7 Tips on How to Make Money with Photography

Team Pepper
Posted on 2/02/2210 min read
7 Tips on How to Make Money with Photography

Table of Contents 

  • What is Freelance Photography? 
  • Advantages of Freelance Photography 
  • Is Freelance Photography Economical? 
  • How to Make Money with Photography: 7 Tips 
  • Key Takeaways
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

Do you click a photograph every chance you get? Do you like to record every moment that you can? Well, then maybe photography is your passion, and if you are already aiming to make it into the world of photography and earn doing what you love, you have come to the right place. 

Whenever someone thinks about pursuing a career in photography, the biggest factor that holds them back is money. Earning through photography surely can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. If you have the right knowledge and resources, you will be able to make it through. This article will provide you with an answer to the question: How to make money with photography. 


What is Freelance Photography?

To understand how to make money with freelance photography, you must understand what freelance photography is. 

You must be clear about the basics of the field before venturing out on your own. Freelance photography is different from a traditional photography job at a company. As an employee for a company, naturally, you will have to work according to the organization you are associated with, but as a freelancer, you will enjoy freedom. 

So, in technical terms, the act of providing images on a contract basis for several clients as a self-employed photographer is known as freelance photography. Rather than working for a firm, you work on a contract or project basis. Simply put, you oversee yourself.

Freelance photographers typically photograph weddings and other special events, marketing themselves to new clients through their portfolios and social media.

As mentioned above, freelance photography is a different arena than a conventional job in photography. That is because a freelance photographer must assume the obligations and responsibilities that an employer would typically accomplish, like, legal issues, taxes, marketing, and scheduling. 

These photographers are the ones who run their own businesses and develop a marketing strategy that includes their own website and social media accounts where prospective customers can enquire about services.

If you’re only starting, you’ll need to rely on peers and family to find potential clients. This might lead to the formation of networking groups to generate leads. Developing a solid freelance photography business plan and consistently producing outcomes is extremely important to earn money by selling photos. As it can help build and grow name recognition. To increase their clientele, freelancers rely on word-of-mouth marketing.

Many freelance photographers specialize in a particular sort or style of photography. So, before heading out, try and figure out your style. 

Advantages of Freelance Photography

If you enjoy photography, there are numerous reasons why you should consider this style. To begin with, you will have complete control over your schedule. This is a significant plus for caregivers who wish to stay at home with their kids while also earning some money. Along with that, if you’re a student in need of a little additional income, here is your chance. Therefore, it is a flexible career path if you are looking for a field to earn on your own terms. 

Second, and probably one of the biggest advantages is that here you will have the option of focusing on a specific type and style. You even get to have a choice while choosing your ideal client! You can go for a clientele that works best for you. It’s up to you if you wish to take family portraits; you can choose projects and clients accordingly. Perhaps you’d like to hold a baby? Perhaps you’d want to see your picture of that bird in a wildlife magazine, whatever the case may be the point is you can do what you really want to do! 


Is Freelance Photography Economical?

The phrase gig economy, also known as freelance economy, has recently gained popularity worldwide. The massive digitalization in the industrial revolution 4.0 era is credited with this exponential development of gig workers.

The gig economy refers to a work setting with brief commitments and contract-based, autonomous initiatives between experts and companies. This gig economy trend has also found its way into the field of photography. Hence, if you want to know how to make money with photography, start by making a mark in the freelancing industry. Freelancing comes with a fair share of benefits of its own. It is flexible, and people can be their own bosses, but the tricky part is that you must have an excellent profile to earn a decent amount of money here.

You will get paid per project, so it’s entirely up to you; everything here depends on your approach. The pricing that you set for each project will determine your earnings. This is a budding field; it has a lot of potential, and if approached with the right strategy, it may just blow up and give you more income than a traditional photography job. 

Starting will be difficult, but if you maintain consistency and constantly strive to improve your skill, you will find yourself with more gigs – and consequently, money. To earn money from freelance photography, you should be clear about this one fact – you will have to build your profile. A good profile will land you good clients and good money. A good freelance photographer can earn about Rs. 1 lakh per month. 

How to Make Money with Photography: 7 Tips

1. Find your niche

Trying to figure out how to make money with photography? Know your niche! 

Understanding your target audience is essential for becoming a successful freelance photographer. When you’ve been a professional freelance photographer for a while, and you’ve gotten used to your job and its demands, you may want to narrow it down, which means you must start concentrating on a specific sort of photography and client profile for commercial purposes.

The advantage of specializing in one form of photography, such as family portrait photography, rather than general portrait photography, is that you can pinpoint exactly who would be interested in your services.

With this, you’ll be able to address your ideal customer at every opportunity now that you understand precisely what style of photography you should be doing and who your target client is. This will make clients feel valued and compelled to hire you over your competition. Keep one thing in mind while promoting your work. You’re speaking directly to your ideal client whenever you advertise your work or post about being a freelance photographer, so tailor the content accordingly. 

2. Sell digital downloads and stock photos.

The supply of pictures often licensed for specified usage is known as stock photography. Professional stock photographers typically deposit their images at one or more stock agencies on a commission basis. Along with this, amateur photographers’ high-quality shots can also be submitted online to these stock agencies. Therefore, you can start by selling stock photos to earn money as a photographer. 

Stock photographs are a terrific way to access high-quality, low-cost photos for various uses in the design arena. They’re ideal for digital advertising, promotion, personal and commercial creative endeavors, publishing, websites and blogs, and more. Businesses and marketing agencies require images for various purposes; they tend to use cheap resources. Hence, you can score a client over here. 

Selling stock photos is not that hard. There are several websites where you can sell your stock photos, Unsplash, Shutterstock, iStock, Pexels, etc., to name a few. All you have to do is go to a website of your choice and register over there. As soon as you are registered, your next step would be to upload some of your work for analysis to determine whether your work meets the requirements. Lastly, you will have to wait for someone to revert.

