One of the best ways to start making extra money is to monetize your hobbies and passions. Would you like to know how to make money with photography? Would you like to get paid to take pictures? Bear with me, in this article I will explain you everything you need to know.
This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional costs to you.
People respond to photographs, that’s well known fact. And all those photographs must come from somewhere. That means if you can take great ones, you can sell your photos online for cash, even if you are just beginner. There are lots of reputable websites ready to pay for that.
Whether you are a professional photographer or just like taking pictures in your spare time, you could earn some cash by selling your photos online.
Yes I know, you are wondering “Is it really possible? And if yes, then how to make money with photography?”.
To start, everything you need to get paid to take pictures, is decent phone camera and a smooth hand.
Start Selling Your Photos and Make Money Today – Upload and instantly sell to millions of potential buyers!
How to start makeing money with photography
Selling your photos basically means to allow someone to use your pictures in exchange for money. About 20 years ago if you wanted to sell your pictures you could either do it in person or ask an agency to do it for you. Those agencies typically worked with professional photographers and had physical archives with millions of pictures.
Today there’s no better place to sell photography than the internet. When it comes to selling photos online, there are three main types of platform to choose from:
- Stock photography websites,
- Online marketplaces,
- Your own website.
Each method has advantages and disadvantages which we will discuss in this article.
“But who is going to buy my photographs?”, you might ask. The need for visual content is growing and businesses around the world communicate with a variety of media and need images to support their messages. Not all business can afford to commission a photographer to shoot pictures exclusively for them. In my humble opinion, the demand will keep growing into the future, so it’s never too late and you can start selling your pics for money even today.
What Type of Photos Sell the Best?
This business is very diverse, and it doesn’t force you to stick to one type of photography like most professional photography jobs do. People need stock photos for just about everything. According to fixthephoto.com, some of the most popular photography trends are:
- Expressive images with bold colors
- Vertical Frame
- Authentic Moments
- All Ages Welcome
- Macro Pictures
Niche website owners in particular have trouble finding photos that can speak directly to their audience without looking boring. Basically, there is no need to invite the bicycle, just think about photos which you typically see on blogs:
- Portraits —adults, kids, and everyone in between from every country and culture!
- Feet pics
- Nature — This is fail-safe which never gets old to shoot or sell.
- Travel — Shots from around the world are always in high demand.
- Work situations (in the office, on the worksite, etc.)
- Musical instruments, studios, microphones, technology
- Medical devices, doctors, nurses, signs, supplies and decor
- Cars, car parts, car equipment
- Outdoor environments, outdoor equipment
- City landscapes
Experiment and see what you enjoy taking photographs of. Then do some research to see what is currently available in this space.
How to make money with photography in stock photography websites
Stock photos are simply photos that a photographer has made available for sale for commercial purposes and are subject to usage license. In most cases, stock images are sold through Stock photo websites that are massive databases of images that clients can look through when they need a picture for a blog post, a social media post, a magazine article, a pamphlet, company reports, newsletters, book cover or and pretty much any other use you can think of.
I’ve tried a few of the main stock photography sites – and I’ve spent hours and hours in research preparing this “how to make money with photography” guide, so these are some of the most popular stock photography websites we’ve found:
- PhotoJobz network will help you sell your pictures to thousands of potential buyers that need them for websites, catalogs, books, magazines, ads, and a variety of other uses.
- Adobe Stock
- Can Stock Photo
- Getty Images
- GL Stock Images
- Image Vortex
- SmugMug Pro
Each stock photography website has slightly different rules and guidelines about what photographs they are looking for and what they will be willing to accept. For example, there are strict rules about ownership and copyright issues on any photographs you submit.
In addition, all the different photo sites have their own commission rates and payment structures, so it’s worth taking the time to read the small text to see which photo sites would be best for your photography style – and which ones will make you the most money.
How to make money with photography on Online marketplaces
Online marketplaces are incredibly popular selling channels among consumers across the globe, often providing you, as an online seller, with a platform to reach an extensive, ready-to-buy customer base. The problem, however, is that it can be difficult to identify which ones are a good fit for selling photos online. Well, I have put together a complete list of online marketplaces that I believe have the potential to help you expand your reach selling photos online.
Etsy is the biggest marketplace on the internet for handmade products. Minimal listing fees make this e-commerce site appealing. It’s a place where you can Sell photos online and earn money.
Besides Etsy have a larger audience than most stock photo sites, and a demographic that is ready to purchase your images. This marketplace also allows you to price your own photos, and the site gives you full control over how you display your photos to buyers. If you want full control over your photo selling but don’t want to make your own site from scratch, Etsy might be a great fit for you.
British marketplace Folksy is similar to Etsy. Folksy is the biggest UK site for handmade but we are still much smaller than Etsy. Around 9,000 artists and makers sell their work through Folksy every year, with between 3,000 and 6,000 sellers at any one time. That makes it easier for you to get seen, so it is in fact a worthwhile option for sellers of handmade goods and craft supplies even if you come from other country then UK.
Zibbet is an online marketplace where sellers can list craft supplies, fine art, vintage items, photography products, and other handmade items. The fee starts at $5 per month, with no additional listing or commission fees and comes with your own website and custom domain, along with access to their marketplace.
If you are starting out and are having a hard time getting accepted at the other photography sites, you might give Pixabay a try. Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. Technically you can not sell your pictures via Pixabay, but you can make some money on Pixabay through the donate button on your account, then Visitors who download your images can donate a tip to you through the site, so there is some potential for income and exposure.
I believe more and more options pop up every day.
How to make money with photography on your own website.
