5 Ways To Maximize Your Income As A Photographer!

maximize photographer income
Image by UnSplash

I know that most of you out there are likely as disorganized with your photography as I am. Totally understandable – there are so many files and edit versions, but so little time.

Now, let me ask you this simple question: How many spectacular photos are just sitting and gathering virtual dust on your hard drives? I know I have loads and loads of them. I’ve just recently come to the realization that the photography industry is one of the weirdest out there because it functions in mysterious ways.

Take, for instance, the fact that it is extremely difficult to make much profit in photography by relying upon very large sales or projects, alone.

Marketing your business right is such an important thing to do, if not THE most important. Because what's the point in amazing photography if no one sees it? Using online techniques, this Web Marketing series of eBooks will be plenty to get you started…

Ok, so without hesitation, let’s dive into some options that you as a photographer have for getting the most out of your work.

1. Sell Your Time

Whenever you are photographing a gig or event, remember that your time is valuable as your time is money. Apportion and track your time accordingly. It is not just the time you spend photographing the event that matters.

Expenses: The time spent in traveling to and from the event, the cost of travel, and the time you spend in editing should all be taken into consideration when you form your price.

2. Sell Your Photos

This may sound too obvious to even merit mentioning, but please hear me out on these vital details.

Let's first consider the situation of having a photo-shoot deal with a model. You have all the proprietary model release forms necessary, and you have licensed the photo for use in a magazine.

However, you still own the rights to the photograph and you shouldn’t sign them off too quickly. This will allow you to put the same photo on the market elsewhere, such as on stock photo sharing sites.

You will need to test out the waters and see whether selling your photo as a non-exclusive to several stock photo sites or selling it to one site alone works better for you. This is mostly dependent on who you are as a photographer and the portfolio establishment that you have with the sites.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7071/7027607705_c110d70b2f_b.jpg Photo by Tax Credits

Next, don’t be shy about putting out several of the photos on the stock photo market which you would personally rate as less than 10 out of 10. These will usually serve your interests just as well as the ones that you think are of the best quality.

The idea of utilizing the stock photo market is to fortify the quantity and quality of your work at the same time. There are millions of photos out there, so the more photos you have submitted, the greater your chances are that they will be found and purchased.

Try to be aware of the latest trends and put your work out there accordingly. During the New Year holiday, for example, submitting photos of a beach on Hawaii probably isn't the best idea, since most of the designers in need of a stock photo will be looking for something that suits the season.

Prints are also a decent form of income as well, particularly the large ones often bought by companies for decorating offices in a modern fashion. Find a reliable way to market such prints and be prepared to produce them on short notice.

You may often be asked for a framed print, so be ready to offer that, as well.

3. Model And Property Release Forms

Every stock photo website will ask for a model or property release form for every recognizable person or building in the photo before putting your photos up on the market.

You should make it a habit to always carry ten or so blank release forms in your bag when you work. Whenever you are on a photo shoot, try to get a model release form filled out for the pictures you have taken that day so that you will be able to actually place the photo on a market and possibly get some income from it.

Even if you are doing just a fun photo shoot with friends, you can still negotiate terms of compensation if you are kind and confident enough, offering them a piece of the benefits.

https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6159/6140792529_4186678ac8_b.jpg Photo by storebukkebruse

4. Guerilla Sales

Guerilla sales, as they are called, require that you know your collection like the back of your hand. You need to be able to offer photos you have already taken to potential clients in need.

Let's say that for some reason unrelated to your photography you wind up in a meeting with a company that works with utility vehicles. At the meeting, you can't help noticing that the posters they have are simply awful.

Luckily, you have already have some pictures of far superior quality, giving you a solid foundation for an unexpected business proposal. If you play your cards right, you may be able to sell those photos for some extra profit, and establish yourself as a skilled photographer for future collaboration.

This technique works well with fashion blogs and others in need of photographs for similar reasons.

5. Advertise Your Work

Today, the internet is one of the best places to both earn some extra income and advertise your style. Sites like 500px, DeviantArt, and so forth allow you the opportunity to post your work for people to see and get to know you.

These are essentially online portfolios, but they also make it possible for you to sell your work. 500px has a great option for stock photo purchase, and as far as I know, this site seems to be the one that provides the most income for the photographer.

DeviantArt, on the other hand, offers a great way to sell prints. There are many other platforms, so I'm not recommending only the two I've mentioned. Try to take advantage of as many different sites as possible.

Marketing your business right is such an important thing to do, if not THE most important. Because what's the point in amazing photography if no one sees it? Using online techniques, this Web Marketing series of eBooks will be plenty to get you started…


I hope with these five tips there's some valuable content for you to take away – they'll certainly help you to get started! Building a photography business has it's own challenges, as does starting any other product/service business. Let me know in the comment section below if you have anything further to add, I'd love to hear your thoughts…

Further Resources

  1. So You Want to Use My Images For Free?
  2. These Reasons Will Compel You to Start Printing Your Photographs
  3. Photographers Must Put THESE Techniques In Their Portfolio
  4. 12 Things You Will Never Hear a Photographer Say

About Author

Photographer who loves challenging and experimental photography and loves sharing his knowledge about it.

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