How to get Money from Photography in 2021

How to get Money from Photography in 2021

How to get Money from Photography in 2021

Hi, guys, and welcome back to my website.

So in today's articel, I want to talk to you guys about something that I've had a lot of questions about, and that is how you actually make money as a photographer. 

So if you guys are new to this website, my name is Kris and I am a photographer from the U.K., I mainly specialise in fashion portraits and weddings.

I also work in a few different niches as well.

I'm going to be splitting this article up into two sections, the first section being active income and the second section being passive income.

When we are talking about active income, we are talking about income that results from actively working. Passive income, we are talking about work where you kind of do it once and you get paid for it, or the only kind of work you have to do is the maintenance of that work.

So first up, we'll talk about active income and the most obvious form of active income as a photographer is actually doing photo shoots.

But because you probably are already aware that that is one of the best ways to make money as a photographer, I'm going to go a little bit into more detail about how you can actually get bo oked for your first shoot.

There are three things I think you kind of have to have nailed down before you can start booking shoots.

The first one is know your audience or niché down.

When we're talking about nichés, we're talking about specialist subjects or areas of expertise.

So, for example, fashion is a niché.

Sport is a niché, wedding is a niché

product, product photography is another niché.

And you don't actually have to niche down.

Or if you do niche down, you don't have to say I'm a fashion photographer and I will not shoot anything else.

That's not really the idea of niching down in this instance, but having a specific niche and specialising in one area might make it a little bit easier for you to market yourself when you are just starting out.

It's usually better to be a master of one niché or discipline than it is to be a jack of all trades and master of none.

Some advice I would give you is to start out in one niché and then when you can, or if you want to, you can pivot towards other nichés. Once you have that niché, you want to start thinking about who the audience is.

Who is going to be your ideal client.

Understanding who your ideal client is, is going to make it a lot easier for you to create marketing material, to create shoots that catch their attention and to actually communicate with those clients.

And that brings me really nicely on to the next step, and that is to network networking is key.

Unfortunately, a lot of the creative industries are who you know are not.

And because of this networking events or using your online presence or creating a good system of word mouth is really important to get those clients and put your work in front of them, which again, leads me nicely onto the next step, and that is to build a portfolio.

You need a good body of work to put in front of those clients.

So there are a lot of really good ways to build your portfolio.

For example, you can start off by using your friends and family or anyone that fancies themselves a little bit of a model that you know, and you can start setting up some shoots with those people that you already know.

There are a lot of pros to shooting with the people that you know: you're generally going to feel a lot more comfortable.

You're going to have a lot more time and space to learn to try new techniques, to experiment.

But also, you know, the model is likely to be a bit more comfortable with you as well, because you already have that relationship.

Secondly, you could hire a model from a modeling agency or reach out to modeling agency to test with some of their new faces or their - their models who need their portfolio being built.

If, for example, you want to go into product photography and not fashion photography or portraits, then

product or food photography, that sort of thing, is really easy to get a portfolio in because you can just do it, you know, with things around your house.

If you want to do food photography, you can make a nice meal style, shoot that and then you've already started to build up that portfolio. For weddings, a lot of people set up styled shoots, and this can be really beneficial because you're kind of helping out everyone involved.

So these are usually on a collaborative basis.

You grab a stylist, hair makeup artist, yourself as a photographer, maybe a couple of models, and you set up a styled shoot to build all of your portfolios in that kind of wedding niché.

And then once you've got all this content, it's really important to set up a good online presence.

So this could be across social media.

This could be a website.

You want a place for people to be able to find your work.

So now we've covered the basics of how you make money from a shoot.

How can you go a little bit further on and make more money actively?

Another form of active income is upselling.

And upselling is essentially when you already have a client or prospective client and you offer them more than they're looking for.

So, for example, if you are doing real estate photography, does that company need headshots for their new staff as well as real estate, or can you offer them a promotional video alongside your photographs?

Sometimes your client isn't going to be looking for any more than what they've asked you to do.

So this might not always work, but a lot of the time you can offer these services.

And end up making more money than you would have beforehand.

So before we start talking about passive income, I just really quickly want to talk about the sponsor of today's article, because it ties really nicely into the article.

So C41 Photo Competition App is an app that allows you to submit your photographs to contests and win real life prizes.

So cash, gear, you know, all sorts of things that are photography related.

And you don't just have to submit photographs to competitions either to win.

You can also leave feedback.

