You started out innocently enough. Perhaps, you’re someone who frequented art exhibitions and over a period of time developed a fondness for the many nuances of the visual arts. Perhaps, you’re someone who held the camera when your family went on vacation and got increasingly better at making everyone look good as they posed against frescos, statues, and cultural landmarks. Perhaps, you learned about photography because of your interest in attending crafting exhibitions.
Later, intrigued by the possibilities of photography, you may have signed up for a Facebook photography group, got into the habit of bookmarking the best photography blogs, and then signed up for a photography class.
Over the years, you may have learned everything almost everything you could about cameras, techniques, and software, becoming increasingly more sophisticated in your approach.
Then, one day, after a casual observer commented on your passion for photography, you may have wondered if it’s possible to make a living doing something you love.
How do you monetize your uncanny ability to take just the perfect picture at just the right time of the day?
Here are 5 ways to get paid for your passion:
- Sell art prints online.
Photography requires technical skills and artistic abilities, but to monetize your acquired talent, you need to master a new skill—the art of selling. An easy way to start is to build a website and sell photography art prints. Naturally, there is a learning curve when it comes to setting up a website, adding eCommerce functionality, and getting the word out, but it’s all doable, and there are plenty of online courses on how to build an online business from scratch.
- 2. Master analog and digital marketing.
If selling is converting people to your offer, then marketing is letting them know that you have something to offer. Marketing can be bifurcated into two broad categories: analog marketing and digital marketing. It’s a good idea to pursue both types of marketing, which is sometimes referred to as “integrated marketing.”
Analog marketing for photography might include talking to the owners of local coffee shops and librarians at your public library to see if they will allow you to exhibit your framed photographs.
Although you may make a few sales this way, the main benefit will be exposure. You’re creating an opportunity for people who like what they see to contact you with business propositions. For instance, someone who has a poster business may want to feature one of your images in their product line or someone hosting a photography exhibition may invite you to participate.
Digital marketing might include blogging, where you share a variety of techniques that you’ve learned on how to take good photographs. Besides earning an income selling prints, you may also be able to monetize your blog by reviewing cameras, photography equipment, and photograph-editing software.
- Learn how to network.
Once you’ve set up your online business, you need to network, and this is something that you can do both online and offline.
Using social media platforms, you’ll be able to attract people who will have an interest in your work.
Using business networking, attending everything from meet-up groups to photography conferences, you’ll develop professional contacts. By letting people know who you are and what you do, you’ll build your personal brand.
- Teach what you know and love.
Teaching what you know about photography, whether through an online video tutorial or in a classroom setting, confers many benefits, you’ll experience the satisfaction of helping aspiring photographers get better at learning the craft.
You will also understand many photographic concepts and techniques at a much deeper level when you have to explain them to others.
And, of course, you will develop a public relations campaign without even trying.
- Ask for assignments.
Magazines and newspaper editors will be eager to send you out on assignments once you show them your portfolio. If you apply for photography gigs with prestigious travel magazines, you might even get all-paid assignments to exotic parts of the world.
In conclusion, if you love photography and have learned how to take remarkable pictures, there is no reason why you can’t also make a great living from your knowledge and skills.
This is a post by Sara Stringer.