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Are you a budding photographer ready to turn your passion into real income? Below, we’ll help you learn how to make money with photography in a few simple steps. With consistent effort, quality photos, and determination, you’ll be able to make money with photography in no time at all.
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Tips to Turn a Photography Hobby Into Money
Start With Adjustable Gear
If you’re just starting out, it may take a while for you to make money by photography. However, one of the earliest things you can do to get yourself ahead is by using the right gear. You’ll want to begin with a DSLR camera since it can be upgraded with a variety of lenses and accessories. If you’re serious about turning photography into a business, investing in a high-quality camera is essential, but also an easy way to set yourself apart from competitors.
As you build up your in-person client base, you should certainly look into monetizing your photos online. Services like Shutterstock are always out on the look for high-quality photos that businesses and individuals can use for their content. Figure out what types of photos these corporations are looking for in order to learn how to make money with photography quickly and efficiently in the digital age.
Nowadays, your social media, especially picture-based platforms like Instagram, serves as one of your online portfolios. Make sure your social media is up to date so that your prospective clients have an easy way to view your work. You could also invest in social media management through services like Social Websuite. Whatever you do, understand that social capital is extremely powerful when it comes to distinguishing your business from others.
Once your social media is properly set up, you should expand your portfolio out to your own website. You can use simple website building services like Weebly and Squarespace to help you set up a beautiful business site in minutes. That way, you can easily draw in your prospective clients with your beautiful website. Not only will this help your business become more accessible, but it will also speak to your level of professionalism.
Word of mouth advertisement is still incredibly effective. Therefore, make sure you have a stack of high-quality business cards made from sites like Vistaprint to give to prospective clients. Every time you do a professional shoot, make sure to mail your final prints with one or two business cards so that your clients can refer you easily. You can even offer a referral bonus as an incentive to loyal customers.
Be sure to let your friends and family members know that you’re starting up a photography business. You can offer discounted services to your loved ones and start building up your portfolio for the better. Or, reach out to local businesses and see if they need updated photos for their websites. You’ll never know who might turn out to be your first client.
Photography isn’t just for the photos themselves. Depending on what you shoot, your clients may be interested in your prints for wallpaper, apparel, or sticker designs. You can submit your pieces to places like Minted.com or Etsy and sell your prints! Moreover, you can offer other specialized products through your website by adding in an eCommerce using platforms such as Square or Big Commerce.
As you advance in the business, you’ll likely need and want to update your original camera gear. However, do so wisely. Services like KEH camera take in gently used camera gear and resell them at a fraction of the price so that you can save money on your business expenses. Don’t forget to keep all of your receipts. If you’re making enough money from your photography business, you may be able to write off your camera equipment as a business expense as an added bonus.
Don’t just upgrade your physical gear, also be sure to upgrade your photo editing software with a platform like Canva, a great photo editing software that is up to date on the latest in photo editing!
Find Your Niche
Every business needs an angle. Learning how to make money with photography also requires a good bit of business strategy to make sure you survive in a saturated market. Figure out if you want to be a wedding, lifestyle, landscape, urban, or portrait photographer. Brainstorm ways to stand out as you figure out how to make money with photography.
Building a Business Takes Time
Remember that there is no true substitute for time. Building a business takes consistent effort and determination to reap a profit, so you’ll need to be extremely patient before you’ll see a return on your photography hobby.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not turning a profit right out of the gate. You’re not supposed to, though you will in time with a commitment to your practice. The process itself can be pretty rewarding, so enjoy the journey as you learn how to make money from photography.