Another option is selling your pictures directly through your website. Biggest advantage with your own personal website is that you gain full control over selling.
At this point, I assume, you already have your own WordPress site. If not, check my “How to Start a WordPress Blog in 2020: Step-by-Step Guide”. When creating a personal website, you could also link to other marketplaces where you have listings, such as Etsy, or social media.
However, this presents some challenges, this means you will need a few specific things in order to sell your photographs, such as:
- Fast server
- Reliable website uptime
- Relatively large hard drive space
Next you will need to choose WordPress theme suitable for building website for photographers and couple of plugins that help you to add your photos and display them online.
WordPress themes for selling photos online
If you want to build a WordPress website that shows off your works in a professional way, choose a website theme that’s specially designed for showcasing photographs and visual contents. Make sure that your website template is fully responsive, has broad and extensive headers, built-in sliders and comes with innovative layout apt for showcasing your photos. With that said, there are lots of great free photography WordPress themes available out there. I have used Photolite, which is a professional multipurpose theme for photobloggers, business, consultancy, and other industries. This theme is compatible with the plugins like WooCommerce, Jetpack and Contact Form 7. Photolite comes with the easy to use customizer with color scheme option, slider settings and more. Photolite theme has a fully responsive design and adapts nicely on all screen sizes.
Another WordPress theme worth mentioning is Photoshoot Light. This is is creative, modern and responsive WordPress theme ideal choice for portfolio, freelancer and other creative photography websites. Photoshoot Lite theme is creative and comes with some customization options. Several page templates helps to set your inner pages as required. On top of it, this theme can be supported with such plugins as wocommerce and contact form 7. Photoshoot Lite theme has a unique layout, so you can build your photography website with the standard look.
WordPress plugin to sell photos online
There are various WordPress plugins available that will help you sell photos online using WordPress site or blog. In most cases premium (paid) plugins for pics for money using WordPress will have better features, more payment options (stripe, paypal etc.) and various selling options (by size, resolution, quality), protection from image theft etc.
Sell photos online and earn money with WooCommerce Photography
WooCommerce Photography is WordPress photos plugin designed for photographers. It comes as an extension of the WooCommerce plugin. To get it work, you’ll need to have the core WooCommerce plugin installed on your site. It helps to create photography store just with few cliks.
WooCommerce Photography helps you with the day-to-day management and sale of your photos for events, or as artwork. It allows easily upload your photos and set up photographs for sale.
Sell Media is another great eCommerce photography plugin for WordPress. It helps you to sell photos, videos, and reprints individually or as subscription plans. Using the Sell Media plugin, you can create stunning image galleries for clients, events, or related topics in a few minutes.
Symbiostock is a free, full featured WordPress plugin to sell your digital media. Plugin automatically watermarks your uploaded photos, so that when it appears on your online store, it is safely stamped to deter internet users from violating your copyright.
This is a fully functional and complete eCommerce plugin with payment solutions such as PayPal and Stripe. It is easy to use and with NextGEN Pro you also get the advantage of numerous price lists, digital downloads and more.
WordPress Photo Seller
With WordPress Photo Seller you can sell images Prints and Digital Photo Downloads online directly from your website without a third-party intervention.
Some Offline Strategies To Make Money With Photography
Work as a Real Estate Photographer
Did you know that real estate agents always want the photos on their listings to look attractive? If you gave a talent for photography this is another way how to get paid to take pictures.
Beautiful and presentable photos are a part of what helps a property sell. However, not all real estate agents are pro at figuring out lighting and angles for getting the best property photos.
That’s your chance. Search for real estate agents in your area and offer your services.
It might be wise at first to practice by taking photos of your own home. Experiment with different angles. Work on lighting techniques. Maybe take various photos of a room to see which angle presents the room in its best light.
After you’ve perfected your skills, reach out to area real estate agencies. Share your sample pics so they can evaluate your work.
Be prepared to provide fast service. Usually, real estate agents need to get their listings on the market quick, so skillfulness and efficiency is necessary in this business.
Pursue Wedding Photography
Did you know that many famous photographers started with the wedding photography route? This is very lucrative niche, and you can make a lot of money as a weeding photographer. Although it is not for everyone. The stress, planning, and amount of work you need to do are immeasurable.
By the way this job is not only with high financial benefits, but also it is also a very emotionally rewarding job. Just think of it, you have a chance to be a part of one of the happiest days of some people’s lives.
But make no mistake, the pressure is really high when you are responsible for capturing one of the most important moments of the happy couple. So, it is important to make sure you are the wright man for this job. If you already shoot some events or portraits, you are on your way to being a wedding photographer.
However, if you have some doubts, you can try the following to get a similar idea:
- Work as assistant or a second shooter.
- Photograph engagement sessions.
- Works as a birthday and baptism photographer
Work as a Club Photograph
Club photography is a very specific type of photography. Solid nightclubs work with well-established promoters. These promoters all want pics from their club nights and parties. Here is your chance! You can be the one to provide them.
First make some great party photos. Publish them on your Facebook or Instagram. When you are sure about quality of your works, Offer your services to the clubs in Your area.
Do your research. You’ll probably notice that the majority of club photographers are in their early 20’s. So, you don’t have to have massive experience in the world to get job done.
Photography is such a fun hobby, so making money doing what you love is a bonus. Do you still wonder how to make money with photography? I guess, no!
To get paid to take pictures isn´t too difficult. Well, it’s true that it requires some knowledge, but there are no ways to make money out of nowhere. If you spend a little bit of time trying to improve your pictures, you’ll definitely be able to sell photos online and earn money with your hobby! But don’t take my word for it, grab your camera and get started with PhotoJobz today!