This way, you will earn money by uploading the photos you clicked. 

To get better results, click and upload trendy images and follow the latest trends in color palette and other factors. This will ensure that your images catch the client’s eye. These websites are full of images. You will have to put out quality and trendy content; outdated content won’t generate income. Be aware of the seasons, and upload accordingly. If it’s the festive season, you will have to upload relevant images. Along with this, for better reach, post your work on different platforms and use relevant keywords for maximum visibility. 

Besides selling stock photos, you can also sell digital downloads. Utilize the pile of high-quality images you clicked. In your online photography store, you can sell your images as digital downloads so that clients may support your freelance photography career while also getting some fantastic art at a lesser cost than they might print at home.

3. Earn through print-on-demand services

Another excellent means to earn money from photography is print-on-demand. Print-on-demand websites are a great way to earn cash on the side. You can earn an additional income without having to engage with consumers once you’ve set up an account.

Just like selling stock photos, it’s simple to use print-on-demand services. To begin, you will register on the online platform of your choice. These platforms feature multiple firms that will utilize your images for their products. Then, depending on which firm you choose, you’ll upload your artwork and establish your price.

Print-on-demand services can only print your artwork after consumers have paid for it. Customers can also choose from fine pillowcases, bottles, mugs, clothes, frames, and other items to print on. As soon as someone buys your art after you’ve uploaded your images, you’ll be updated. The earnings will be split between you and the POD website, which is fair, given that they are in charge of printing, shipping, and customer care.

Through print-on-demand services, thousands of people worldwide will be able to see your work and choose how they want it to be printed. There are several websites out there from which you can choose. Some of them include CowCow, Printer’s Studio, Society6, Zazzle, Red Bubble, and many more. 


4. Participate in photography contests

To become a successful freelance photographer, you will have to participate in photography contests. Not only is it a great way to earn money through photography, but a photo contest can also point you in the right direction. Participating in renowned photography contests can get your work published in famous magazines and other prominent publications. This will provide you with the required recognition. In addition to these perks, most of these contests give away cash prizes. 

5. Try your hand at freelance photo editing.

Photo editing is the process of enhancing photos with a photo editing program in digital photography. It’s the digital equivalent of a photo lab, where images may be edited after they’ve been shot. After a photographer has shot images during a photoshoot and selected the finest ones, photo editing begins.

Photo editing will provide you with some extra cash. To earn money by editing photos, you must be aware of various tools and techniques available for the same. One of the most popular tools to organize and edit photos is Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom is a comprehensive and sophisticated photo editing program that can create almost any effect you can imagine when paired with Adobe Photoshop. Some editing choices allow you to make broad changes to the image’s quality, while others allow you to focus on a specific area of the image. 

A good profile as a photo editor will work wonders for you as a freelance photographer. 

6. Go for lucrative photoshoots.

To earn more money through freelance photography, a good option is to go for lucrative photoshoots. Events are a great option and can be quite profitable. These include weddings, graduations, corporate events, cocktail parties, etc. 

Shooting these events will provide you with good money and recognition as well. With one such shoot, you will be able to form a network; all the people present there will come to know about your work, increasing your chances to land new clients and earning money through photography. 

7. Small-scale photoshoots

High-profile shoots are well and good, but as a freelancer, small scale or mini shoots can also allow you to earn money through photography. These will be more lucrative for you as these require fewer resources and little time but will be rewarding, nevertheless. 

Key Takeaways

  • As an employee of an organization, a photographer will have to work following the requirements of the respective organization, but as a freelance photographer, you are your boss. As a freelance photographer, you will have a flexible work schedule and a choice concerning your clientele.
  • To earn money by selling photos, know your audience because if you are clear about your target audience, you will score more clients and eventually make an ideal client network.
  • Stock photos are in great demand. Every business requires images for multiple marketing purposes. To sell stock photos, all a photographer has to do is register on a website that sells stock photos and upload pictures there. Remember to focus on selling high-quality, trendy images.
  • To earn money as a photographer, you can go for print-on-demand services via various websites, which help you sell your photos. 
  • Large-scale photoshoots are indeed more profitable, but you will easily score small gigs. Seize this opportunity to earn more money as a photographer.


Earning money as a photographer can be a task, but you will be able to earn money by selling photos with the right approach. There are several ways to choose from to earn some extra money. You can sell stock photos or sign up for print-on-demand services. The point is there are a plethora of opportunities out there; be aware, have a game plan, seize the lucrative opportunities that provide you with a chance to earn money by uploading and selling your photos.


1. What is the price of a photo on Shutterstock?

Shutterstock offers you 25 to 38 cents for each image downloaded, depending on your earnings tier. Customers can buy a photo set under the standard or enhanced license under the on-demand plan. These images should be downloaded within a year of purchase.

2. How can freelance photographers find work?

Word-of-mouth referrals are a great way to get more business. Along with that, make connections with your customers and collaborate with different photographers or businesses in the same field. Become a guest speaker for local organizations. Lastly, make a professional-looking website.

3. How can I get started as a freelance photographer?

Keep learning and look for a mentor. Make sure you have a business plan and a fantastic portfolio. Begin to network, create a web presence, and most importantly, make sure you learn from your mistakes.

4. In 2022, will print-on-demand be profitable?

Is it profitable to print on demand? Yes, it can be profitable if you approach print-on-demand wisely. Print-on-demand is viable since it involves almost no maintenance and upfront investment, even though profit margins are smaller than other online business models.

5. Can a freelance photographer make money online?

The answer is yes; freelance photographers can easily make money online. They sell stock photos on stock photo websites; they can also sign up for print-on-demand services.