You’ve dipped your toes into the field of photography.
You always seem to be around when your friends need pictures for events like weddings or baby showers, and they’re always complimenting your work long after the day.
It’s a fulfilling experience to know something you initially picked up as a hobby is so well received by your friends and family – but what if there’s an even bigger opportunity out there?
You might have mused, daydreamed, and even entertained the idea of becoming a full-time photographer.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day – all the great artists know that – so it’s helpful to know you don’t have to go straight from a hobbyist to a full-time photographer.
There are lots of steps you can take to slowly start earning money with photography, and freelancing in addition to your main income is a great place to start.
As with any creative hobby that you want to turn into a source of income, being a photographer is not known as a stable career choice.
However, there are professional photographers out there – showing that it is just as viable a profession as any! Just because it’s creative, doesn’t have to mean it’s not stable.
With a few tips and tricks we’ll dive into, there are some steps you can put in place to ensure you’re in good stead to make the transition from a hobbyist to a professional photographer.
As mentioned, there are a few good tips and tricks to start making money as a photographer. From starting up your social media presence to creating an online store, there are lots of ways you can earn from your hobby.
You can easily set up a photography blog using WordPress. If you go self-hosted, you’ll be able to earn money from your website.
Write about your passion, talk about the work you’ve been doing, and even get into critiquing art and photography to show you really know what you’re talking about.
While quitting your job and setting up a business that you want to earn a stable revenue can be daunting, getting your foot in the door doesn’t have to be.
Setting up social media accounts for your photography business or service is a free and low-risk way to look the part.
If you have a professional presence online – whether that’s on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter – there’s every potential for you to get noticed by a new client.
Even if you’ve just offered your services to family and friends for free before, they are still able to give you online reviews.
If your social media accounts are flooded with positive reviews, you’ll be more likely to pick up new work and clients.
If blogging isn’t your thing, you can still easily create a website to showcase your work and online portfolio.
Link this blog to your social media and you’ll look even more professional than if you just have social media.
Make sure to include a booking and contact page, so interested clients know exactly where to go if they want to use your services.
On your website and social media alike, make sure your portfolio is kept up to date with your latest work and projects.
Feel free to include credentials and a list of professional brands you’ve worked with if any.
Instead of just waiting patiently for clients to come to you, you can get ahead of the curve by actively looking for freelance work yourself.
A simple google search, job websites, or even asking local businesses if they need any photographers is a great way to be proactive in your search (see also ‘5 Amazing Ways To Get Noticed As A Photographer‘).
You could even enter photography contests to help create a name for yourself.
Another way you can actively seek out freelance jobs is by asking your family and friends to spread the word about your business endeavors.
If they’re supportive enough, they’re likely to give you a glowing review, and we all know that word of mouth works wonders as a business strategy.
If they tell extended family, the extended family tells their extended family, and they tell their friends of friends… you get the picture!
It’s a small world out there and you never know where your next client is going to come from, so take any opportunity.
While photography is your main goal, there are a number of other, related services that can help you on your way to achieving this.
From becoming an art critic for photography magazines to providing editing services, earning money from photography can mean more than just pointing and shooting a camera around.
Last, but most certainly not least, is to have the initiative to create an online store.
This can be a lucrative income, especially if you’ve completed the online steps mentioned above, and offers a customer-friendly way for your clients to order your products.
Selling your prints and pictures online could even lead shoppers to be interested in booking you for more professional work!
Wedding photography is highly cited as one of the best money earners out of all photography types.
You could easily start out here by asking any bride or groom-to-be family members or friends if they’re looking for a wedding photographer, and offer your services.
At first, you might feel really awkward asking friends and family for money for your services, especially if you’ve offered to take pictures for free before.
But if you calmly explain to them what your goal is – that you’re aiming to make it as a professional photographer one day – your true friends and family should be more than willing to help support your goals!
We’ve discussed everything from how to make money as a photographer to which kind of photography is best to earn money from – but how much can photographers make from selling pictures in the first place?
Full-time photographers are estimated to make between $30,000 and $75,000 a year. Per image, a top professional could earn $200 to $500 an hour, or $250 to $1,500 an image.
Needless to say, if you’re just starting out, you’ll probably charge less than that, but these are the figures you’ll hopefully reach in the long run!
That’s just a snapshot overview of some of the helpful tips and tricks you can use to turn your hobby into a career!
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