Tips for Monetizing your Penchant for Photography

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Sometimes a hobby can do more than fill time and bring joy. Hobbies can become lucrative business ideas if they are able to fill a niche that people desire. If you’re serious about finding a way to market your talent for photography, there may be some money-making ideas you’ve not considered but may enjoy.

Market products for online businesses through still photos.

Ecommerce businesses are prolific in today’s society. Over half of global internet users made a purchase online in 2016, and that number continues to rise. What is more, a staggering 93 percent of online consumers indicate that visual appearance is the key deciding factor in a purchasing decision. This being said, it’s no surprise that most companies will need and want well-composed still photos of their products to add to their business websites. If you have the creativity to photograph still images that utilize the right lighting, angle, and composition, you may want to market yourself as a  product photographer.

Not everyone can use backdrops and artistic composition to market a wide range of merchandise. From clothing items like t-shirts to niche items like vintage signs, businesses will pay to have their products and services presented in the best way possible. With more than 55 percent of companies reporting they have a mobile-optimized website, mobile app, or both,  your skill is a truly valuable one that can turn into a highly profitable business of your own. Making money shooting tomatoes and tea-cups has never been easier!

YouTube your talent and make money on subscriptions.

You can start learning how to easily make a YouTube channel and sell subscriptions. People watch your videos, come to know and trust you, and then eventually buy your products or attend your workshop. Simply make great art, videotape yourself doing it, and then post it online. If you’ve ever perused YouTube, you know that there are videos of everything from people completing DIY pallet furniture projects to changing a car battery.

Developing a YouTube channel does not minimize the importance of using other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to get the word out about your business. For photographers, consistent blogging and active client research can be effective marketing strategies for creating an online presence.

Sell your digital images as stock photos.

In addition to ecommerce companies needing still photos, other businesses make money generating, storing, and selling stock images for others to download and use. Even if it’s something you don’t want to do full time, you may find that there are digital photos taking up storage space on your hard drive that one of these companies may want. Choose some of the best of your images and turn them into money by selling them on one of the many microstock websites.

Microstock websites take small payments from consumers using those images and pay these to the photographer who captured the photo. All you need to do is apply, get approved as a contributor, and start selling. You won’t be charged as a photographer to upload your images, but the site will take a percentage of each sale you make from them.

Turn your expertise into cash by developing online photography workshops.

You have photographic expertise, so why not make money sharing what you know? You can turn your passion into a product by setting up an online website and finding others who are interested in learning from you online.  If you aren’t sure that teaching is for you, join an online photography course as a guest instructor so that you can get a feel for what the process entails before you decide to do one of your own. These workshops might include everything from the basics of lighting and angles to more specialized photography in weddings or family events. Learn how to develop a text-only module or a digital lesson in nine easy steps.

Capture current events and sell the photos.

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Photojournalism means capturing images of people, places, and events that are worthy of publication. It means telling a story through pictures. Photojournalism is a fast-paced career that involves a wide range of assignments daily and usually requires a degree, but you may find that, like selling stock photos, you may have shots stored digitally that are able to be sold to newspapers, magazines, and other media.

If this is an idea you’ve never thought of,  try it out by attending some local events and seeing what intriguing shots you can capture. If schools or businesses show an interest in what you have, you may have stumbled upon an unintended source of income. From sporting events to crime scenes, pictures and videos may be both useful and worth money. Remember that not all photojournalists chronicle human events. You may find that you are a natural at getting pictures or digital video of landscapes or animals. You may find yourself the next amateur photojournalist with relevant and important work seen around the world!

What suggestions do you have for a successful photography business? Share your ideas in the comments section below.