, you can catch up with life experience. This can make you feel a lot confident in your work once you will start doing solo photography.

Plus, if you are willing to start working at a wedding, you got to have a pretty stronger portfolio. There has to be something which you can show to your clients and they can give that work to you.

By being an assistant, you will not stand a chance to click photographs. But, you will tons of experience.

Currently, there are different photographers that need assistance for their photography. Hence, you can reach out to each of those photographers and let them know you like to work with them.

Therefore, in this scenario, you can take some time and look for photographers who are in search of assistants.

Once you have got in touch with those people, then you can work with them, gain experience, and start your own photography work.

11. Take part in different photography competitions

From my perspective, I think entering in photography competitions is one of the best ways you can make use of making money as a photographer.

In this scenario, you can browse for different competitions available over the internet. Indeed, the Internet is a massive market place where you can browse tons of competitions online.

In this scenario, you can look for the best of photo competitions. See their registration process and look for the prize pool.

Now, in this segment, if you are someone who has just started with photography, you can enroll yourself in different photography competitions.

Even if the competition is not offering any prize pool, you will still get recognition in front of the global audience.

Also, if you can win the competition, it can help you to get fame and with this, you will start receiving contracts.

Slowly with time, you can easily start making money and become an experienced photographer with time.

12. Start Teaching photography

If you have become an expert in photography, you can start teaching different people. In this section, you can either make your own photography or even offer consultation to people over video calls.

From my experience, making an online photography course can help you in tons of aspects. With such a photography course, you can scale that course to unlimited heights.

Yes, if you can publish your course on to online learning platforms such as Udemy or on your own landing page, traffic can come your way.

Taking this thing a bit more ahead, you can start running ads for your photography platform. In this scenario, you will first have to learn running ads.

Currently, two of the most used ad platform are Facebook and Google ads. Therefore, from your end, you can run ads and you will get leads for your photography course.

Eventually, all you can do is to teach photography to students that will increase your reputation too.

Thereafter, you can easily go ahead, sell courses, and earn massive money from photography.

How Much Money Can you Make by Being a Photographer?

Freelance Photographers

According to the New York Institute of Photography, given below are some figures you can see on making money as a photographer:

  • Hobbyist: Free (or under $100). These are mainly people that love photography and easily wish to practice their passion for fun. they provide to try to shoot for relatives and friends for free of charge or way below market value.
  • Amateur: $25 – $75 per hour. this is often someone who is simply beginning within the photography world.
  • Student: $50-100 per hour or $25-100 per image. Students’ rates depend upon their skill and therefore the amount of experience they need. But, if they’re advanced, they will charge the maximum amount as professionals.
  • Semi-Pro: $50–$150 per hour or $50-125 per image. These are photography school graduates who have completed formal training and have some professional experience. Although they could not yet own their own studio, they’re not beginners and thus charge a rather higher rate.
  • Professional: $75-$250 per hour or $75-$250 per image. This photographer features a lot of experience and has earned respect for his or her work.
  • Top Professional: $200-$500+ per hour or $250-$1,500 per image. These are the cream of the crop, the elite, highly in-demand photographers.

How Do Freelance Photographers Make Money?

Freelance photographers are self-employed photographers. They take projects from various organizations and from their experience, freelancers complete different photography work.

Plus, Freelancers have the capability to do work to an absolute level of perfection. For instance, as a freelancer, you can work for different companies, media houses, and tons of other people.

Additionally, you can work in this scenario on your very own terms. Yes, as a freelancer, you can either work on hourly rates or even on a contract basis.

On top of that, as a freelance to get a job, you must possess a strong and robust portfolio. If you have a stunning portfolio, companies will not hesitate to give you that job.

Ultimately, as a freelancer, you can earn good money in photography where all depends on your experience.

What sort of Photos Sell Best?

There is nobody quite photograph that sells the foremost universally. It depends on where you’re selling your images, which niche you’re targeting, and who your customer is.

More specifically, if you’re selling on stock photography sites, there are a couple of categories that sell well than others.

In this scenario, you will have to perform a good amount of research. Here, you can analyze the top photo websites and see which photos have got higher selling chances.

Thereafter, you can easily click those photos and make a substantial amount of money from your snaps.

For instance, pictures of individuals doing everyday things, nature, animals, transport are especially popular. You can take a snap of such pics and for sure, they can be sold at a much higher margin.

Well, everything depends on the niche you are in photography and if you can pave your way into popular niches, you can make a substantial amount of money.

Additionally, images of businessmen and ladies, electronics, and money are hugely in demand for businesses.

Conclusion: How to Make Money as a Photographer

We have come to the concluding phase of the article and you must have got the best ways to make money as a photographer.

Well, each of the above ways is legit ones and with the above ways, you can make good money by being a photographer.

Additionally, each of the above ways are brilliant ones where whether you are an experienced photographer or a beginner, you don’t have to worry even for a second.

Now, if you are an experienced photographer, you can start off by making your very own photography course. As I said above, it will take time for you to make own course. But, once you have accomplished that, you can scale that course to indefinite heights.

On the other hand, if you are a newbie photographer, you can work with experienced photographers as an assistant.

Although you will get lesser money here but as and when you will gain experience, you can start your very own photography work.

Hence, right now, you can simply go ahead and analyze each of the above ways.  

The moment you understand each of them, then you can potentially go ahead, use some of the ways and make money as a photographer, without an issue.

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