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5 Ways to Earn Extra Money as a Photographer


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Being a photographer can be financially challenging sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with facing issues that constantly plague the world of creativity. Wanting to be economically stable is what will help you get through times of drought. The best thing you can do during this phase is experiment and persist whenever you can.

Experimentation can be found almost anywhere. Some photographers enjoy being beginners in photography genres different to their own, while others prefer to challenge themselves in their own realms of knowledge. Regardless of the option that draws you in, there are many opportunities that will help you earn some extra money and grow as an artist. It’s through experimentation that you will discover new ways of working, learning, and creating.

Here are five ways you can earn money with the help of your photography skills.

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Be Someone’s Second Shooter

There’s a plentiful amount of second shooter opportunities in the world of weddings. Their job is to assist the primary photographer and, as the title suggests, take photos of their own. Second shooters may not get paid as much as the primary photographer, but they get to make new connections, earn some extra money, and become more experienced as assistants. If this turns out to be something you completely dislike, at least you’ll be left with these valuable rewards.

Try out Other Genres of Photography

There are many specific photography-related jobs that are available almost anywhere:

  • If you’re a portrait photographer, school photography might be something you’ll like.
  • If you enjoy combining stories with pictures, working for your local paper as a journalist may spark some interest in you.
  • If your local area is filled with animals, offering to take photos of pets may provide you with interesting and heartwarming opportunities.
  • If you’re into fashion, working as a local fashion photographer may help you meet new models, find clients, and strengthen your reputation as an artist.

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Get into Stock Photography

Stock photography may not be the most profitable job, but it’s a great way to let others know about your brand. Stock photography can be as simple as contributing your phone snaps to a company that will sell them to blogs, social media accounts, etc., or as complicated as taking specific photos for a book cover. Some photographers earn a few cents from their contributions (which, in the long run, add up to a large amount), while more dedicated contributors earn hundreds of thousands.

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Contribute to a Local Newspaper

If you spend a lot of time taking photos in your area, consider working with the local paper. They might need a photographer to take photos of events, concerts, or even meetings. Even if you’re not interested in working with them long-term, you could contribute a few photos taken at a local event and earn some money.

Be Your Own Retoucher

Working from home is possible thanks to remote jobs online. Retouching, along with many other skills, is highly requested thanks to the packed schedules of busy photographers. Even if you’re not a Photoshop pro, there are ways you can efficiently color correct and enhance clients’ photographs.

If you don’t want to feel pressured by someone else’s preferences, offer retouching services in your own work. Instead of providing clients with unedited images, color correct them first. Even using pre-made Lightroom presets or Photoshop actions will instantly enhance your images and satisfy your clients.

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You might wonder where to begin – after all, there are so many options and (seemingly) so little time. The truth is that there’s no formula for experimentation and creative growth. Start anywhere. Start right here at this moment with the knowledge and skills that you have. Let the doubts, the worries, and the skepticism go. Once you get through the hardest part – the beginning – you’ll discover a new world, one filled with more creativity, more opportunities, and most importantly, more hope.

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  1. oliviagreennyc on April 4, 2018 at 3:57 am

    Great information.However you can add another point about earning from one’s own website by selling digital photos. Stock photography is a great way to earn, but the final pay that the photographer gets is way too less than what he deserves.A better way is to build your own website and sell photos. This way, there’s no commission involved and the photographers get all the profit.I’ve built my website with Pixpa, and they allow me to sell my prints within the website. Not to mention most of my income is generated through selling digital prints and artworks.

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