Making a career from photography

Photography Basics

If you are just getting into photography with the hope that one day it will earn you a living, then you need to know it’s a hard business to get into, but with a little time and effort you can make money from photography.

There are a few ways that you may know of, and have ideas about, so here is an overview of three ways that photography can be used to generate income.

Wedding Photography

There will always be a need to capture that special moment at a wedding. Whether you are taking the formal posed shots or are wandering around trying to capture that candid moment of the bride or groom, or the guests. Wedding photography can be a good money maker, but you will have to sacrifice your weekends in most cases and if you shoot digital, time on the computer afterwards preparing the images. Different people want different things from a wedding photographer. They may want you around all day getting pictures of the preparation, the wedding and the reception. That’s a full day of taking pictures. Or they may simply want you at the ceremony to get those few memorable shots. They may want the formal, traditional style, or maybe the more candid style which is popular nowadays. Either way you will need the right equipment for the job.

Equipment is key. You need to know that you can rely on your equipment, and that you have backups should one part fail. The bride and groom are relying on you to get the pictures they want so there is the added pressure to deal with should something go wrong, or maybe the weather plays it’s part and prevents you from taking your pre planned shots.

If you want to get into wedding photography then a great way to learn the ropes is to help an established wedding photographer. Learn the best way to do things, the way to manage the guests in the time you have and learn how to make the best of given situations. Then you can branch out on your own once you have the equipment and the confidence to do a good job.

Stock Photography

There are many stock libraries you can submit your images to, which they will then sell and you get a percentage of the selling price. It is a very competitive area though, and digital has made it more so with more and more people submitting their work. Finding a niche is a good way to do well as well as search for the photos that aren’t in the library. You are more likely to make sales if you supply pictures on a theme which is not already flooded with thousands of examples.

Stock images have to meet strict standards for most image libraries so always check what they want before submitting your work.

Stock has the beauty that once you image is in the library it can get multiple sales over time, therefore making you money for doing nothing, once it’s there. The larger your collection of images in that library, the more money you can potentially make.

It’s well worth looking into though, and over time can earn some good money, but you are competing with a lot of people so make sure your images stand out from the rest.

Magazines and other Publications

Magazines, newspapers and other publications are always looking for images and this can be a great way to earn a bit of money as well as get your name known. If you are interested in a particular hobby, or other interest, find out what magazines are linked to that subject and submit your images to them.

I would suggest writing to the editor first to see what sort of images they want, what format they want them in and if they pay for the images used. Regular submissions of good subject matter will help get you noticed and if you are good with words you may want to submit articles to go along with them. You’d be surprised how many magazines are dying for content to fill their pages.

So there you go, three ways to make some money from photography. They each take time and commitment and you may not make a lot of money straight away, but over time as you pick up experience you will find ways to improve your work to suit the market and thus improve your chances of making more money.

12 thoughts on “Making a career from photography

  1. omg this is such a great website. im doing a career project in school and this is just the paage ive been looking for in the past week and a half. lol well thanks soo much.

  2. i enjoy photography!! it is a hobby and i want my hobby to earn me some money. thanx to this website, i know how to do stock photography. that’s how i would like to pursue phoyography as a career.

  3. Hi, thanks for sharing such a useful things about how to make a carrier in photography. i don’t have any experience of photography but i am more interested in wild life photography and fashion photography. so if you can guide me for the same that what should i do and from where i should start i am from ahmedabad gujarat india
    Thanks & regards
    Samir Bhatt.

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