There is still a lot of time left to improve your photography earnings for this year. Luckily for you, photography is one of the most lucrative professions out there, if done right. Millions of people crave for that perfect photo of their family, dog, child or simply a perfect photo for their Instagram account.
Sure, you can’t become a professional photographer overnight but you can earn a good sum of cash as an amateur or semi-professional photographer. Don’t wait for the opportunities to show up. Instead, create new opportunities and start working on your photography business. Here are some great ideas to earn money as a photographer in 2021.
8 Ways to Make Money as a Photographer in 2021
1. Start a YouTube Channel
If you’re into YouTube, you are aware of the huge popularity of this website. These days YouTube is a place where you can find everything you need. From tutorials, news, funny videos, tech, makeup, and of course, photography. Having in mind that you probably know a thing or two about photography, you can start your own YouTube channel. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll succeed but it doesn’t cost a single penny. On top of that, you can more easily express yourself as you don’t have to write blogs, which usually takes more time.
On your YouTube channel, you can post various vlogs but also some tutorials, tips, and tricks about photography. There are many enthusiast photographers out there that might need your help. Over time, a YouTube channel can grow significantly and you’ll get more opportunities for sponsorship and local events.
2. Make Your Photography Blog
Creating and maintaining your blog takes more time than maintaining your YouTube channel. But, there is one advantage over YouTube, and that’s the fact that you don’t need to expose yourself. Some of us are uncomfortable when talking or simply standing in front of the camera. As such, we don’t have complete freedom to tell viewers everything we think, and that can compromise our effort. However, photography blogs are very popular and you can type all you want without any feeling of embarrassment or discomfort.
You need to be very creative when making a blog. Your readers should be enjoying your blog articles and should be coming back. To get to this point, you’ll need more than awesome photos. Sure, your work should be exposed and you should be proud of it, but you’ll also need some intriguing articles. Also, take advantage of Google Ads as well as various other advertisement methods. Cooperate with the advertisers and see if they’re willing to work with you.
As photography is a vast profession, you can get in touch with various brands and earn some cash.
3. Become a Member of Stock Photography Websites
Stock photography websites are your best bet if you’re an amateur photographer. The investments are non-existent and you can still earn a fair amount of cash. Simply register your account to the particular stock photography website and start uploading the pictures. Before the upload is complete, your photos will be examined, and if they meet certain norms, they’ll be uploaded. If your photo is purchased, the money will be transferred to your bank account or PayPal account. As you can see, it’s not a big deal. You probably publish your photos to your Instagram account every day and you don’t get paid a single penny.
Here, you will do the same, but you have chances to earn a fair amount of cash, depending on your photo quality.
4. Participate in Photo Contests
To win a photo contest, you have to be a bloody good photographer. The great thing about photo contests is that you can earn a really good sum of money for a single photo and the bad thing is that the competition is really strong. There are various photo contests out there. Some are international, some are regional, and some are sponsored photo contests. The amount of money you can earn depends on the aforementioned factors. International photo contests are the most lucrative and earnings can go anywhere from $2500 to $10000 for a winner.
Even the runner-up can earn some cash, which is great for amateur photographers. You can simply Google up some photo contests and see for yourself.
5. Examine Freelance Job Boards
Freelance job boards are great for those who would like to make money with photography, aside from their full-time job. As its name implies, freelance photography is something you do in your free time but this doesn’t mean that you can’t go professional from this point. Various job boards let you create your profile so that other clients can find you and request some kind of service. Websites like Freelancer and Upwork are great for starting this work. The website will usually take some percentage of your earnings (about 20% for Upwork) until you become more popular and earn more money. Then, the percentage decreases.
Being a freelance photographer lets you do something aside from photography and you can even get into other types of work. These websites are versatile and will let you get in touch with numerous clients around the globe, creating potential new contracts and chances for you.
6. Start Local Photography Business
The local photography business is great because you don’t have to fight with a lot of competition. Thanks to the versatility of the local photography business, you can earn money in many different ways. You can visit art shows, where you can sell and display your work. This will increase your reputation in the region you live in. Another great way to earn is by working for a newspaper that’s in your city. You can take various photos of your city and let the newspaper owner publish them in the newspaper.
Event photography can also be of great use here. You can work with restaurants, for example, and you can shoot some food or cocktails for their advertisement. The hardest thing is to actually ask people around and see if they want any kind of service. If you manage to get past that point, you’ll have a great time shooting in your own city, and you probably wouldn’t have a lot of competition.
7. Specialize in Portrait Photography
Portrait photography is one of the most popular niches at the moment. By working on your photography skills in this niche, you can make it easier to establish as a professional photographer. The reason we’ve chosen this niche is that people always want some stunning photos of themselves. Whether it’s for their home or social media account, these photos are simply abundant, and you can’t disagree. You can build your own studio for portrait photography, but it’s really not necessary, as most clients want shots outside in nature.
This means that you don’t need a lot of money to start practicing portrait photography, yet it can bring you some serious cash. The only thing you’ll need is a quality photography gear, which includes portrait lens, tripods, light diffusers, etc.
8. Try Photo Editor Jobs
If you aren’t as good with your camera, you can try photo editor jobs. Photography is far more than snapping a photo and editing plays a huge, if not the most important role. The moment you transfer a photo to your computer, you can create magic and make the photo far better… or far worse, depending on your skills. You don’t need any kind of fancy camera or camera gear for this. Only your PC, Photoshop (or any other app), and your editing skills are needed. If you have what it takes, you can in some cases earn more money than you would earn with an ordinary photography job.
These are some of the ways you can earn money as a photographer in 2021. As you can see, there are a lot of ways to do so, even as a freelance photographer, which can still earn a fair amount of cash. Whether you’re a photographer or you’re just a photo editor, the potential for earning is huge. Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of social media websites, as well as smartphones, people value photography more, which is great for photographers.
That being said, you can definitely earn a lot as a photographer, and in some cases, even make a living out of it. It’s never too late. Start now and make 2021 your year of happiness!