So a great thing about C41 Photo Competition App is that not only are you potentially rewarded for your photography, you're also rewarded for your feedback, which encourages people to give feedback to each other.

You can grow a lot more as an artist, as a photographer, learn more techniques, get people's general advice on your work, and be in with the chance of winning money all the while.

So if you guys are interested in looking at C41 Photo Competition App and signing up, I'll link it in the description and you can head over and check that out.

So into passive income, the first type of passive income I want to talk about are selling prints - or is selling prints.

There are a few different ways of selling prints.

As a photographer, you can physically hold the stock and ship that stock out.

And this is a little bit more of an active approach because you have to order the stock, you have to fulfill the orders.

You know, you have to package them and do all of that stuff and send them out.

But the great thing about the ttwenty-firstwenty first century is that you don't have to do all of that stuff.

Print on demand is a great way of selling prints and minimising the amount of work that is involved.

So some of the places I want to talk about are Pixieset, that this is a great way to sell prints and also to upsell.

So we're linking a little bit here to the art of income with Pixieset that you can essentially put out a gallery of work.

So this could be a client gallery.

If you've done a wedding, you can deliver this client gallery to the client and then they have the option to buy prints from the Pixieset Art Gallery.

And the great thing about this is that the order just goes directly fixes that and they print it, they package it and they send it to your client for you and then you just take a profit.

There is also an option to self-fullfil, but we're talking about print on demand here.

So, yeah, it's a lot more passive than actually fulfilling it yourself.

There are other websites that do the same thing, such as Darkroom and Darkroom is a great place to kind of make up an online shop, bit like BigCartel or Etsy a little bit where people can go on and order prints.

Same thing, Darkroom works at all the postage and shipping and all of that stuff.

And you just take a cut for every sale.

You guys have probably also heard of places like Society 6, Redbubble, TeePublic and those places all rely on the same kind of idea.

But they're also opposed to using these platforms.

So with Redbubble and TeePublic and Society 6, you don't just restrict your products to prints you can sell on t-shirts, on stickers, on masks, on clocks, on duvet sets.

There's like a whole range of different products that you can sell your work on.

And better than that, the algorithm within these sites handles a lot of the marketing for you.

So you can get some organic sales without doing anything.

You literally just put the stuff up onto Redbubble or Society 6 or whatever is that you're using and you let them do the rest.

Of course, if you wanted to market it and have a bit more of an active hands on approach to your shop, then you could probably make a few more sales.

But it's not a necessity, which is great.

Another way of making money passively is by using stock imagery or licensing your photos.

There are a ton of different places that you can sell stock imagery.

Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Getty Images.

They come to my mind straight away, but I'll link a few different ones in the description for you guys to have a look at.

And essentially what you do here is you upload photos and maybe it's from a holiday that you had or a walk that you had in a forest and you upload those photos to these sites and the users of these sites will purchase licenses to be able to use those images.

Similarly, to print on demand, you don't actually have to do anything.

Once you've uploaded them, they'll kind of saw it themselves.

You'll probably make a few sales.

But if you do want to take a more active approach and market a bit more on social media, you're likely to make more sales.

You can upload videos and photos onto these websites, and often videos sell a little bit better because there's not as many.

A top tip here is to look at what is selling.

Same with print on demand.

You really want to have a look at what's what's trending, what's selling, what kind of content they need.

So I know that Shutterstock will send you out, like, a list every month of stuff that is likely to sell in the next month, so that if it's November, for example, you can go out and shoot fern trees or, you know, Christmassy kind of things, and that might sell in December.

The idea with stock photos, and with print on demand is, to have a broad array of stuff.

You want as much kind of content, quality content, but as much content on those sites as you can for the algorithm to kind of favour you and for that to be more chance of some of your work selling.

So as a full time photographer, I use all of these methods to generate some sort of income.

There are people that literally just do stock image photography.

You know, if you don't want to be a portrait photographer or events or commercial photographer and you just want to kind of do still life or landscape, then print on demand, and stock imagery is a great idea for you.

These passive forms of income by no means are easy money.

You have to put the work in.

You have to frequently upload, you have to have a large portfolio of work to be able to generate sales, especially enough sales to make any meaningful money.

But there are ways that you can start generating income from your photography.

If you do want to know a little bit more about the business of photography, the business of being a freelancer, then this is a part of a series on my Work Edition where we talk about all things freelance and money and businessbusiness-related related.

But thank you guys so much for reading and I'll see you guys in the next one.

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