You love to take photographs and you’re pretty good at it. What could be better than making money while doing something you love. Many people take photography as a hobby, but did you know that even as an amateur photographer you can make money with your photographs? There are several ways you can monetize your pictures using the Internet to reach your audience.
Selling Stock Photography
The easiest way of making money with your photographs is selling them as stock pictures. Stock pictures are those licensed non-exclusively for people to use on websites and digital formats. They are used by webmasters and designers who want to spice up their site but don’t want to spend the money getting original pictures taken, e-book creators and people looking to create digital information products. Remember that picture of smiling people in suits shaking hands in the last corporate website you visited? That’s probably a stock picture.
There are several marketplaces selling stock pictures, and the guidelines on what they accept and what they don’t vary (as well as the share of the sale price that they pass on to the photographer). If you want to make money with your photographs through stock content you will need to take pictures that can fit a wide variety of websites, so it’s not a particularly good venue if your style is more artistic and less commercial.
Taking Pictures for Retailers
More and more people use the Internet to sell their handmade goods, and there’s a market for good photographers who are willing to work to order and take pictures of their stock to be used on online marketplaces and e-commerce sites. In some cases, you may even be able to negotiate being sent the goods in order to take the pictures at your home studio, but often you may need to go to the client’s premises with a portable photography studio kit in order to take the pictures.
If you intend to make photography a full time career, approaching small retailers can be not only a great way of making money with your photographs, but also good in terms of establishing relationships and getting some real clients and commercial work on your portfolio.
Print Photography Sales
There is a big market for original artwork and photography is not an exception. Some photographers sell printed copies of their masterpieces online, either through their own website or by using a third party that is responsible of the actual printing, framing and shipping. This is usually the easiest option if you aren’t a well-known photographer, but your profits will be lower as the site will keep a part of the sale price. On the other hand, if you do everything yourself you will need to find a reliable printing and framing partner, and be 100% responsible for order fulfilment, customer care and returns.
This way of making money with your photographs is great if you enjoy artistic photography as a hobby, but there is a lot of competition so you will need to have real talent in order to make more than a few dollars a year.
You can also sell your photos to a stock library. A stock library is an organization that sells your photo directly to a publisher thus freeing you from having to try and sell them yourself. However, there is a cost involved and it usually runs about 50% of your commission.
Finally, you photographic contests can be an excellent way to make money from your photography. Winners are often awarded a variety of great prizes including cruises, new cars, camera equipment, and cash.