Photography is a popular hobby for many people. Turning that hobby into cold hard cash can not only be fun but lucrative.
Gone are the days of darkrooms and rolls of film (although some photographers still use this medium). With today’s technology, the photography industry has completely changed in a short amount of time due to software such as Photoshop and even smartphones with high pixel cameras.
These advances in technology have turned the once secretive and complex art of photo development into an adventure that most amateur photographers can turn into their own side hustle.
Where to Begin
First, inventory the equipment you have on hand. If you only have an iPhone, it may be time to invest in a high-quality camera. But, even if you don’t have the extra cash to buy the equipment you need, you can still turn out excellent photos and display them in different ways.
The most common way to make money with photography is to work for clients taking portraits. Family, engagement, maternity, newborns, baby, graduation…the list goes on and on. There are some photographers who specialize in portraits of this kind and do very well. To compete with photographers who do this type of work full time, consider offering package deals such as a one-hour session with a CD of at least 50 photos for a flat fee.
Get permission from the clients beforehand to place some of the pictures on your Facebook page or website. Be sure to tag your business to create lots and lots of new leads.
Wedding packages can run into thousands of dollars. For a hobbyist, there is a great amount of opportunity in the wedding industry. Just remember that the couple will want to see some examples of your previous work before they hire you for their special day.
When delving into the wedding realm, as a photographer, you can branch out and create packages that include save the date cards, invitations, albums, and engagement photos.
As a side hustle, a part-time photographer may want to skip this step and offer their clients digital photos with the right to print them however they want. Professional photographers often charge exorbitant amounts of money to clients, and as a side-hustling photographer, you may be better off to just offer the CD or DVD to the client at a flat rate.
Landscape, Travel, or Fine Art Prints
Another option for the part time photographer is selling art. Don’t sell this area of photography short. There are many photographers who make good money selling their prints on a website, in person at art bazaars or flea markets, and even at some galleries.
However, with the intense competition for landscape art, it is wise to find your own niche. If you live in a particular area, try first selling local landscapes to people who live in the area. Then, branch out after you have branded yourself as a local artist.
Don’t feel overwhelmed with the amount of competition out there. Find what interests you and build on that brand. Use a blog, YouTube channel, or even a podcast to get your art out to the masses. Find your niche and stick with it and above all else, have fun.